White + Burke Real Estate Investment Advisors presents the fifth annual Vermont Development Conference on Thursday, November 15, at the Hilton Waterfront Hotel. 300 development and real estate professionals will come together for a full day of networking, seminars, and workshops.

When: Thursday, November 15, 2018, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

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

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.

REGISTER: CLICK HERE TO REGISTER A limited number of tickets at the early bird rate are available until 9/19.

Parking: Hilton parking garage: enter from Battery Street into the City of Burlington’s “College Street Garage” and proceed to levels 1 – 4 for parking. You will receive a voucher at the VDC registration table that will grant you free parking.

Questions?: Email us

Platinum Sponsors



Quick Links

Schedule Overview

Detailed Session Schedule

2018 Sponsors

Past Conference Schedules and Speakers

Schedule Overview

8:00 a.m.             Registration Opens

8:30 a.m.             Breakfast and Keynote 

10:00 a.m.           Networking and Exhibits

10:30 a.m.           Morning Session

11:45 a.m.           Networking and Exhibits

12:00 p.m.           Lunch & Presentation

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

2:00 p.m.             Networking and Exhibits

2:30 p.m.             Afternoon Power Session #2

3:15 p.m.             Networking and Exhibits

3:30 p.m.             Pecha Kucha

4:15-6:00 p.m.     Cocktail Reception

Detailed Session Schedule

8:00 a.m. Registration Opens

You will be tweeting the day away using #vdc2018, so make sure your phone has enough juice to last! Stop by the new charging station located near registration. Sponsored by

8:30 a.m. Breakfast and Keynote

Making Connections to Build Your Brand

Studies show that it take 1/10th of a second of seeing someone to make a judgment about them. Not 30-seconds. One-tenth of a second. And, that is before you can even get out the word, “hello.” So, in professional services when you are the product to be sold, how do you overcome an initial impression? How do you figure out how to build your network based on your work, your company’s work, and the way you work? How do you make sure that your personal brand is put forth correctly and that it promotes business vitality? And then, how do you stay connected and continue to grow these relationships?

Start your day with Nicole Ravlin, principal at People Making Good PR, to talk about making connections that matter, how to build and protect your personal marketing, and thereby, build your business and build lasting professional relationships.

9:45 a.m. Networking and Exhibits

Top off your coffee and fuel up for the day ahead. Sponsored by 

10:30 a.m. Morning Sessions

Economic Forecast

Kevin Stapleton, Vermont Department of Labor

In this annual favorite, economist Kevin Stapleton will walk through the financial reality and projected forecast, taking attendees from the global perspective down to our home state. This engaging session will encourage questions and group discussion, with a focus on Vermont implications.

This session is best suited for: All industries and anyone interested in how the global economy is affecting business in Vermont.

Moving Act 250 Forward: Findings and Feedback

Diane Snelling, Natural Resources Board

Amy Sheldon, State Representative

Chris Pearson, State Senator

Brian Campion, State Senator

Dick McCormack, State Senator

David Deen, State Representative

Paul Lefebvre, State Representative

The Legislative Commission on Act 250 held a series of public forums this summer to help evaluate and recommend changes. In this session, the Commission will share ideas and dialogue and then transition to small group discussions. This is an excellent opportunity to provide your feedback and speak directly to the Commission.

This session is best suited for: Developers, attorneys, property owners, and all who are interested in a dialogue about Act 250. 

Project Finance Basics Part One: Building a Proforma and What it Means

David White, White + Burke Real Estate Investment Advisors

Sources and uses. Operating cash flow. Earnings before taxes depreciation and amortization. Ever wonder how these are all relevant to whether or not a project goes forward? In this jam-packed session, David White will break down the general components of a project proforma and highlight the areas most commonly at risk for cost inflation. This session will give attendees some familiarity with the basics of answering the question: “Will this project pencil out?”

This session is best suited for: Those who are inexperienced with project finance and would who would like to be more comfortable reading or building a proforma.

Using Form Based Code as a Marketing Tool: How Shelburne is Selling the Redevelopment Potential of the Route 7 Corridor (session limited to 40 people)

Kate Lalley, Town of Shelburne Planning Commission

Shelburne is striving to revitalize and reshape its aging Route 7 commercial corridor by incentivizing compact and pedestrian-scale buildings integrated with public transit and bicycle and pedestrian facilities. To attract new investment and create a more stable setting for the corridor, the Town of Shelburne adopted a Form Based Code in 2016. How well aligned is Shelburne’s FBC with current and emerging market demand for housing and commercial activity in the region? How could the code be modified to attract the redevelopment the Town seeks? How can Route 7 better reflect the Town’s unique ‘brand’ ? Join this session for a group discussion and brainstorm, and offer your expertise to tease out these questions.

This session is best suited for: Those wanting to contribute to a community needing advice, those who have an interest in this area of Chittenden County, and/or those who might have a similar issue in their own community.

11:45 a.m. Networking and Exhibits

12:00 p.m. Lunch and Presentation

What Does Diversity & Inclusion Mean in Our Workplaces?

Jennifer Jang, Champlain College

“Diversity” and “Inclusion”—popular buzzwords and topics that are especially relevant and important at the present time. So why are diversity and inclusion important to your workplace? Why should business owners be “inclusive communicators”? How do you promote diversity in your daily work and your team participation? Jennifer Jang will illustrate just how important this trend in workplaces should be and how ignoring this change can hurt your business. Join us for a generative lunchtime presentation and a few (seated) exercises with Jennifer Jang, adjunct faculty at Champlain College.

