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YAEL FriedmanYael Friedman

Fletcher Allen Foundation

Career Highlights:
Fletcher Allen Foundation, Fletcher Allen Health Care Annual Fund/Major Gift Officer National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Vermont Office Director of Development Served as Spokesperson within Vermont for the National MS Society and educate donors, participants and the public at large about the mission of the society.

Community Involvement:
Spectrum Youth & Family Service Development, Governance and Programs Committees Leadership Champlain Class of 2007 Association of Fundraising Professionals Newtorking & Education Committee and Membership Committee Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce Keybank Women's Forum. Favorite part of job?
The best part of my job is connecting people to specific needs to a powerful mission and knowing you’re a vital part of moving that mission forward. I love working with community members and knowing we’re truly making a difference in the lives of others. I appreciate the opportunity to engage philanthropists, both those who have been giving in this community for years as well as those just beginning their giving efforts, to help them recognize where their gifts can have the most meaning for them but also make the most significant impact in our area.

Most inspiring mentor
I have been tremendously lucky to be mentored by many amazing people, but the one I am the most consistently inspired by is Marilyn Cormier of Saint Michael's College. Marilyn is incredibly busy yet still manages to exude charm and graciousness at all times. She listens intently, shares both positive and critical feedback in a way that you always benefit from and is someone I know will always be honest. She is connected to our community on so many levels and I try to emulate her responsibilities and grace as much as I can. Marilyn has taught me how to communicate feedback, criticism and kindness with others and has shared ways to deal with difficulties. I am so fortunate to have her in my life!

Who is your living hero
It’s difficult for me to choose one hero as the first enabled me to recognize the second. I need to credit my parents as enormous heroes of mine. They taught me to recognize right from wrong, encourage me to speak my mind and while they may not agree with all my decisions, support me unconditionally. With their love and guidance, I have the confidence to be a better person. When I think of heroic acts, I think of a dear friend of mine who has been challenged again and again over the past six years and has overcome almost insurmountable odds in the most courageous manner. She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and her disease progressed incredibly fast. On some days, she couldn't stand, walk or hold her children and yet she always managed to convey dignity and focused only on the positive aspects of her life. Several years after being diagnosed with MS, she was told she had cancer as well. Anyone else would fall into despair, but she maintained concern and compassion for others and she was fearless in the face of her diagnoses. Her constant focus was her family and she remains a force of love and light for everyone around her. She is admirable, brave and inspires me daily to hold true to what I know is right and to have the courage to face anything.

Favorite downtime activity?
My favorite downtime activity is to spend time with my family. My husband Josh and I have two sons who are 4 and 2 years old and every activity is better with them. Whether we’re running outside to play, baking cookies (and eating the batter) or reading books, I have the most fun when I’m with my family. Favorite Vermont

I love to get away to Stowe; it’s close enough that I can go for a day, gorgeous in every season and there are fantastic restaurant and resorts. A personal favorite is Top Notch Resort, their spa in particular!

Favorite social network?
I am one of the few people who is not on facebook, but do have a Linked In account. I guess it’s my favorite, as it’s my only!

Favorite website?
I love looking at It showcases funny, informative and inspiring conversations that span interests from technology to entertainment to global issues.

Vermont Business Person you would most want to network with?
It would be Ernie Pomerleau. Ernie is dedicated to this community and routinely invests his proceeds back into Vermont’s economy and philanthropic projects. He serves on multiple committees, projects and boards and makes every event more fun just by attending. Ernie could and would be successful in anywhere in the country, but he chooses Vermont and is a part of making it a better place to live and work.

VBM's Publisher John Boutin, Alison Davis and Lt. Governor Phil Scott

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