Sam Drazin, founder of Changing Perspectives (and Norwich native), was honored at the Vital Communities Heroes and Leaders Celebration; shown here with guest, Denise Shannon.

Heroes & Leaders Celebration Honors UV Young Leaders


Submitted a year ago
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Village Green Publishing

Event Benefits Vital Communities’ Leadership Upper Valley Program

Vital Communities recognized 11 young leaders and their contributions to the Upper Valley at the sixth annual Heroes & Leaders Celebration on Wednesday, May 24, at the Quechee Club in Quechee, Vt. The annual dinner, which benefits the Leadership Upper Valley program of Vital Communities, honors community members who have made significant positive impacts in the region.

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“The young leaders we’re honoring this year are passionate about building the Upper Valley community—and their accomplishments are truly inspiring,” said Vital Communities Executive Director Tom Roberts. “From addressing the region’s opiate epidemic, to bringing aquaponics into schools nationwide, to strengthening the local economy, these young leaders represent a range of approaches toward a common goal: community. We’re so pleased to recognize these eleven and know there are many more young leaders making our region a better place to live, work, and play every day.”

This year’s Heroes & Leaders honorees are:

  • Paul Coats, Lebanon Recreation & Parks
  • Noah Crane, Upper Valley Nighthawks
  • Elyse Crossman, Greater Claremont Chamber of Commerce
  • Emily Donaldson, Cultivating Action
  • Sam Drazin, Changing Perspectives
  • Gordon Ehret, Hypertherm
  • Nicole LaBombard, Dartmouth-Hitchcock
  • Dan McGee, Red River
  • Merritt Partridge, Tuck School of Business
  • Stephanie Thompson, Springfield Prevention Coalition
  • Holly West, Friends of Mascoma Foundation

Norwich resident, Jenny Levy, honoring Hypertherm colleague, Gordon Ehret, one of this year’s Heroes and Leaders honorees.

Attorney Markell Ripps of Norwich firm, Grossman and Ripps, Board member and past chair of Upper Valley Young Professionals and a Vital Communities board member and graduate of Leadership Upper Valley,  provided closing remarks for the evening.

Leadership Upper Valley is a 10-month professional and personal development program that inspires, educates, and engages community members to better serve the Upper Valley by building their networks and their knowledge of the region’s challenges, opportunities, and resources.

Vital Communities’ work is at the heart of a vibrant Upper Valley region. We bring citizens, organizations, and municipalities together to address issues where an independent voice and regional approach are essential.

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