White + Burke Real Estate Investment Advisors presents the fourth annual Vermont Development Conference on Tuesday, November 14, at the Hilton Waterfront hotel. More than 275 development and real estate professionals will come together for a full day of networking, seminars, and workshops.

When: Tuesday, November 14, 2017, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Where: Hilton Waterfront Hotel – 60 Battery Street Burlington, Vermont

Register: CLICK HERE TO REGISTER TODAY! Early bird rates apply until September 14.

CEDs: Continuing Education Credits are not offered for this Conference. However, you are welcome to pursue this on your own and White & Burke will sign off on your participation.

Questions?: Email us

Quick Links

Schedule Overview

Detailed Session Schedule

2017 Sponsors

Past Conference Schedules and Speakers

Schedule Overview

8:00 a.m.             Registration Opens

8:30 a.m.             Breakfast and Keynote 

9:45 a.m.             Networking and Exhibits

10:30 a.m.           Morning Session

11:45 a.m.           Networking and Exhibits

12:15 p.m.           Lunch & Presentation

1:15 p.m.             Afternoon Power Sessions #1

2:00 p.m.             Networking and Exhibits

2:15 p.m.             Afternoon Power Sessions #2

3:00 p.m.             Networking and Exhibits

3:15 p.m.             Pecha Kucha

4:00-6:00 p.m.     Cocktail Reception, sponsored by VHB small

Detailed Session Schedule

8:00 a.m. Registration Opens

8:30 a.m. Breakfast and Keynote

Master Responders and Reformed Reactors: Mental Fitness in a Time of Chaos

Amy Magyar, Founder & Chief Motivator, From Within Coaching

Today’s world is one of 24/7 chaos. In our lives, our careers, and at home, at any given moment, we are always in one form of action: Response or Reaction. Between the two lies a massive gulf of difference. We’ve all been in situations where someone or something irritates us, makes us angry, or adds stress to our lives. Since it’s rarely beneficial to your career to run screaming from the office, responding rather than reacting may be the difference between being simply a manager and being a manager who brings out the best in her/his people

10:15 a.m. Morning Sessions

Act 250 – The Next 50 Years

Ernie Pomerleau, Pomerleau Real Estate

Paul Gillies, Tarrant, Gillies & Richardson

Jim Dumont, Counselor at Law

Diane Snelling, Natural Resources Board State of Vermont

A VDC first, this debate will be a lively discussion of some of the more controversial ideas for Act 250 that are being considered by the Act 47 process. Act 47 takes a comprehensive look at Act 250, and asks how it can best serve Vermonters for the future. All aspects of Act 250 are considered; jurisdiction, criteria, appeals, structure, and process. There will be provocative questions for the panel and stimulating Q&A with the audience.

State of Solar

Adam Crary, VHB

Derek Moretz, Encore Renewable Energy

Olivia Campbell-Anderson, Renewable Energy Vermont

Will Dodge, Downs Rachlin Martin

This session will feature an interactive discussion and presentation covering the landscape of solar development, current issues facing additional development, perceptions on market trends, and the intersection of often competing goals in Vermont.  The session will be led by four leaders in the Vermont solar development community, representing the policy, regulatory/legal, environmental, and developer perspectives.  The session will bring you current with the past, developing trends, issues, challenge and opportunity, and leave you with an understanding of what you can do to support Vermont’s renewable energy goals.

The New Environment of Development: Recent Regulatory Changes Present New Opportunities

Joseph Hayes, ATC

Kurt Muller, The Johnson Company

Daniel Voisin, Stone Environmental, Inc.

The Vermont development community knows all too well the environmental challenges that arise while completing projects in our downtowns. With the recently promulgated Investigation and Remediation of Contaminated Properties Rule (IRule), options are now available to developers for managing contaminated properties that have not been previously offered. This session will present a summary of the changes from the new I-Rule, such as those related to the management of urban soil, vapor intrusion, emerging contaminants, and site management through institutional controls using an interactive analysis of two hypothetical project scenarios.

US v. THEM: Building Bridges to Yes (Limit 45)

Kelly Devine, Better Business Association

Peter Straube, Champlain College

Getting projects done involves a lot of conversation, especially here in Vermont where we place high value on public involvement. Many times the public process of getting a project approved can feel like an “US v. THEM” situation. You may often experience difficult conversations; you may be directly confronted or harassed. In this session we will take you through a series of exercises to get you thinking about new ways to “Build Bridges to Yes”. We will offer new communication strategies to use when the conversation gets tough and the environment becomes hostile. And we let you try them out. In this interactive session, we will get you thinking about how to shift the dynamic from a confrontation to a productive conversation that helps get your project to “YES”.

11:30 a.m. Networking and Exhibits

12:15 p.m. Lunch and Presentation

Great Things Come in Small Packages: Exploring the Tiny House Movement

1:15 p.m. Afternoon Power Sessions #1

Economic Outlook – From Global to Local

Kevin Stapleton, Vermont Department of Labor

Taking a wide view of the current global economy and narrowing into the current state of the Vermont economy, this session will cover several trends critical to economic development. Topics include population demographics, changes in the labor market, and factors influencing future growth.

