TLC/4WARD Upper Valley
The impacts of the pandemic are wreaking havoc on our economy and threatening our small businesses and the future of our community. TLC/4Ward encourages community members to pay it forward so that businesses and organizations that are the backbone of our economy and community will still be here on the other side of this crisis.
The Local Crowd (TLC) 4WARD Upper Valley is a community-based crowdfunding platform designed to address the local economic impact of the pandemic response on the local businesses that are the backbone of our community. A partnership between The Local Crowd, Vital Communities, and Mascoma Bank, TLC 4WARD Upper Valley is a platform that empowers members of our community to invest in local businesses with donations through an easy-to-use and secure online site.
Who Are We?
The Local Crowd (TLC) Upper Valley is a community-based crowdfunding platform that empowers individuals to support the businesses, organizations, and initiatives that grow wealthier and healthier communities in our region.
Off to a Great Start!
TLC Upper Valley launched in 2019 with five campaigns that raised funds for exciting projects in Canaan, Enfield, Topsham and White River Junction. More than 300 people contributed almost $50,000 to support a new businesses, a farm, and three nonprofits that help keep healthy food and activities available to everyone in our community!
Got a Great Idea?
Do you have an incredible project just waiting to happen – one that would grow or strengthen your business, our community, and the local economy – if only you had the funds to make it happen?
— Erika Hoffman-Kiess, Vital Economy
Erika Hoffman-Kiess joined Vital Communities in 2020 – first as a Workforce Development consultant, facilitating a workforce discussion for the Corporate Council, and subsequently joining staff to support Covid-19 economic response activities. Erika brings years of experience in program design, management, and consulting for United States Agency for International Development and other donor funded international workforce and economic development. Most recently she facilitated a statewide series of Workforce Summits for the Regional Development Corporations of Vermont, developing policy guidance for the legislature and the executive branch. Erika grew up in Thetford, graduating from Thetford Academy, and moved back to the area in 2011 after many years spent living and working across the US and abroad. She holds a BA in Political Science from Goucher College and an MPA (Master of Public Administration) from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Erika lives in Thetford with her husband, Mike Kiess (also on VC staff) and enjoys spending time with extended family, exploring the natural environment and volunteering on two Boards serving international community development organizations, Tabitha USA (Cambodia) and Friends of Pakistan USA.
Food & Farm and Local First Coordinator
Local First, Food & Farm
Local First, Food & Farm
— Nancy LaRowe, Food & Farm and Local First Coordinator
Nancy joined Vital Communities as the Food & Farm Coordinator in 2014. She works to support and grow our local food system and economy. Nancy has lived, worked, and farmed in the Upper Valley for more than 25 years and believes our community is healthier and stronger when our connections to food and the farms that produce it stay vital.
Nancy's informal job title is Farmer-in-Residence: she also runs a pasture-based cattle farm in Norwich. Nancy is on the Board of the Norwich Farmers' Market and a retired Norwich volunteer firefighter and EMT. She loves puttering in the garden, hiking with her dog, and visiting farmers' markets.
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