The winners of the Rising Stars recognition award were announced by Vermont Business Magazine this week. 40 winners under the age of 40 were selected by a panel of judges based on a commitment to business growth, professional excellence and community involvement. This year there were three winners from Windham County: Ashlyn Bristle of Brattleboro, Hannah Cofiell of West Marlboro, and Genna Williams of Athens.
One of the Windham winners, Hannah Cofiell of West Marlboro, was nominated through the southern Vermont “Emerging Leaders” initiative, created to increase regional visibility and support for young leaders, and to increase statewide recognition of southern Vermont’s young leaders. All Emerging Leaders who qualify for VBM Rising Stars are submitted to that panel. Emerging Leaders is a joint effort of Bennington’s Shires Young Professionals and Southern Vermont Young Professionals, a Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC) program. Cofiell says, “Being awarded the Rising Star of Vermont is truly an honor and a really bright spot in such an intense year. Being nominated by my community and ultimately selected by the judges as a Rising Star really proves to me that while my new contactless system feels very out of the ordinary for a small town bakery, I’m doing exactly what I should be doing. I feel so fortunate to be recognized for something that consistently makes me happy week after week while everything else feels so uncertain.”
Casey Haynes, the BDCC’s new Talent Specialist, says “This region has become more intentional about supporting and celebrating young leaders. It behooves the whole community to recognize their accomplishments and support them because they are the future.” Since 2017 when the Emerging Leader recognition was established, 85 young professionals have been recognized (visit https://www.sovermontzone.com/emerging-leaders for complete list) and the number of Rising Stars from southern Vermont has increased substantially, with an all-time high last year of 8 winners from Windham and Bennington counties.
Of the 40 honorees, there are 16 men and 24 women. There are 15 from Chittenden County, 3 from Windham County, 5 from Rutland County, 4 from Bennington County, 5 from Washington County, 3 from Caledonia County, 1 from Lamoille County, 1 from Franklin County, 1 from Orleans County, and 3 from Orange County. The average age of the honorees is 34 years old. The oldest is 39 and the youngest is 27 years old.
About Southern Vermont Young Professionals
The Southern Vermont Young Professionals is a workforce initiative of Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies (SeVEDS) and the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC). Our mission is to attract, retain and support Young Professionals in Southern Vermont by providing engaging opportunities and networking through social and educational events, and volunteer opportunities. The YP initiative is increasingly important to Southern Vermont’s businesses and communities as a strategic approach to growing the size of the region’s workforce and increasing the number of younger households in the region. For more information please visit: https://brattleborodevelopment.com/sovtyps/
The Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation is a private, nonprofit economic development organization that serves as a catalyst for industrial and commercial growth throughout Southeastern Vermont, including Windham County and the towns of Readsboro, Searsburg, Winhall and Weston. BDCC serves as the State of Vermont’s certified Regional Development Corporation (RDC) for the greater Windham County area. BDCC is one of 12 RDCs throughout Vermont. This BDCC activity was made possible in part by a grant from the State of Vermont through the Agency of Commerce and Community Development. For more information visit: https://brattleborodevelopment.com/
Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies (SeVEDS) is an affiliate of BDCC that grew from a 2008 grassroots effort, initiated by BDCC, to understand and create long term strategies needed to reverse the economic decline of the Windham Region and plan for the economic impacts from the closure of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. In 2014, after multiple years of regional input, education and data gathering, SeVEDS received federal approval for the Windham Region’s federally recognized S.M.A.R.T. Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). SeVEDS partnered with Bennington’s Regional Economic Development Group in 2018 to develop the 2019 Southern Vermont Zone CEDS. For more information visit: www.seveds.com