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:


Windham County Economic Report: Businesses face short-term and long-term risks

Lawmakers Scale Back Plan to Pump $100 Million Into Broadband 

House overrides Scott’s veto of Global Warming Solutions Act

House fails to override Scott’s veto of paid family leave by one vote

As tensions cool, state officials say Brattleboro Retreat won’t face imminent closure


Thank You Representative Laura Sibilia For Helping to Bring Broadband to Rural VT

Governor Phil Scott signed H513 into law June 20 in Dover. With him is DPS Commissioner June Tierney, left, Representative Tim Briglin (D-Thetford), and Representative Laura Sibilia (I-Dover), directly behind Scott. Courtesy photo.

Broadband study gets funding

Technology: Broadband expansion will take wide-area effort

The Challenges Of Bringing Broadband To Vermont’s Hills And Hollows

Lawmaker shocked by telecoms CEO suggesting constituent should move

Consolidated improved repair times for service outages. But officials still aren’t satisfied.

Vermont holds fire on net neutrality law, despite legal win for states


Photo from Bennington Banner

House transforms and passes net neutrality bill

Grace Cottage Hospital cell coverage saved

What’s important to local lawmakers in 2018

House OKs temporary fee to support broadband build-out

Some Vermont Rural Cell Service, Including 911, Could End


Limited marijuana legalization clears Legislature

Speaking on need to increase workforce. Chester Telegraph August 6, 2017

Southern Vermont Economic Development Zone wins federal funds

Vermont Rural Caucus invites testimony on future of rural economy

You are not alone: Exerts focus on Southern Vermont Economic Issues

Vermont Clean Energy Report Signals Opportunities for Job Growth

When a nuclear plant closes, a community suffers. Here’s how we can change that

Vermont Bill Would Increase State’s Energy Storage Capacity


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

When a nuclear power plant closes, a community suffers


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


2012 Young Professionals event
Southern Vermont young professionals event with Speaker Shap 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


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


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


Calculating Blueberry Parade votes
Calculating Deerfield Valley Blueberry Festival parade votes

Numbers tell the story of flood recovery

What’s left is faith


Dover, Wilmington want to go high-tech

2008 Interview at chamber event
2008 Interview at chamber event


Strategic Economic Development Plan for Dover and Wilmington


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.


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

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