1:15 p.m. Afternoon Power Sessions #1

Demographics and Housing – Envisioning the Future of Vermont Living

Betsy Bishop, Vermont Futures Project
Jonathan Slason, RSG, Inc.

The Vermont Futures Project anticipates that Vermont will need to annually build or retrofit 5,000 housing units per year no later than 2040. But what should that look like? In this session, the Vermont Futures Project will provide a brief update on the important dashboard project tracking several important metrics for Vermont’s success. Small group discussions and live polling will serve to provide insight on policy suggestions and other potential metrics to track. Your professional expertise is welcome and needed!

This session is best suited for: Those looking toward the future of Vermont workplaces, workforce, and built environment. This could include developers, consultants, community development organizations, project investors, and community planners.

Project Finance Basics Part Two: Risk Mitigation and Cost Certainty Through Technology

Tim Kostuk, The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company
Craig Simmons, Commons Energy

This session will dig deeper into the methods for controlling the cost and minimizing uncertainty when building a project proforma. Tim Kostuk will discuss the application of several technologies used to reduce and control construction costs and keep contingencies low. Craig Simmons will discuss how building energy analysis and energy project delivery services can help anticipate post-project energy costs and minimize operational cost risks.

This session is best suited for: Lenders, developers, property owners, architects, contractors, and engineers.

Permitting and Case Law: The Year in Review (2018)

Christopher D. Roy, Esq., Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC

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

This session is best suited for: Attorneys, developers, property owners, permitting, and specialists.

Speed Networking: Connecting With Fellow Professionals (session limited to 40 people)

For the first time at the VDC, attendees will have a designated session just for networking! This session will offer short one-on-one meetings with other attendees for an opportunity to share a quick introduction. Join us for this unique chance to test your communication skills and grow your network.

This session is best suited for: Anyone looking to maximize their networking experience.

2:00 p.m. Networking and Exhibits

2:30 p.m. Afternoon Power Sessions #2

How the Conservation Easement Amendment Process Should Work

Scott Jaunich, Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC

Trey Martin, Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC

Brian Connaughton, VELCO

When landowners, philanthropists, public land managers, and conservation organizations work to protect ecologically important parcels with conservation easements, they have a reasonable expectation that those parcels will be protected in perpetuity. After all, the conservation process can take years, there are huge financial and political costs to pay, and public support for conservation depends upon trust that once land is protected, it will remain protected. This session will explore the legal and public policy framework underlying conservation easements and the process for amending such easements to resolve otherwise prohibitive burdens. Attendees of this session will take away a deeper understanding of conservation law, the easement amendment process and public policy, and mitigation requirements needed to justify amendment.

This session is best suited for: Attorneys, lenders, developers, property owners, engineers, and brokers.

Environmental Due Diligence: A Legal Look at Liability, Phase I Assessments, and Impacts of Recent Legislation

Jeff Polubinski, Gravel & Shea PC

It is well-known that Phase I Environmental Site Assessments can help parties mitigate risk in a number of ways, including by providing important liability protections. But did you know that recent legislation has provided more clarity regarding certain environmental liability protections for tenants and government entities? In this session, attorney Jeff Polubinski will provide a broad overview of when and under what circumstances a Phase I should be done, the legal benefits of completing such a report, and the benefits under Vermont’s BRELLA program. Discover the changes to the law and how these can impact the development community.

This session is best suited for: Lenders, developers, property owners, attorneys, and environmental consultants.

Finding Opportunities in Opportunity Zones

Drew Kervick, Dunkiel Saunders Elliott Raubvogel & Hand, PLLC
Shannon Lenzini,
Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC
Nick Grimley, Agency of Commerce and Community Development

Buried in the tax cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 is a new community development tool to encourage long-term investment in low-income and rural communities. The Opportunity Zones incentive offers significant economic benefits to investors who reinvest capital gains in qualifying businesses and development projects in eligible parts of the State. This session will teach attendees the nuts and bolts of the Opportunity Zones program, provide an overview of where Vermont’s opportunity zones are located, address some of the potential pitfalls and limitations of the program, and review how opportunity zone funding can be incorporated into the financing of a development project, including tax-credit based projects.

This session is best suited for: Developers, non-profits, community development organizations, project investors and lenders, and anyone else who has heard the growing buzz surrounding opportunity zones and wants to learn more.

Waste Management & the Commercial Environment

Jeannine McCrumb, CSWD

Michele Morris, CSWD

How has solid waste management changed in Vermont, especially in our commercial spaces? And what is on the horizon in the next 20+ years? Join Jeannine McCrumb to learn how commercial spaces are beginning to incorporate waste management starting at the design level, and how you can retrofit existing spaces to accommodate the changes in waste removal needs.

This session is best suited for: Developers, property and building owners, landlords, architects, brokers, and generally all of us who are concerned with where our waste is going.

3:15 p.m. Networking and Exhibits

3:30 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…

To be announced…

4:15 p.m. Cocktail Reception

Courtesy of VHB small

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


2018 Sponsors

Platinum Sponsors


Gold Sponsors:

   VHB small






VBM small logo      


Thank you to the Vermont Development Conference Planning Committee:

Tim Sampson, Downs Rachlin Martin

Brian Beaudoin, Sanborn Head & Associates, Inc.

Morgan Hood, Efficiency Vermont

Heidi Stumpff, People’s United Bank

Tim Smith, FDIDC

Blair Enman, Enman Kesselring Consulting Engineers

Matt Cooke, PC Construction

Adam Davis, J. Graham Goldsmith Architects

Robert Crego, M&S Development

Explore the programming of our first four annual conferences here and check out photos from 2017 here!

Speaker Bios

Coming soon…