Economic Development

For many years I worked in the oft maligned hospitality service jobs  of the region.  These were jobs that allowed me to make a decent living with maximum flexibility while I had small children.  The last service industry job I had was as a waitress at Dot’s Restaurant.  This was a very busy, and therefore fairly lucrative job a few days a week, allowing me maximum  time with my three young children.   It was at Dot’s where my interest in economic development began.

Folks treasure their routines.   For workers, retirees and the weekend residents the morning Dot’s routine included coffee, newspapers, and spirited  commentary on whatever the latest local controversy was or which new state law had folks up in arms.  I was intrigued by the banter and back and forth and the level of knowledge and passion.  If you wanted to understand how the locals were feeling after the controversial Brigham decision and the national tragedy of 9/11, Dot’s was the place to be .

In addition to awakening my interest in the workings (or not) of local and state government, there was one other notable feature of my eight years at Dot’s – a very slow and gradual decrease of how much I was able to earn as a waitress.  This, of course, was due to a parallel slow and gradual decrease in overall economic activity in the region.  Notable numbers of friends and acquaintances I’d known for years started leaving and businesses that has once thrived were shutting the doors and not being replaced.

All of this led me to apply for the regional chamber of commerce director position in 2006 where I figured maybe I could “do” something to help.  And I also needed to be able to halt the slow decline in my wages.  Since then I have had  many opportunities to  work and learn with others in and out of our district on events, plans and long term strategies to begin to reverse our economic decline.

This work remains quite an adventure with varying levels of support and assistance for our efforts from state and federal government, and some amazing local and regional grassroots contributions.  My current position was created by just such collaborative grassroots effort when, in 2011, the State of Vermont and our regional development corporation BDCC made an important decision to collaborate on developing a long term regional strategy to grow Southeastern Vermont’s economy.  My past and current successes in bringing businesses and public officials/bodies together to tackle our shared economic challenges will be of great service to our towns as we continue working to improve our economy.

What follows is  information about some of the positive economic development initiatives I led, am leading or have helped develop:

2016

Posted outside the House Agriculture and Forest Products Committee room prior to the vote on the floor.Town Tells officials about dearth of telecommunications access

House set to vote on Gilfeather Turnip bill

How does broadband access impact property values?

VTel, House at odds over internet access info

Economic leaders interests go beyond Vermont Yankee

Economic development leaders join forces in southern Vermont

Rivals again face off in Windham-Bennington vote

Sibilia to help advise new governor

2015

Growing our green economy: Region gets $265K for green building work

September with the CEDS: Measuring your progress

Vegetable with roots in local town up for state recognition

New report tackles region’s economic woes

House Committees set as Legislature Opens

Windham Region Vital Projects Announced

2014

2012 Young Professionals event

Southern Vermont young professionals event with Speaker Smith

Economic Development Groups bid for Entergy Funds

 Keep the momentum

10 Towns Approve Funding for Southeastern Vermont Economic Development

 Southern Vermont promotes new marketing campaign

Sibilia upsets Moran in Windham-Bennington

 

2013

VY Economic Impacts discussion

VY economic impacts mitigation discussion with Governor Shumlin at Dot’s

Windham Region CEDS released for 30 day public comment

Joint Meeting of House Committees on Natural Resources and Energy and on Commerce and Economic Development: Testimony

“…a best example of all Vermonters…” – Vermont Commerce Sec. Lawrence Miller 31:00

Improving economic fortunes in the Route 30/100 corridor

21st Annual VBSR Annual Conference: Hot Topics: Vermont Yankee Decommissioning – Issues & Opportunities

Post-Irene, area chambers team up on marketing

Vermont remembers Irene on second anniversary of floods

2012

Flood Recovery SBA Welch

SBA flood recovery changes discussion with Congressman Welch and business leaders

 

Southern Vermont receives $470,000 to bolster long-term recovery efforts following Irene

Vermont Small Business Administration Awards: Sibilia awarded Volunteer Perseverance Award for flood recovery work

 

 

2011

Calculating Blueberry Parade votes

Calculating Deerfield Valley Blueberry Festival parade votes

 

Numbers tell the story of flood recovery

What’s left is faith

2010

Dover, Wilmington want to go high-tech

 

2008 Interview at chamber event

2008 Interview at chamber event

 

2009

Strategic Economic Development Plan for Dover and Wilmington

 

 

 

2008

2007 Legislation signing

2007 Wine legislation signing with Governor Jim Douglas and Vermont Life Publisher Tom Kelly

 

 The Vermont Life Wine & Harvest Festival

Deerfield Valley Blueberry Festival

Dover Economic Development Plan for 1% tax

A Look Back: Deerfield Valley Economy in 2008

 

 

2008 Charity Awards

2008 Charity Awards from Bears in the Valley public arts event. 80K in funds raised for local charities.

 

2007

Bears in the Valley Public Arts Event nets 80K for four local charities

 

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