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.

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

4:00-6:00 p.m.     Cocktail Reception

 
Detailed Session Schedule

8:00 a.m. Registration Opens

Stay connected and fully charged thanks to free wifi and a charging station sponsored by

Be sure to collect your parking pass for free parking sponsored by

8:30 a.m. Breakfast and Keynote

Making Connections to Build Your Brand (click here for the presentation)

Nicole Junas Ravlin, People Making Good PR

Studies show that it takes 1/10th of a second of seeing someone to make a judgment about them. Not 30-seconds. One-tenth of a second. And, that’s 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 Junas Ravlin, principal at People Making Good PR, to talk about making connections that matter, how to build and protect your personal marketing, and create 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 (click here for the presentation)

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 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 (click here for the presentation)

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?” Note to participants: please bring a calculator, or be prepared to use the one on your phone.

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 (click here for the presentation)

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? (click here for the presentation)

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 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 (click here for the presentation)

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) (click here for the presentation)

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

Join in for 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 45 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 (click here for the presentation)

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 (click here for the presentation)

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 (click here for the presentation)

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 (click here for the presentation)

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 and Michele Morris 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 (click here for the full presentation)

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.

Smooth Finish: How 14th Star Navigates Growth
Andrea Gagner, 14th Star Brewing Company

A Tale of Two Cities: Serving Up Permits In Middlebury And Burlington
Sas Stewart, Stonecutter Spirits

Branching Out: Key Factors in Eden Ciders Decisions To Expand
Eleanor Leger, Eden Specialty Ciders

4:00 p.m. Cocktail Reception

Sponsored by: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

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

Speaker Bios

BETSY BISHOP | Vermont Futures Project Board member
Betsy Bishop serves on the Board of the Vermont Futures Project and is also the President of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, the largest statewide business organization in Vermont. During her tenure, she has grown the organization’s membership and revenue with a renewed focus on economic growth.

BRIAN CAMPION | Senator | Bennington, Bennington County, Democrat | Commission on Act 250
Brian was elected to the Vermont State Senate in 2014. Prior to the Senate, he served two terms in the Vermont House of Representatives, first elected in 2010 and reelected in 2012. While a member of the House of Representatives, Brian served on the House Education Committee. He is employed at Bennington College. Brian holds a BA and MA in History. He is a member of the Threshold Collaborative, Green Mountain Express Network, and Catamount Rotary. He is a Trustee of the Bennington Museum.

BRIAN CONNAUGHTON | Director of Transmission Services | Vermont Electric Power Company
Vermont’s electric transmission company has a mission to serve as a trusted partner in the advancement of initiatives to provide value to create a sustainable Vermont. Among other duties, Brian manages and is experienced in utility right-of-way acquisition, vegetation management, permitting, and project management, including estimating, scheduling, and cost controls. Before joining VELCO more than10 years ago, Brian worked as an environmental consultant, helping clients develop solutions to address complex permitting challenges. Brian holds a MBA from the College of Saint Joseph, and a BS from the University of Massachusetts.

DAVID L. DEEN | Representative | Westminster, Windham County, Democrat | Commission on Act 250
David is the River Steward Emeritus for the Connecticut River Watershed Council. He graduated from Stamford High School, University of Connecticut, chemistry major, English minor, 1968 no degree), and Antioch New England Graduate School (MS, environmental science, 1996). He is a member of Trout Unlimited, Bass Anglers Association, Vermont American Civil Liberties Union, Ducks Unlimited, Atlantic Salmon Association, International Game Fish Association, Vermont River Conservancy, Vermont Community Foundation, Common Cause of Vermont, and Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center. He was a member of the Senate from1987 to 1988. He’s been a member of the House since 1991.

ANDREA GAGNER | CEO | 14th Star Brewing Company
The brewery has become known for its leadership in the St. Albans, Veteran, and brewing community. In addition to producing award winning beers, the organization aligns all production with charitable causes ranging from social impact charities to Veterans organizations. Under Andrea’s leadership, 14th Star has grown from a small 200 barrel a year producer to an 8,000 barrel a year production company distributing in five states.

NICK GRIMLEY | Director of Entrepreneurship & Technology Commercialization | Vermont Department of Economic Development
Nick heads up the Department of Economic Developments’ efforts to drive entrepreneurship and tech commercialization in Vermont. Having co-founded LaunchVT six years ago, Nick brings a solid background in entrepreneurship and ecosystem building to the table. Through LaunchVT he has helped numerous startups connect with the people and resources they need to succeed. Prior to joining the department, Nick was most recently Director of Business Development at Vermont Teddy Bear. He has also spent 10-plus years helping business owners manage risk and solve problems through his sales and client facing account management roles.

