Brenda Torpy, founder and CEO of Champlain Housing Trust from from 1991-2021, has given out more awards than we can count to recognize community members and CHT staff for their contributions to advance affordable housing and social services to support residents. We are so pleased that on August 10th, 2022, at the 2022 Leadership Summit, it is Brenda who will be the award recipient as she has been selected by the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) for the Vermont Lifetime Leadership Award to recognize the transformative impact her years of leadership and service have had on communities throughout the state.
VCRD’s announcement highlighted the housing roles Brenda has held during her career and how along with her leadership, her compassion and humor have touched many lives.
Brenda worked as Senator Bernie Sanders’ first Housing Director in Burlington, and at the VHFA on Policy and Program Development. She also formed and led Northgate Non-profit to acquire, preserve and improve 336 at-risk affordable rentals on behalf of the tenants who govern it now. Brenda was a Ford Foundation leader for a Changing World, and has served on the Advisory Committees of the region’s Home Loan and Federal Reserve Banks and the Boards of the National CLT Network and successor Grounded Solutions Network. She now leads CHT’s efforts in providing direct training and technical assistance on these models across the US and internationally. With a wonderful sense of humor and kindness, Brenda has touched many hundreds of lives through her work.