Economic Summit Word Cloud


The Vermont Commission on Women (VCW) is an independent non-partisan state commission dedicated to advancing rights and opportunities for women in Vermont. The Commission is authorized by Vermont statute.

Please note that the statute was modified during the special legislative session of 2018,
and changed as of July 1, 2018, with the changes reflected below

In its work, VCW:

  • Acts as advisor and information source for legislative and executive branches and other policy makers on issues affecting women
  • Serves as an educational resource by conducting research, producing publications, and coordinating conferences and workshops
  • Brings together diverse groups and engages in partnerships to consider issues of interest to women and take action
  • Provides the most local and most appropriate information and referrals to the public on matters related to women and families


Our typical meeting time is on the second Wednesday of the month from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., usually in Montpelier, and we generally don’t meet in July and August.

Some of the key things commissioners are expected to do are:

  • Attend commission meetings regularly and be prepared to actively participate in discussions and contribute to the direction and policies of the Commission
  • Serve on at least one committee
  • Understand, support, and represent the positions and policies of the commission to the public 
  • Promote the Commission by being available to speak to groups and the media, distribute Commission and other related materials, help host and attend Commission-related events 
  • Network with other organizations and serve as a liaison between the Commission, your region, and the state

Commissioners are entitled to per diem compensation and reimbursement for travel and other expenses as permitted under 32 V.S.A. §1010.


VCW is made up of 16 commissioners, who are each appointed by either the Governor or the General Assembly. Commissioners are appointed as follows:
8 appointed by the Governor (no more than four may be from any one political party)
4 appointed by the Speaker of the House (no more than two may be from any one political party)
4 appointed by the Senate Committee on Committees (no more than two may be from any one political party)

No more than 2 of the members appointed by the General Assembly (House or Senate) may be current legislators.

Commissioners serve four-year terms. The terms are staggered, with four expiring each June 30. In the event that a commissioner is appointed to fill a seat that has been vacated mid-term, that person serves out the remainder of the original term.
The VCW statute indicates that “members of the commission shall be drawn from throughout the state and from diverse racial, ethnic, religious, age, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic backgrounds, and shall have had experience working toward the improvement of the status of women in society.”  Aside from the above-noted limitations by political affiliation and status as current legislators, there are no restrictions on who can serve as a commissioner.
We would characterize the most important requirement for serving on the Commission as a commitment to actively and visibly working to reduce discrimination and increase opportunities for women in Vermont. 


Decisions about appointment are made solely by the appointing authorities. We are happy to pass along names and applications to them if you contact us here, or you may apply directly.

Governor Phil Scott
Please apply through the link on the Governor’s website:

Speaker of the House Jill Krowinski
Please send a resume and a letter of interest (which includes your political party affiliation, or if appropriate, that you are independent) to:
Office of the Speaker
115 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05633

Senate Committee on Committees, c/o Lt Governor Molly Gray
Please send a resume and a letter of interest (which includes your political party affiliation, or if appropriate, that you are independent) to:
Office of the Lt Governor
115 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05633



Kellie Campbell of GeorgiaKellie B. Campbell, Ed.D. | VCW Co-Chair

of Georgia
Kellie Campbell, Ed.D., is the Chief Information Officer for the Vermont State Colleges System with a background in business, technology, education, leadership and management.  Commissioner Campbell’s volunteer time reflects her commitment to advancing women.  She was recently an active committee member of The Boston Club, one of the largest communities of women focused around the advancement of women to top leadership roles across the private, public and nonprofit sectors. Commissioner Campbell is also on the Executive Board for Vermont Women in Higher Education.  This organization’s strategic priorities include providing opportunities for professional development, engaging in an inclusive community of women, and recognizing the successes of women.  Commissioner Campbell recently earned her Doctor of Education, focused in higher education administration.  She is currently the chair of the Education & Human Development Committee for the Vermont Commission on Women and is passionate about service to her community in this role.


