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DANIEL Doenges

Company: Vermont Sport & Fitness Club
Title: Owner/ General Manager
Age: 33

Favorite Part of Job? I love imagining what could be and then working with our team to make it a reality. When each person brings what they do best to the table the result always exceeds what any of us could do on our own. In the end the members get a great experience and we get to see our visions come to life.

Most Inspiring Mentor: My parents David and Deborah Doenges taught me some of the most basic truths that I live by. To be kind, to find the best in people, to be proud of being different and to protect those who need protecting. They taught me to be confident in myself and to give 100 percent of my energy each day to what really matters.

Tell us something fun about yourself that few people know: Few people know that I love theoretical and astrophysics. The few people who know this are my wife and family who have stopped listening and my 3 and 5 year old kids who already know more about black holes than most adults.

Favorite Downtime Activity: My Favorite downtime activity is crowding on the couch with my wife and kids, a big bowl of popcorn and a watching a good movie.
Person you would like to share a Vermont beverage with: Will Smith. I always thought we would be good friends.

What is the best career advice you have received? I never received a piece of career advice that stands above the rest but I did learn at a young age to listen to the stories of people who have experienced both success and failures. I always thought it would be easier if I learned from some of their mistakes rather than making them all myself.

What motivated you to live and work in Vermont? There was a moment living in Rhode Island where I realized that I was not living the life personally and professionally that I had imagined. I looked at all the options to change course and landed on the fact that all of my connections were in my home town in Rutland Vermont. I always loved the idea of being home and around family, but it was then I realized that moving back might offer the best chance to reach both my professional and personal goals.

Career Highlights: At 24 years old deciding to take a chance move back home to Rutland Vermont and start a life with my wife Leslie.
At 25 years of age setting up a 7 year agreement with Frank Dorsky to acquire Vermont Sport & Fitness Club in January of 2017.  Then 7 years later having the courage to follow through and becoming the owner of VS&F with Leslie.
Now at age 32 we are running our own business with some grace, a lot of learning and tremendous family and community support.  I am very proud to be a small business owner and entrepreneur in the state of Vermont.  
Community Involvement: Rutland Young Professionals (RYP) is the engine behind my community involvement. With RYP I was engaging with my peers who shared my vision and enthusiasm for a city that we all called home. Everyone involved with RYP was optimistic, not of the changes that others would make but the impact and changes we will have on our community.  No one was waiting around for someone else to get things done and this is where I have found my springboard.  
As a representative of RYP I now serve as Ex-Officio on the board of Rutland Economic Development Corporation (REDC). Through REDC and its partnership with the Rutland Chamber of Commerce I have been able to give back to the community by helping to launch the Regional Marketing Initiative. The initiative will show Vermont and the greater North East what an amazing place Rutland Region truly is. Full of life, energy, opportunity, and real individuals and families living fulfilling lives. I feel very fortunate to be a part of a movement as powerful and positive as RYP and as innovative and crucial as the REDC & Chamber initiative which all leads to an even brighter future for my community of Rutland.



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