The Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC) Board of Directors named Brattleboro Retreat President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Rob Simpson as this year’s recipient of the corporation’s Founders Award in an announcement made after the Windham County business group’s annual meeting in October.
Dr. Simpson was recognized for his role in leading the Retreat through a period of growth and facility improvements that began when he came to Brattleboro in late 2006. Simpson also was given the annual Founders Award in recognition of his work with the Vermont State Hospital. When the Waterbury hospital flooded in September 2011 during Tropical Storm Irene the Brattleboro Retreat admitted State Hospital patients and Simpson was on hand to personally greet them when they arrived.
BDCC Board President John Meyer said the psychiatric hospital is one of the region’s largest employers and its stability and financial strength has far ranging effects on the area’s overall economy.
"We are a hospital, first and foremost, and we are here to take care of people," Simpson said after accepting the surprise award. "But the reality is that we are also a business and we have a significant impact on the community."
Simpson also stressed that while many businesses are struggling or showing no growth, the Retreat has been expanding, which he says leads to more jobs and more money being pumped into the local economy. He accepted the award in honor of his aunt, who he said was treated for mental illness and whose treatment, he said, inspired him to work with people with mental illness.