Morse, Wilson and Area High Schools Honored by BDCC and SeVEDS
BRATTLEBORO, VT – The Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC) & Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies (SeVEDS) Boards of Trustees, Members, Staff, and invited guests held this year’s annual meeting at the Latchis Theater in downtown Brattleboro. BDCC President Craig Miskovich and Executive Director Adam Grinold spoke to the numerous public private partnerships, projects and accomplishments the organizations has led or received in the past year prior to a series of awardees being honored.
Former Speaker of the House Stephen Morse, was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award by the BDCC Board of Trustees. Morse is currently the Chair of the Vermont Economic Progress Council board (VEPC), Vermont Board of Education, and past Chair of the SeVEDS Post VY Task Force and a founding SeVEDS board member. Stephen has played a pivotal role in the economic development of Southern Vermont at every stage of his storied career and has served as the Executive Director of the Windham Foundation, the BDCC, an innkeeper, and as a champion for Southern Vermont, his lifelong home. Morse, a cycling enthusiast, was presented with a cycling sculpture by BDCC Board Member Mark Richards.
The SeVEDS Leadership Award, chosen by the SeVEDS board for excellence in economic development leadership was presented to Alex Wilson, Chair of the Ecovation Hub Leadership Team, an implementation project from the Windham Region’s internationally recognized Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies (CEDS). Wilson, founder of the environmentally has been a trusted national voice over the last thirty years of environmental development in Southern Vermont, and has provided essential guidance, direction, and expertise at every stage of the development of the Ecovation Hub. Bob Stevens, President of the SeVEDS Board, presented Wilson with the award and an engraved paddling oar honoring a recent paddling project he has undertaken as well as his valued steering of the Ecovation Hub project leadership team.
The Fast Tracks to Success Program, developed through the Southern Vermont Workforce Center of Excellence with the regional Educators Workforce Committee was presented with the BDCC Founders Award. The Fast Tracks program, also a CEDS implementation project, provides supplemental instruction and logistical support for student-focused career development that connects students directly with local employers and the local economy. The Windham region’s four public high schools, Brattleboro Union High School, Bellows Falls Middle High School, Twin Valley Middle High School, and Leland and Gray High School, along with the Windham Regional Career Center all participate in the development and implementation of the program. BDCC Workforce and Education Program Manager Alex Beck presented representatives from the participating schools the BDCC Founders’ Award for the successful and timely work to begin implementation of the first year of this program in the current school year.
Grinold provided details from BDCC’s successful year, citing increasing regional collaboration as the source of the non-profit’s fiscal health and the major awards received this year from the Northeast Developers Association (NEDA) and the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) for Workforce, the G.S. Precision Project and the multi-year implementation of the regional CEDS. Candace Pearson of Building Green spoke about the ongoing work of the Ecovation Hub and presented a video depicting regional leaders from the tri-region area who are leading the effort.
Grinold introduced keynote speaker and VEPC Executive Director, Fred Kenney noting that, “in the past few years there have been few, if any, economic development projects in our region that Fred has not been directly involved in.”
Kenney took the stage, discussing the importance of vision, perspective, and good acronyms in the economic development efforts of the area, and praised the implementation of the Windham County Economic Development Program which partners directly with the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development and the Governor’s office. Kenney congratulated the BDCC and SeVEDS efforts, noting that “it’s not like every hardworking organization is bringing home awards from the IEDC and NEDA. It really shows how exceptional the work being done by the BDCC is.”
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The work of Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation is made possible in part by a grant from the State of Vermont through the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.