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GWEN Pokalo


Favorite Part of Job? My favorite part of my job at WSBP is the opportunity to create and adapt programs and services to meet evolving needs of our clients. I have been gifted with an incredible team of people with whom I can brainstorm, collaborate, and innovate.

Most Inspiring Mentor: I am humbled to be surrounded by four mentors (a colleague, a college advisor, and two personal friends) who have provided me the guidance, wisdom, and humor that has been imperative to my personal and professional growth. These four women have offered me opportunities that continue to bear fruits of happiness, joys, and growth.

Tell us something fun about yourself that few people know: When I was a kid, I wanted to be a lounge singer! The first song I sang was Tom Jones's 'It's Not Unusual'.

Favorite Hobby: I enjoy cooking, visiting museums and art galleries, and dancing salsa.

Favorite Vermont Escape: It's a tough choice between the fossilized coral reef in the Champlain Islands and the Castleton area.

Favorite Social Media: Pinterest is my favorite! I love to find recipe ideas there.

Favorite Website: Google.

Vermont Business Person you would like to have lunch with:  I admire the employee support and company culture programming Rhino Foods offers to its employees. Talking with Ted Castle about his experience creating his company would be fascinating!

Career Highlights: It has been enlightening and enjoyable to see seemingly unrelated people and events in my career melding into a clearer, more directed experience than I had thought. I have the opportunity to work and interact with successful business owners now with whom I had worked when they were emerging entrepreneurs years ago at Growing Vermont, the former student-run microbusiness incubator run by the CDAE Department at UVM. Each presentation, teaching, and facilitation opportunity that I have been afforded has been enjoyable and meaningful to me. Launching new programs and orchestrating events at WSBP like the 25th Year Alumnae Reunion is a source of pride and inspiration for me.

Community Involvement: I love the community we have in Burlington and Vermont! I am fortunate to work in a field that allows me to be involved in so many areas of the community. Walking through Burlington and seeing the successful business women who have come through the WSBP is motivating. By actively supporting the arts in different ways, I enjoy a network of fun and engaging people. My experiences working in human services have opened up friendships with members of the community with whom I still have the opportunity to spend time with today.


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