(Montpelier) –Governor Peter Shumlin has appointed Kerry Secrest of Brattleboro to serve on the Vermont Commission on Women (VCW).
Commissioner Secrest is a leadership coach for individuals and organizations through Watershed Coaching, her Brattleboro-based firm focusing on executive coaching, women’s leadership, team coaching, and leadership training.
Commissioner Secrest leads trainings in the areas of team-building, women’s leadership, understanding multigenerational work environments, change management, strategic planning, conflict resolution, and leadership development. Her clients include national and international firms, both commercial and non-governmental organizations, as well as Vermont-based companies.
Commissioner Secrest founded and directs the Women's Leadership Circles of Vermont program, a six-month intensive leadership engagement for groups of women in leadership who live or work in a particular county in Vermont. The program, now offered through Marlboro College’s Graduate and Professional Studies, is designed to enhance personal and professional leadership in order for participants to be more effective and fulfilled at work, leading companies and organizations to achieve greater impact locally and regionally.
“The work Kerry has been doing on behalf of women leaders in Vermont is exceptional, and I am excited that she will bring her energy and enthusiasm to the Vermont Commission on Women,” said Governor Shumlin.
“I am honored to be appointed. I stand for a community where women’s voices are an integral and valued part of the public conversation, where women have equal opportunity, and equal pay for equal work,” Secrest stated. “I look forward to working with the Commission on these and other important issues.”
Before moving to Vermont in 2003 Commissioner Secrest served as a program director with the American Red Cross in Washington, D.C., and worked as director of a $3 million dollar program at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Prior to those positions and drawing on her Lithuanian-American heritage and experience living two years in Soviet-occupied Lithuania, she served as Advisor for Educational and Cultural Affairs at the Embassy of Lithuania as part of the country’s first diplomatic mission following independence. She is a dual citizen and now works to promote economic opportunity and cultural ties as the Honorary Consul of Lithuania to Vermont.C
ommissioner Secrest has a master’s degree in International & Intercultural Relations with a focus on human resource development from the SIT Graduate Institute, and received her undergraduate degree from Villanova University. She is certified as an Integral Coach through New Ventures West and in mediation through the Center for Dispute Settlement in Washington, DC. She believes that life is an adventure and has organized her own unguided trips rafting north of the Arctic Circle and backpacking for a month in Siberia. To date, her most profound adventure has been parenthood, with two school-aged daughters.
VCW is a non-partisan state agency working to advance rights and opportunities for women and girls. Sixteen volunteer commissioners and representatives from organizations concerned with women’s issues guide the VCW’s public education, coalition building, and advocacy efforts. VCW offers many services to the public, including a toll-free information and referral service at 800-881-1561 and many publications, including The Legal Rights of Women in Vermont. For more information, visit www.women.vermont.gov.