Faces & Places

May 2018

Sarah Ashworth, an award-winning public radio journalist, has returned to Vermont Public Radio as director of news to lead the station’s 15-person news team. She succeeds John Dillon, who joined the New England News Collaborative. Ashworth was a producer for Vermont Edition from 2007 to 2010, and has since held public radio positions in D.C., New Hampshire, and Minnesota.

Robert N. Nocera was named managing partner of the Vermont General Office of New York Life Insurance Co. Nocera was a partner in New York Life’s Michigan General Office.

Samantha V.H. Lednicky joined Murdoch Hughes & Twarog Attorneys at Law PC concentrating on family and criminal law and landlord-tenant matters. A former summer law clerk with the firm, she practiced civil litigation at another Vermont law firm before returning.

Elizabeth Pelkey was hired as site director at the Sara Holbrook Community Center’s Hunt Middle School after-school program. Pelkey has worked at Hunt Middle School for nine years as a paraeducator, teacher, homework club supervisor, and most recently, interim director of the after-school program. Catherine Symchych has joined the Sara Holbrook board of directors. A recent transplant to Vermont, Symchych was librarian at Snowy Range Academy in Wyoming.

Mack Molding announced several new hires. Jim Ostrowski is a tool engineer responsible for facilitating design review and feedback for manufacturability. With more than 20 years of experience, he was with a Michigan firm. Cory Crawford, program manager, has over 10 years’ exper­ience. He was with BioFire Defense in Utah. Jason Hartnett was appointed manufacturing manager. With over 15 years’ exper­ience, he was with Metal Crafters Inc. in New York. Cashelle Lukas, health services manager, has more than 30 years’ experience, most recently at Aetna Insurance. Jason Fishner, a manufacturing engineer, was with Engineered Printing Solutions in East Dorset. Anne Ryan, named a quality engineer, was with GlobalFoundries in New York.

Bread Loaf Corp. received the 2017 Honor Award from the Association of General Contractors of Vermont for its work on the UVM Alumni House and the Jack and Shirley Silver Pavilion Project. Bread Loaf’s team of designers and contractors were honored for the design, interior restoration, and expansion of the former Edward Wells house. Present at closing were Glenn Lavoie, AGC/VT; John Johnson, Fred Bellucci, John Dale, Rob Zimmerman, and Mac McLaughlin, Bread Loaf; and Cathy Lamberton, AGC/VT.

Gov. Phil Scott appointed four Vermonters to the state’s judiciary, filling existing vacancies. David A. Barra of David A. Barra PLC; Scot L. Kline, general counsel at the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation; and Megan J. Shafritz, assistant attorney general, were appointed to the Vermont Superior Court. Alicia Sacerio Humbert, an attorney at the Vermont Department of Children & Families’ Office of Child Support, was named Family Division magistrate. The judiciary will assign this magistrate primarily to Caledonia, Essex, Orleans, and Washington counties. Scott has appointed numerous individuals to boards and commissions. The complete list can be found at governor.vermont.gov/boards-commissions.

Mercy Connections announced that Sara Byers, president and co-owner of Leonardo’s Pizza, is this year’s recipient of the Catherine McAuley award, given to a person who exemplifies mercy values and the example of McAuley, the foundress of the Sisters of Mercy. The award will be bestowed at the organization’s annual May luncheon.

Maple Capital Management hired Hilary T. Roper, CFA, as equity analyst. She was vice president, equity analyst, and portfolio manager at Sentinel Investments. Joshua C. Mallery was promoted to client service mana­ger. He has been with the firm since 2012.

Rory Stamp of Dedalus wine shop, market, and wine bar and the former sales manager at Shelburne Farms, won the Cheesemonger Invitational in San Francisco, topping some of the country’s top cheese professionals.

Deborah Billado, chair of the Vermont Republican State Committee, announced the departure of Jeffrey Bartley as executive director. He served for over three years.

Gov. Phil Scott was honored twice recently. He was unanimously elected chair of the bipartisan Coalition of Northeastern Governors, and was named the first state co-chair of the Northern Border Regional Commission, a federal-state partnership whose mission is to help alleviate economic distress and encourage private-sector job creation in the northern counties of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York.

Traci Griffith, journalism professor and chair of the department of media studies, journalism, and digital arts at St. Michael’s College, was elected to the executive committee of the National American Civil Liberties Union board of directors. Also an attorney, Griffith has been active with the Vermont ACLU chapter for many years, including serving as Vermont affiliate representative to the national board for the last four.

Coldwell Banker Hickok & Boardman Realty announced that Bridget Barry Caswell and Krista Lacroix joined the firm as Realtors. Caswell, an agent since 2005, teamed up with Brian Boardman to work with home buyers and sellers. She worked for nearly 30 years as a broadcast journalist. Lacroix was executive director for Leaps and Bounds Child Development Center, and pursued real estate full time in 2017.

