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VCRD Awards its Annual Vermont Community Leadership Award and a new Community Leadership Lifetime Achievement Award

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2015-02-20

MONTPELIER, VT – On Wednesday , February 18th the Vermont Council on Rural Development  presented the Vermont Community Leadership Award to the community leader who have led the renaissance of downtown St. Albans over the last few years. The award was presented at the Summit on Creating Prosperity and Opportunity Confronting Climate Change at Vermont Technical College in Randolph.

VCRD presented its 2015 Community Leadership Award to St. Albans residents City Manager Dominic Cloud, Mayor Liz Gamache, Warren Hamm from the St. Albans Historical Society, and Emerson and Suzanne Lynn publishers of the St. Albans Messenger.   Past recipients have included the Rutland Creative Economy Leadership Team, the Center for an Agricultural Economy in Hardwick, Al and Marcia Perry of Richford Vermont, and Robert McBride and Richard Ewald of Bellows Falls.  Awardees are recognized for work that has had a “transformational effect on their communities.”

City Manager Dominic Cloud and Mayor Liz Gamache were especially recognized for the tremendous accomplishments made in refurbishing historic downtown buildings, developing a critically important new parking facility, advancing the construction of a downtown hotel, encouraging over $85 million dollars in manufacturing investment at the St. Albans Coop and Mylan Techologies, and supporting the development of a new 18,000 square foot building on Main Street for Ace Hardware.  Admiral Warren Hamm was praised for his wonderful leadership in the revitalization of the top notch St. Albans Museum and the St. Albans Raid Anniversary Festival produced last year.  Finally, Suzanne and Emerson Lynn were recognized for their energy in organizing the Franklin County Wine and Cheese Festival, the Annual Running of the Bells and other events, but most especially for the powerful contribution of the St. Albans Messenger to local pride, momentum and community.  In the words of VCRD co-presenters Catherine Dimitruk of the NWRPC and Tim Smith of Franklin County Industrial Development Corporation, this team has made St. Albans, “a better place to shop, a better place to dine, a better place to do business and most importantly, a better place to raise a family.”

At the same event, VCRD presented its first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award to John Ewing of Burlington Vermont. As former president of the Bank of Vermont, founder of the Vermont Forum on Sprawl, and past Chair of the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, John has stood as much as any Vermonter for maintaining the balance between a strong economy and conserving the best of the culture and landscape of Vermont.

The Vermont Council on Rural Development is a non-profit organization charged by the federal farm bill to act as a neutral convener at both the local and policy level supporting the progress of Vermont communities.