JENNIFER JANG 張文馨, M.Ed MBA | Associate Director of Residential Life & Student Diversity Program | Published Author | Adjunct Professor of Mandarin Chinese | Champlain College
Leveraging her multilingual and international experiences, Jennifer infuses a global paradigm into diversity work that will enhance your business practices. As a dynamic and engaging presenter, Jennifer is skilled at breaking down big, intangible concepts into easy-to-digest nuggets. After earning two Masters degrees, including an MBA, Jennifer is writing her dissertation on Resilience, and has co-authored three books on meaning making, philosophy, applied ethics, and crossover pedagogy. Beyond her training and consulting experiences, you will likely find Jennifer sharing her adventures on Instagram: @JenniferjjJang, slacklining in the sun, traveling with her husband, or Acro-ing around the world.

SCOTT JAUNICH | Director and Chair of the Real Estate Group | Downs Rachlin Martin, PLLC
Scott counsels developers and commercial interests in real estate transactions and regulatory matters, including acquisitions and sales, leasing, and development. Recognized as one of Vermont’s leading real estate lawyers, Scott relies on his experience in due diligence, financing, and title matters to provide his clients with expeditious, timely results on their critical projects. Vermont Law School, JD, MSL, magna cum laude, 1992; Middlebury College, BA cum laude, 1988.

DREW KERVICK | Partner | Dunkiel Saunders Elliott Raubvogel & Hand, PLLC
Drew is a commercial real estate, business, and health law attorney, practicing in Burlington at the mission-driven law firm of Dunkiel Saunders Elliott Raubvogel & Hand, PLLC. There he collaborates with his clients to advance their goals in an efficient and timely manner. Drew particularly enjoys working with community developers and non-profits on historic downtown redevelopment and affordable housing projects financed with federal tax credit programs. Drew holds a BA from Stanford University, an MA from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a JD from Boston College. He resides in the Middlebury area.

TIMOTHY KOSTUK, ASHE CHC | Project Manager | The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company
Since starting with The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company 16 years ago, Tim has been dedicated to managing complex construction and renovation projects from preconstruction through occupancy. Tim has proven success in collaborative project delivery models including HCPD, Design Assist, Owner Agency, and CM-at-Risk. He is the lead project manager on the nearly complete University of Vermont Medical Center Miller Building, and has found innovative ways to utilize limited labor forces to assure the project is completed ahead of schedule. In addition to mentorship and training his team, Tim’s passions include promoting technology, innovation, efficiency, and lean practices throughout his projects. Tim has his Six Sigma Green Belt certification and is a Civil Engineering graduate from Vermont Technical College. In his free time, he enjoys cycling, sailing, and planning his next home renovation project.

KATE LALLEY | Shelburne Planning Commission
Kate is a placemaker, urbanist, and landscape architect. Her work in community design helps Vermonters build consensus for making positive changes and find value in existing public spaces. As a member of the Town’s Planning Commission, she initiated the Town’s use of Form-based Code to revitalize and refashion the commercial Route 7 corridor in Shelburne. Kate believes FBC is a potent tool for creating suburban places that people will be drawn to, providing homes for a range of incomes, and attracting financing to pay for walkable places.

ELEANOR LEGER | Co-Founder and CEO | Eden Specialty Ciders
Eden Specialty Ciders is a nationally recognized heritage cider and ice cider producer based in Newport, Vermont. Eleanor and her husband Albert started Eden on an abandoned dairy farm in the Northeast Kingdom in 2007. They planted an orchard with 1,000 trees and work with four other Vermont growers to produce a wide range of ciders from very dry and tannic to sweet dessert ice ciders. Eden’s ciders have achieved national recognition and are distributed in 17 states and DC. Before cider, Eleanor spent 25 years as a business and product strategy executive in the financial services and software industries. She earned her BA in Economics from Harvard and MBA from Wharton.

PAUL D. LEFEBVRE | Representative | Newark, Caledonia County, Republican | Commission on Act 250
Paul was educated at Brighton High School, went to Springfield College in Massachusetts, and graduate school at Arizona State University where he graduated with a Master’s degree in European History. For most of his professional career he has been a writer, working as a reporter, editor, columnist, and author. He has written and self-published three books on the northern half of the Northeast Kingdom—the Upper Kingdom. He likes to travel, reads extensively about the American Civil War, is a member of the Northeast Kingdom Civil War Roundtable, and in the fall goes to a hunting camp that has been in his family since 1958. First elected to the House in 2014, he represents 14 towns spread over the counties of Essex, Caledonia, and Orleans.

SHANNON K. LENZINI | Attorney | Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC
Shannon is a business law attorney practicing in the St. Johnsbury office of Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC. Shannon has a particular interest in helping clients grow and expand their businesses through the use of tax-credit financing. Prior to moving to Vermont, Shannon spent several years living and working in Salzburg, Austria. Shannon holds a BA from Purdue University and a JD from Vermont Law School.

