By Steve Costello
The Rutland Region has once again been well-represented with nine young professionals being recognized by Vermont Business magazine as Vermont’s rising stars.
The local winners – Andy Paluch from Come Alive Outside, the husband and wife team of Dan and Leslie Doenges from Vermont Sport and Fitness, Eliza Wilcox from Green Mountain Power, Laura Pierce from Cerner, Lisa Ryan from BROC and the Rutland City Board of Aldermen, Mandy Bradley from Davis and Hodgdon Associates, Matt Whitcomb from Rutland Region Medical Center, and Shannon Poole from Heritage Family Credit Union – will be recognized at an awards dinner on Nov. 9. VBM announced all 40 winner Monday.
Dubbed “40 under 40,” Vermont Business agazine annually names the state’s top 40 community and business leaders under age 40. More than 140 nominations from across the state were received this year. Most of the Rutland region winners were nominated by members of the Rutland Regional Marketing Committee, representing a host of local business groups working together to rebrand and promote the area while recognizing the up-and-coming talent and future leaders within our communities. Members of the committee brainstormed about people that rose to the top of the list during summer and then nominated them individually. Winners were chosen by a panel of judges based on their professional growth, leadership and service to the community.
“Rutland’s Rising Stars are building their careers, demonstrating true leadership, and supporting the ongoing revitalization of the Rutland region,” said Steve Costello, a GMP vice president and co-chair of the regional marketing committee. “The fact that 27 Rising Stars in three years have been selected from Rutland County highlights the incredible energy and commitment that young professionals are demonstrating locally, and the impact they are having here.”
“Young professionals are making a huge impact on dozens of businesses, nonprofits and on quality-of-life issues, helping change the region’s image, and carving a path to a brighter future,” said Mary Cohen, executive director of the Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce. “Their optimism and energy should serve as an example for anyone who wants to build on Rutland’s strengths for an even brighter future.”
Bill Ackerman, president of the Chamber’s Board of Directors, said the Rutland-area winners were inspiring. “When I look at the list of winners from across the state I see so many people with vision. I see people who roll up their sleeves, get involved in the community, and work to improve quality of life for everyone,” Ackerman said.
Noting that the winners have devoted countless volunteer hours to support everything from Rutland Young Professionals, Wonderfeet Kids’ Museum, Rutland’s Winterfest and Dancing with the Rutland Stars to city governance and the Visiting Nurses Association and Hospice of the Southwest Region, Lyle Jepson called them local heroes.
“Each of them has demonstrated a willingness to give deeply of themselves for the greater good, even as they are striving to further their careers and build their family lives,” said Jepson, executive director of the Rutland Economic Development Corp. “Everyone in Rutland County is indebted to them for their service to the greater good and the community at large.”