Better Bennington Corporation
Board of Directors 2023
Susan Plaisance moved to Vermont in 1991. She and her husband, Steve, have 2 children, both of whom attended Bennington schools, participated in numerous sports and activities, and are now attending college. For the past 13 years Susan has been with the Bennington Banner. She is the Account Manager for both the Banner and Manchester Journal. Susan has served on the Boards of the Manchester & the Mountains Regional Chamber of Commerce, The United Way, and Generations Day Care.
Michael is past president of the Board of Directors of the Better Bennington Corporation and current vice president; past member of the Bennington Select Board; member since 2012 of the Vermont Economic Progress Council and vice chair, member of the Southern Vermont Economic Development Zone team and Bennington Regional Economic Development Group. Michael also serves as vice president of the Center for Communication in Medicine and past board member of the American Lung Association of Vermont.
Shelley Colvin was born and raised in Bennington and graduated from MAUHS. She currently resides in Shaftsbury with her teenage daughter. She was employed by Chittenden Bank for 22 years and held the title of Market Manager/AVP. In 2010 Chittenden Bank was acquired by Peoples United Bank. Since the acquisition she has held the role of Market Manager/VP, overseeing six branches. She has now been in banking for 34 years.
Her role as a Market Manager is to grow the business by acquiring new and retaining existing customers, consumer and small business lending, providing an exceptional customer experience, and acquiring and retaining talent.
She is an active member of the Bennington community. She also serves as Secretary of the Charles Cooper and Elizabeth Kelley Scholarship Fund. She has served as Treasurer of the Bennington County Meals Program, Treasurer of the Bennington County Coalition of the Homeless, and Treasurer of Bennington Project Independence. She volunteers for community events, such as Relay for Life, the Epilepsy Foundation radio auction, United Way Day of Caring, and Garlic Town. She strongly believe that it is up to each of us as citizens to become involved in the communities we serve to make them a place in which we are proud to call home.
Michael is a Bennington native and retired architect. He served on the steering committee which led to the formation of the Better Bennington Corporation. He is a long-time Board member and chair of the Design Committee and has served two terms as Board President. Michael was a 1998 charter gubernatorial appointment to the Vermont Downtown Development Board and continues to serve. He chairs Bennington’s Planning and Historic Preservation Commissions and serves on the Vermont District 8 Act 250 Environmental Commission.
He is a former Bennington Assistant Town Manager, interim Community Development Director, and interim director of the BBC. He has served as president of the Park-McCullough House Association and has coached basketball and worked in athletic administration on the youth, high school, and collegiate levels. He resides in Bennington
with wife Sandy.
“It has been a privilege to serve with a broad group of people who are deeply committed to Bennington, our Downtown, and it’s success.”
Keith is the owner and operator of Gamers' Grotto on Main Street. He also serves on the Economic Vitality Committee of the Better Bennington Corporation. His expertise and experience in on-line gaming relates well to the on-line retail competition that will continue to challenge downtowns in the coming years.
Edie has served on the BBC Board of Directors since 2009 and is a past President. She continues to serve on the Design Committee. Edie is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Bennington Museum. She served as Chair for five years, and currently serves on several committees of the Museum's Board.
Mike works at CAT-TV, our local community media station, as the Production Manager. Mike is also a freelance videographer and photographer with a passion for cars and weddings. His freelance work has taken him all over the country for auto shows, new vehicle launch programs, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, and more. Mike is humbled to be a 2018 Rising Star in Vermont, a four-time Telly Award winner, and a 2021 SYP non-profit member of the year. When he is not busy at work you can probably find him on the stage for a Bennington Community Theatre or Dorset Players production!
Bio coming soon!
Jamie Carey is a resident of Pownal, VT with strong ties to the entire region. Jamie is currently the Sales Manager at Village Garage Distillery, has a Class A CDL, 35 years in the Building Trades, a former Home Inspector, former Trades Teacher and the former owner/operator of Anytime Fitness.
