Favorite Part of Job? Two of the things I enjoy most about my job are strategic planning and variety. I am fortunate to have a position that allows me to build a team of hardworking people who contribute to the long term growth of the business. I also enjoy helping clients find a solution to a problem they have not faced before. The variety of my job really keeps things interesting as you can be pouring over the profit and loss sheet one minute and responding to a hazmat release the next. You never know what the next phone call will be.
Most Inspiring Mentor: There is no way to narrow this to one person with all the people I have had the honor to learn from in my life. My mom and dad both started and ran their own successful businesses and I remember growing up how much work they devoted to making a good life for our family (Thanks for that by the way!). I hope I have inherited even half of their work ethic. Also, I admire my wife’s father’s dedication to his business, family and larger community.
Tell us something fun about yourself that few people know: I drove a car in the United States Vice-Presidential motorcade in high school. Driving on the interstate with no other traffic, going well over the speed limit, was a surreal experience. I drove the press convoy van with Wolf Blitzer and “Straggler 1,” to make sure we didn't forget anyone. I offered to drive the Vice President but the Secret Service said they had that covered.
Favorite Hobby: Anything that gets me outside to enjoy Vermont. I really like the four seasons we have here and have hobbies for each from triathlons in the summer, apple picking in the fall, to cross country skiing in the winter. There is always a reason to get out and enjoy the views.
Favorite Vermont Escape: My wife and I really enjoy heading to Smuggler’s Notch on the weekends to make our own “staycation.” In the summer you can hike Mt. Mansfield for some spectacular views or swim in the mountain streams to cool off. The winter brings ample opportunities to ski, snowshoe or have some Boyden Valley Glogg by the fire.
Favorite Social Media: My vote is LinkedIn. I gave up many years ago trying to keep up with tweets and status updates.
Favorite Website: I have to go with Wall Street Journal/Bloomberg and Reddit.com. The WSJ articles are just the right length to catch up on what’s relevant and Reddit – the Front Page of the Internet- is a great way to find out about what’s new and things you had no idea existed.
Vermont Business Person you would like to have lunch with: I saw Brian Kelley of Keurig Green Mountain give a talk about the direction of the company and ways they are driving innovation. They have some really sharp people creating a great product that Vermont can call their own. Brian, if not lunch maybe a cup of coffee?
Career Highlights: I have been lucky enough to gain experience across many sectors over the years from politics and medicine to environmental work; I always try to learn something new. I worked for Senator Joe Manchin, then West Virginia Secretary of State, and participated in meetings with him across the state. One of the most rewarding times in my career was being able to help clean up after Tropical Storm Irene. We worked to protect human health and the environment from fuel oil and other chemicals that were released as a result of the storm. It was inspiring to see the spirit Vermonters have to reclaim their way of life when their whole world was upside down.
Community Involvement: My community involvement in Vermont started at Middlebury College where I was on Middlebury Volunteer Ambulance and Salisbury Fire Department for many years. I also worked at the Open Door Clinic, a free clinic for those in need, as an EMT and intake volunteer. During this time, I organized a fundraising campaign for The New Sudan Education Initiative, a non-profit based in Colchester that builds schools throughout South Sudan. Thankfully, I have been able to continue my international efforts and was able to visit Tanzania, Africa for a few weeks and volunteer at local orphanages and women’s empowerment programs.
While taking some classes at UVM I had the chance to volunteer at the Substance Abuse Treatment Center on campus. I have also spent time working with Zeno Mountain Farm Camp in Lincoln, a place that brings together people with and without disabilities to build community. Summertime brings the Vermont Brewers Festival which I help organize and run (buy your tickets early!). Currently, I am a board member of the Vermont Environmental Consortium which promotes growth and job creation in Vermont’s environmental sector.