Click here for photos from the 2016 VDC!

When: Wednesday, November 2, 2016, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

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

Quick Links

Schedule Overview

Detailed Seminar Schedule

2016 Sponsors

Speaker Bios

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

10:15 a.m.           Morning Session

11:45 a.m.           Networking and Exhibits

12:15 p.m.           Lunch & Lunchtime 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.             Pecha Kucha

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


Detailed Session Schedule

8:00 a.m. Registration Opens

8:30 a.m. Breakfast and Keynote

The Art and Science of Connection

Colin Ryan 

The “Art & Science of Connection” combines comedic true stories with cutting-edge research and practical takeaways to show you how to use humor, project confidence, listen influentially, harness authenticity, and tell great stories. Build your business and your relationships through the art of connection.

10:15 a.m. Morning Sessions

Environmental Remediation Workshop: Let’s Get Creative

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Erik Sandblom, KAS, Inc.

Bob Haynes, Green Mountain Economic Development Corporation

Peter Van Oot, Downs Rachlin Martin

In this participatory workshop, attendees will be asked to bring a snapshot of an environmental issue that has been creatively solved. The Bradford FarmWay project team will kick off the discussion with their tale of brownfield remediation.  Attendees will then break into groups to share their stories.This workshop will be of particular interest to developers and professionals involved with solar projects.

Recent Trends in the Economy and What May Persist

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Mathew Barewicz, Vermont Department of Labor

Tim Savage, CBRE

Two economists offer a multi-faceted assessment of our current economic climate, sliding between global, regional, national, and local considerations.

Permitting and Case Law: The Year in Review

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Chris D. Roy, Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC

Mark Hall, Paul Frank + Collins

Hear about the latest and greatest rules, regulations, trends, and precedents from 2015-2016.

New This Year! Alternative Break-out Session (Limit: 40 attendees)
Future of the Flats! A ‘Think Tank’ to Promote Good Development 

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Discussion will be led by Jeremy Matosky (TCE) and Katherine Sonnick (Jericho Town Planner).

Developers and investors welcome! New to the programming this year, this brainstorming session will offer you the opportunity to give back and share your expertise with industry peers.  Roll up your sleeves and offer ideas to help take planning concepts for the Jericho Sawmill redevelopment project to completion. The +/- 20 acre property in the Riverside Flats area of Jericho is slated for redevelopment from a former industrial sawmill to a vibrant mixed-use village center.  Phase 1 involved converting a former truck maintenance garage into an upscale village market, which opened in August 2016.  Get on the ground floor for Phase 2 and work with engineers, landscape architects, planners, and realtors to discuss the real world challenges of infill re-development in a sensible and economically viable fashion.  Help see the landowner and town’s ambitious vision to completion!

11:45 a.m. Networking and Exhibits

12:15 p.m. Lunch and Presentation

Change the Story

Joseph Fusco, Casella Waste Management

Are “gender” and “diversity” simply buzzwords, or do they hold the key to great results, high impact, and profitability in a competitive, rapidly evolving economy?

1:15 p.m. Afternoon Power Sessions #1

Transportation Engineers at Your Service: Hot Topics and Answers to Your Questions

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Georges Jacquemart, BFJ Planning

Jonathan Slason, Resource Systems Group, Inc.

In this interactive session, two transportation engineers will field questions and do a little myth-busting. Bring your burning questions about traffic and transportation. The audience will decide what these experts discuss!

  • Self-driving cars: should we plan for them?
  • Complete Streets: what do they mean for me?
  • Millenials and Baby Boomers: how will these two population bubbles affect transportation?

Join us and find out!

The “Green” Mountain State: Development and Financing Considerations of Marijuana Legalization

AJ LaRosa, Murphy Sullivan Kronk

Katelyn Ellermann, Murphy Sullivan Kronk

Stephanie Hainley, White + Burke Real Estate Investment Advisors, Inc.

