Groundworks promotes Libby Bennett to be new Executive Director

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The Board of Directors of Groundworks Collaborative has announced that Libby Bennett, formerly the agency’s Director of Development & Communications, has accepted the offer to lead the organization as its new Executive Director.  

Bennett has been on staff with the agency since joining the Morningside Shelter team in 2012. Previously, she served as an intern for the organization in 2011 while completing practicum work toward her master’s degree in non-profit management from the SIT Graduate Institute.  

Bennett points back to volunteering for overnight shifts at Brattleboro’s Seasonal Overflow Shelter in 2010/2011 as her earliest interaction with the agency—inspired to volunteer after hearing a presentation from the founder of Brattleboro Area Drop-In Center, Melinda Bussino. 

A lifelong resident of Brattleboro and graduate of Brattleboro Union High School, Bennett attended Smith College and went on to serve for three years in the US Peace Corps in Zambia before returning to Vermont.  

“I love this town and I love this organization,” says Bennett, who has previously worked with SEVCA, Youth Services, and the AIDS Project of Southern Vermont—where she began serving this community at age 16.  “I could not be more proud of our team and the impactful work we do at Groundworks. I am honored to take on this responsibility.”  

“Libby has been instrumental in the growth of Groundworks Collaborative over the past decade,” said Groundworks Board Chair Rita Ramirez.  “We are excited to continue working with Libby during this next chapter for Groundworks.”

Bennett worked side by side with former Executive Director Josh Davis for over eleven years and was part of the merger process that brought together Morningside Shelter and the Brattleboro Area Drop-In Center in 2015, as well as the campaign to build the agency’s Drop-In Center and Overnight Shelter on South Main Street.  

“It has been my pleasure to work with Libby as a community partner and as a teammate at Groundworks,” said Peter Elwell, who joined the Groundworks Board after retiring as Brattleboro Town Manager and then moving over to serve on Groundworks staff for the past year.  “The Board unanimously chose Libby from a strong applicant pool and her teammates on the Groundworks staff enthusiastically support Libby’s promotion.”

Bennett was one of more than 80 applicants for the Executive Director opening at Groundworks.  Board members conducted a first round of interviews with 5 semi-finalists and a second round of interviews with 3 finalists before unanimously selecting Bennett.