Vermont Small Business Development Center Announces 2023 State Star: Heather M. Gonyaw
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RANDOLPH CENTER, VT (July 20, 2023) – Linda Rossi, State Director of the Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC), announced that Heather M. Gonyaw has been named the organization’s 2023 State Star. The award, presented annually and recognized nationally, celebrates a member of the organization’s team for remarkable commitment to small business success. 

Gonyaw joined the VtSBDC team in 2002 and has held several positions during that time. She currently serves as the Associate State Director. Her primary focus is financial and grants management, process and operational management of the organization, compliance, and conference planning and logistics.

“Heather is passionate about the VtSBDC mission and has helped take us seamlessly through transitions with her keen problem-solving abilities and attention to detail,” said Rossi. “She is a committed and knowledgeable resource for our staff. Heather has been instrumental in the launch of our Community Navigator Pilot Program (CNPP) including processes and training of the nine partner organizations. Also, she consistently demonstrates exceptional professionalism, and is an early champion of our DEI journey. I am incredibly grateful for her in assisting me in my term as Chair of America’s SBDC.” 

Selected as State Star 2023 by VtSBDC’s advising team, Gonyaw’s colleagues report that she is resourceful, diplomatic, dedicated, and considerate. 

A native Vermonter, Gonyaw was born and raised in the Northeast Kingdom. She is an active member of her community having served on the local district school board and the area Supervisory Union Board for many years. A current board member of a local theater group, Gonyaw also serves as the elected treasurer of her town, treasurer of the local historical society, and treasurer of the Caledonia County Farm Bureau. Also, she played a significant role in Senator Leahy’s Annual Women’s Economic Opportunity Conference for the majority of its tenure. In addition, she supported and helped facilitate the SBDC’s New England Professional Development (NEPD) conference, returning the program to an in-person conference in 2022-2023. 

Gonyaw will be honored at America’s Small Business Development Center (ASBDC) national conference taking place in Nashville, TN in September.