VEDA’s Executive Management Team

Jo Bradley, Cassie Polhemus, Dave Carter, Tom Porter, Sarah Isham, Louise Anair, Renee Grzankowski and Cheryl Houchens are seasoned finance professionals who work together to guide VEDA’s growth as Vermont’s economic development and agricultural finance lender.


Jo Bradley

became Chief Executive Officer of the Vermont Economic Development Authority in February, 1997. Her previous professional experience includes the positions of Deputy Secretary at the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, Commercial Loan Officer at the Vermont Economic Development Authority, and Vice President at Solomon Brothers, Inc. in Boston. Jo graduated with Honors from Johnson State College, earning a B.A., and from the Boston University School of Management with an M.B.A. in Finance. She also completed the Program for Senior Executives in state and local government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Jo served as the State Government representative on the 2007 National Advisory Committee of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), and she serves on numerous state and local boards.  Jo may be reached at 802-828-5458, or

Cassie Polhemus

is VEDA’s Chief Operating Officer (COO).  Cassie joined VEDA in 2013 as a Commercial Lender and became VEDA’s Director of Operations in 2014.  In January, 2017, Cassie became VEDA's COO.  Cassie has over twenty years of experience in commercial lending and risk management with financial institutions. Prior to joining VEDA, she was Senior Vice President and Risk Manager for Northeast Member Business Services, a credit union service organization providing small business lending services to credit unions in New England and California. From 1987 to 1999, she held various commercial lending and credit management positions at banks in Connecticut and Vermont. Cassie earned a B.A. in Economics from Williams College. Cassie may be reached at 802-828-5459 or

David Carter

is a life-long Vermont resident, and has been the Chief Financial Officer of the Authority since November 1997. His previous professional experience includes 16 years of finance and accounting in three Vermont banks, including Vice President of Finance and Planning for Vermont Federal Bank and Manager of Financial Planning at Banknorth. David graduated with honors from Champlain College with a B.A. in Accounting and completed a three-year bank financial management program at the Bank Administration Institute at the University of Wisconsin.  He was a licensed Certified Public Accountant from 1997 to 2003.  Dave may be reached at 802-828-5470, or


Tom Porter

is VEDA's Senior Commercial Loan Officer, with over 25 years experience lending to growing businesses throughout Vermont. Prior to joining the Authority he worked as a Management Consultant for the accounting firm Arthur Young in New York City. Thomas earned a B.A. from Middlebury College, an M.B.A. in Finance from New York University’s Stern Graduate School of Business, and a certificate in International Business Studies from Hautes Etudes Commerciales in Jouy-en-Josas, France.  Thomas may be reached at 802-828-5460, or

Sarah Isham

is VACC's Director of Agricultural Lending.  Sarah had been VACC’s Senior Agricultural Loan Officer since 2000, having started her tenure with VACC as an Agricultural Loan Officer in 1994. Sarah previously had a 14-year career with USDA as an Assistant County Supervisor at Farmers Home Administration, where she originated farm and housing loans. Sarah graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.S. in Animal Science. A resident of Brookfield, she is actively involved in the Vermont horse industry and community organizations.  Sarah may be reached at 802-828-5463, or  


Louise Anair

is VEDA’s Director of the Closing Department with over 30 years of experience in the legal field in both Vermont and Massachusetts.  Louise is a Champlain College graduate, who began her career in firms in and around Worcester and Boston.  After returning home to Vermont in 1981, Louise and her husband owned and operated two retail convenience stores and gas stations, which were recently sold.  Louise, having always valued education, has been an instructor for the Adult Education Center and Vermont Community College.  She enjoys her home on a small lake while continuing to play golf and spend time with her grandchildren.  Louise may be reached at 802-828-5468, or


Renee Grzankowski

is VEDA's Director of Operations.  Formerly Vice-President of Operations for a Central Vermont insurance brokerage firm, Renee also held a variety of national and international corporate and investment banking positions.  Having spent summers on Nelson Pond, where her extended family has resided for eight generations, Renee made Vermont her full-time home in 2008.  She and her husband have three children and are active members of their community, serving on local boards and coaching youth sports.  Renee may be reached at 802-828-0754, or


Cheryl Houchens

is VEDA’s Chief Compliance and Loan Review Officer, and has over 25 years' experience in both community and regional banking.  Cheryl holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina and is a Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager through the Institute of Certified Bankers.  Cheryl lives in South Burlington with her husband, Paul, and their two children and is an active member of her community. Cheryl can be reached at 802-951-1939 or