Montpelier, VT – A new slate of elected officers will serve in leadership positions on the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) Board of Directors. “VEDA is fortunate to have so many experienced and dedicated Vermont leaders on the Authority’s Board, many of whom have helped guide VEDA’s growth for over a decade,” said VEDA’s Chief Executive Officer Jo Bradley.
The newly elected VEDA Officers are:
- Leon C. Graves, Fairfield –
Leon Graves was elected Chair of the VEDA Board. Graves has served on the VEDA Board for sixteen years, most recently as Vice-Chair. Graves is Vice-President for Dairy Marketing Services in New England. From 1995 to 2003,Graves served as Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Agriculture under Governor Howard Dean. Prior to that appointment,Graves served in the Vermont Senate in 1995, and from 1987 to 1994, as a member of the Vermont House of Representatives. He has served as the Secretary, Treasurer, Vice-President and President of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture. Additional prior professional Board memberships include service on the Lake Champlain Basin Program Steering Committee, the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, the Dairy Export Council, and the Northwestern Medical Center Board, on which he also served as Chair. He is a past President of the Green Mountain Federation of Dairy Cooperatives. Graves is a graduate of the University of Vermont where he obtained a BS degree in Animal Science and Vocational and Technical Education.
- Kenneth D. McEwan, Panton
Kenneth McEwan was elected VEDA’s Vice-Chair, having served as the Authority’s Treasurer for the prior two years. Throughout his professional career, McEwan has developed an extensive knowledge of business, legislative issues, stocks, bonds and financial markets. He began his career in financial services with Shearson Lehman Brothers in 1992, and is now a Senior Vice- President in Investments with UBS Financial Services, Inc.
Formerly, McEwan owned and operated First Sherburne Investors, Ltd., a real estate development company specializing in resort, residential, custom home and commercial development in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. In 1991 and 1992, McEwan served in the Vermont House of Representatives as a member of the Health and Welfare Committee. McEwan’s community service includes positions as President of the Killington Mountain School Board of Directors, Director and Treasurer of Crossroads Arts Council, Corporator of the Rutland Regional Medical Center, and member of the Mendon Planning Commission. He has been appointed to the VEDA Board by three governors and served as past Chair.
McEwan earned his B.A. in Education from Tarkio College in Missouri; his graduate work in Education has been at Montclair State University in New Jersey.
- Steven J. Bourgeois, Swanton –
Steven Bourgeois was elected to serve as Treasurer of the VEDA Board. During his long tenure as a VEDA Board member, Bourgeois served four previous terms as the Authority’s Board Chair. Bourgeois is founder and Chief Executive Officer of Strategic Initiatives for Business, LLC, providing consulting services focused on planning and expansion to corporate clients. In 2002, Bourgeois retired as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Franklin Lamoille Bank, capping a 22-year career with that institution.
Bourgeois graduated from Stonier Graduate School of Banking, the National Commercial Lending Graduate and Undergraduate Schools, and the Northern New England School of Banking. Bourgeois serves on the Recruitment Advisory Council for the Vermont Department of Economic Development, and is a Director of the Union Bank and holding company Union Bank Shares. Formerly, he served on the Governor’s Board of Economic Advisors, and the Board of the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, Inc. He also has been active in local and regional civic and community organizations, including the Northwestern Medical Center, Sterling College, and the Franklin County Industrial Development Corporation.
The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) is Vermont’s statewide economic development finance lender. VEDA was created by the General Assembly in 1974 with a mission “to contribute to the creation and retention of quality jobs in Vermont by providing loans and other financial support to eligible and qualified Vermont industrial, commercial and agricultural enterprises.”
Over the years, VEDA has grown and adapted its financing programs to keep pace with an ever-changing economy. VEDA offers a wide range of low-cost lending options for Vermont businesses and farms of all sizes, and the Authority’s lending solutions are customized to each borrower’s individual needs. Whether in the form of direct loans, tax-exempt bond issuance or loan guarantee support, VEDA’s innovative financing programs help ensure that Vermont businesses and farms have the capital they need to grow and succeed. VEDA most often lends in conjunction with banks and other financing partners, helping to stimulate economic development activity in Vermont.
Since 1974, VEDA has provided over $1.9 billion in financing assistance to thousands of eligible Vermont entrepreneurs, manufacturers, small businesses, family farms, and agricultural enterprises, helping them to realize their business growth goals, create jobs, and enhance the vitality of Vermont’s economy. For more information about VEDA, visit www.veda.org or call 802-828-JOBS.