On May 18, 2023

John Russell appointed new board chair of VEPC

The Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) and the Vermont Economic Progress Council (VEPC) announced May 8 John Russell would be the new chair of the Vermont Economic Progress Council. 

John Russell was first appointed to the VEPC Board by Governor Phil Scott in April 2019. Russell represents Rutland County on the board and is president of Russell Construction Services, Vermont’s oldest general contractor. 

Born and raised in Vermont, Russell graduated from the University of Vermont in 1989 with a bacehlor’s degree in civil engineering. Prior to joining the family business, Russell served as an officer in the U.S. Marines Corps. He has previously served as the board president for the Rutland Economic Development Corporation and the Associated General Contractors of Vermont. 

“I am honored and excited the governor has chosen me for such an important post. The programs the council administers are important for job creation and the future of Vermont,” said Russell. 

VEPC serves as the approval and authorization body for Vermont’s only economic development incentive, the Vermont Employment Growth Incentive (VEGI) program. Under this program, VEPC has authorized incentives for businesses such as BETA Technologies, OnLogic, KAD Models & Prototyping, Plumrose USA, and most recently, Rhino Foods. 

Since VEGI was created in 2007, $33.8 million in incentives have been paid to qualifying companies who have invested $1.05 billion in new capital infrastructure and added nearly 9,000 new jobs in Vermont. 

VEPC also serves as the approval and authorization body for the state’s Tax Increment Financing (TIF) program, including the June 30, 2022 authorization of the Killington TIF District. 

Though the Vermont TIF program has undergone many statutory changes, it has been available and successful since 1998. Ten TIF districts are currently active and approved to build or improve public infrastructure valued at over $336 million, which is anticipated to spur private development and increase grand lists to a taxable value of over $1 billion. 

The VEPC board is currently made up of 11 council members, nine of which are appointed by the governor, all of which are located throughout different regions of the state and bring significant experience in financials, real estate, business, construction and several other key areas that bring a wealth of knowledge to the board.

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