TREY MARTIN | Of Counsel | Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC
Trey counsels utilities, developers, municipalities, and other institutional landowners in real estate transactions, Act 250 and Section 248 proceedings, and regarding compliance with State and Federal environmental laws and regulations. After his tenure as an attorney and official during the Administration of Gov. Peter Shumlin, Trey helps clients understand and navigate complex governmental processes to achieve their goals, meet regulatory requirements, and build successful advocacy coalitions. Vermont Law School, JD, magna cum laude, 2008; Middlebury College, BA cum laude, 1995.

RICHARD “DICK” MCCORMACK | Senator | Bethel, Windsor County, Democrat | Commission on Act 250
Dick is a retired college instructor and performer. He was received his Bachelor’s Degree at Hofstra University and a Master’s Degree at Vermont Law School. Board Service: Vermont Public Interest Research Group, Adult Basic Education, AIDS Community Resource Network, Emerge Family Access Center, Champlain Valley Folk Festival, Earth Right Institute, Operation Laundry List, Vermont Sierra Club. Public Service: District III Environmental Commission (Chair 1986-1989); Justice of the Peace (1984-89). Majority Leader (1997-2001). Service on Standing Committees: Health and Welfare, Education, General Affairs and Housing, Judiciary (Vice Chair ), Institutions, Natural Resources and Energy (Chair), Finance, Judicial Rules, Legislative Rules, Administrative Rules. Legislative Honors: ACLU David W. Curtis Civil Liberties Award, 2002; Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation Award for Leadership in the Passage of the 2002 Storm Water Runoff Legislation; Vermont Council for Gifted Education Friend of the Gifted Award, 1996; Legislator of the Year Award from Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR) 2008; Save the Greyhound Dogs Friend of the Greyhounds Award, 1995. Appointed to the Senate in 1989 and elected in 1990, 92, 94, 96, 98, 2000, 06, 08, 10, 12, 14, and 16.

JEANNINE MCCRUMB | Compliance Specialist | Chittenden Solid Waste District
Jeannine has more than 15 years of development review experience in local, regional, and state government. At CSWD, she monitors compliance with solid waste regulations by conducting on-site visits and reviewing self-monitoring and reporting information from both haulers and solid-waste generators. She works hard to understand the barriers to compliance and pursues opportunities for improvement from all angles. Jeannine holds a BS in Biology from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Masters in City and Regional Planning from Clemson University. Originally from Ellicott City, Maryland, she has lived in Vermont for 19 years and considers it her home.

MICHELE MORRIS | Director of Outreach & Communications | Chittenden Solid Waste District
After 15 years as a journalist, educating and motivating the public around environmental conservation, outdoor recreation, and health and fitness topics, Michele brought her skills to the Chittenden Solid Waste District. As Business Outreach Coordinator, Michele worke with businesses and institutions of all sizes and sectors to overcome challenges and find opportunity in materials they once thought of as “waste”. She now oversees all aspects of CSWD’s public communication and educational outreach.

CHRISTOPHER PEARSON | Senator | Burlington, Chittenden County | Commission on Act 250
Chris grew up in Maine, but was born in Canada. He moved to Burlington to attend UVM, where he graduated with a BA in psychology. In 1998, he got his start in Vermont politics working for then-Congressman Bernie Sanders. In 2006, Chris was appointed to the legislature to fill a vacancy. He runs his own consulting firm specializing in non-profit communication and project management. Member of the House: 2006-2008, 2011-2016. Member of the Senate: 2017-present. Burlington Parks and Recreation Commission member 2009-2014.

JEFF POLUBINSKI | Attorney | Gravel & Shea
Jeff’s practice focuses on real estate, environmental law, and land use development. Prior to attending law school, Jeff worked for more than seven years as a geologist at an environmental consulting firm where he co-authored over 100 Phase I Environmental Site Assessments and assisted developers and institutional clients with the remediation and regulatory compliance associated with the development of contaminated properties. Jeff holds a BA from Middlebury College and a JD from Vermont Law School.

NICOLE JUNAS RAVLIN | Partner and Co-Founder | People Making Good PR
PMG is a marketing communications firm based in Burlington, VT serving clients in Vermont as well as across the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Before PMG, Nicole was a senior manager at the national PR firms Cone Communications and Giles Communications, serving clients including Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, Yamaha, UGG, Perrier, and many other for-profit and non-profit clients. She was also Director of Sales and Marketing at Topnotch Resort for six years overseeing sales, marketing, and catering departments. She has a BA in Public Relations and Communication from Trinity College and serves on the following non-profits as a member of their Board of Directors: Vermont Public Radio and RunVermont. In 2015, The Griffin Report named Nicole as a Woman of Influence in the Food Industry. On weekends she can be found skiing or hiking in the Vermont mountains or cooking up a storm.

