About the DBA
The DBA is the official non-profit Designated Downtown Organization for the Town of Brattleboro, providing access to grants, technical assistance and networking opportunities. The DBA is led by a volunteer Board of Directors which includes local business owners, property owners, educators, and town representatives. In November 2017, DBA hired a new Executive Director, Stephanie Bonin.
Our Current Staff
The team that makes the magic happen!
Stephanie is a successful entrepreneur owning 3 restaurants on similar neighborhood main streets in Denver, CO. Created and owned duo Restaurant in Brattleboro, VT October 2014-February 2020. A graduate of the Women’s Leadership Circle of Windham County, Green Corps: a field school for environmental organizing and a former advocate and lobbyist for COPIRG (Colorado Public Interest Research Group), Environment Colorado and NARAL Colorado; advocating for change and supporting small businesses is in her past, her present, and her future. Stephanie’s childhood was supported by The Book Cellar which operated for 52 years on Main St. in Brattleboro.
Everyone Eats & one2one Project
Amanda loves creating efficient systems to handle administrative and logistical challenges. She works with local business owners to improve efficiency and productivity, helping them assess challenges, develop strategies, and solve problems confidently. Amanda organizes restaurant participation, logistics, and scheduling for the Everyone Eats! program. She also coordinates the DBA’s one2one project, supporting downtown Brattleboro business owners in navigating challenges throughout the pandemic. Amanda is a Core Counselor with the Center for Women and Enterprise and has a private administrative consulting practice in Brattleboro.
Gallery Walk Coordinator
Social Media Maven
Erin most recently was the co-owner of Elliot St. Fish & Chips and the chief creator in every wacky, wild and strategic post on their social media accounts. Erin is also the founder of the Chesterfield Outdoor Music Concert Series. Along with Gallery Walk Erin is also the Promotions Committee Chair and ensures that many of DBA’s promotions happen with great flourish. Some of her phenomenal DBA ideas have been Brattleship and Elliot St. Block Party.
Our Volunteer Board
Many thanks to our current volunteer board who serve 3-year terms. Please let us know if you are interested in joining our commitment and fun-loving board!
Greg is the owner of Vermont Artisan Designs and Kitchen Sync. Vermont Artisan Designs, a cornerstone business in Brattleboro, has been representing Vermont artisans for over 40 years on Main Street. Greg is president of CRAFT (Craft Retailers and Artists for Tomorrow), a national organization focusing on promoting American-made art and craft; a trustee of Kurn Hattin Homes for Children; secretary of Strolling of the Heifers; past chair of the Brattleboro Selectboard; a past president of the Brattleboro Rotary Club; and a founding member of the Brattleboro Foreign Trade Zone.
Kate is a creative, collaborative, and innovative leader with international experience and training in promoting positive social change through experiential learning. She has been an instructor and staff at The Greenwood School, World Learning and Marlboro College. She currently is the Assistant Director of Employer Relations at Smith College. She is a consultant with Beautycounter and stocks her products at Cara Wolfe Jewelry.
“I am especially interested in programming that supports our downtown businesses and raises the awareness of Brattleboro as a destination in southern Vermont. I am truly invested in seeing our community grow and thrive.”
Neil grew up in Windham County and spent about 5 years travelling around the world and then graduated from UVM with a degree in Applied Economics and Community Development. Neil has worked in the Vermont craft spirits industry in sales & marketing roles and currently is a realtor with Berkley Veller.
Eleanor is a retired educator and healthcare professional. She was born and raised in Brattleboro and is dedicated to building a better downtown Brattleboro. Her experience is in organizational leadership, financial management, team building, event planning, and developing new talent. She has a Bachelors Degree in Music Education from Keene State College and an MBA from Plymouth State College. Her past career experience includes Woodlands Operation Manager at Cersosimo Lumber Company, Director of Operations at SIT Study Abroad, Director of Specialty Practices at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, and Healthcare Career Counseling for Southern Vermont Area Health Education Center. She currently is a member of the Health Services Advisory Board at the Windham Regional Career Center, Board Member at Garden Path Elder Living, as well as the DBA board
Katie has held leadership roles involving municipal management and finance, sensitive redevelopment of historic buildings for adaptive reuse, non-profit affordable housing, and community and economic development. Most recently she served as the Commissioner of Housing & Community Development in the Agency of Commerce & Community Development for the State of Vermont, appointed by the Governor.
