Dave Hakins of Essex is Vermont Life’s new director of advertising, partnerships and events. Hakins was vice president of corporate promotion for Chase Manhattan Bank and CEO of a major event-planning agency for Fortune 100 companies and major league sports organizations. He lives with his wife, Jane.
1. Welcome to the team Dave! You have quite an extensive background with major organizations. What makes you want to work with a smaller company like Vermont Life?
DH: Vermont Life was the first magazine I read on my Dad’s knee growing up in Rutland in the early ’50s. Jane and I own a copy of every issue published since 1946. I applied for the editorship in the mid-’70s, made the short list, but shocked the search committee with my recommendation to sell advertising.
2. You grew up in Rutland — what is your favorite thing about the Rutland region?
DH: Summers with family and friends at Chittenden Dam, Lake Bomoseen and Lake Dunmore; the Long Trail in Killington and off Route 103 south of
Rutland, The Rutland High-Mount St. Joseph sports rivalry; my Rutland High friends, the “10-of-9” whistle, incredible Rutland Free Library, Gill’s grinders, Roxy’s French Fries at Main Street Park, Wednesday night band concerts, Little League baseball at Rotary Field, Bill Bullock’s Teen Town at Rotary Field House.
3. Do you have a particular Vermont Life story, photo or issue that is your favorite?
DH: A feature on Gill’s Deli in the 1970s. The store framed it. It was fading and still hanging on the wall the last time I was there.
4. Who do you look to for inspiration?
DH: Ken Wild, [then] managing editor of The Rutland Herald, took me under his wing when I was age 15 and instilled my love of journalism, taught me writing skills, allowed me to work every job in the newsroom, and enabled me to learn the good and bad of life from a reporter’s perspective. I was too young to drive and walked to all of my assignments. My colleagues in the 1960s included Vermont Life editor Tom Slayton, Newsday editor Tony Marro, and St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editor Tom Levins.
5. It’s summer fair season. What’s your favorite part of a Vermont summer fair?
DH: Young Vermont farmers’ exhibits and ribbons, the Essex Rotary Club corn booth, and oldies concerts.