Vermont Business Magazine announced the winners of its Rising Stars recognition award, which included three Montpelier residents. The three awardees included Mayor Anne Watson, Montpelier Alive Executive Director Dan Groberg, and Kate McCarthy, Sustainable Communities Program Director for Vermont Natural Resources Council and Development Review Board Vice Chair.
The Rising Stars are comprised of 40 winners under the age of 40. Award recipients were selected by a panel of judges for their commitment to business growth, professional excellence and involvement in their communities.
"We are thrilled by the response to this initiative to recognize these up-and-coming leaders," said VBM Publisher John Boutin.
"We received over 220 outstanding nominations this year. The six judges had a difficult time picking the top 40. These young professionals have chosen to make Vermont home. For them it's not just about business, it's about making a difference in their communities," Boutin said.
Each Rising Star had the chance to share more about their positions and what motivates them to contribute to their businesses and communities. Career highlights from Montpelier's 2018 Rising Stars are featured below.
Anne Watson, Mayor of Montpelier and High School Teacher
Career Highlights: This past March I was elected Mayor of Montpelier - definitely a career highlight. Since then I was delighted to be a part of the groundbreaking for a multi-modal transit center in downtown Montpelier, and I was so excited that Montpelier received a TIF district from the state. Prior to that, as a city councilor in Montpelier, I co-wrote the RFP that landed the city 1 MW of net-metered solar power. In my day job, though, I teach physics, engineering, and math at Montpelier High School. I've received a Rowland Fellowship, a Knowles Teaching Initiative Fellowship, and I'm a National Board-certified Teacher, all of which are also career highlights. One of my favorite moments, though, was getting a grant to purchase and install solar panels on the greenhouse at Montpelier High School.
Dan Groberg, Executive Director, Montpelier Alive
Career Highlights: In Pittsburgh, while I was in graduate school, I worked for a dynamic progressive City Councilor who is now the mayor and a rising star on the national political scene. In Vermont, I've worked for Doug Racine's grassroots campaign for governor in 2010, for a political strategy firm, for the City of Montpelier, and now for Montpelier Alive, an organization that celebrates downtown Montpelier. The common thread has been that all my work has been toward improving the communities in which I've lived.
Kate McCarthy, Sustainable Communities Program Director, Vermont Natural Resources Council
Career Highlights: Through my work in Vermont, I've been active in numerous areas, and each has had highlights of which I am proud. Among them: In the legislature, advocating for pro-environment policies, I contributed to a coalition that strengthened programs promoting downtown development, while updating statute to better address scattered development. Working in communities, I supported the citizens' group Exit 4 Open Space and other partners to raise concerns about large-scale development, and then purchase and convert the farmland where the project had been proposed. As part of my work to bring credible, usable information to polciy makers and local leaders alike, I co-authored a guide that offered local leaders a range of options to protect their forest and wildlife resources. We built on this information to develop a training for Realtors and engineers interested in helping clients plan and develop with natural resources in mind. Finally, last June I was proud to work with AARP Vermont to host a Smart Growth Summit where a welcome by Governor Scott, as well as the day's conversations, affirmed the value of investing in our downtowns and villages. In addition, the variety of work I get to do is a highlight in and of itself.
To read more about Vermont's Rising Stars, go to the Vermont Business Magazine website.