Veteran journalist Dave Gram has joined the staff at WDEV as host of what was known as Open Mike with Mike Smith, weekdays from 9 to 11 a.m. Gram was a reporter in the Vermont bureau of The Associated Press for over 30 years. Since leaving the AP in January of 2017, he has worked as an editor and reporter for the online news service VTDigger.org, and will continue on a part-time basis. He becomes the third host of the local call-in program, and succeeds Mark Johnson.

Professional Financial Associates LLC hired Betty Blanchard as an operations assistant. Blanchard, with years of client experience in the financial and public sectors, was with the State of Vermont.

Franklin County Home Health Agency Inc. promoted Jessica Boyea to maternal child health manager. Boyea has been with the agency for five years.

Dan Kinney, co-founder of Catamount Solar, was presented with Renewable Energy Vermont’s 2017 Jim Grundy Award for “generosity of spirit and integrity in bringing renewable energy to his community.” Catamount annually donates 5 percent of its profits to local charities.

Jason Black joined VHB as an environmental scientist in the firm’s South Burlington office. He is a recent graduate of The University of Vermont with a bachelor of science in civil engineering and a minor in geospatial technologies. Karin Bourassa was named administration manager in the firm’s South Burlington office. She has over 20 years’ professional experience as a research administrator at UVM.

Sgt. Jason Wetherby of the St. Albans City Police received the Team Two Frank Silfies Award, annually presented to a law enforcement officer and mental health crisis clinician who work collaboratively to respond to mental health crises. Josh Cate, crisis service specialist for law enforcement at Northwestern Counseling & Support Services, nominated Wetherby for the award. He has worked with Wetherby as an embedded clinician for about three years.

Community Capital of Vermont announced the addition of five members to its board of directors: David Chevalier, vice president of commercial services for Northfield Savings Bank; Kate Whelley McCabe, CEO and co-founder of Vermont Evaporator Co. LLC; Patricia M. Sears, co-founder, president, and CEO of NEKTI Consulting; Tyler Richardson, assistant director of the Rutland Economic Development Corp.; and Chris Bailey, chief operating officer of Victory Hemp Foods. Community Capital was recently recognized as the Vermont Microenterprise Lender of the Year by the Small Business Administration.

Bonnie Johnson-Aten, district principal of the Burlington School District, was recognized by the Vermont Board of Education for “extraordinary service and commitment to the State of Vermont” and “commitment to equity, student voice, and independence.”

Beth Kirkpatrick, M.D., was named chair of the department of microbiology and molecular genetics at the Larner College of Medicine and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at The University of Vermont. She succeeds founding chair and University Distinguished Professor Susan Wallace, Ph.D. An internationally recognized physician-scientist and specialist in infectious diseases, translational immunology, and global vaccine development, Kirkpatrick launched the vaccine testing center at UVM in 2001.

NFP, an insurance broker and consultant, announced that Lois Deitz joined the team in Rutland as an account manager for personal insurance. Deitz, who has more than 28 years’ experience in the industry, will address customer relations in the personal lines segments.

SSG Advisors announced the change of its name to resonance Frontier Market Solutions. The organization helps clients unlock opportunity in frontier markets by designing action-based strategies, forging strategic partnerships, and executing across-sector boundaries.

The Colchester Selectboard unanimously chose Aaron Frank to succeed Dawn Francis as town manager, who is retiring. Aaron has served a dual role as deputy town manager and chief financial officer for the last four and a half years, working in partnership with Francis and the Selectboard. Before joining the Town, Aaron was assistant general manager of Chittenden County Transportation Authority.

Lisa Lorenz was named principal of Rice Memorial High School, after a nationwide search conducted by a Catholic education consulting firm. Lorenz, superintendent of Catholic schools for the diocese, served as interim principal for the 2017-18 academic year. She will continue her role as superintendent for the rest of this school year.

Local Motion named Karen Yacos executive director. Yacos will oversee the nonprofit’s growth into a statewide organization. She was director of the water program at Ceres, a Boston nonprofit.

The board of the Rutland Regional Medical Center announced the appointment of Claudio D. Fort as its president and CEO. He succeeds Tom Huebner, who retired at the end of March after 28 years. Fort was CEO of North Country Health System in Newport.

Vermont Rep. Bill Botzow (D-Pownal) and former Vermont Sen. Kevin Mullin (R-Rutland) were recognized by the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development for their commitment to enacting policies aimed at growing Vermont’s economy.

