2014 Vermont To-Do List

Written by Julianne Puckett on . Posted in Way of (Vermont) Life

Try to do something special each month to get the most out of living in Vermont. Photo by Julianne Puckett.

Try to do something special each month to get the most out of living in Vermont. Photo by Julianne Puckett.

I try not to make New Year’s resolutions because they’re usually not specific enough or too hard to keep. And I don’t know about you, but starting out a new year as a failure doesn’t seem very inspirational.

But this year I made a little personal bucket list for myself — a variety of events and activities that happen throughout Vermont that I haven’t yet engaged in, even after living here for nearly four years. There’s so much to do and see in our great state, so I have resolved to make taking part more of a priority in 2014.

Here’s my list of one event or activity that I hope to do or see in each month of 2014 in order to get to know my state a bit better. Won’t you join me?

January: Free Ice Fishing Day, sponsored by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department

February: Take a dogsled ride

March: Vermont Chili Festival in Middlebury

April: Made in Vermont Trade Show at the Champlain Valley Expo Center in Essex

May: KeyBank Vermont City Marathon and Relay in Burlington (note: I will be CHEERING ON the runners, not participating!)

June: Quechee Hot Air Balloon Festival

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Youth Exodus?

Written by Vermont Life on . Posted in Entrepreneurs, Way of (Vermont) Life

Young people, we’re told all the time, are leaving the state. It’s a good story, except for one thing.

By Melissa Pasanen and Bill Anderson

Photographed by Daria Bishop

avid parker (left) and sean Hurley (right) at the Burlington office of fast-growing Web business Dealer.com.

When David Parker, the 30-year-old vice president of strategy development for Dealer. com, headed out of state in 2000 from his hometown of Williston, he was looking to spread his wings and explore beyond Vermont.“It’s natural,” he says,“to want to experience new places.”

Since middle school, Parker had shown a knack for computers — he was featured in a National Public Radio segment about how kids were surpassing their teachers in technology — and after graduating from Champlain Valley Union High School, he attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. By the fall of 2003, he was at a crossroads: take a high- tech job that was being offered in Hartford, Conn., or return to Vermont where he had the opportunity to help develop a nonprofit focused on building the tech sector in the state. Choosing home, he worked with Vermont HITEC, became an adjunct faculty member for the University of Vermont and several colleges, co-founded the Vermont Software Developers Alliance and, eventually, joined Dealer.com.

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At Dealer.com, Parker is part of a fast-growing business that provides digital marketing systems for the automotive industry, and he works in a setting, with about 750 other employees, that has all the toys and perks of Silicon Valley culture: brightly colored warrens of open cubicles, organic café with espresso, on-site gym, rooftop solarium with putting green and a renovated building that, it almost goes without saying, is a model of green design.

In short, Dealer.com is everybody’s idea of what Vermont needs to stop young people from leaving the state.

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