Commissioner Kiah Morris of BenningtonKiah Morris | VCW Co-Chair

of Bennington
Originally from Chicago, Kiah Morris lives in Vermont where she served in the general assembly as a State Representative from 2014-2016 and 2016-2018. She is the first African-American and person of color elected from Bennington County and the second African-American woman to be elected to the legislature in Vermont history. Her story of success and struggle have been covered internationally over four dozen media outlets including CNN, The Huffington Post, New York Times, Washington Post, The Hill, Essence Magazine, Canadian Broadcasting Company, PBS, BBC Radio and Vice Media.  She is an award-winning, in-demand trainer, speaker and presenter. She provides consultative services, workshops and presentations on issues of diversity, equity and leadership for organizations across the globe. Commissioner Morris currently serves as the Movement Politics Director for Rights and Democracy Vermont. She is a Sisters on the Planet Ambassador for Oxfam America and is on the advisory councils for Emerge Vermont and Black Lives Matter Vermont.  Commissioner Morris also holds an accomplished artistic career as an actress of stage, film and television, spoken word performance, as a singer, dancer and arts manager. As an arts advocate with a passion for community-based art, she has produced numerous special events, concerts and art exhibits during her career. Her work focuses on amplification of voices of the oppressed, issues of human rights and social justice. She is also the author of a recently published book of poetry Life Lessons and Lyrical Translations of My Soul and currently filming a documentary on race in Vermont titled Colorlines in the Green Mountains with Long Shot Productions.


Commissioner Senecal of StoweLisa Senecal | VCW Co-Chair

of Stowe
Lisa Senecal was appointed by Governor Scott in 2017 and elected VCW Chair in 2019. She is a communications professional whose current energies are dedicated to pro-democracy, and gender and racial equity efforts. An experienced entrepreneur with a background in media relations and marketing, her successful ventures include an award-winning children's entertainment company and a digital media consultancy. She has provided crisis communications, media relations, and digital media strategy for dozens of companies and organizations, gubernatorial and U.S. Senatorial campaigns, and statewide policy initiatives. Commissioner Senecal writes and speaks with an emphasis on issues of equity, equality, opportunity, and safety for women. Her perspectives and writing appear in a range of media, including as writer and co-host of Lincoln Project Television’s “We’re Speaking,” on NPR's Morning Edition and PBS News Hour, as well as in The Daily Beast, The New York Daily News, and USA Today. She also writes a monthly column for her local newspaper, the Stowe Reporter. In addition to serving as Chair of VCW, and serving on the board of The Clarina Howard Nichols Center, she is a founding partner in The Maren Group, a consultancy working with businesses, investors, and campaigns to identify and remedy business and cultural practices that increase risk of sexual harassment and other forms of gender discrimination.


Ed_Adrian, new CommissionerEd Adrian

of Burlington
Ed Adrian practices law in Burlington at Monaghan Safar Ducham PLLC, helping municipal clients and licensed professionals grapple with legal issues throughout the state.  He previously served as the Chief Prosecuting Attorney at the Vermont Office of Professional Regulation in Montpelier and as a Deputy State’s Attorney in Franklin County.  In 2007 Commissioner Adrian was elected to the Burlington City Council and served until 2012.  From 2013 until 2018 he chaired Burlington’s Fletcher Free Library Commission.  When not practicing law, he provides public policy and personal commentary on VPR; writes on Vermont legal and ethics issues at the “Freedom and Ethics” blog; and also delves into Vermont politics and policy at his “Sugaring Off” blog.  Commissioner Adrian lives in Burlington with his wife Jen, children Elsa and Henry, and the family Goldendoodle Freyja.



VCW Commissioner Nancy Brooks of St. AlbansNancy Brooks

of St. Albans
Nancy Brooks is a graduate of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and completed specialized training in Champlain College’s Digital Editing program.   Her career has included leadership positions in both public service and in the private sector.  She served as Chief of Staff to then Lt. Governor Scott, and later, as the Chief Marketing Officer for the State of Vermont. In this position, she advised departments and agencies on marketing strategies and messaging, as well as improving the state vendor bidding process.   She’s served as Marketing Director, and as writer and editor, for various organizations in the retail, technology and education sectors, and is currently an independent marketing consultant.  Commissioner  Brooks served on the Berlin Selectboard and as Wheels for Warmth volunteer.  She lives in St. Albans with her family.