Vermont cheesemakers received 15 Top-3 awards in the 2018 World Championship Cheese Contest. Cabot Creamery Cooperative won first place in the Cheddar-Mild and Cheddar Medium categories and the Monterey Jack category. Grafton Village Cheese took second and third in the Natural Rinded Cheddar category. Jasper Hill Farm won first place in the Soft Ripened Cheeses category, and along with Von Trapp Farmstead swept the top three spots in the Smear Ripened Soft Cheeses category. Vermont Creamery took first in the Ripened Goats Milk Cheeses category. Vermont Creamery’s Coupole was a Top 20 finalist out of 3,400 cheeses competing for the title of World’s Best.

Vermont EPSCoR hired Veronica Sosa-Gonzalez, Ph.D., as coordinator of its Center for Workforce Development & Diversity at St. Michael’s College. Sosa-Gonzalez came to Vermont as a summer intern for EPSCoR in 2009 and has remained involved with the organization in various capacities since, most recently as an outreach professional.

Vermont broadcast legend and NASCAR Hall of Fame member Ken Squier was honored by the Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce at its annual St. Patrick’s Day breakfast in appreciation for his contributions to the state.

Affiliated Associates announced that Michelle Woodbury joined its team to work as “happiness hero,” a new title for a position assisting in customer service and new business processes. Woodbury has many years of experience in service and operations.

NFP announced hat Theresa S. McGee, CIC, joined its team in Rutland as the select business unit account executive for commercial lines. McGee has more than 26 years’ exper­ience in insurance. She was with Green Mountain Agency. Jessica Trombley was named corporate benefits account executive. She has 13 years of insurance and business experience, most recently as the owner of two small businesses in Texas. Gregory Reincke, director of account management, has more than 30 years in underwriting and client management with Cigna, the past 14 years in Vermont, most recently as senior client manager.

Aspenti Health was presented the Jack Barry Award by the Vermont Association for Mental Health and Addiction Recovery. The organization was honored for its Change Corridor, an installation at Burlington International Airport that encourages attitudinal awareness of substance abuse disorder.

Vermont woodworkers and wood products manufacturers voted to change their trade association name to the Vermont Wood Works Council, to better reflect the organization’s mission to promote quality, craftsmanship, and community in the state’s diverse woodworking community.

Hoyle, Tanner announced that Joe Ducharme, PE, BCEE, joined the company as Northeast regional manager for environmental services. Ducharme has nearly 30 years’ experience on municipal infrastructure projects.

The Radio Vermont Group announced the return of Dana Jewell, Vermont Radio broadcaster and, from 2001 to 2008, the signature morning voice of WDEV’s Wake Up Vermont co-host. He left in 2008 to pursue a career in sales.

Jack Moulton was named executive director of the Vermont Republican Party. Moulton is pursuing a master’s degree in communication from Johns Hopkins University and was the political director on the 2016 campaign of U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York’s 21st Congressional District.

The Emerge Vermont board of directors named Beth Pearce, Vermont’s state treasurer, the 2018 Governor Madeleine Kunin Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. Pearce was chosen from a list of finalists that included Liz Bankowski, campaign manager and chief of staff to Gov. Kunin; Susan Bartlett, state senator, selectboard chair, and candidate for governor; Judy Dow, Abenaki teacher and historian; Julie Peterson, Vermont House member and chief of staff to Gov. Howard Dean; Beth Robinson, associate justice of the Vermont Supreme Court; and Janice Ryan, Sisters of Mercy and Democratic leader.

Paul Frank + Collins announced that associate attorney Sarah E. Cornwell has been admitted to the Vermont bar. Cornwell, a 2017 graduate of the George Washington University Law School, is a member of the insurance services and litigation teams at the firm. She is also admitted in the District of Columbia.

Karriann Poulin was hired as a loan advisor at Mortgage Financial. Poulin has a 25-year history of customer service, most recently with Supreme Mortgage in Essex.

Keller Williams Vermont announced that Realtor Elise Polli of Polli Properties received the 2017 Top Buyer’s Agent for the third consecutive year. Polli represents buyers and sellers and ranks in the top 20 percent at Keller Williams.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network hired Jennifer Costa as Vermont government relations director. Costa is an award-winning broadcast journalist who served in several capacities, including news anchor and investigative reporter, at WCAX TV. While there, she earned multiple Emmy nominations and regional Edward R. Murrow awards.

The Vermont Department of Labor’s Brattleboro Career Resource Center has relocated to the Marlboro College Graduate Center building at 28 Vernon St. in Brattleboro. The new location will provide an expanded resource center, additional computer terminals, and greater accessibility to resources for assisting job seekers.

Mamava founders Sascha Mayer and Christine Dodson were named 2018 Vermont Small-Business Persons of the year by the U.S. Small Business Administration “for employment growth, financial success, expansion, and community involvement.” Mamava designs and manufactures free-standing lactation suites for nursing mothers. Fat Toad Farm, which specializes in producing caramel sauces made from local goats’ milk, was named the Family-Owned Business of the Year. Husband and wife Steve Reid and Judith Irving, with their daughter, Calley Hastings, have owned and operated the farm for 10 years along with Christine Porcaro, their “almost daughter.”