Annie is a family psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner. Annie brings the perspective of our community’s children to the work DBA accomplishes. She is a panel member for the Diversion Committee at Youth Services and a member of the Multidisciplinary Team for Windham County Safe Place which is our region’s child advocacy center for victims of sexual abuse and severe physical abuse. Annie is active on the Promotions Team on events like BrattleBOO!
Akosua is an international HR manager at a local organization whose work focuses on international education and development. She provides guidance and support for internationally-based employees in areas such as talent acquisition, performance management, policy development, and review as well as compliant operations within the global context. She is a longtime resident of Brattleboro who enjoys participating in and contributing to our vibrant community.
Currently, the Executive Director for the Boys & Girls Club Michelle brings 20 years of experience in education and organizational leadership to this DBA role. She has a masters of science in environmental studies which continues to drive her passion for smart and sustainable development. A believer in our community’s power to both attract and retain new business and new residents while preserving our tradition of ‘human scale’ and ecological integrity.
She has vast experience in leadership, event planning, friend and fundraising, marketing, and grant writing. She is committed to making downtown a vibrant, safe place for youth, children, and families and has a deep understanding of the challenges facing our town.
“As a global traveler, I see the burgeoning potential of our community to be excellent, hospitable hosts whether that is welcoming tourists or refugees. From my view, there is enough of everything to go around in Brattleboro, especially with intentional action towards innovative models for work and play.”
Gabriel Sistare is a newer resident of Brattleboro, recently moving from Eastern North Carolina. He finished a five-year contract with an airborne infantry unit in the US Army, serving as a squad leader. He was formerly the AmeriCorps VISTA member with BDCC and now coordinates the Community Facilities Technical Assistance Program. He also supports the Business Assistance Team as the first point of contact for potential clients. Gabriel lives in town with his wife Erin and their dog Teddy. He grew up in Northern Connecticut.
Stephanie is a vice president and commercial banking officer at Brattleboro Savings & Loan. She is also treasurer of Groundworks Collaborative, as well as an Incorporator of Kurn Hattin Homes for Children and past President of the Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce.
Francesca is the creator and owner of Windham Movement Apparel, a downtown store with everything one might need for the movement arts. The mission of Windham Movement Apparel is to supply the movement arts community with quality products in an environment that encourages fellowship between participants and increases awareness of the benefits of the arts. Francesca is active on the Gallery Walk Team & Community Marketing Team.
Greg is the Executive Director of the Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce. He works in coalition with DBA on the Community Marketing Initiative
Sue is the Planning Director for the Town of Brattleboro. Sue was the lead staff person both for Brattleboro’s award winning Town Plan in 2013 and the update of Brattleboro’s land use regulations in 2015. She has 17 years experience in community planning including grant writing and management, community outreach, and managing consultants.
Jennifer has lived in Brattleboro for the past 24 years and has worked at the Community College of Vermont for 18 of those years, but only started working in Brattleboro 5 years ago, after traveling up and down 91 to the Springfield location. Phew! At CCV, she has gone from faculty member to academic advisor, to enrollment manager, to director of online teaching and learning. After raising two kids in town, her focus is now on bettering her running speed, hiking as many of the Mass. Trustees’ trails as possible by December, and meeting her Good Reads reading goals.
Sue Westa is the Community Development Lead at the Windham Regional Commission. Since joining the organization in 2019 she has managed the Brownfields Program and led the region’s effort to bring broadband fiber to underserved areas. Sue also serves on the SEVEDS Board at BDCC and the Vermont Planners Association Executive Committee. In 2021, she served on the Conference Committee for the Northern New England Chapter of the American Planning Association.
Previously, Sue was the Community Engagement Director for the Connecticut Main Street Center where she led the Center’s Come Home to Downtown Program. She also developed educational programs and supported local Main Street organizations throughout CT. Sue has over 30 years of experience working with communities to plan for the future. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.
BRATT ON THE ‘GRAM
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