Commissioner Lisa Carlson of DanvilleLisa Carlson

of Danville
Born and raised in Vermont, Lisa Carlson joined the Air Force in 1978.  During her 22 years of service, she worked as a paralegal, a law office manager, and retired in 2000 as the Senior Paralegal Manager for Air Force Special Operations Command.  While in the Air Force, Commissioner Carlson earned an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Paralegal Studies from the Community College of the Air Force.  After retirement she worked as a substitute teacher and a para educator for both Walden and Danville Schools.   In 2012, Commissioner Carlson along with her husband Tracy, started Carlson Plumbing and Heating, where she is the Administrator for the business.   Commissioner Carlson currently serves as a volunteer and the Secretary of VT S.U.P.P.O.R.T.S, a non-profit organization that annually sends care packages to military members stationed in remote areas during the holidays.   She is also a member of the Advisory Council for the NEK Council on Aging.  A member of the Danville Congregational Church, she serves on the Mission Committee.  Commissioner Carlson and Tracy have a grown daughter, Emma.  She cherishes family time, gardening, and hiking and snowshoeing with her rescue pup Harlee.



Commissioner Delaney Courcelle Delaney Courcelle

of Rutland
Delaney Courcelle is a senior majoring in Business Administration at UVM’s Grossman School of Business.  She is the 2021 recipient of the School’s Major Junius Adair Award for Excellence in Finance.  She serves as the Chairwoman of the Vermont Federation of College Republicans, overseeing the Federation chapters at UVM, Middlebury College, and Norwich University, providing guidance in recruiting, fundraising, event planning, and public relations efforts.  She also serves as President of the UVM College Republicans, hosting campus-wide events with noted speakers. In addition, Commissioner Courcelle is also President of the UVM campus chapter of the Network of Enlightened Women, a national conservative women’s organization. Courcelle interns at Baystate Financial, and outside of school and politics, is deeply involved with the local Catholic community and caring for children as a nanny and babysitter. She currently resides in South Burlington.



Commissioner Kerin Durfee of BurlingtonKerin Durfee

of Burlington

Kerin Durfee is the Human Resources Director for the City of Burlington, having recently transitioned from a position as Director of Earned Revenues and Guest Services at ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain. Prior to ECHO, she worked for over 30 years in grocery retail management assisting with operations, systems management and human resource development.  Commissioner Durfee holds a Master of Business Administration from Norwich University. She is a member of the national chapter of the NAACP and serves on the Burlington Police Commission. She is a current participant in Emerge Vermont, a program that recruits and trains Democratic women to run for office. Commissioner Durfee resides in the New North End in Burlington with her partner Yves. She enjoys spending time with her family which includes three grown children and eight grandchildren. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and strength training.



Wendy Knight, VCW Commissioner from PantonWendy Knight 

of Panton

Wendy Knight is a communications and marketing executive with over 20 years of government, corporate and entrepreneurial experience in advertising and marketing, food and beverage, healthcare, media, non-profit, and publishing industries.  She's currently serving as a deputy commissioner at the Department of Liquor and Lottery, appointed in April 2021. She’s held leadership positions in economic development, workforce and marketing for Governor Scott's Administration, as Vermont Tourism and Marketing Commissioner, a strategic lead for the state's economic development initiative Think Vermont, and Vice Chair of the Vermont Outdoor Recreation Economic Collaborative, a private-public initiative to grow the economy and preserve our natural resources. Most recently, she was a consultant to On the Fly, a women-led collective supporting Vermont's hospitality and tourism businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19. A former freelance journalist for the New York Times  she has written four non-fiction books and appeared on NPR, CNN, and ABC News. Commissioner Knight currently serves on the board of directors of the Vermont Outdoor Business Alliance, as well as their racial and diversity committee. She is a former Select Board Member for the town of Panton and a graduate of Cornell University.



