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Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies, or SeVEDS, started in 2007 as a small group of people from across the region looking to improve broadband and cell service.
After many meetings it became painfully clear that the region’s problem wasn’t lack of broadband, it was lack of economic development.
Understanding we couldn’t go it alone, professional assistance was sought from Fairpoint Communication and their contractor Vital Economies.
Beginning in 2010, Vital Economies worked with us on beginning to uncover and understand our underlying regional economic and demographic data and helped us lead a regional asset mapping discussion. This work led to the development of our initial five year goals and a strategy framework to begin to achieve those goals.
The SeVEDS organization has also begun to develop. We are incorporated as a non-profit and legally affiliated with the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation, a Vermont Regional Development Corporation serving the Windham Region.
SeVEDS exists to reverse the Windham Regions economic decline. We envision developing the Southern Vermont economy to generate long-term growth and prosperity, improve the regions quality of life and sustain its quality of place.
SeVEDS Board of Directors
Ann Andreosatos – New Chapter
Ann is Vice President of Human Resources for New Chapter, a subsidiary of Procter and Gamble that sells organic vitamin and food supplements. Previous to this role; Ann was part of the Global Diversity & Inclusion Practice at Procter & Gamble. Her roles included D&I Culture and Capability leader for North America, manager for global flexibility strategy, consultation with P&G business units on a variety of Diversity & Inclusion tools and methodologies, and HR leader for People with Disabilities initiatives.
Ann joined P&G in 2004 as Gillette’s Director of Workforce Diversity & Inclusion and works a location free role in Boston, MA. Prior to Gillette, Ann led the development of work/life effectiveness programs at Fidelity Investments for 16 years, including work/life programs, work climate surveys and relocation, and employee relations.
Ann serves on the national board of directors for the US Business Leadership Network® (USBLN®), is past president the Boston-based Human Resources Council, supports the annual Linkage Summit on Leading Diversity as a learning team facilitator, and is a past team mentor with Women Unlimited.
Carolyn Blitz – Stratton Foundation
Carolyn Blitz is the President of the Stratton Foundation. Carolyn began her career as an executive with the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce and served as its Vice President of Community Relations. During her tenure there she was involved in many projects undertaken to revitalize the community and its downtown. In 1987 Carolyn moved to New York to take a position with the National Basketball Association where she served in a number of capacities including Vice President of Community Relations and Vice President of Special Events, during her 20 year career. Carolyn purchased her first home at Stratton in 2001. After enjoying Vermont as a weekend destination, in 2007 she decided to spend the majority of her time at Stratton and became immersed in the community and today is a member of the Board of Directors of Stratton Mountain Urgent Care at the Carlos Otis Clinic and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Mountain School at Winhall in addition to serving as President of the Stratton Foundation. Carolyn has one daughter who is a graduate of Vermont Academy. Carolyn is a recently licensed Real Estate Salesperson in the State of Vermont.
Bill Colvin – Bennington County Regional Commission
Bill Colvin is the assistant director of the Bennington County Regional Commission and the director of that organization’s Sustainable Community Development Program. Bill has worked in the community and economic development field in Southern Vermont, in both the public sector and the private sector, since the early 1990’s. While working as an economic development specialist in Wilmington and Dover, Bill became part of the early effort which ultimately led to the creation of SeVEDS. Bill is a ninth-generation Vermonter and he received his undergraduate degree from Middlebury College. Bill later went on to attain a Masters in Business Administration. He lives in Bennington with his wife, Jessica Chapman, a professor at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
Stephen Dotson – One Report
Stephen Dotson has handled various communications, media, and marketing efforts for projects, campaigns, and organizations rooted in sustainability, justice, and peacework. He moved to Vermont soon after working on the Jersey Shore in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, documenting the potential savings and impact of proactive investment in climate-resilient infrastructure. A strong value system has driven his work for organizations such as the Envision Peace Museum, the Earth Quaker Action team, the journalism outfit www.WagingNonviolence.org, and his co-direction of an award-winning documentary film about the issues and events surrounding Occupy Wall Street. Locally, he contributed to the initial marketing and business planning for Hermit Thrush Brewery, currently works with the sustainability reporting company OneReport, and previously worked for the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association. Stephen is also a newly appointed town commissioner to the Windham Regional Commission and volunteers time with the regional Green Economy Innovation Hub project. Early in his career, Stephen worked extensively with the Quaker community and was an educator and administrator for experiential learning programs that utilized alternative classroom environments and the outdoors. He and his wife Lisa are working to transform a property in Westminster West into a climate-resilient eco-cabin that will produce all of its own energy and a portion of its own food.
Josh Druke – WW Building Supply
Josh has been at WW Building Supply for the last 11 years, his family purchased about that long ago. He has done just about everything there and am now stepping into a more administrative role alongside his father. Josh is actively involved with all aspects of marketing, business development/ sales team and some human resources, information technology. He recently headed up a project of opening ourdesign center in Wilmington.
