Ellen Kahler Honored with Inaugural Con Hogan Award

The Vermont Community Foundation and the organizing committee for the Con Hogan Award for Creative, Entrepreneurial, Community Leadership are pleased to announce Ellen Kahler, executive director of the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF), as the winner of the inaugural award.

The $15,000 award was presented to Kahler at a reception on October 8th at the Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier.

Established by a group of his colleagues, the annual award recognizes the life’s work of Vermont leader Con Hogan by rewarding a mid-career community leader who shares his vision of a better Vermont and who seizes the responsibility for making that vision real. The award recognizes a leader who shows deep community involvement, generosity, enthusiasm, a collaborative approach, and a focus on data and outcomes in his or her work. In the award’s first year, 25 Vermonters representing a variety of interests from across the state were nominated.

Ellen Kahler joined the VSJF as executive director in 2005. Over the past ten years, she has demonstrated critical leadership on projects such as the 2010 Farm to Plate Strategic Plan, a ten-year plan to strengthen the food and farm economy in Vermont. The VSJF staff has been tracking the plan’s progress using a results-based accountability framework; this framework has monitored several successes for the project.

Before joining the VSJF, Kahler served as the executive director of the Peace & Justice Center in Burlington from 1990 to 2002 where she advocated for social and economic justice. She has also served on the boards of many organizations over the past decade. A passionate leader, she encourages trust between people and organizations, enabling them to work together toward a vision of an equitable, sustainable, and just Vermont.

For more information about the award, please visit

Members of the Con Hogan Award organizing committee are Alissa Auerbach, Stuart Comstock-Gay, Paul Cillo, Paula Duncan, Karen Hein, Scott Johnson, Cheryl Mitchell, and Diana Wahle.


The Vermont Community Foundation is a family of hundreds of funds and foundations established by Vermonters to serve their charitable goals. It provides the advice, investment vehicles, and back-office expertise to make giving easy and effective. The Foundation also provides leadership in giving by responding to community needs, mobilizing and connecting philanthropists to multiply their impact, and by keeping Vermont’s nonprofit sector vital with grants and other investments in the community.

Visit or call 802-388-3355 for more information.