Commissioner Sarah Mell of WinooskiSarah Mell

of Winooski
Sarah Mell is the Education and Outreach Coordinator at the University of Vermont’s Women and Gender Equity Center, work that explores the intersections of identities, power, and community as a means of advancing dialogue about gender equity and belonging. This position provides training and workshop opportunities for students, staff, and faculty on concepts of positive sexuality, the prevention of sexual and intimate partner violence, and the ways individuals experience power and privilege in relationship to ourselves and others. Commissioner Mell has worked not only in a variety of academic settings, but as an independent consultant, and in nonprofit organizations, including Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and HOPE Works. Commissioner Mell holds a Master of Arts in English from University of Vermont and an undergraduate degree from Western Michigan University.  Their community service involvement includes facilitator and volunteer at Outright Vermont and board member, actor, singer, dancer and choreographer for multiple theater production companies, including Vermont Stage Company, Vermont Shakespeare Festival, and Middlebury Actors Workshop.



Photo of Commissioner Ashley MessierAshley Messier

of Jericho
Ashley Messier is the executive director of the Women’s Justice and Freedom Initiative.  The Initiative supports and advocates for women, girls, transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people impacted by systems of oppression and is expressly committed to prison abolition.  Commissioner Messier’s years of community organizing, advocacy and direct experience with the criminal legal system inform her passionate and powerful approach to advocacy and abolition.  She was previously incarcerated at the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility.  She also serves as the Vermont Organizer for the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls.  The Council is a network of formerly and currently incarcerated women and girls committed to reimagining communities and creating the shift from a criminal legal system to community-led human justice.  Commissioner Messier served as a consultant and then as lead Organizer for the American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont’s Smart Justice, a campaign fighting in the legislatures, the courts, in the voting booth, and in the streets to end mass incarceration by addressing sentencing, bail and prosecutorial reform, as well as parole, release and re-entry reforms.  Commissioner Messier is a member of Vermont’s Human Trafficking Task Force and participates on its Housing sub-committee. Her related work includes an active role in an Act 146 work group exploring using restorative justice in domestic and sexual violence and stalking cases.  She resides in Jericho and is Mom to a beautiful and blended group of kids because blood does not define family, love does.



Commissioner Kim Nolan of ShelburneKim Nolan

of Shelburne
Kim Nolan holds a Ph.D. in Leadership and Change from Antioch University and a M.Ed. from Boston University in Counseling Psychology.  Prior to joining the leadership team of City Market, she served as Assistant Professor and Program Director of the Master’s program in Mindfulness Studies at Lesley University. Prior to that, she was Program Officer of the Mind and Life Institute, designing the Academy of Contemplative and Ethical Leadership (ACEL), and also served as Department Chair and Lead Faculty of Integral Psychology at Burlington College in Vermont, where she founded The Institute of Contemplative Studies.  Commissioner Nolan was the Founder and Executive Director of the Dignity Foundation, through which she taught self-care and mindfulness in schools and in human service agencies, and provided coaching to leaders seeking contemplative practice.  She has been a champion for women’s rights and issues of gender equity since grade school student council. She is ordained as a Buddhist Chaplain and is a lifelong activist for social change and an advocate for human rights.



VCW Commissioner, Lisa RyanLisa Ryan

of Rutland
Lisa Ryan serves as the Director of Domestic Violence Response Systems at Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.  She came to that position from the Rutland County Community Justice Center at BROC Community Action, where as Program Manager, she provided restorative justice practices, including Circles of Support and Accountability (COSA) and Restorative Circles, to the offender population.  This work involves addressing crime and conflict through dispute resolution, training community volunteers, and overseeing reentry and reparative programs. Commissioner Ryan's passion for connecting with others and building strong relationships allows her to participate in various leadership roles within her community.  She served on the Rutland City Board of Aldermen and is the former First Vice President of the Rutland Area Branch of the NAACP.  In September of 2017,  Commissioner Ryan was awarded the title of one of Vermont’s “Rising Stars” by VT Business Magazine and in 2018 she was voted Rutland Young Professional (RYP) of the Year.  She holds a Master of Science in Mediation and Applied Conflict Studies from Champlain College and a Bachelor of Art in Psychology from Temple University.  Commissioner Ryan is a mediator, facilitator, and restorative justice practitioner and trainer.  In her free time, she enjoys playing field hockey and lacrosse, hiking, swimming, traveling, and spending time with her husband, two dogs, and rabbit.