Over the years Josh and his wife have participated in Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Cheshire County, and currently serve and is president of the advisory committee of the River Valley Technical Center in Springfield Vermont. He has been involved with that program for the last 6 years in different capacities. Josh is also serves on the Board of Director for the Vermont Retail Lumberman’s Association, member of the legislative
committee, and will be vice president in 2017 and president in 2019.
Adam Grinold – Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation
Adam is the Executive Director of the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation. A graduate of Wilmington High School, Adam received a BA with honors in History Education from Castleton State College in 1995. Adam was the general manager of his family business, The White House of Wilmington until successfully selling the operation in 2008. Adam currently lives in Wilmington with his wife, Karen and their two children, Owen age 13, and Grace age 9. Boomer, their chocolate lab is all bark, no bite. The family enjoys skiing and snowboarding in the winter and camping and boating in the summer months. The summer is a busy time for the family and their restaurant, Wahoo’s Eatery now in its 16th year of operation.
A life-long resident of Southern Vermont, he enjoys contributing to the vitality of the local community. During the past 20 years he has served on; The Wilmington Planning Commission, Mount Snow Valley Chamber of Commerce, Twin Valley Facilities Committee, Bi-Town Committee, SeVEDS, Wilmington Works, and been elected to the Pettee Memorial Library Trustees, Wilmington School Board and Twin Valley School Boards. After selling the family business, Adam focused on running his other family business, Cleo’s Property management until 2011 when he accepted the position of executive director of The Mount Snow Valley Chamber of Commerce. In 2014 Adam took on a contract to serve as the executive director for Wilmington Works, the newly created Downtown Designated Organization for Wilmington.
Mary Ann Kristiansen – Hannah Grimes Center
Mary Ann Kristiansen is Founder and Executive Director of the Hannah Grimes Center, based in Keene, NH, with a mission to help business and the community to innovate, connect, thrive and give back. Hannah Grimes provides business educational programs; a 22-office business incubator in the downtown business district of Keene; a retail marketplace for over 270 businesses with locally made and grown products; financing support; and community projects that foster a supportive environment to advance entrepreneurship. Hannah Grimes has over 40 instructors and coaches who volunteer their time and produces 5 monthly e-newsletters targeted to different business sectors. Ms. Kristiansen’s concept for Hannah Grimes Marketplace and subsequently the Hannah Grimes Center emerged from her own home-based business, Buckminster Farm in Roxbury, NH, making soap and other hand crafted goods sold. Ms. Kristiansen holds a Masters degree in Public Administration from New York University Graduate School of Public Administration in New York, NY, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications – Public Relations and Geology from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN.
Bethaney LaClair – World Learning & School for International Training
Bethaney LaClair is Chief of Staff and Corporate Secretary for World Learning and the School for International Training. World Learning is an international nonprofit organization that provides education, exchange, and development programs in more than 60 countries. For more than 80 years, World Learning programs has helped empower new generations of global leaders to create a more peaceful, democratic and prosperous world.
In her current role, LaClair oversees the Executive Office administration and World Learning’s corporate operations, communications, and external relations and is the primary liaison to the World Learning Board of Trustees. Additionally, LaClair manages the Global Advisory Council, which brings together leaders from the arenas of development, education, government, civil society, business, foundations, and international organizations from more than a dozen countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas.
LaClair first joined World Learning in 2006 in the Human Resources department where she worked on recruitment, immigration, benefits and compensation and general administration. During that time, she successfully implemented an electronic applicant tracking system, streamlining the recruitment process and identified and implemented an electronic visa application tool, providing applicants direct access to counsel and providing significant savings for the organization. In 2008, LaClair moved into the Executive Office, working with the Provost, Chief Executive Officer and Board of Trustees on strategic initiatives and priorities for the organization.
LaClair earned a BS in business management, with a minor in economics, from Keene State College. She focuses her volunteer work on education and youth, economic development locally and globally and human rights.
Martin spent 30 years in the newspaper business, 13 of them as a publisher, most recently of the Brattleboro Reformer. He served as director and treasurer of the Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association, and as a board member of the National Newspaper Association. He is a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has a graduate degree from the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. (He and his wife ran a country inn in the Berkshires for several years in the 1970s, but they “got it out of their systems once Martin smelled printer’s ink.”) He retired from the Reformer in April, 2008 and has been active since then as a freelance marketing consultant. He has kept a toe in the journalism field by blogging about new business models for news at Harvard University’s Nieman Journalism Lab. In Brattleboro he is active on several boards including the Resilient Design Institute, Brattleboro Community Television and the Windham-Windsor Housing Trust.
