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BBC Team

Better Bennington Corporation
Board of Directors 2021-2022

Officers

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Susan Plaisance

President

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.  

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Michael Keane

Vice President

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. 

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Shelley Colvin

Treasurer

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.

 
 

Directors

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Michael McDonough

Mike is a retired architect.  He was involved in the original formative discussions of the Better Bennington Corporation and continues to serve on the Board and as Chair of the Design Committee.  Michael is a charter gubernatorial appointment to the VT Downtown Development Board and continues to serve.  He also chairs the Bennington Planning Commission and Historic Preservation Commission and he is alternate district 8 Act 250 commissioner.   

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Keith Carey

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. 

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Nancy Koziol

Nancy Koziol was introduced to Bennington in the late 80s and knew someday she would call it home. She and Kris love living downtown. Nancy, an internationally-certified wine expert, author, and journalist founded couch + cork, a global leader in in-home, virtual and corporate wine tastings. In addition to serving on the BBC board, Nancy is a Rotarian, Business Representative to the Alliance for Community Transformation and serves on the Board of the Southwestern Vermont Chamber of Commerce.

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Jonathan Cooper

Jonathan Cooper moved to Bennington with his wife and daughter in 2016 to take a position with the Bennington County Regional Commission. Since then he was worked on community and economic development issues pertaining to workforce training, entrepreneurial activity, and regional cooperation.

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Edie Sawitsky

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. 

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Jenifer Hoffman

Jenifer Hoffman is the Broker/Owner of Hoffman Real Estate in North Bennington. She is on the Promotions Committee of the Better Bennington Corporation. Jenifer is a recognized leader in her industry, serving on boards and committees for local, state, and national Realtor associations. She was named a 2020 Southern Vermont Emerging Leader and Vermont's Realtor of the Year 2021. She is a third-generation Benningtonian, and loved being hands-on with every step of building a new home with her husband, Jon – everything from site planning to the layout, framing and finishing, kitchen and bathroom design.

 

Ex-officio Liaisons

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Shannon Barsotti

Town of Bennington Community Development Office

Shannon, who has lived in Pownal for 13 years, is the co-founder of the grassroots community foundation Discover Pownal and formerly served on the Pownal Planning Commission. Last October, she won a Community Leadership Award from the Vermont Council on Rural Development. She has also worked for the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition in Massachusetts, running youth leadership programs. 

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Jeannie Jenkins

Town of Bennington Select Board

Jeannie is the Coordinator of Academic Services for Community College of Vermont.   Jeannie serves on the Board of Lake Paran Recreations and has been an active member of the Bennington County Regional Commission and the Energy Commission in Bennington. She is a dedicated advocate for environmental causes.  Jeannie also serves on the Town of  Bennington Select Board.

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Matt Harrington

Southwestern Vermont

Chamber of Commerce

Matthew is the Executive Director of the Southwestern Vermont Chamber of Commerce. Matthew is actively involved outside of work with Tech Valley’s Young Professional Network, the Bennington Young Professionals, the Coach Baker Fund, the Association for Talent Development, and the Bennington Economic Development Partners.

 

Staff

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Jenny Dewar

Executive Director

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Kaiya Kirk

Assistant to the Executive Director

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Bill Clark

Streetscape and Maintenance