Leadership Upper Valley 2024’s Opening Day
Twenty-seven new participants in Leadership Upper Valley gathered at the beautiful Ohana Family Camp in Fairlee on September 13 for the Opening Day of this year’s program. This new group comes from Proctorsville to Plainfield and Alstead to Canaan. Leadership Upper Valley is one of the few opportunities for people – from all over the region and several generations, with unique personal stories and varied workplaces – to gather and consider how they might learn from each other and about the Upper Valley in order to address the challenges and opportunities that we face.
As has become a tradition, Sunrise Farm’s Chuck Wooster drew the group into a discussion of the Upper Valley as a region, an idea, and a place. Next, LISTEN Programs Director and LUV advisory board member Angy Zhang led participants to consider what they consider home, when they or someone they know have not felt at home in the Upper Valley, and what this group of leaders can do to try to help everyone feel they belong in the Upper Valley.
Throughout this academic year, the group will meet once a month to learn about different aspects of our region, and the challenges and opportunities for people to make a difference. In October, the group will visit the Hartford Area Career and Technical Center as part of Education Day. November will bring Environment Day at the VINS Nature Center in Quechee followed in December by Justice Day with presenters from the Vermont Law and Graduate School. In January, we’ll head to the Claremont MakerSpace for Economy Day; connect with local healthcare professionals and other experts on Health and Human Services Day in February; and explore Government and Politics in March. In April we’ll ride Advanced Transit buses as part of Transportation and Livable Communities Day, followed in May by visits to many local arts organizations on Arts Day, with some hands-on sense-making of the year. We’ll close in June back at VINS, setting plans for making a difference in all of our communities and workplaces as a result of this experience.
~ John Drew, Director of Programs and Project Manager of Leadership Upper Valley