Union Bank announced the hiring of Gretchen R. Maginnis as a financial advisor in the asset management group and Katelin M. Lambert as a mortgage loan originator on its residential mortgage team. Maginnis has 25 years of financial services experience in positions at Key Bank N.A., and TDBanknorth N.A. Lambert was with Kyocera Document Solutions.

The Vermont Public Radio board of directors appointed Scott Finn president and CEO. Finn was CEO and executive director of West Virginia Public Broadcasting. He succeeds Robin Turnau, who is wrapping up a 29-year career at VPR, including the past nine years as president and CEO.

Pomerleau Real Estate was named the Number 1 Best Place to Work for companies with 15 to 99 employees in Vermont by Best Companies Group, hosted by Vermont Business Magazine, at the 12th annual awards ceremony.

Eddie Gale of the A.D. Henderson Foundation, was presented an Excellence in Mentoring Award by the National Mentoring Partnership. He was one of four 2018 recipients recognized during a special reception at the Library of Congress.

NorthCountry Federal Credit Union promoted Jeff Smith, CCE, CUDE, to senior vice president of lending and Kathryn Lagerstedt to senior vice president of retail and deposits. Smith joined NorthCountry in 2003; Lagerstedt has been with the credit union since 2007. Both will serve on the credit union’s executive management team. Kyle Doyle, project manager, recently earned his Project Management Professional certification from the Project Management Institute. NorthCountry was ranked Third in the Medium Business category (100 to 249 employees) in the 50 Best Places to Work in Vermont 2018.

Grippin Donlan Pinkham announced three new hires. David Putnam was named office manager. He has more than 20 years of experience working for small Vermont companies in office administration, finance, and human resources. Cody Webber and Kohl Davis joined the firm’s tax and audit staff. Webber is a 2017 graduate of the University of New Hampshire with a master of science in accounting and recently passed the CPA exam. Davis is a 2017 graduate of Champlain College with a double major in accounting and finance. He is pursuing his CPA designation.

Winooski Insurance was recognized by Ohio Mutual Insurance Group as one of the company’s Top 10 agencies for Outstanding Profitable Growth in 2017. Winooski Insurance excelled in “achieving the most outstanding growth and profi­tability in 2017.”

Rutland Regional Medical Center named Jasminder Multani, M.D., Physician of the Year, and Juanita Morris, APRN, Nurse Practitioner of the Year. Multani joined the medical center as a hospital medicine physician in 2010; Morris has been a nurse practitioner with Rutland Digestive Services since 2015. Rutland Regional Medical Center was named the Advisory Board 2018 Workplace of the Year, which recognizes hospitals and health systems nationwide with “outstanding levels of employee engagement,” the only hospital in Vermont so designated.

John W. Amick, Anna G. Coon, and Emile F. Willett Jr. were promoted by Union Mutual. Amick, with the company since 1991, was elevated to vice president of claims, and Coon, who joined the company in 2014, was advanced to executive and communications coordinator/assistant corporate secretary. Willett moved to the position of assistant vice president of market and product development. He joined Union Mutual as manager of product development in 2017.

Norwich University’s College of Graduate and Continuing Studies appointed Kristen Pedersen, Ph.D., director of continuing and professional education, a newly created position. Pederson was director of executive and professional education at Portland State University’s School of Business in Oregon. Steven E. Sodergren, associate professor of history at Norwich, won the university’s 2018 William E. Colby award for his book, The Army of the Potomac in the Overland & Petersburg Campaigns (LSU Press, 2017). He is the first Norwich University author to receive the Colby prize, which is awarded annually to a first solo work of fiction or non-fiction “that has made a major contribution to the understanding of military history, intelligence operations, or international affairs.” Winners receive a $5,000 author honorarium provided by the Chicago-based Pritzker Military Foundation.

Attorney Sophie B. Duffy joined Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC, where she will practice in the labor and employment law group from the Brattleboro office. Duffy was with the New York office of a Washington, D.C., law firm.

Capstone Community Action announced that Don Hoxworth, its executive director, announced he is stepping down after three years of service to have the flexibility to be with his family. The board of directors expressed appreciation for his efforts and wished him well. Sarah McMullen and Colleen Lafont were named interim co-executive directors.

Mark McCarthy, co-owner of Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel, was named Citizen of the Year by the Barre Lodge 1535 Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. McCarthy and Lenny’s have provided countless donations to organizations, including Vermont Elks Charities and the Stand Down for Vets.

Jim Cohen, principal of JCohen Financial, was named New York Life’s Producer and Agent of the Year in Vermont for the second year in a row. He is a qualifying member of the Million Dollar Round Table and a member of New York Life’s President’s Council, representing the top 8 percent of New York Life agents nationwide. •

Index of Faces&Places