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 B. Campbell, Ed.D., is the Chief Information Officer for the Vermont State Colleges System and has 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 also recently served as chair of VCW's Education & Human Development Committee.



Commissioner Kiah Morris of BenningtonKiah Morris | VCW Co-Chair

of Burlington
Originally from Chicago, Kiah Morris currently lives in Vermont, where she served in the general assembly as a State Representative for two terms starting in 2014. 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 and served on the House Judiciary Committee and the Vermont Judicial Nominating Board and was co-chair of the tri-partisan Legislative Women’s Caucus. Her story of success and struggle have been covered in 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. As co-owner of the TESA Collective cooperative, she manages marketing, communications, and strategic partnerships. Prior to becoming the Executive Director of Rights and Democracy, she served as the Director of the Vermont Coalition on Ethnic and Social Equity in Schools. She is a Sisters on the Planet Ambassador for Oxfam America and is on the advisory councils for Emerge Vermont and Democracy Creative. Kiah also holds an accomplished artistic career as an actress of stage, film, and television, spoken word performance, as a singer, dancer, and arts manager. An advocate with a passion for community-based art, she has produced numerous special events, concerts, and art exhibits. Her work focuses on the 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


Commissioner Senecal of StoweLisa Senecal | VCW Co-Chair

of Craftsbury Common
Lisa Senecal was elected VCW Chair in 2019 and now shares leadership as a Co-chair. 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 Co-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.


photo of Hazel Brewster of StoweHazel Brewster

of Stowe
Born and raised in Morrisville, Hazel Brewster is a 2019 graduate of the University of Vermont and has since earned a master’s degree in public policy and global affairs from the University of British Columbia. During her undergraduate career, she also studied at the University of Edinburgh, where she worked with Members of Scottish Parliament and researched the outmigration of women in rural Scotland. Commissioner Brewster has worked for the campaigns and in the offices of both Governor Phil Scott and Lieutenant Governor Molly Gray. She proudly interned for Senator Patrick Leahy and Planned Parenthood of Northern New England while at UVM.  Brewster spent many years as a mentor for Little Bellas, an organization that empowers young women to reach their fullest potential through cycling. Accessibility and representation for women in athletics are deeply important to her as a former competitive mountain biker, a sport in which women continue to be underrepresented. She is now the Director of Public Relations for the statewide Vermont Chamber of Commerce. She resides in Stowe with her partner and their perfect pup, Luna, where they spend as much time in the woods on bikes and skis as possible.


Commissioner Delaney Courcelle Delaney Courcelle

of South Burlington
Delaney Courcelle is an Executive Assistant at Baystate Financial and a recent graduate of UVM’s Grossman School of Business.  She was the 2021 recipient of the Grossman School’s Major Junius Adair Award for Excellence in Finance, and served as Chairwoman of the Vermont Federation of College Republicans, overseeing Federation chapters at UVM, Middlebury College, and Norwich University, providing guidance in recruiting, fundraising, event planning, and public relations efforts.  She also served as President of the UVM College Republicans, hosting campus-wide events with noted speakers. In addition, Commissioner Courcelle was also President of the UVM campus chapter of the Network of Enlightened Women, a national conservative women’s organization. Outside of work and politics, Courcelle 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.



Alex Hilliard of PoultneyAlex Hilliard

of Poultney

Alex Hilliard is a personal trainer, entrepreneur, and parent of three. Residing in Poultney, Commissioner Hilliard has big goals for the town, county, and state regarding diversity, athletics and outdoor recreation, and economic opportunities. Some steps they have taken to reach these goals include obtaining an MBA from Green Mountain College, being active in several civic organizations and steering committees furthering the local community, and nourishing a year-old personal training studio in town called "VT AthletaFit". They have also shown their passion for improving the lives of women business owners by creating "Lakes Region Women in Business Mixers" to help connect self-identified women and non-binary individuals for a light-hearted and social networking experience. They are committed to reducing social inequality within the state, and are excited to bring lived experience as an LGBTQ+ and BIPOC individual. Joining the Commission on Women is another step towards accomplishing those goals. For leisure, they enjoy lifting weights, running, and reading.


Nancy Kaplan of BurlingtonNancy Kaplan

of Burlington

Nancy Kaplan is a Research Navigator at The University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine.  Her work connects Vermont clinicians and providers with the resources at the Northern New England Clinical and Translational Research Network to enable them to conduct health related research in their communities.  Previously she served as Program Manager for the Vermont Department of Health’s You First program, providing breast and cervical cancer screenings, heart disease management, and health care system navigation for eligible low-income Vermonters. She also worked for Voices for Vermont's Children, a non-profit organization promoting public policy that enhances the lives of children and youth in Vermont. Commissioner Kaplan’s public service includes more than eight years on the Burlington Parks Recreation and Waterfront Commission, including six years as Chair. In addition, she served on Burlington City Council from 2009-2011 and was also Chair of the Board of Directors of Trinity Children’s Center, an inclusive preschool in Burlington. Upon reflection on her many years of public service Nancy wishes to extend a particular thanks to Carlen Finn, the former Executive Director at Voices for Vermont's Children for taking the time to introduce her to the importance of policy and advocacy.  In her spare time, Nancy enjoys making maple syrup with her husband in their backyard in Burlington and wrangling her 5 kids.



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 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 Educator and Trainer of Inclusive Excellence at the University of Vermont's (UVM) Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. This is a new position and is designed to expand the work of the division across the UVM community of students, faculty, and staff.  Prior to this position, Commissioner Mell  served as the WAGE (Women and Gender Equity) Center’s Education and Outreach Coordinator, work that explored the intersections of identities, power, and community as a means of advancing dialogue about gender equity and belonging. 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.  She is Chair of the Department of Corrections Monitoring Committee as well as Co-chair of the VCW's Criminal Legal System Committee with Commissioner Lisa Ryan. 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. Commissioner Ryan is Co-chair of the VCW's Criminal Legal System Committee with Commissioner Ashley Messier.  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)




Nancy Brooks
Lisa Carlson
Ed Adrian
Erica Hare
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