What is your primary work at BDCC/SeVEDS?
I’m the Director of Economic Development. I work on developing long term, strategic projects for the economic development of our region. For example, I worked with the SeVEDS Board to develop the CEDS (Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies), which is our regional long term strategic plan. I also work on the implementation of various pieces of that plan with the BDCC and other groups, including entities that have submitted a CEDS project for inclusion in the CEDS. The Green Economy Innovation Hub is one of the three industry sectors that our regional asset research for the CEDS indicated was most likely to support job growth and replace the high wage jobs lost with the closure of Vermont Yankee. It is a major, multifaceted project of the CEDS.
What is your role(s) in the GEIH?
My primary role was to work with our regional assets (individuals, municipalities, organizations, etc.) to articulate how we would undertake the GEIH project and gather in funding for the work to happen. Additionally, I am currently working with our consultants, ViTAL Economy, and the GEIH Leadership Team to ramp up communications about what has been happening and the opportunities that are being unveiled by the work thus far.
What inspires you about the work with the GEIH?
I have been amazed by the number of CEOs and other leadership members from organizations devoting significant time and leadership to this project. These leaders are seeing the opportunities for the region as opportunities for their organizations. Just like our CEDS, we are doing this work with a lot of people who have never done a cluster analysis project. We are working with a great consultant and we are figuring it out, grass-roots style. It’s exciting to see our rural region make this happen as it can be challenging for rural areas to coalesce around long term projects given their smaller populations, distance of travel to convene, etc.. Seeing our rural area come strongly together around this project, the sheer number of community members dedicated to making it happen is truly inspiring.