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Dinner Will Honor Young Upper Valley Leaders


Saturday, May 13, 2017

Quechee— Eleven young leaders will be honored at Vital Communities’ annual Heroes and Leaders celebration on May 24 at the Quechee Club.

The dinner, a benefit for Vital Communities’ Leadership Upper Valley program, recognizes community members who have made significant positive impacts in the region.

Those being honored this year “are passionate about building the Upper Valley community, and their accomplishments are truly inspiring,” Tom Roberts, Vital Communities’ executive director said in a news release from the nonprofit. “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.”

This year’s honorees are Paul Coats, director of Lebanon Recreation and Parks; Noah Crane, founder and general manager of the Upper Valley Nighthawks; Elyse Crossman, executive director of the Greater Claremont Chamber of Commerce; Emily Donaldson, founder of the Reading, Vt.-based nonprofit Cultivating Action; Sam Drazin, founder and executive director of the Bradford, Vt.,-based nonprofit Changing Perspectives; Gordon Ehret, engineering project manager at Hypertherm; Nicole LaBombard, program coordinator for Partners for Community Wellness at Dartmouth-Hitchcock; Dan McGee, president of operations at Red River; Merritt Partridge, executive director of the Center for Business, Government and Society at Tuck School of Business; Stephanie Thompson, executive director of Springfield (Vt.) Prevention Coalition; and Holly West, president and founding member of Friends of Mascoma Foundation.

Attorney Markell Ripps, Vital Communities board member, Leadership Upper Valley graduate, and board member and past chair of Upper Valley Young Professionals, will give the closing remarks.

Tickets are $100. A limited number are still available. For more information, go to VitalCommunities.org/HeroesAndLeaders.

— Staff report