Class of 2021
Jane Clifford, Mascoma Bank
Jessica Clow, West Central Behavioral Health
Zachary Conaway, Dartmouth Hitchock Health
Janet Couture, Hanover Consumer Cooperative
Kathy Dunham-Bellavance, Geokon
Leon Dunkley, North Universalist Chapel Society (North Chapel)
Kimberley Gibbs, Dartmouth-Hitchcock
Susan Goodell, Otto & Associates, Inc.
Lynne Goodwin, City of Lebanon
Daynia Langlois, Dartmouth-Hitchcock
Nancy Lindahl, BAYADA Hospice
Jill Marshall, Jill Marshall Consulting (self-employed)
Ashleigh McFarlin, Claremont Savings Bank
Davis McGraw, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
Shari McLaughlin, Gallagher, Flynn & Company, LLP
Ana Mejia, Vital Communities
Steven Monteverdi, Hypertherm
Melissa Norton, Spark! Community Center
Rebecca Owens, City of Lebanon
Amanda Roberts, Mascoma Bank
Tamara Rockwell, Dartmouth-Hitchcock
Valerie Thompson, LISTEN Community Services
Celeste Wetherell, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
Ashley Wood, Upper Valley Haven
Terra Wheeler, Red River
Session Schedule and Information
Session One – Building Community
Date: September 9, 2020
Thank you to our day sponsors: Aloha Foundation.
Community Building Day is the opening session for the program where we set the stage for our 10 months together. The goals of the day are to welcome participants to the program, get to know each other, and begin our exploration of the Upper Valley.
Session Two – Education Day
Date: October 14, 2020. Location TBD
Day Planner: Joanne Roberts, Superintendent, SAU 88 Lebanon Schools
Gain an understanding of the challenges, assets and innovations of the education system in the Upper Valley. Explore educational opportunities and possibilities for involvement.
Session Three – Art and the Creative Economy
Date: Nov 11, 2020. Location TBD
Day Planner: Jarvis Antonio Green, Founder and Producing Artistic Director, JAG Productions
Thank you to our day sponsor: Ben Schore.
Develops first-hand knowledge of how the arts impact our lives and the region’s economy. We will discuss ways to bring the arts into your workplace and your life.
Session Four – Health and Human Services
Date: Dec 9, 2020. Location: TBD
Day Planner: Barbara Farnsworth, Manager, Community Health Improvement, Dartmouth-Hitchcock
Thank you to our day sponsor: Dartmouth Hitchcock Health
Learn about the services supporting institutions and residents of the Upper Valley. We build an understanding of community dynamics and gain an understanding of the needs and resources of local nonprofit and service organizations.
Session Five – Economic Development
Date: Jan 13, 2021. Location: Claremont MakerSpace
Day Planner: Nancy Merrill, Director, Planning and Development, City of Claremont
Thank you to our day sponsor: Claremont Savings Bank Foundation
How does this region attract and develop business? Evaluate the dimensions of “growth”? What kind is positive? How is it monitored? What is the role of public opinion? Business and civic leaders outline the potential and limits of growth in our region, as well as standard practices and innovative systems, and the influence of entrepreneurship.
Session Six – Justice
Date: Feb 10, 2021. Location: TBD
Day Planner: Robert Sand, Founder, Center for Justice Reform, Vermont Law School
Thank you to our day sponsor: Center for Justice Reform, Vermont Law School
Explore some of the current issues surrounding the criminal justice system in the Upper Valley. Examine the broader societal issues which impact the criminal justice system and our community, including poverty, education, family structure, substance abuse, mental health, health care, and more.
Thank you to our day sponsor: Rockefeller Center, Dartmouth College
The structure, role and responsibilities of state, county, and town/city governmental bodies are outlined. Learn how you can be a more engaged citizen, which will influence your professional and personal life. Gain insights from elected and appointed officials – as well as your peers in the room – into overcoming challenges to meaningful involvement in the affairs of your community.
Session Eight – Transportation & Livable Communities
Date: Apr 14, 2021. Location: TBD
Day Planner: Bethany Fleishman, Transportation Manager, Vital Communities
Understand the impact of our growing and increasingly more complex transportation network and how our travel choices affect our environment, economy and social fabric. Discuss affordable housing issues and opportunities in our region.
Session Nine – Environment
Date: May 12, 2021.
Day Planner: Hannah Gelroth
VINS, Quechee, VT
What does an “environmentally sustainable” Upper Valley look like? Explore its implications on your quality of life and economic vitality. Broaden your perspectives on the interaction of environment, economy and community by addressing questions relating to the environment, energy, land use and agriculture.
Closing/Beyond LUV and Graduation
Date: June 9, 2021
Wrapping it all up. Review how you have begun to apply what you have learned during the program. Discuss how your workplace and your personal life have benefited by your participation. Clarify your plans to become a more active leader and contributor in your community. Receive your certification as an enthusiastic and active participant in the Leadership Upper Valley program.
On the bright, sunny morning of June 13, Cobb Hill was waking up, and the soon-to-be graduating 2018 Leadership Upper Valley class was just arriving f [...]
Editor's Note: Many thanks to Kevin Peterson, Director of Economic Development for the New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority, who offe [...]
Vital Communities celebrated its Leadership Upper Valley Class of 2017 on June 14, in a commencement ceremony at Harpoon Brewery. Thirty of the region [...]
Thank you all for joining us to celebrate the young leaders who are being honored tonight, and thank you to Vital Communities for recognizing their im [...]
Vital Communities Program News
Leadership Upper Valley Manager, Director of Development
— Rob Schultz, Leadership Upper Valley Manager, Director of Development
Rob Schultz is the Leadership Upper Valley Manager and Director of Development at Vital Communities. Most recently, he served as Area Coordinator for Granite United Way in the Upper Valley Region. Rob was Executive Director of COVER Home Repair in White River Junction for 9 years. Before working at COVER, Rob was Executive Director for the Farm & Wilderness Foundation for 8 years; helped start a corporate training center for PT Timah in Sumatra Indonesia; and ran programs for Outward Bound in Minnesota, Texas, and New Mexico. He is a graduate of Earlham College and has done graduate work at University of Maryland in International Political Economy. He lives in Hanover with his partner Diane. He sings with Thetford Chamber Singers and is an avid carpenter, cellist, wilderness traveler, and gardener.