ELISABETH KULAS, Rutland, VT

2016 Art Gibb Award for Individual Leadership

As Executive Director and Project Developer of the Housing Trust of Rutland County, Elisabeth Kulas promotes affordable housing solutions, offering services and programs for individuals and communities. The Housing Trust works in rental housing, mobile home parks, special needs housing, and offers technical assistance to municipalities and civic groups.

Kulas is known for her persistence and tenacity in redeveloping buildings and sites often known as white elephants. These are often prominent in communities and have important histories – but also resulting challenges. She leads the design process through the eyes of the user, striving for quality of life for the intended renters, while also creating high quality housing that respects and integrates into its surroundings.

Across her more than 20 year career at the Housing Trust of Rutland County, Elisabeth has demonstrated the leadership, creativity, vision and commitment to public service that this award recognizes,

— Paul Burhn and Emily Wadhams, in nominating Kulas for the award.

Her work in housing and conservation has also been a steady economic driver in the region, contributing $4 million dollars a year to the local economy, in addition to new project investments. During her tenure at the Housing Trust, Kulas has overseen 20 mjaor housing projects and oversees a portfolio of projects worth over $37.8 millon.

Connie Snow, Executive Director of the Windham & Windsor Housing Trust wrote in her nomination of Kulas, “Elisabeth believes in Community with a capital “C”: communities which are inclusive and provide opportunity. While that may be the driver, she understands the bigger pictures: that the safe, attractive and sustainable neighborhoods she is working to create – and the economic engine of her construction activity – are integral pieces to overall community health and well-being.”

Watch a short video about Elizabeth here. Thanks to Meg Cambell for making the video!