Senator Wendy Harrison was a child on the “Space Coast” of Florida, riding her bike to school and the beach and watching rockets launch to the moon. When her family moved to California’s Silicon Valley, she was disenchanted with the expanding suburban sprawl and first appreciated public transportation. She went “back east” for college, earning a B.A. in Urban and Environmental Economics at Bryn Mawr College. She also earned a Master of Government Administration at the University of Pennsylvania, where she met her husband, Peter Elwell. Wendy and Peter raised two children while working in municipal government and living mostly in Jupiter, Florida. The family enjoyed many vacations in Brattleboro visiting Peter’s family and, in 2015, Wendy and Peter moved to Brattleboro.
Wendy served as an Assistant Village Manager and a County Solid Waste Director before moving to part-time work while her children were young. She was an elected Town Councilor for eight years in Jupiter, Florida, working to channel development into sustainable forms, preserving environmental and historic resources, and increasing auto-alternative transportation. In Vermont, Wendy has served as the Municipal Manager for Bellows Falls and Rockingham, the Interim Town Manager for Vernon, and the Interim City Manager for Winooski. She also has experience working in the non-profit sector (housing, land conservation, and circus training) in Vermont and New Jersey.
Wendy currently chairs the Southeast Vermont Economic Development Strategies (SeVEDS) Board and serves on the Vermont State Transportation Board and the Windham County Sheriff’s Advisory. She previously served on the Windham Regional Commission, the Southeast Vermont Transit (public bus) board, and the Friends of the West River Trail board. While in Florida, Wendy chaired the PalmTran Service Board (for the public bus service in Palm Beach County) and served on the Metropolitan Planning Organization board for Palm Beach County and the Abacoa Partnership for Community board in Jupiter.
Wendy enjoys almost anything on the water: rowing, kayaking, swimming, beginner ice skating. She also enjoys traveling (especially by train) and live performances. She lives in Brattleboro with her husband and two dogs, grateful to have her adult children and their partners living nearby.