BARRE — A former state lawmaker and one-time gubernatorial candidate has been hired to take the helm of Capstone Community Action.
Sue Minter’s hiring caps a nationwide search that quietly began after Dan Hoxworth resigned for personal reasons in April, and ramped up when the vacancy was finally advertised in September.
Rubin Bennett, chairman of the board for the organization, announced Minter’s hiring as executive director on Thursday. The organization got its start as the Central Vermont Community Action Council in 1965.
“We are thrilled to have Sue Minter leading this organization which is so vital to the well-being of our communities and thousands of Vermonters,” Bennett said in a prepared statement.
Most recently the president and CEO of Special Olympics Vermont, Minter was the Democratic nominee for governor in 2016. The three-term Waterbury lawmaker was appointed as the state’s deputy secretary of transportation in 2011 and following the historic flooding that accompanied Tropical Storm Irene that year, she was designated the state’s Irene recovery officer. Minter was promoted to secretary of the agency in 2015, but left the post later that year to run for governor.
Bennett said Minter’s depth of experience in organizational leadership, community and economic development, professional planning and policy made her an early front-runner in the national search that ended with her hiring.
“Sue (Minter) is committed to economically vulnerable Vermonters as demonstrated in her public service tenure,” Bennett said. “Her bold leadership in response to Tropical Storm Irene required teamwork, innovation and collaboration. These are core values of this organization over its 53-year history.”
Bennett said that was the view of a hiring committee that included a mix of front-line staff, administrative personnel and board members. He said Minter was among six semifinalists who were interviewed and three finalists who were interviewed a second time.
In the end, Bennett said, the choice was obvious.
“Sue (Minter) is exactly the right person to be leading Capstone at this important moment,” he said.
Minter, who resigned her post at Special Olympics of Vermont in September, said she is eager to start work at Capstone next month.
“This is a tremendous opportunity and an honor to lead this vital organization,” Minter said. “Capstone’s purpose of empowering individuals and families to rise out of poverty and giving voice to members of our community who are disadvantaged is crucial.
“In the face of division and retrenchment of our federal government, local community action is more critical than ever,” she added.
Minter, who lives in Waterbury Center with her husband, David Goodman, has degrees from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Minter is scheduled to start work at Capstone on Dec. 3 — eight months after Hoxworth announced his resignation. In the interim, Colleen Lafont and Sarah McMullen have been serving as co-executive directors. Both Lafont, chief financial officer, and McMullen, deputy director of operations, are longtime members of Capstone’s administrative team.