Christopher Morrow, a long-time Weston resident and former owner of the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, is running for state senate in the Windsor district. His recent retirement from active management of the Northshire Bookstore has given Morrow time, as he puts it, “to put my entrepreneurial problem-solving skills to work contributing to the development of smart public policy.”
Morrow, a graduate of the Vermont Leadership Institute hosted by the Snelling Center for Government, has been a hands-on promoter of Vermont interests for many years, including serving as the founding president of Local First Vermont, an organization dedicated to strengthening Vermont by keeping money circulating in our communities. He also served on the boards of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce and Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility as well as two local school boards. He is a voting member of the Vermont Community Foundation.
After getting a college degree in environmental studies, Morrow served two years as a peace corps volunteer in Thailand. After a period of world exploration, he earned his M.S. in environmental policy from the University of Michigan. In 1998, Morrow returned to Vermont and began the process of taking over the family business. He led the business through a series of disruptive industry challenges, expanding it twice in Manchester and opening a second store in Saratoga Springs, New York. Over the years, the Northshire Bookstore earned wide critical acclaim, won numerous national awards and became a crucial nexus of the local and regional economy. He won the governor’s award for environmental excellence in 2012.
During his years running the business, Morrow further developed his leadership skills by serving on the boards of prestigious national organizations: the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, the American Booksellers Association, and the Independent Bookseller Consortium.
He remains on the board of and serves as vice president of the Book Industry Charitable Foundation.
After selling Northshire Bookstore last year, Morrow decided to devote his time and energy to public service.
“I have always been interested in public policy and giving back to this state that I love,” he said. “I am now able to make a real commitment by running for state senate. When Alice Nitka decided not to run again, I enthusiastically seized the opportunity to go to work for the people of Windsor County and the state.”
Morrow said he wants to focus on addressing three key challenges facing Windsor communities; accelerating and strengthening economic development, with a focus on local business, adopting sensible climate change mitigation and adaptation policies, and expanding affordable access to housing, health care and childcare.
“People are struggling. How do we support our friends and neighbors? By promoting policies that lower costs and increase access to vital services. Simultaneously, we need to support our local businesses, the backbone of the state’s economy, and help keep money in Vermont. In addition, we need to plan ahead for the changes that are coming to our state, nation and the world that will impact our daily lives in very real ways. Vermont is a part of many national and global systems — supply chains, weather patterns and important social movements of equity and inclusion — which need to be taken into account as we plan for resilient communities.”
In 2000, Morrow married Weston native Carrie Chalmers. They have two daughters, Eva and Hilary. They live in the house Carrie grew up in with many sheep, a few chickens, a dog, a cat, and an occasional rodent.