CHRISTOPHER D. ROY, Esq. | Director | Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC
Chris has practiced in the area of permitting and property litigation for more than 25 years. As a co-leader of DRM’s Major Projects Team, Chris works with clients big and small to develop effective strategies for navigating Vermont’s land use regulatory landscape. Chris currently serves as Chair of the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission, and was a member of the former Environmental Board during its final years of existence. In addition, Chris previously served as a member of the Williston Select Board, the Circ Alternatives Task Force, and the Burlington Planning Commission.

CRAIG SIMMONS PE, BEMP | Senior Energy Consultant | Commons Energy, L3C
Craig is a professional engineer with more than 10 years’ experience in commercial building energy analysis, utility programs, and building codes compliance. In his role at VEIC, Craig identifies, advocates for, and advises on energy efficiency improvements in new construction and existing industrial, commercial, and multi-family buildings. As part of his role at VEIC, Craig is a project engineer for Commons Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of VEIC that provides ESCO services for smaller, public purpose buildings and owners (low income multifamily, non-profits, schools, healthcare, and municipal). Craig previously worked as a consultant in Boston, MA providing guidance to owners and designers in pursuit of LEED certification, utility incentive programs, federal tax credits, and energy code compliance. His project experience spans from high-rise office towers and high-intensity laboratories to modest housing projects and low-rise commercial buildings.

AMY SHELDON | State Representative | Middlebury, Addison County | Commission on Act 250
Amy holds a BA in economics from Middlebury College and an MS in Natural Resource Planning from the University of Vermont. She is a consulting Natural Resource Planner and River Scientist at Landslide Natural Resource Planning, Inc. Amy is also a Senior Faculty member at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), based in Lander, WY. She is married to Ashar Nelson. Amy served on the Middlebury Planning Commission for 10 years, on the District 9 Environmental Board for Act 250, and on the Board of the Middlebury Area Land Trust before being elected to the Vermont House in 2014. She served on the Fish, Wildlife and Water Committee in her first biennium.

JONATHAN SLASON, PE | Director of Future Mobility Planning | RSG, Inc.
Jonathan provides professional engineering and planning consulting services to public and private clients focused on the emerging big issues in transportation. His interest is on how can we leverage emerging technologies to improve our world with a growing population, funding challenges, aging infrastructure, and the changing climate all while creating thriving and desirable places for us to live, work, and play. Jonathan graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) with dual degrees in Civil Engineering and Economics.

DIANE SNELLING | Chair | Natural Resources Board | Commission on Act 250
Diane grew up in Shelburne and has lived in Hinesburg for more than 30 years. She was elected seven times to the State Senate and served for 15 years. She has built a reputation for working towards fair, non-partisan solutions. Diane currently serves in Governor Scott’s administration as the Chair of the Natural Resources Board that is responsible for the administration of Act 250.

KEVIN STAPLETON | Economic & Labor Market Information Assistant Chief | Vermont Department of Labor
In addition to his work with VDoL, Kevin holds faculty positions at the Community College of Vermont and the University of Vermont where he teaches economics and international development. Kevin holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas and an MS in Applied Economics from the University of Vermont. Kevin’s penchant for economics started in 5th grade when he forgot his lunch money.

SAS STEWART | Co-founder and President | Stonecutter Spirits
Stonecutter Spirits is an award-winning craft spirits distillery making thoughtful, vibrant, aged gin and whiskey. Sas’s strategic work at BK Farmyards led to creation of the first urban farm in NYC, and her targeted marketing at Hazen and Sawyer secured over $5 million in new city and state contracts for the green infrastructure engineering firm. After moving to Vermont, Sas continued to sink her teeth deeper into the beverage world, consulting with business and brand development with emerging alcohol brands. Sas has chased her love of great food and drink around the world, living in Hawaii, New York City, Denmark, and Italy before finding her home base and craft spirits community in Vermont. Sas holds a BA in English and Italian from the University of Michigan, and a MS in Sustainable Planning and Development from Pratt Institute. Sas’s cocktails and projects have been written up in Martha Stewart Living, Food and Wine, Outside Magazine, Bloomberg, Seven Days, and other publications. She most recently launched Highball Social, a Stonecutter Spirits cocktail bar and tasting room in downtown Burlington.

DAVID G. WHITE, MS CED, CSM, EDFP, CCIM, CRE | Founder, and President | White + Burke Real Estate Investment Advisors, Inc.
David has been involved in Vermont’s development industry for more than 35 years. He specializes in managing complex development projects and bringing them to successful conclusions. Prior to founding White + Burke, David was Vice President of Pomerleau Real Estate, Director of Community Development for the City of Montpelier, and Executive Director of a non-profit downtown development corporation. He holds a MS in Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University.