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The VFDA Executive Board unanimously endorsed a strategic plan designed to strengthen the nearly 60 year old organization.

Stephanie Austin will be VFDA’s Executive Director, effective October 1.  Austin started her career at VFDA in 2006 and has run the training programs and compliance center for over a decade. “Stephanie has proven to be an effective non-profit manager and is deeply committed to the association and its members,” said VFDA Vice-President Judy Taranovich.

Matt Cota, who has led the organization since 2007, will become VFDA’s Managing Director under his new government affairs firm, Meadow Hill Consulting.

While Austin will take on more administrative responsibilities, Cota will continue to lead VFDA’s legislative and regulatory initiatives. His firm, Meadow Hill, will focus on building strategic partnerships with Vermont business organizations in the energy, heating, and transportation space.

“Matt has done a remarkable job growing our association and fighting for propane and oilheat businesses in Vermont,” said VFDA President Manny Fletcher. “This strategic plan ensures that Matt can continue to respond to the legislative and regulatory challenges ahead while developing partnerships that are key to our long term viability.”

President Manny Fletcher with Stephanie Austin signing a contract to become VFDA's Executive Director.

Peter Bourne,Greg Nido, Kinson Craft, Manny Fletcher, Stephanie Austin, Rob Korrow, Steven Goodrich, Judy Taranovich, and Scott Moore after the Executive Board's Strategic Planning meeting.

One of those partnerships is with a new non-profit 501c3 trade association called the Heating and Cooling Contractors of Vermont. The organization was launched in May of 2022 to improve training for home energy technicians and to encourage more Vermonters to enter the skilled trades.

Stephanie Austin, VFDA Executive Director

Matt Cota, VFDA Managing Director


Austin and Cota have over thirty years of combined experience working for VFDA. Both say they are excited about implementing the strategic plan and thank the Executive Board for their support.