Jamie has many years of business and sales success which has attributed to his ability to adjust easily to new ideas, products, software programs, etc....all while being able to connect with people on all levels. His experience has also awarded him the ability to be an effective problem solver. People feel comfortable around Jamie often opening up and allowing him to understand who they are and what their goals and needs are. Jamie feels very comfortable in social situations which allows people to drop their guard to create trusting and lasting relationships. He brings a friendly, approachable, down to earth, warm personality, to every aspect of his life and career. Jamie is a true friend to all and offers experience and skills that can be applied to anything he is involved with.
Joe comes to the table with a plethora of corporate sales, marketing and graphic design experience. His appetite for finding the perfect typography and/or color palette to create something unique; fuels his love for graphic design. Fresh out of college he worked for a non-profit at the collegiate level as an SID. In his mid-20’s he pursued his childhood dream as a singer/songwriter. He was featured on national television and opened for several Grammy nominated artists on tour. Through all that he managed to squeeze in seven years of navigating the rough seas of the telecom sales world to refine his sales skills. He now resides in his 1930’s Vermont home that’s in an endless state of renovation with his wife, Sara, and their four children.
Michael (Mike) Madison, his wife Betsy and their two children are long time Bennington residents, loved by all that know them. Mike grew up and attended schools in the area, before moving to Florida, with his now wife, where he was trained in the brewing trade and management. After several years and a great career in Florida, the couple returned to town to be closer to family while raising their own, again showing how strong Mikes values, sense of family and community are.
Mike, his brother, and parents, had a vision to revitalize downtown by bringing a much-needed restaurant to the area. In 1996 they created, built, opened and continue to run Madison Brewing Company Pub & Restaurant, the most popular place in Bennington, VT for craft beer and mouth-watering food. In 2021, against stacked odds due to COVID-19 forced shut-downs, Mike and his family opened The 421 Craft Bar and Kitchen which is full of positive symbolism for the local economy, much like Mike stands for himself.
Mike has deep rooted ties to the community and the downtown area. It is clear that Mike has an affinity for Bennington. In addition to Mike’s commitment to the ever-deserving patrons that frequent the restaurants, he is also respectful, outgoing, business savvy, and offers a warm welcome to his friends and community wherever he is. He is an asset to anything he is involved with.
Colleen McQuade, president of the Cannabis Retailers Association of Vermont and owner of Juniper Lane Cannabis, holds a Master's Degree in International Peace and Conflict Resolution. With a diverse background that includes working for medical cannabis companies, wholesaling functional glass art, and working with traumatized communities she has become a vocal advocate for the healing power of cannabis. Locally, McQuade has also made significant contributions by supporting the arts, music, environment, and community through partnerships with Lake Paran, Vermont Art Exchange, and Queer Connect. Her passion for creating a welcoming community space is evident as she aims to provide education and promote the benefits of cannabis at Juniper Lane. Supported by her Main Street neighbors and the Bennington community, McQuade is eager to make a positive impact in the world of cannabis retail and the Bennington community.
Mia Schultz is a passionate community advocate and social justice leader who has made a significant impact in Bennington and beyond. With over eight years as a resident of Bennington, Mia has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to her community through active involvement in various initiatives. As president of the Rutland Area NAACP which includes Bennington, Mia has dedicated her time and efforts to combating systemic racism, promoting equality, and advocating for the rights of marginalized communities. Her strong belief in the power of community organizing has allowed her to effect positive change and uplift the voices of those who have been historically marginalized.
Mia made history as the first Black woman to serve as the Democrat Town Chair, breaking barriers and paving the way for future generations. Additionally, she spearheaded a transformative initiative by partnering with The Root Social Justices project “I Am Vermont Too” and the Bennington Museum to bring a powerful exhibit that sheds light on the often invisiblized lives of Bennington residents, amplifying their stories and fostering a sense of inclusivity within the community.
In addition to her community work, Mia holds a distinguished position as a Truth & Reconciliation Commissioner for the State of Vermont. In this role, Mia plays a crucial part in promoting truth, healing, and reconciliation within the state, working towards a more inclusive and equitable society. Her dedication to addressing historical injustices and fostering understanding among diverse communities reflects her deep-rooted commitment to social change. With her expertise and passion, Mia continues to inspire others to lead and make meaningful contributions to the advancement of justice and reconciliation in Vermont.
Bio is coming soon!
Downtown Street Maintenance