Emilie Kornheiser Named 2023 VBSR Legislator of the Year

To Be Honored at the VBSR Legislative Breakfast, Wednesday, December 6

Burlington, Vt. (November 21, 2023) – Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR) has recognized Vermont State Representative Emilie Kornheiser from Brattleboro (Windham-7) with their 2023 VBSR Legislator of the Year Award. Rep. Kornheiser will be honored as VBSR’s Legislator of the Year during the 2023 VBSR Legislative Breakfast on Wednesday, December 6 when VBSR will also announce its 2024 Legislative Agenda.

VBSR is a statewide, nonprofit business association with a mission to leverage the power of business for positive social and environmental impact. VBSR advocates on behalf of Vermont’s people, environment, and businesses toward social equity, environmental stewardship, and sustainable economic development – policies that support a just, thriving, and transformative economy that works for all people and the planet.

“In our state where so many of our businesses are small and deeply connected to our communities, government plays an essential role in creating infrastructure – social and physical – for all of us to thrive,” said Rep. Kornheiser. “I’m honored by this award and grateful to be working with VBSR members to build a vibrant and sustainable Vermont.”

Rep. Emilie Kornheiser has represented Brattleboro since 2019 in the House of Representatives. As Chair of the House Committee on Ways and Means, she has played a pivotal role in advancing policies VBSR members consider central to creating more equitable, sustainable, and prosperous communities. Rep. Kornheiser’s leadership has aimed to raise revenue for critical legislation such as the historic Act 76, ensuring Vermont families have access to quality and affordable child care, and she was a crucial voice in the passage of H.66 out of the Vermont House of Representatives in 2023, which would support Vermont’s workforce and employers by establishing a universal paid family and medical leave insurance program.

While voluntary changes inside our member businesses can be key to creating some of these advancements, only public policy can deliver the pace and scale of change needed to tackle our state’s most difficult challenges. Rep. Kornheiser’s unique experience with small business ownership, applied economics, and community development position her perfectly to effectively advocate for resources that build a thriving Vermont.

“Representative Kornheiser has been a true champion for socially responsible business in the Vermont statehouse, exhibiting a creativity and thoughtfulness not only on the issues key to VBSR members but in how they are funded – combined strengths that make her highly effective,” said VBSR’s Public Policy Manager, Kristin Warner. “From paid family and medical leave to climate resilience, from child care to available and affordable housing, she engages in ways that are both aspirational and practical, making her an invaluable leader and voice for Vermonters. For all of this and more, we are pleased to offer her the 2023 VBSR Legislator of the Year Award.”

Rep. Kornheiser comes to her work in the legislature with a passion for supporting and amplifying community voices ­– asking communities to own and tell their own stories in order to facilitate shared visions and outcomes. For the last decade, she has focused on improving the functioning and accountability of community development and support systems in Vermont state government. Before transitioning to local service, she worked internationally as a consultant brokering and evaluating partnerships between corporations and national governments to meet community development goals.

Ms. Kornheiser received her BA in Sociology from Marlboro College and attended the MS program in Community Development and Applied Economics at the University of Vermont. She has served overseas promoting democracy and supporting small business development, and she has held numerous positions at community-based organizations throughout Vermont. She also started her own small business, a cafe and performance venue, in downtown Brattleboro. Emilie continues to work with organizations both public and private that put connection at the center of skills building, accountability, and economic justice.

Registration for the 2023 VBSR Legislative Breakfast is still open and the popular gathering of VBSR members, policymakers, advocates, and state officials is expected to sell out. The annual event takes place on Wednesday, December 6, from 8:00-10:00 a.m. at The Main Street Landing Film House, The Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center’s world class cinema hall, 60 Lake Street, Burlington. Host Sponsor is The Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center; Lead Sponsors are The Alchemist and Paul Frank + Collins; Supporting Sponsors are Green Mountain Power, Scott + Partners Architecture and The University of Vermont Health Network; Beverage Sponsor is Kestrel Coffee Roasters.

About VBSR
VBSR is a statewide, non-profit business association with a mission to leverage the power of business for positive social and environmental impact. VBSR’s 700 member businesses and organizations strive toward a just, thriving, and transformative economy that works for all people and the planet through shared learning, building connections, and collective action. Learn more or join the cause.