(Montpelier) – The Vermont Commission on Women (VCW) is a non-partisan state agency advancing rights and opportunities for women and girls. Sixteen volunteer commissioners and representatives from organizations concerned with women’s issues guide VCW’s public education, coalition building, and advocacy efforts. Commissioners are appointed by various appointing authorities to serve four-year terms.
The Democratic party has reappointed Carol Buchdahl, R.N., M.A. of Saxtons River to serve as Commissioner. Ms. Buchdahl retired as the Manager of Leadership Development and Organizational Learning for the Continuing Education and Workforce Development (CEWD ) Department of Vermont Technical College. Her work with CEWD involved facilitating and consulting for businesses and organizations throughout New England. She continues in this role as a consultant for state government agencies and private companies. Ms. Buchdahl served in the Vermont Legislature from 1997-1999 as a representative from Georgia, and was Clerk of the House Commerce Committee. She presently serves on the Board of the Greater Falls Warming Shelter and was Secretary and Co-Chair of the Development Committee of Main Street Arts in Saxtons River. Commissioner Buchdahl is the current Chair of VCW’s Health, Safety and Civil Rights Committee. At the end of this new term, Ms. Buchdahl will be the longest-serving Commissioner ever on the Vermont Commission on Women.
The Republican party has reappointed Susie Hudson of East Montpelier to serve as Commissioner. Ms. Hudson was elected Secretary of the Republican National Committee (RNC) in January, 2015. She was first elected as National Committeewoman from Vermont in 2008, previously serving as RNC staff member in the positions of Mid-West Legislative Political Director and Mid-West Regional Field Coordinator. Ms. Hudson ran a consulting business, representing clients from across New England and Washington, DC and was Practice Manager Bucknam & Black PC, a law firm offering complete legal services for northern and central Vermont and New Hampshire. Ms. Hudson served in the administrations of President George W. Bush at the U.S. Department of Justice under Attorney General John Ashcroft. In 2003, Governor James Douglas appointed her to serve as Executive Director of the Vermont Commission on National and Community Service, where she oversaw Vermont’s AmeriCorps programs and directed the volunteer/donated items portion of the state emergency operations plan, working closely with Vermont Emergency Management. She was Campaign Chair for Vermont Lt. Governor Brian Dubie for two of his re-election campaigns. Ms. Hudson has also served as the Trustee of Public Funds for her hometown of East Montpelier and was elected twice as a Justice of the Peace, serving on the Board of Civil Authority. Ms. Hudson holds a B.S. Degree from the University of Vermont.
Governor Shumlin has appointed Colin Ryan of Burlington to serve as Commissioner. Mr. Ryan is a comedic speaker, author, and financial education expert. Thanks to a grant created by Senator Bernie Sanders, he served credit unions statewide for four years as Vermont’s Financial Literacy Champion, providing free financial education for high school and college students in our state. Realizing he had found his calling to be a financial education advocate, Mr. Ryan enhanced his message by adding the skill sets of professional stand-up comedian and storyteller. This unique comedic approach to financial literacy quickly gained him national attention, and in 2012 he was named one of the top 10 youth money presenters in America. He has collaborated with the Girl Scouts of America, National Geographic Television, United Way, and numerous student leadership organizations, as well as banks, credit unions and colleges across the country. He has reached more than 200,000 high school students, college students and adults with the message: the ability to manage money directly affects the ability to have the life you want. His comedy fundraiser series has donated over $150,000 to good causes. Mr. Ryan’s speaking, writing and research all demonstrate that financial skills are fundamental not only to career satisfaction, but to the work of building happier lives. He is a passionate advocate for economic equality, career fulfillment, and consumer protection.
Find more information and pictures of VCW commissioners here.