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Company: Bennington County Coalition for the Homeless
Title: Executive Director 
Age: 38


Favorite Part of Job: My favorite part of my job is simply being able to help facilitate new beginnings for homeless families and individuals throughout my community. Each day my team and I work hard to encourage and empower people to rebuild their lives. We are responding to the vision of a society where everyone is valued and has a place to call home. 


Most Inspiring Mentor: I certainly would not be where I am today without so many positive influences who may or may not even know they had such an impact. Professionally, my former supervisor Warren Dews took me under his wing and helped me accomplish things I never knew I could. Personally, Stacey New has been there to guide, encourage, and empower me through just about every aspect of my life.


Tell us something fun about yourself that few people know: I may have been an Elvis Presley impersonator at one point in my life; mostly for charity events, nursing homes and the occasional birthday party. 


What three words best describe you: Diplomatic. Optimistic. Empathetic.


Favorite Vermont Escape: My favorite Vermont escape tends to include sunsets on Lake Champlain and microbreweries in the company of my family.


Favorite Downtime Activity: Aside from cooking, reading, and family adventures, I enjoy spending time with friends during moments of downtime.


Favorite Super Hero: My Mother.


Favorite Social Media: Facebook seems to be my social media “go-to”. I do engage with others, however, Facebook has a way of dragging me back in when I stray.


Person you would like to share a Vermont beverage with: Bernie!


Where do you see yourself professionally in ten years: In ten years I see myself authoring several more children’s books, holding an elected office, and remaining an Executive Director for a nonprofit organization. 


What motivated you to live and work in Vermont: I was born and raised in Bennington, Vermont and even after visiting several other states, Vermont is a place I am proud to call home. Between the four seasons (five if you consider mud a season) and our progressive values that separate us from the rest of the Union; Vermont is a “no-brainer.”


Career Highlights: In 2015, I accepted the position of Executive Director for Bennington County Coalition for the Homeless, a nonprofit that was on the verge of closing. I began to revitalize the ailing nonprofit; one that the town could not afford to lose. The organization under my direction now employs ten people, has opened a new sixteen-bed shelter, served 250 homeless Individuals over the past year and, is working toward opening a new family shelter. I also reduced our annual budget by $146,000 dollars and increased donor retention and acquisition 50%.


Community Involvement: Experiencing bouts of poverty, having siblings with disabilities, and the strength of a strong and a compassionate mother all contributed to my desire to empower others and give back to my community. In high school, I worked with the Green Mountain Chapter of the American Red Cross to establish a safe ride program that provided safe rides home to peers as an alternative to drinking and driving. After answering an advertisement in the local newspaper seeking a homecare provider for a seventy-three-year-old man with disabilities and cancer. Shortly after meeting him, I welcomed Raymond into my home where he lived with me for three years until his passing. His influence in my life reaffirmed my desire to give back and protect those most vulnerable. 

I seek opportunities to engage in community service whenever possible.  At 23, I decided to run for the public office of selectmen and become one of Vermont’s youngest elected officials. I regularly speak publicly advocating for vulnerable populations at churches, community groups, businesses, and schools. I participate in events to raise money for several causes. Currently I serve on the Board of Directors for Bennington County Child Advocacy Center and I enjoy teaching American Sign Language classes. I also serve on the committee that brought the Night to Shine prom to Southern Vermont. This prom celebrates individuals with disabilities. It is one of my favorite volunteer activities.


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