Innovators in Rural Community Economic Development

Community Involvement

Vermont Environmental Consortium. 2004 – Present.  Since 2011 Melissa Levy has served as a Board Member of the Vermont Environmental Consortium.  Shanna Ratner served on the Board of Directors for the Vermont Environmental Consortium from 2004 to 2011.  VEC brings businesses, educational institutions and state and U.S. government officials together to make Vermont a leader in the green economy. VEC promotes growth and job creation in Vermont's environmental business sector through networking, information sharing and special projects.

Hinesburg Conservation Commission, Hinesburg, Vermont, 2002 – present (Chair from 2010-2012).  Melissa Levy is a member of the Hinesburg Conservation Commission.

Vermont Design Institute 2010-Present.  Samantha Dunn serves on the Board of the Vermont Design Institute (VDI), a non-profit organization facilitating community planning and design at the local level.  VDI provides hands-on education about creating sustainable communities and promotes holistic design as a transformative tool for problem-solving through its resource and design center.

Jericho Planning Commission 2012 – Present.  Samantha Dunn serves on the Jericho Planning Commission, a 7-member board, primarily responsible for updating the town land and revising the Town’s Land Us and Development Regulations.

Opportunities Credit Union (formerly Vermont Development Credit Union). 2004-present. Shanna Ratner has served as a member, chair, and now past-chair of the Board for Opportunities Credit Union, Vermont’s only community development credit union, which serves the financial needs of low income, un-banked and underserved populations.

National Network of Forest Practitioners. 1990 – 2009. Shanna Ratner, principal of Yellow Wood was a founding member of the National Network of Forest Practitioners, serving on the organization’s Executive Committee, and as Chair of the Research Subcommittee. 

Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program – NESARE. 1996 – 2000. Shanna Ratner served a three-year term on the Administrative Council of the Northeast Region’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program.

New York State Governor's Council on Forest Resources. October 1994 - January 1995. Shanna Ratner, Principal of Yellow Wood, served on statewide council to improve industry - government communications, and strengthen the forest products industry of New York State. Ms. Ratner served as the Chair of the Public Awareness Subcommittee. She participated in a fact-finding mission to the states of Washington and Oregon to learn about forest industry support programs.