Montpelier, VT — In a ceremony held in the Vermont State House Thursday, Sarah Copeland Hanzas was sworn in as Vermont’s 39th Secretary of State. The ceremony was made even more special for the new Secretary because it was held in-person, allowing her to enjoy the event with family, friends, and supporters.
“To be able to stand with the other statewide office holders and take the oath surrounded by Vermonters was so special,” said Copeland Hanzas. “The energy and ceremony of the event was inspiring and humbling. I am excited to get to work.” She added, “I started my career in public service as a teacher and then as a house member with small children at home. I was grateful to have two of my three children with me as I was sworn in. It was a true full circle moment.”
Copeland Hanzas is no stranger to State House ceremonies after an 18-year legislative career in the Vermont House of Representatives, and she will use this experience as she begins the next chapter of her public service career. While she is keenly aware of the breadth of essential work the agency does, she also knows that voting and elections have been under particular scrutiny in recent years.
“Transparency and integrity are hallmarks of our elections here in Vermont and my office will continue this important work,” she said. “But all of our work is essential, whether it be preserving records in the Vermont Archives, helping businesses register, licensing occupations and professions, or assisting cities and towns. This agency has an amazing team, and I can’t wait to work with them.”
Secretary Copeland Hanzas has brought on Lauren Hibbert as her deputy secretary and Bryan Mills as her chief of staff. Hibbert, an attorney, has been with the Secretary of State’s office for 12 years, most recently as Director of the Office of Professional Regulation. Mills will move from a career in strategic communications and advocacy in the private sector to his new role in the Secretary’s office.