Favorite Part of Job? I get paid to drink coffee (and beer!) with business owners who care about more than just making a profit. These are people who want to do more with their businesses, who think about the impact they have on their employees and the environment, and who are trying to do better each day. It inspires me.
Most Inspiring Mentor: Steve Clever, now CEO of the Ross County YMCA in Ohio, was my first “real” boss and is one of the smartest men, and the best mental health counselor, that I’ve ever met. He taught me a lot about work/life balance, what it means to stand up for what you believe in, and how to continually work towards being the person you want to become. He helped my golf game too ;)
Tell us something fun about yourself that few people know: I started dating my wife during the same month and year that my first nephew (Hunter) was born. Each year I get to celebrate the person he is becoming as well as the years I have spent with my amazing wife. He’s 11.
Favorite Vermont Escape: If I’m being healthy, Red Rocks Park in South Burlington. If not so much, Harpoon Brewery in Windsor or Cold Hollow in Waterbury.
Favorite Downtime Activity: I am married with two kids under 3, have a full-time job, volunteer for my church, and serve on the board of Full Barrel Cooperative Brewery. What is downtime? (I hope to one day get to read, golf, run and watch Notre Dame football again.)
Favorite Super Hero: Batman; there’s something incredible about being able to take a terrible tragedy and turn it into a force for good. And, the money doesn’t hurt either.
Favorite Social Media: I love using Twitter for work, but in my personal life Facebook has offered a chance to remain uniquely engaged with friends and family from Ohio. Although getting retweeted by Robert Patrick and Earnest Byner was pretty cool, too.
Person you would like to share a Vermont beverage with: Okay, cliché time: Barack Obama. I’m going to miss that guy when he leaves the White House, but maybe that means he’ll be available to hang out?
What is the best career advice you have received? Andrea Cohen always told me to make sure I was taking care of myself. It seems silly, but when your boss stresses that your well-being is important, you really believe it and when you take care of yourself you actually end up being a more productive and faithful employee.
Where do you see yourself professionally in ten years? I would love to be the Executive Director of a nonprofit organization or in a leadership position on the communication team of a mission-driven, for-profit organization (B Corps anyone??).
Career Highlights: The first time I was asked to emcee VBSR’s Annual Spring Conference, I was incredibly nervous and so, so excited. Here I was, a millennial flatlander addressing more than 300 Vermont successful business leaders focused on the triple-bottom-line approach. And, when I got to the podium, they listened and were engaged. I didn’t get laughed at or booed off stage, and I remember feeling like I was making a difference just by being in the room with them. I still get that feeling every time I hold the microphone at a VBSR event.
Community Involvement: When I came back to God in my early twenties, I realized pretty quickly that I needed to be serving Him in some capacity. Selfishly, I know I'm a better person when I am serving. When I moved to VT, that attitude didn’t change. I have enjoyed serving under two different pastors at the Williston Church of the Nazarene, and I look forward to getting reengaged when my kids become a little older.
I owe a lot of my other Burlington-based community involvement to my good friend Robin Sutphin, former GM of New Moon, who now lives in Minnesota. He “dragged” me to a Full Barrel Cooperative Brewery event where there was free beer and talk of a different ownership structure. He later encouraged me to run for the board with him, and we served together for a year. Most memorable though, was when New Moon’s monthly Homeless Banquet gained steam and he asked me to serve with that community with him too... those nights were special.