Heidi Tringe of Montpelier New Governor Appointment to the VCW December 2018Heidi Tringe  

of Montpelier 
Heidi Tringe grew up in Montpelier and moved home in 2005 with her husband to raise their two children. She served on the senior staff of Governor Jim Douglas, and in a number of roles for the late U.S. Senator Jim Jeffords in his Washington, D.C. office and on his 2000 campaign.  Commissioner Tringe was also Communications Director for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, and Legislative Affairs Director for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. She is currently a Partner at MMR, LLC in Montpelier; serves on the Board of Prevent Child Abuse Vermont, as well as the Advisory Committee for the Con Hogan Award for Creative, Entrepreneurial, Community Leadership; and is co-founder of the start-up women’s networking and leadership effort, ElevateHer Vermont.

Commissioner photo credits: Courtesy photos, Mary Claire Carroll (for Commissioners Daly and Messier)




Mary Daly
Emilie Kornheiser
Marybeth Redmond
Charlotte Dennett*
Kerry Secrest*
Marcia Merrill (Chair)*
          (* reappointed to serve multiple terms)



Ruth Finn
Carol Buchdahl*
Deborah Bucknam
Gretchen Bailey*
Eileen Boland*
Melinda Moulton
Colin Ryan
Danielle Martel*
Nancy E. LaVarnway
Rep. Lynn Batchelor
Laine Dunham*
Cathy Frey*
Jennie Gartner
Susie Hudson
Dr. Felicia Kornbluh
Shambulia Gadsden Sams
Marion Milne* - watch a special youtube video about Marion Milne by Jeff Kaufman
Ariel Wengroff
Margaret "Peg" Martin
           (* reappointed to serve multiple terms)


Sharon Baade
Joyce Barbieri
Cary Brown*
Ann Hagman Cardinal
Mary Claire Carroll*
Elayne Clift
Sen. Ann Cummings*
Retta Dunlap
Marie Duquette
Linda Fogg
Anne Ginevan
Bea Grause
Karen Henry*
Carin Hoffman
Anne McClaughry*
Mary Barrosse-Schwartz*
Elizabeth Sternberg*
Maureen Trudeau*
           (* reappointed to serve multiple terms)


Kate Baldwin
Tom Belville
Gary Boutin
Kimberly Brittenham
carolyn Brown, MD
Becky Jo Cook
Cheryl Dick
Lorna Edmundson
Tammy Fletcher
Kelley Beckwith Gilmour
Rep. Maxine Jo Grad (Chair)*
Timothy Hayward
Gary Hazard
Wanda Hines
Sharetha Marsicovetere*
Jennifer Matthews
Steve Mojica
Barbara Morrow*
Nancy Nystul
Rep. Lisa O’Neil
Elisabeth Robert
Marilyn Russell
Phyllis Soule
Joan Lawrence-Studebaker*
Janaki Natarjan Tschannerl
Margaret Tillile
Holly Willson
Victoria Young (Chair)*
Andrea Zentz
           (* reappointed to serve multiple terms)


