At its annual change-over dinner meeting on June 23, 2011, the Brattleboro Rotary Club inducted Liz Harrison (center of photo) as its 62nd club president for the 2011-2012 year. Harrison is a board-certified clinical nutritionist in private practice in Townshend and is the volunteer coordinator for Grace Cottage Hospital.

Rotary club members serving as officers with Harrison this coming year are (left to right in photo): Secretary Jeff Hagstrom of Newton Business; Treasurer Stacy Kritsas of Stacy Automotive Center; President-Elect Marty Cohn of Cohn Public Relations; Past President Cindy Jerome of Holton Home; and Vice President June Howe of Raptor Trading.


Harrison has been active in the Brattleboro Rotary Club since April 2004, serving on the board for the last four years. She has been in private practice as a clinical nutritionist for 35 years, after 10 years of social work. She is a member of the International and American Association of Clinical Nutritionists and a member of the IAACN certification board of advisors. She  spent all the summers of her youth at her parents' summer home in West Townshend and moved to Vermont in 2002 from Austin, Texas. 

Harrison is a past president of the Townshend Business Association; was an auditor for the town of Townshend; was a member of the Austin Texas Quality Council for the City of Austin and became a Malcolm Baldridge senior examiner; was president of the Austin Women’s Chamber of Commerce for five years; and was the founder of Firstbridge House in Austin, a nonprofit group home for highly functional mentally handicapped adults, where she was also president of the corporation for nine years. She received her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Western College for Women (now a part of Miami University, Oxford, Ohio). She lives in West Townshend with her husband, Ian Harrison.

Founded in 1950, the Brattleboro Rotary Club is an active community service club of about 80 members. Every year, the club awards more than $50,000 to the greater Brattleboro area, including: $24,000 in scholarships to eight local high school seniors annually; $5,000 in awards that support more than 30 local community organizations; and up to $25,000 for various community projects that have included playground equipment, snowmaking guns, ice rink bleachers, a water park at Living Memorial Park, and the new West River Park to be built on Route 30. The funds are raised through the club's annual Christmas Tree Sale, Charity Golf Tournament, International Film and Food Festival, and other fundraising endeavors.

In addition to fundraising, club members volunteer their skill and time to projects for such community organizations as the Christmas Stocking, the Senior Center, Habitat for Humanity, Living Memorial Park, and Youth Services. The club's community outreach each year also includes hosting a Sugar-on-Snow event at the Brattleboro Winter Carnival in February; welcoming local high school students into the club's Student Rotarian Program; and providing for senior gift-giving during the holiday season. The Brattleboro Rotary Club also sponsored the launch of the Brattleboro Sunrise Club in 1995 and co-sponsored the launch of the Deerfield Valley Club a decade later in 2005.

One of the Club's proudest achievements is the founding of Pure Water for the World, which can be found online at The initiative began with Brattleboro Rotary Club member Peter Abell, a dentist who traveled with other local dentists and eye doctors to provide medical services to villages in El Salvador. He decided to organize a club effort to help Salvadoran villagers achieve potable water year-round. The Pure Water initiative has since spun off into a private foundation that has had much success.

The club meets every Thursday at 12:15 p.m. at the Brattleboro Country Club in Upper Dummerston Road in the summer, and at the VFW Post on Black Mountain Road the rest of the year. For more information about the Brattleboro Rotary Club, please visit the club's website at or contact Harrison at or 802-874-4429.