Tuesday February 26, 2013

BRATTLEBORO -- The Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation has announced the hire of Anthony Summers and Wendy Rea Woods to Southern Vermont's two federally-funded flood recovery officer positions. The flood recovery officers will work collaboratively to expand the capacity of public officials and economic development organizations to work effectively with businesses and encourage the development of innovative public/private approaches. High level goals include economic restructuring strategies, village and downtown revitalization and business resiliency in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene.

Summers, of Spokane, Wash., recently graduated from Eastern Washington University with a Master of Urban Planning and a Master of Public Administration. While in graduate school, Anthony held an outreach position with Eastern Washington University's Business Resource Center where he worked with small business owners to develop environmentally responsible business practices. It is Anthony's interest in working directly with business owners and community members to improve economic conditions in Southern Vermont that drew him to the Flood Recovery Officer position. Anthony looks forward to applying his abilities to assist with identifying immediate and long-term solutions for strengthening the region's economy.

Woods, of Dorset, has had a career focused in the non-profit sector where she has developed her programming and community outreach skills working with and advocating for women and families. She was a featured speaker both in national and local media markets on the topics of non-violence, issues pertaining to diversity and women's rights in the Middle East. She has coordinated community-wide projects with YWCAs and United Ways in Connecticut and Vermont and identified human and financial resources to achieve social stability and positive economic impact. Her most recent project has been forming a citizens' committee that serves as liaison between the public, state agencies and a contracted consultant to study the feasibility of passenger rail restoration to Southwestern Vermont.

The positions and project are possible due to an award of $472,000 in disaster recovery funds by the US Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration to the Windham Regional Commission (WRC) and the Bennington County Regional Commission (BCRC). This EDA investment supports disaster recovery capacity building for the Southern Vermont region and is funded through the FY 2012 Disaster Relief Opportunity administered through the U.S. Economic Development Administration. Each disaster recovery investment is intended to support a community's long-term recovery, spur job creation, leverage private investment, and promote disaster resiliency.

Summers and Woods will work collaboratively on the two county project with Summers based at BDCC's Brattleboro office and Woods based out of the Wilmington Town Offices. Start dates are the first and second week in March. They can be best reached via email after their start date at asummers@brattleborodevelopment.com and wwoods@brattleborodevelopment.com.

More information on the project can be obtained at http://windhamregional.org/ or http://www.bcrcvt.com.