BERLIN — A local woman has been appointed to a four-year term on the Vermont Commission on Women.
Erica Metzger Hare was appointed to the position by the Senate Committee on Committees on July 12.
Hare graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics from Mount Holyoke College in 1998 and obtained a master’s in economics from the Stern School of Business at New York University in 2004. In 2018, Hare co-founded ElevateHer, a central Vermont professional women’s network.
In 2009, Hare moved to Vermont from New York City and worked for 10 years at Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA) as the executive vice president and chief financial officer. Earlier this year, Hare became CFO at the Institute of Professional Practice in Berlin, a multi-state human services agency that works with organizations for people with disabilities.
Hare said she has worked for nonprofits for most of her career.
“At VCFA, I was hired by and reported to (former president) Tom Greene and was responsible for all financial matters — budget, audit, financial modeling and reporting, banking and financing, investments — as well as human resources, fundraising and alumni affairs,” Hare said.
“My work at the college was incredibly gratifying both because of my love for the arts and because I was able to affect positive change. I especially enjoyed working with the dedicated staff at all levels and the top-notch board of trustees. I left VCFA after 10 years and was looking for a change, and engaged in a search and ended [up] accepting an offer at the Institute of Professional Practice,” she added.
Hare said the Institute of Professional Practice was one of the “best-kept secrets in Vermont” that fit with her professional goals.
“If you look at the directory of the biggest nonprofits in the state, this would be in the top 15,” Hare said. “If you took out hospitals, I’m sure it would be in the top five, and if you took out colleges and universities, it would be in the top three.
“It’s a massive organization and its corporate headquarters are here in Vermont, but the work goes on in five states, including Vermont. The others are Maryland, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire. The work is supporting adults and children with a variety of disabilities, from traumatic brain injury services to, in Connecticut, we run a school for students with disabilities at K-12 schools.”
Hare said she was so “moved” and impressed with the organization that she felt it would be a good fit for her as it prepares to mark its 20th anniversary and a major rebranding.
Along with attending Mount Holyoke College, the oldest women’s college in the nation, Hare said she thought her work with ElevateHer in Vermont was probably a contributing factor to being appointed to the Vermont Commission on Women.
“(Mt. Holyoke College) has an interest in advancing women in professional settings and supporting women to become executives and I’ve benefited from that support,” Hare said.
Hare said she applied for the position to join the commission because, as a finance professional, the commission is a data- and research-driven organization that gathers information about opportunities for women.
“I think they’re viewed as a really central resource for information and referral (for women),” Hare said. “I was impressed and have obviously admired their work from a distance and was impressed with their work on data, and really that they are looked to as experts in the state on the status of women in a variety of economic and other measures. I was thrilled to imagine being a part of that.”
“I’m really looking forward to being a part of the furtherance of the work of the mission of the Commission on Women and contribute in any way that I can and be honored to do that,” she added.
Hare has been married to Brynn Hare since 2003 and they have two children, Evan, 11 and Judah, 7.