ROC Leaders Celebrated at Vermont Training

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WINOOSKI, Vt. –  While a regional training of Vermont ROC leaders last weekend was organized to enhance their leadership skills and help their communities run more smoothly, it was their inspiring volunteerism that became the day’s central theme.

“Members like you are the backbone of the community,” said Sarah Martin, a cooperative development specialist at Cooperative Development Institute. “Without you, the community would not be a ROC.”

Cooperative Development Institute held the training to help sharpen the leadership skills of ROC leaders and let them know what resources are available for them as they continue their ROC work.

“You’re getting a lot of support from a lot of other sources,” said Julia Curry, a cooperative housing specialist at CDI. “We wanted you to know that you have a lot of people pulling for you.”

Leaders from almost all of the 13 Vermont ROCs attended the training, where they showcased a sample of the great work being done throughout the state.

“Your presence here today just shows the strength of the communities in Vermont,” said Gary Faucher, the National Training Manager for ROC USA® Network. “Our motto is ‘Better Together’ and that’s true.”

The day consisted of two workshops: a legal session that covered topics like rules enforcement, rent collection and evictions, and a second training focused on increasing membership participation and avoiding burnout. A resource fair was held to connect residents with local vendors whose services can help ROCs. Leaders also took time to network with one another to learn from their shared experiences.

“Chances are pretty good that whatever your current issues are, someone else has dealt with that before,” Faucher said.

The day ended with a celebration for ROC Members and their families. State officials and representatives attended the celebration to meet with homeowners and discuss ways they can better support ROC work in the future.