Susan McMahon – Windham Regional Commission
Susan McMahon is the Associate Director at Windham Regional Commission (WRC) in southeastern Vermont. Since its formation 50 years ago, the Windham Regional Commission has worked with its 27 member towns in the areas of land use planning, watershed protection, solid waste planning, housing rehabilitation, community development, natural resource planning, emergency preparedness, transportation planning, and downtown/village revitalization. Susan is a planner with over 30 years of experience and extensive knowledge in land use and community development. During her career she has helped numerous communities and non-profits take their visions from an idea to ribbon cutting. For her work on Brownfields, she was awarded an EPA Environmental Merit Award. Susan has a Master’s Degree from Tufts University and is a core fellow with the Center for Creative Solutions at Marlboro College. Susan lives in Putney with her family.
Drew Richards – The Richards Group
Drew is Vice President and Principal at The Richards Group, headquartered in Brattleboro, VT. The Richards Group has over 90 employees and 11 locations throughout Vermont and New Hampshire and provides insurance, employee benefits and Retirement Plan solutions to clients in the tri-state area of Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Drew heads up the general business operations, including finance, marketing, IT and acquisition related activities. Prior to joining The Richards Group, Drew worked as an Investment Associate at Capital Resource Partners in Boston where he assisted in making $20 – $30 million debt & equity investments in growing middle market companies with $20 – $300 million in revenue. Before Capital Resource Partners, Drew was an Investment Banking Analyst in the Leveraged Finance Group at Citigroup in New York where he supported private equity and corporate clients in their financing of leveraged buyouts and recapitalizations through bank and high yield debt transactions.Drew received his undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Economics from Williams College and his MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. He was born and raised in Brattleboro and currently serves as President of the board for the Windham & Windsor Housing Trust and as a board member of Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies.
Avery Schwenk – Hermit Thrush Brewery
Avery is a manager and founding member of Hermit Thrush Brewery in Brattleboro. His has a wide array of skills relating to medicine and creative problem solving. He recently moved to Southern Vermont and previously worked as a paramedic and Mentor Program Coordinator for the Delaware County Memorial Hospital Paramedic Department in Media, Pennsylvania. He has volunteered for over a decade with he international creative problem solving organization Destination Imagination and is a former International Challenge Master, Instant Challenge Writer and consultant.
Luke Stafford – Mondo Mediaworks
Luke Q. Stafford is the owner of Mondo Mediaworks, a marketing agency based in Brattleboro. He is also a member of the Newfane School Board and the Vermont Media Alliance Board. He lives in Williamsville with his wife, an elementary school art teacher, and two daughters.
Robert Stevens – Stevens & Associates
Robert Stevens is a professional engineer with over 25 years of experience leading teams in a variety of projects and disciplines. He is the founder and president of Stevens & Associates, PC, an Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Civil and Structural engineering firm in Brattleboro Vermont. In addition to the design of projects his experience includes planning, urban design, public bond campaigns and project finance & development. Bob is an accredited professional in both Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) and Congress for New Urbanism (CNU). He’s well versed in sustainable design, traditional design and historic preservation.He has presented at numerous conferences including Traditional Building, Vermont Development Conference and Historic preservation conferences. His work and community support has been recognized with numerous awards including the Vermont Downtown Volunteer of the Year and the Southern Vermont Leadership Award for Economic Excellence.
Meg Streeter – Meg Streeter Real Estate
Meg is a 12th generation Vermonter and a realtor in the Mount Snow area (Meg Streeter Real Estate). She had previous careers in Boston, Baltimore, Washington, DC and El Paso, Texas in fields as various as anti-poverty organizing work with young mothers, sorting mail by memorizing 4250 street addresses and hiring scientists for the Food and Drug Administration. Always involved in community projects and start-ups with a passion for the non-profit organizations SeVEDS and Girls on the Run. Meg is currently enthusiastically working to transform Wilmington High School (her alma mater, along with Bates College) into a vital community center.
Konstantin Von Krusenstiern – Brattleboro Retreat
Konstantin von Krusenstiern is the Vice President of Strategy and Development at the Brattleboro Retreat, where he has worked since 2008. In his current role, his responsibilities include management of the Retreat’s Development Office as well as the Outreach & Education department, which includes the Retreat’s marketing and communications, media relations, continuing education, and strategic planning efforts. A native of New York with a background in marketing and communications in the music and film industries, von Krusenstiern relocated to Vermont in 2002. He has held several leadership positions in Windham County including serving as Executive Director of the United Way of Windham County, Director of the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center, and Managing Director of Sandglass Theater in Putney. In addition to serving on the SeVEDS board, von Krusenstiern currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Vermont Performance Lab; Latchis Inc; and is a Brattleboro Memorial Hospital Incorporator. A resident of Brattleboro, von Krusenstiern lives with his wife and two school-aged children.
SeVEDS Executive Committee
Bob Stevens, Chair
Meg Streeter, Vice Chair
Bill Colvin, Secretary