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MAURA Collins

Maura CollinsCareer Highlights:
Policy and Planning Manager at the Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA), I act as a legislative liaison both in Montpelier and with our Congressional delegation, so they understand the impact of legislative changes on lower income Vermonters’ housing options. I am responsible for the Agency’s media and public relations, strategic planning, and manage our internal risk management efforts. Finally, I am the point person for housing for people with disabilities and people who are homeless by working closely with several state agencies and local non-profits to create programs and policies that will increase housing options for these populations. All of this boils down to facilitating a lot of meetings, a good amount of public speaking, and tons of project management. I'm an adjunct professor at UVM where I teach a graduate-level Housing Policy course. 

Community Involvement: VHFA has allowed me to focus on housing people with disabilities, it has become a major component of my job. I facilitate monthly meetings of Chittenden County’s homeless shelters and service providers and serve on that group’s steering committee. On Board of Directors for Pathways to Housing Vermont. Serve on the Income Impact team for the United Way of Chittenden County. Variety of volunteering and fundraising for local anti-poverty organizations and now that my oldest child is in school I've joined the local school district's Farm to School committee, which is a new topic for me.

Favorite part of job? The housing needs of each Vermonter is unique, and the market is constantly changing, and so when I can be part of a diverse team  that addresses those needs within the current market realities and we move together towards a common approach, I feel a real sense of victory. 

Most inspiring mentor? I began my career in Boston and Ann O’Hara taught me many fundamentals of housing, writing, professionalism and treating all people with respect. In Vermont, Sarah Carpenter picked up that mentoring role and it’s almost as if my education continued seamlessly. 

Who is your living hero? Sue LeBrun-Green and Candy Lightner are the two women who launched Mothers Against Drunk Driving. 

Favorite downtime activity? Date night with my husband. It’s rare that we get uninterrupted conversations, but when we do it’s like a mini retreat: good for my mind and spirit. 

Favorite Vermont Escape? Of course a housing person like me will say: my house! 

Favorite social network? Twitter. As a former journalist, I love the constant feeling of breaking news.

Favorite website? 

Vermont Business Person you would most want to network with? The list is long, but I’d say Anne Galloway from VT Digger is at the top.

John Boutin, VBM Publisher, Maura Collins and Pat Moulton Powden, Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Community Development< Last Next >