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CATHY Resmer

Cathy ResmerFavorite part of job? Collaborating with smart, funny, creative people. I was a freelancer for four years before I joined the staff at Seven Days. As soon as I started writing for the paper, I thought, "These are my people." I would come into the office for the editorial meetings once a week, and I would linger as long as I could afterward, just to avoid going home and working by myself. The day that Pamela and Paula hired me for real was one of the happiest days of my life. I know that's totally cheesy -- and I know I sound like I'm sucking up -- but it really was, mainly because I got to be part of this team. I love being able to make contributions to our collective projects, whether that's suggesting a new way to package a story, or coming up with a pithy headline, or devising memorable ways to present information at our monthly staff meetings. It feels like I'm part of something larger than myself. It's meaningful work. 

Most inspiring mentor? Seven Days publisher and co-editor Paula Routly. When I decided to try to make a living as a writer, I imagined that I might someday become an editor; I wasn't really interested in the business of running a publication. But after I was at Seven Days for a couple years, we moved the office around and I ended up sitting next to Paula. After a few months of watching her work, I decided I wanted to be a publisher, because Paula made it seem both exciting and worth doing. Paula isn't just a talented writer and editor, she's also a shrewd businesswoman and a strategic thinker -- you have to be to run a publication right now. And she's absolutely relentless in the pursuit of excellence. A former ballet dancer, Paula holds everyone -- including herself -- to what seems, sometimes, like an impossible standard. But that's part of what has made Seven Days so successful. It's certainly made me better at what I do. Paula has also been very generous with her time -- I've had so many long conversations with her in which she analyzes some problem or situation, or explains the rationale behind a difficult decision. I feel like I've been going to graduate school the past few years, only I'm getting to apply my education on the job. Working for someone so fully engaged has been an incredible learning experience.

Who is your living hero? My mom, Peggy Resmer. She started out as a computer programmer in the 1960s and retired in 2006 as a senior vice president of AAA Michigan. Both she and my dad worked full-time when I was a kid -- my dad was a teacher and a coach -- but my mom was always the one to come home and cook dinner at the end of the day. And she cleaned the house! I don't know how she had the energy. I appreciate that so much more now that I have kids of my own. My mom also had to deal with a few sexist bosses, something I've thankfully never encountered. And she was a working mom in the 70s and 80s, before that was very common in our Catholic community in suburban Detroit. I know she got a few comments from teachers and nuns who thought she should have been home with me and my sister. But that never made her bitter -- or at least, if it did, she kept it from me. I know she enjoyed her work, but she was always very clear that my sister and I were her first priority -- she spent her vacation time taking us on trips; she brought us to museums, concerts, and baseball games. She could have zoned out in her free time, but she was present with us when she was home. That's how I remember it, anyway. Right now, any parent who can pull that off is my hero. 

Favorite downtime activity? Reading. I subscribe to a few magazines and newspapers. I'm always in the middle of at least one book, some serious, some not. Recent reads: "The Little Stranger" by Sarah Waters, "Days of the French Revolution" by Christopher Hibbert. Guilty pleasures: Elmore Leonard novels and re-reading the Harry Potter series. I also listen regularly to the Planet Money podcast, and This American Life. 

Favorite Vermont Escape? Remote camping in Groton State Forest — without my iPhone.

Favorite social network? Facebook. I use it to keep up with my far-flung family and friends.

Favorite website? Andrew Sullivan's "The Daily Dish" 

Vermont Business Person you would most want to network with? Ernest Pomerleau.

John Boutin, VBM Publisher, Cathy Resmer and Governor Jim Douglas < Last Next >