Claire Anderson
Wanda Baril
Jennifer Barker
Anne Batten
Parker Brown
Sen. Mary Ann Carlson
Rhoda Carroll
Joanne Crisman
Judge Amy Davenport
Pat Davis
Sandy Dooley*
Claire Fern
Ann Fielder*
Robin Finnegan
Jean Flack
Dolly Fleming
Mary Fletcher
Jackie Folsom*
Billi Gosh (Chair)*
Edwin Grant
Linda Gray*
Marion Gray
Barbara Hammond
Anne Harroun
Joanne Hayes
Pat Heffernan*
Eunice Kinsey*
Arthur Kunin
Cynthia Laware
Allan Mackey*
Ellen Maloney
Diana Matthews
Donna Merrill
Wendy Morgan
Noreen O’Connor*
Dorothy Plue
Rep. Ann Pugh*
Anita Seymore
Evelyn Smith
David Wagner
Stephen Walke
Rev. Jane Wilson
Heather Wishik
Joann Wobby
Jennifer Woolger
Toby Young
William Young
           (* reappointed to serve multiple terms)


Alice Adams
Patricia Allen
Clifford Austin
Robert Babcock, Jr.
Bennet (Miriam) Bell
Roxy Bolton
Ruth Brooks
Charles Bucknam, Jr.
Judge Alan Cheever*
Robert Clark
Virginia Cowles
Shirley Crockett
Ann Cummings
Mrs. Dean C. Davis
Elizabeth Downer
Sandra Dragon
Claire Duke
Marion English
Martha Forsythe
Geraldine Garatoni
Grace Gibby
Gloria Gil (Chair)*
Gloria Graham
Sen. Margaret Hammond
Emma Harwood*
Theodore Herbert
Fay-Bond Hinrichs
Daniel Holland
Carole Howe
Kathleen Hoyt
Arthur Hughes
Martha Ide
Thomas James
Betty Jones (Chair)*
Diane Kessler
Rebecca Lambert
Iris Lash
Carol Matthews
Dorothy Maurice
Judy McEntyre (Chair)
Lenore McNeer (Chair)
Carolyn Miller*
Georgiana Miranda, Esq.
Mrs. Berl Morrill
Gretchen Morse
Phoebe Morse, Esq.
Jane Noury
Mrs. Frances Patry
Dorothy Purinton
Dorothy Quadland
Pamela Rampone
Shirley Rivard
Karen Kent Robinson (Chair)
Jeanne Sherman
Millie Small
Priscilla Smith
Lt. Gov. Barbara Snelling
Richard Snelling
Dolores Stocker
Sylvia  Stock Mayer
Louise  Swainbank
Helena Ure
Jeanne Van Vlandren*
Aline Ward
Edward Willard
Mary Winslow
           (* reappointed to serve multiple terms)


Evelyn Bates
Helen Beckerhoff*
Matthew Burke
Col. W. J. Burke*
John Carl
John Carnahan
Beverly Cassara (Chair)
Patricia Chase
Ruth Colombo (Chair)
James Dempsey
Sister Mary Edmund
Mary Flory*
Julia Garfield
Stella Hackel*
Joan Harding
Bette Horton
Betty-Ann Kelley
Elizabeth Kelley*  
Mrs. Kirtland Keve*
Dean Thomas King
Gov. Madeleine Kunin*
Jean McKenney*
Mrs. Clement Moyse
Mrs. Don Munger
Jean McKenney
Maureen McNamara*
Alden Norton, Jr
Evelyn Patnod (Chair)*
Sister Rose Rowan
Rev. Wallace Short*
Rosemary Stark (Chair)Mrs. Wallace Turner
Blair Williams*
Mrs. Alfred Zeller*
           (* reappointed to serve multiple terms)

Original Commissioners - 1964

Evelyn Bates
Helen Beckerhoff
Matthew Burke
Col. W. J. Burke
Ruth Colombo
James Dempsey
Mary Flory
Julia Garfield
Stella Hackel
Joan Harding
Bette Horton
Betty-Ann Kelley
Elizabeth Kelley
Mrs. Kirtland Keve
Dean Thomas King
Madeleine Kunin
Mrs. Stanley McKenney
Maureen McNamara
Mrs. Clement Moyse
Mrs. Don Munger
Evelyn Patnod
Sister Rose Rowan
Rev. Wallace Short
Rosemary Stark
Mrs. Wallace Turner
Blair Williams
Mrs. Alfred Zeller