BENNINGTON — Thirty-one young professionals are being recognized as Emerging Leaders of Southern Vermont by the Southern Vermont Young Professionals and the Shires Young Professionals. This recognition celebrates young people from the Bennington and Windham regions, based on their work as community leaders and volunteers, and for their professional accomplishments and commitment to serving the region.
The Emerging Leader recognition was created to increase visibility and support for young leaders in the region, and to increase statewide recognition of southern Vermont's young leaders. Nominations come from friends, colleagues and fellow volunteers.
Typically, the Emerging Leaders are announced and celebrated at the Southern Vermont Economy Summit, which happens every year in late May. Due to COVID-19, the Summit, and therefore the Emerging Leaders award ceremony, is not able to happen in person.
The award is a custom Woodzie, a wooden beverage insulator from Better Wheel Workshop (www.betterwheelvt.com) in Newfane that will be shipped to each Emerging Leader's home. Additionally, a highlight reel is available featuring each Emerging Leader and details on the career and community accomplishments they are most proud of. Highlights are at www.sovermontzone.com/emerging-leaders
"We want Southern Vermont to be recognized around the country as a place of opportunity, diversity and prosperity for all people especially young adults," said Matt Harrington, executive director of the Southwestern Vermont Chamber of Commercem which oversees the Shires Young Professionals group.
"This list of emerging leaders is a testament to that vision. These hard working, diverse, community-minded individuals are the future of Vermont. We hope this recognition encourages them to remain vigilant in their civic, family and career goals. We're excited to see where they go next in their Vermont life."
"I'm really excited to receive the Emerging Leader award," said Hannah Cofiell of Butter Mountain Bakery in Wilmington, who lives in Woodford. "I consider myself a hard worker, and as the owner and only employee of the bakery, I find myself working extra hard because it's all on me to do things right, while also balancing married life at home with a toddler. Being recognized for this award by others in my community has given me a chance to step back and reflect on my success, especially during these uncertain times."
One of the questions asked of Emerging Leaders is "What is SoVermont to you?" Jennie Rozycki, director of the John G. McCullough Free Library in North Bennington, said, "SoVermont is my adopted home: A beautiful place full of creative, curious, resilient, and perhaps most importantly, kind people."
All of the 2020 Emerging Leaders of Southern Vermont will all be nominated for the Vermont Rising Star awards. Last year, seven Emerging Leaders from Southern Vermont became Vermont Rising Stars.
Emerging Leaders of Southern Vermont, class of 2020
BRATTLEBORO: Ain Thompson, Out in the Open; Alyssa Pelow, Adaptiva HR; Alyssa Todd, National Children's Alliance; Charles Soucy, Hermit Thrush Brewery; Christopher Lukasik, Windham County State's Attorney's Office; Henry DoRosario, Outpatch and Dartmouth - Tuck Business School; Jay DeGregorio, The Nature Museum; Jedediah Popp, Health Care and Rehabilitation Services; John Kim, Grace Cottage Hospital; John Pritchard, Costello, Valente & Gentry, P.C.; Lauren Mabie, Vermont Law School and 22 Mile March; Matthew Schibley, Health Care and Rehabilitation Services.
DUMMERSTON: Danielle Lacroix, Green Mountain Gardening.
EAST DUMMERSTON: Amanda McCullock, Flatter Me Hair Salon & Self; Eva Westheimer, Out in the Open.
WESTMORELAND, N.H.: Christine Abdelnour, Allstate Insurance.
PUTNEY: Elizah Temple, Grace Cottage Hospital.
GREENFIELD, MASS.: Jordan Leonard, Vernon Elementary School.
HINSDALE, N.H.: Justin Thompson, Wantastiquet Hall.
VERNON: Kim Kunkle, Vernon Elementary School.
STRATTON: Melissa Walker, Grace Cottage Hospital.
TOWNSEND: Rebecca LaPointe, Grace Cottage Hospital.
BENNINGTON: Aaron Dickie, Vermont Department of Labor; Alex Figueroa, Southwestern Vermont Medical Center; Jared Newell, CDM Smith and Bennington Area Trail System; Sarah Perrin, Green Mountain Concessions and Bennington Select Board.
NORTH BENNINGTON: Austin Bevin, Brunswick Dental Associates; Jenifer Prouty Hoffman, Hoffman Real Estate; Jennie Rozycki, John G. McCullough Free Library.
MANCHESTER: Lauren Wilcox, Project Against Violent Encounters.
WOODFORD: Hannah Cofiell, Butter Mountain Bakery.