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MICHAEL Harrington


Favorite Part of Job? The ability to work on projects that directly impact the place I live. Returning to Bennington after so many years has given me a true appreciation for how special this place really is.

Most Inspiring Mentor: My parents will always be my North Star; however, I often find myself thinking back to my time interning for the local mayor's office when I was in college. The mayor, who is now a dear friend, told me a story once about a time in his life when he was homeless and living under a bridge. From that point on, I have often found myself referring to that story when things get tough. If he can overcome that situation and end up as the executive officer for a city, I can certainly overcome whatever challenges lay ahead of me.

Tell us something fun about yourself that few people know: I am regularly told that I resemble a young Christopher Reeves... Hence my favorite super hero is Superman.

Favorite Downtime Activity: Working on my new house with my girlfriend.

Favorite Vermont Escape: The drive along Rt 7 between Bennington and Burlington with the sun shining and 70 degree weather.

Favorite Social Media: Facebook... but I also love being the ghost writer for Bennington's municipal facebook page. There's something to be said for anonymity.

Favorite Website:, because I designed it.

Vermont Business Person you would most want to Network with: I love networking in general, but if I had to pick one, I would probably go with one of the following: Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield from Ben and Jerry's, Jake Burton from Burton Snowboards or Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys. I bet they were some tough dogs.

Career Highlights: ooking back over my past three jobs, first as the Chief Student Affairs Officer at Paul Smith's College, next as Director of Client Services for New Directions Consulting, and finally as the Development Director for Bennington, it occurs to me that each of these roles as allowed me to strengthen different skills; making me the person I am today. At Paul Smiths, it was about rebuilding a department and bringing student services into the 21st century. At New Directions, it was like going back to school and educating myself on management and organizational development theory, which I got to explore while working with clients like Coca-Cola. Now at Bennington, I find myself back in creation mode, working on projects that enhance the way the town is perceived, both internally and externally. Personally, I am big on self-reflection and using each experience to enhance my abilities going forward.

Community Involvement: From the moment I returned home I have immersed myself in the Bennington community. I am an active volunteer with the local chamber and downtown organization. I serve as President Elect for one of the local Rotary Clubs. I am the Chairman of the Board for WBTN Radio, which is the local radio station where my father worked for 41 years. I am on the board of directors for the alumni association of my Alma mater. I serve on the steering committee for the Southshire Substance Abuse Coalition. In addition, I also serve as the VP for Membership for the Bennington Young Professionals group, and I regularly find myself participating in most community events. It is important to me to play an active role in the community I call home.


 John Boutin, Publisher of VBM, Lisa Gosselin, VT Dept. Economic Dev. and Rising Star Michael Harrington.

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