Who's Been Minding Our Business

What a reunion when we gathered to photograph this month's cover! The photo date was chosen to coincide with former sales rep Ute Regan's (35) stopover in Burlington as she returned from Germany to her home in Hawaii, where she is corporate support manager at Hawaii Public Radio. Great timing.

We welcomed other former ad reps still in the area such as Donna Gilbert Diaz (21), now with Special Olympics Vermont. Betsy Bluto (4), looking every bit like the general manager of The Fitness Center should look, spent time as the marketing director of the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber after leaving the magazine. Patrick Webb (46) was a welcome but still familiar face because he now works in our building managing a pre-press company. There was Suzanne Ferland (50), appropriately dressed in red, now a grandmother of five still actively collecting oral histories of members of the UVM College of Medicine and, in private practice, doing oral histories for individuals and families.

Lynne Zinke (41) and Liz Swim (9) were the pioneering sales reps at the start-up of Business Digest, selling ads in something that didn't even exist at the time. Lynne is now in sales and administration at New England Floor Covering in Burlington. Liz, our longest-tenured sales rep with sales records that have never been broken, left us after 12 years to join Corporate Outfitters.

We might never have survived those early days without the unstinting efforts of our editorial consultant Peter Carlough (40) and our first production manager Bonnie Woodford Potter (missing from the photo). They literally introduced us to the ins and outs of the publishing world in the frantic early months of the magazine. Luckily, Donda Thibault (44) stepped in when Bonnie left, never missing a beat and easily adapting to producing magazines that were happily growing four, eight, 12 pages longer each month. She is now with Paul Kaza Associates. Peter continued as a freelance writer with us for several years, and has since continued writing and being an indefatigable and award-winning volunteer for a variety of causes.

After we had published a couple of issues, Jane Milizia (49) paid us a visit carrying a copy of our magazine covered with more proofreader's marks than have ever appeared in one place before, and gently asked if maybe we could use the services of an experienced proofreader. She not only proofs the magazine but she is also our best fact-checker, having an amazing knowledge of greater Burlington people and events accumulated during her 40 years as a proofreader for the Burlington Free Press. Jane also contributes great photos to our Business Travel Guides.

Carmen Hu (48) was with us as a publisher's assistant that means a ton of jobs for our move to South Burlington, bringing order and spirit to our first "real" reception area. She is now employed at Shaw's Supermarket in Williston.

Many of the best freelance writers we've had over the years also made time to join our reunion shoot. Early contributors like Joe Yenkavitch (45), a former South Burlington schoolteacher now spending half the year golfing in Florida; and Shad Emerson (26), an irrepressible raconteur who joined us after a long, successful career with Time Inc. and continues to spend his retirement working for town newspapers. Michelle Demers (39) and K.K. Wilder (22), accomplished writers for many publications, and Doug Smith (38), a commercial pilot who enjoys (and is good at) writing, were there. Rosalyn Graham (42), editor of Burlington Vermont Times and a longtime force in community newspapers, is a recent find as a freelancer.

Husband-and-wife team Steve Mease (30) and Cheryl Dorschner (6) brought their amazing energies to projects for the magazine, especially a spectacular Bicentennial issue and our Business Travel Guide. Cheryl is now senior communications specialist at UVM and Steve is about to take on the job of public relations director at the Champlain Valley Exposition. Mark Pendergrast (27) wrote 89 profiles for the magazine before producing his first book, For God, Country & Coca-Cola, closely followed by Victims of Memory, Uncommon Grounds and (in bookstores now) Mirror Mirror.

Charles Burch (47) of Burch & Co. has been contributing his "Ad Game" column to our pages since our early days with only a short hiatus in the early '90s (our choice, not his we thought we could give the opportunity to someone else, but nobody could match his energy, style and wordsmithing).

Since September 1986 when Rebecca Awodey (3) joined our us as our graphic artist, the magazine has benefited from her extensive creative, technical and people skills as she became an expert in every area of the business so much so that she is now vice president and general manager.

The sales team includes Susan Thompson (31), a great recent addition, Art Goodman (36), who lives up to his name, and Larry Brett (1), who campaigned for the job and has been enthusiastically campaigning for the magazine ever since. Virginia Lindauer Simmon (37) has been a valued freelance writer for much of the magazine's life, but is even more valuable since becoming its managing editor. Paul Tenney (23), associate publisher, brings his institutional memory from growing up with the magazine to his job. Matt Vachon (43) does freelance production work at Business People and works at the Shelburne Community School. Jeff Clarke (25), who mysteriously not only took the cover shot from high up a ladder but also appears in it, is our skillful photographer.

Notably missing from our photo shoot were: Sanders Milens and Ron Clark, excellent photographers who took the magazine into its second decade; Craig Bailey, who, in addition to editing the magazine, also produced our Internet section, "Modem Operandi," and took on the title of Web master; and ad reps Dot Lovering, Kerry Klein and Denise Whittier, our favorite diva. Freelance writers who were also unable to join us are Tom Gresham, a reporter at the Williston Observer; Bill Simmon, an award-winning filmmaker and a production technician at Vermont Community Access Media; and Julia Lynam, who has just returned to Vermont after several months in South America.

Then there's Jack and Edna Tenney (5 & 2), who thank all these great people for their contributions and extend thanks to the business community that is so interesting, vibrant and colorful it makes Business People–Vermont worth looking into.

The numbers in this picture correspond to the numbers following the names in our article and the folks on the cover.

Originally published in June 2004 Business People-Vermont