Vermont Ski Areas Update: What might the future hold?

Tim Sampson, Downs Rachlin Martin

Sam Gaines, Spruce Peak Realty

Steve Selbo, SP Land

Listen in on this panel discussion among Vermont Ski Area representatives addressing current trends in the industry, with a focus on recent transactions and development projects.  In connection with other themes of the Conference, the discussion will explore the effect of Act 250 on Vermont’s Ski Areas as economic engines in the State.

Choosing the Right Green Building Certification

Brian Leet, Freeman French Freeman

Participants in this session will gain an understanding of the green building certification options available and how to choose the one to best suit your project, goals, and team.  Brian will navigate attendees through pros, cons, and owner tips for the most widely used certifications.  Attend this session and you will leave with a list of resources and glossary of major terms discussed.

Writing the Next Chapter of Smart Growth in VT (Limit 45)

Kate McCarthy, Vermont Natural Resources Council

Kelly Stoddard Poor, AARP-VT

Vermont has made considerable progress with smart growth – development in our compact villages and downtowns that uses land and infrastructure efficiently and provides transportation options – over the last 20 years. But, it’s no secret that despite demand for in-town living, it’s still challenging to produce this type of development in a cost-effective manner. In this interactive session, presenters will share important trends shaping our landscape, the key takeaways and outcomes from the recent statewide Smart Growth Summit sponsored by AARP and VNRC, and then solicit your ideas and solutions for achieving more smart growth development.

2:00 p.m. Networking and Exhibits

2:15 p.m. Afternoon Power Sessions #2

Permitting & Case Law

Christopher D. Roy, Esq., Downs Rachlin Martin

A fast-paced review of Vermont permitting decisions of note from the last year, with an emphasis on their practical implications going forward.

Public-Private Partnerships – It’s More Than Just the “Deal”

Stephen B. Friedman, SB Friedman Development Advisors

In this workshop, we will explore ways to assemble a public-private partnership that go beyond the typical financial tools. How can we – for-profit entities, not-for-profit, and governmental partners – collaborate to create shared vision, eliminate hurdles, facilitate co-investment, and leverage incentives to make great projects possible…and profitable?

Vermont Futures — Demographic Trends, Collective Actions, Economic Survival

Jonathan Slason, RSG

Betsy Bishop, Vermont Chamber of Commerce and Vermont Futures Project

What does our workforce look like over the next twenty to thirty years? How are we able to replace the aging workforce and maintain the quality of life that we have enjoyed here in Vermont? The Vermont Futures Project and RSG jointly present a picture of the demographics and cost of living mean for our economy and way of life. Join us for surveys and live-polling during the session to gather real-world insight and takeaway action items for all of us.

Catalysts of the Climate Economy – A Summit Recap and Roundtable (Limit 45)

Paul Costello, Vermont Council on Rural Development

Building off of the national Climate Economy Summit hosted in Vermont in September, this session will be recap the themes and takeaways from this landmark event and will look to generate new ideas in a roundtable discussion. The VT Climate Economy Action Team is formulating and promoting ways to boost economic development and prosperity in a low-carbon future – this is your chance to be a part of this initiative and to offer guidance from the development perspective.

3:00 p.m. Networking and Exhibits

3:15 p.m. Pecha Kucha

Pecha Kucha is a fast-paced presentation style that keeps presenters on their toes. Try to keep up as each speaker scrolls through 20 slides, with only 20 seconds allotted per slide. Four presenters will deliver need-to-know info on hot topics in the industry.

The line up includes…

Crowd(fund)ed House: Using Community Support to Finance Your Development Project

Drew Kervick, Dunkiel Saunders Elliott Raubvogel & Hand, PLLC

Murky Regulations

Jon Anderson, Primmer Piper Eggleston & Cramer PC

Why Historic Preservation Matters

James Duggan, State of Vermont, Dept. Housing & Community Development, Division for Historic Preservation

The Transformational Power of Tax Increment Financing

Dominic Cloud, St. Albans, VT

4:00 p.m. Cocktail Reception

Courtesy of VHB small

Network with peers, sample a Vermont-made spirit, and (hopefully) win a great raffle prize!

2017 Sponsors

Platinum Sponsors

PC_LOGO_GOLD (revised)  DRM small

Gold Sponsors:

VHB small     ReArch small  

VRV_2016  PUB_Logos10.10.08  M&S Logo - Landscape w-Tagline  NBT small


VBM small logo

Thank you to the Vermont Development Conference Planning Committee:

Tom Broido, ATC Group Services

Tim Sampson, Downs Rachlin Martin

Bob Stevens, Stevens & Associates and M&S Development

Morgan Hood, Efficiency Vermont

Heidi Stumpff, People’s United Bank

Tim Smith, FDIDC

Jamie Wagner, Freeman French Freeman

Blair Enman, Enman Kesselring Consulting Engineers

Explore the programming of our first three annual conferences here and check out photos from 2016 here!