In 2016, Vermont strongly considered legalizing marijuana. What should developers be thinking about as the State contemplates legalization? What are the financing challenges in a marijuana economy? Could Act 250 regulate the industry? How would municipalities address marijuana development? This session explores these questions and more.

Creative Financing for Projects That Don’t Pencil Out

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Bob Stevens, Stevens & Associates Engineering

Craig Miskovich, Downs Rachlin Martin

What are the underlying market forces preventing most projects from being economically viable? Presenters will speak to how to address these problems using tax efficient financing, community enabled development, and subscription-based housing. For this interactive session, attendees are encouraged to come with examples or questions from your own experiences.


A Live Look: What’s Happening in Chittenden County?

Erik Hoekstra, Redstone

Hop on the bus and take a guided tour of current development projects underway in Chittenden County. Get the inside scoop on the challenges they’re facing and the potential they see. Stops will include the Burlington Town Center, the South End City Market, the University Mall, and the new Winooski developments. [Limit: 35, first-come, first-served. Attendees will return to the Hilton at 3:00 in time for the 3:15 Pecha Kucha session.]

2:00 p.m. Networking and Exhibits

2:15 p.m. Afternoon Power Sessions #2

It’s What’s on the Inside that Counts: Why Office Interiors Matter from the Start

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Jesse Robbins, Freeman French Freeman

Jane Pickell, Freeman French Freeman

The working world is changing. Telecommuting, open offices, shared desk spaces, flexible meeting areas, and rapidly changing technology all come together in more compact workplaces. With changing workplace design trends, how do we keep up with the demand for innovative space? Discover how workplace trends affect lenders’ assessment of risk, developers’ opportunity to appeal to new clients, and design professionals’ ability to stay ahead of client demands. This interactive workshop will explain the direction of interior design trends and why it matters to you and your bottom line.

More Housing = Less Problems: 3,500 in 5 years!

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Nancy Owens, Housing Vermont

Charlie Baker, Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission

Michael Monte, Champlain Housing Trust

Eric Farrell, Farrell Real Estate

How do we address many issues – stymied job growth, transportation accessibility, lack of affordability, to name a few – with one solution? We build more houses! Get up to speed on the Building Homes Together campaign and gather tools to use when you find yourself before the DRB. We’ll discuss real projects and deliver specific action items applicable to your industry that will help achieve the goal of building 3,500 new homes in the next five years.

How Does Energy Efficiency Affect Asset Value?

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Andrew Feierman, Institute for Market Transformation

Eric Morrow, AIA

Sean Sargeant, Sargeant Appraisal Service

This three part session will address a trio of aspects of energy efficiency: ROI, the 2030 Challenge, and market valuation.

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. Six presenters will deliver need-to-know info on hot topics in the industry.

     The line up includes…

Project Planning for Stormwater Success: Vermont’s Changing Stormwater Regulations

Marla Keene, VHB

Got an Air Pollution Source? Here’s how to Ride the Wave of the Air Permitting Process

John Hinckley, Resource Systems Group, Inc

Moving People and Freight: A Closer Look at Vermont Railways and their Future Impact

Debra Sachs, Net Zero Vermont

Vermont’s Shoreland Protection Act: Guidelines, Resources & Property Values

Michaela Stickney, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation


Chuck Schwer, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation 

Sustainable Sites: Landscape Planning for Better Projects and Profits

David Raphael, LandWorks 

4:00 p.m. Cocktail Reception

Courtesy of SWC LOGO small

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

2016 Sponsors:

Platinum Sponsors

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Gold Sponsors:

SWC LOGO small

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Thank you to the Vermont Development Conference Planning Committee:

Tom Broido, ATC Group Services

Paul Duane, VEIC

Joel Dube, Northfield Savings Bank

Mike Harrington, Bennington Economic and Community Development

Erik Hoekstra, Redstone

Scott Jaunich, Downs Rachlin Martin

David Saladino, VHB

Jamie Wagner, Freeman French Freeman

Michael Willard, SE Group