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Company: Vermont Trophy & Engraving
Title: Minority Owner, Engraver
Age: 30

Favorite Part of Job? My work family and having my own "Maker's Space" available 24/7 so I can tinker to my heart's content.

Most Inspiring Mentor: My Mom, Margi Swett. She has been the guiding star throughout my life, not only by giving me an incredible example of an authentic, strong and intelligent woman to aim toward in my own growth, but by giving me the greatest gift anyone could have - encouragement and the environment to grow up truly "free to be myself".

Tell us something fun about yourself that few people know: I've had the opportunity to feed or have other close encounters (without a fence between us) with a few types of rhinoceros, giraffes, cheetahs, sturgeons, Black backed jackals, oryx, Persian onager, zebra, przewalski horses, nurse sharks, and a wild chameleon to name a few - as well as polar bears who knew me by smell, African painted dogs, and a number of other large carnivores (with a fence).

Favorite Vermont Escape: Corny but true: my home. My husband and I have put our hearts fully into it and have turned our house into a magical place that contains all of our favorite parts of our life here in this awesome state.

Favorite Downtime Activity: Playing Magic the Gathering/watching weird movies with friends or wandering anywhere with a good chance to run into wildlife.

Person you would like to share a Vermont beverage with: Tough question with a long list of answers but if I had to narrow it down I'd say Bernie Sanders or Bernd Heinrich.

What is the best career advice you have received? There is no cookie cutter "correct" version of success - success is subjective and deeply personal. It shouldn't be hunted for based on the definition of someone else so the important thing is to take the time to soul search for your own and be open to unexpected answers.

What motivated you to live and work in Vermont? Vermont is an incredible place and I couldn't imagine ever wanting to leave. The people, the politics, the wilderness, the seasons, the down to earth vibe, that special kind of Vermont "weird" and there's something wonderful about even in Burlington being able to look out toward the mountains and see swaths of forest you could walk through for days without seeing signs of civilization. What more could one want?

Career Highlights: Throughout my life I have held pretty equal love for both the arts and sciences, and that duality has played a huge part in my journey. Academically it opened doors to many opportunities, from going with my school's Intaglio Society to Florence to work in a print making studio to studying abroad in Namiba, tracking black rhinoceros with Save the Rhino Trust as I worked toward my Animal Science degree. After the closure of an internship at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium an opportunity came to join my family's business when my father started planning for retirement - I happily took the opportunity to return to my favorite place on earth with the plan to try it out for a year at Vermont Trophy & Engraving and help ease the transition, but more than seven years later I am still here and more in love with it all the time. It's a wonderful mix of technical challenges requiring thinking outside the box and a deep creative outlet as I constantly have new opportunities to take an infant idea brought in by a client and turn it into a unique and beautiful physical piece, bringing to life the feeling they are trying to express. As I've moved into an ownership role I've also had a lot of amazing opportunities to get more deeply involved with the community locally - not to mention you end up meeting some incredible people by making awards for them!

Community Involvement: My community involvement began to really ramp up as an interest when I completed the Leadership Champlain course in 2012 through the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce. I am still amazed how much I learned about this state through that program even though I'd lived here for years before going through it. After coming face to face with some of the issues facing Vermont it became more important for me to have an active role. As of now I sit on the Ambassador Committee for the LCRCC, participate in the annual COTS phonathon, and this year I joined the Program Committee for the Women Business Owner's Network and became a Workplace Campaign Ambassador for the United Way.



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