Thursday, July 8, 2010

Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Vermont Food Venture Center

A temperature of 90 degrees plus humidity, was not going to keep the celebration at bay!

With approximately 70 folks, an array of delicious food samples form area producers, eloquent speakers and an energetic, very-much-alive Senator Patrick Leahy, the official groundbreaking for the new Vermont Food Venture Center went forward as planned.

Congratulations to the Northeast Vermont Development Association, Northern Enterprises and the Vermont Food Venture Center for this anticipated and wonderful event!

The CAE expands! Please welcome our newest staff members, Erica Campbell and Heidi Krantz

We are so pleased to announce that we have two new staff members joining us at the Center for an Agricultural Economy!

Each position reflects the granting of funds for two separate, but cohesive projects. Each project is giving us an opportunity to work with exciting and progressive partners (and now staff members!) in this region while we continue forward with the work of healthy food and agricultural systems.

Erica Campbell, Project Manager for the NEK Food Systems Development Program
(grant through the Northeast Vermont Development Association, to research and prepare a strategic plan around opportunities for NEK local food systems to expand, for one year, starting July 19th, 2010)

Erica Campbell is an integrated planner and policy analyst with a focus on sustainable communities. Over the past decade her work has spanned many areas, including food systems, economics, education, health, transportation, and climate change.

Prior to joining CAE, Erica was an associate with Resource Systems Group, where she consulted with planning agencies throughout the country to develop long range plans, conduct research on climate change, and assist with strategic planning activities. She played an integral role in the development of the Vermont Long Range Transportation Business Plan. Erica is also a co-founder and active member of the Waterbury-Duxbury Food Council and serves on her local Planning Commission. She holds a Master of Science in Community Development and Applied Economics from the University of Vermont.

Erica grew up in Walden, St. Johnsbury, and Rutland, VT and now lives with her husband and children in North Duxbury.

Heidi Krantz, Agricultural Business Advisor (funded through RBEG and administratively housed at Vt Small Business Development Center at Vermont Tech, to provide regional support, counseling, training, and resource networking services to small agri-business owners and prospective owners within the NEK region and in part as associated with the Vermont Food Venture Center, for two years starting July 12th, 2010)

Heidi Krantz who resides in Craftsbury, has been an independent business owner and consultant for over 30 years with extensive experience in personnel and organizational development and training, strategic planning and implementation and marketing.

Her strengths include leadership, coalition building, facilitation and problem-solving skills to enable development of strong rapport with clients, staff, students and other partners while ensuring attainment of goals and objectives. Her education and career have led her on a “scenic” path including work with state and federal agencies, non-profits and private businesses. Heidi also formed Team Resources Group, a collaborative group of diverse individuals who plan and implement organizational development challenges; she was a founding owner of Umiak Outfitters in Stowe, VT; and she has coordinated volunteer committees and government agencies to work successfully towards common goals as the Community Development Coordinator for the Town of Morristown, Vermont; over the past 30 years has taught, trained and led thousands of people in situations as diverse as business development and whitewater paddling.

Heidi and her husband are renovating an 1830’s hillside farm in Craftsbury and developing a business plan for the property.