Setting the Pace – Women LEAD

On Monday March 25 Setting the Pace, Women LEAD a fundraising calendar was announced. There was an excellent party attended by over 100 community members at The Eastside and I was thrilled to give a speech.

Look for more details about this initiative over the coming months and pick up a calendar here!


My Comments from Women Lead:


Tonight I am thrilled to be representing the Northeast Kingdom Young Professionals Network. But before we get into those details – let’s talk about how I got here, back in Newport, after being a young professional across the country and based out of New York City.

Four years ago I moved back from Manhattan to Newport, my hometown. My mother is from the Bronx and my father is from Boston – so why, I KNOW you are asking – did I come back to Vermont after over a dozen years working on Broadway? Well, for one, I burned out (that’s another story!), and two – I knew this was my home and I would find inspiration and hope for my next chapter in the roads, and hills and green mountains of Vermont (even though I didn’t have a license) and yes, as you all know I don’t like being outside and have trained my dog to prefer Netflix to hiking.

That being said, I knew I had a network here, one that supported me to live my wildest dreams and also welcomed me back as a young professional when I needed a refuge. Lisa Farney was one of the first to invite me to the MAC Arts Center, Lynn Flint asked me to be the stage manager of a QNEK show and Trish Sears met me weekly for tea to discuss my future. And my work wife – Ally Howell  – showed me the ropes socially and continues to help me navigate the wild seas of a rural town after the big city. Treat Yo Self!

Then I met someone I didn’t know. I drove alone, down to St Jay, and I went to a Business and Professional Women’s year end meeting in my red lipstick and my romper and heels. And I met Michelle Tarryk. Let’s take a moment to bask in her glory.  I met a woman who not only lifts other women up – she looks for PEOPLE to encourage, to inspire and dreamstorm with- a term she coined. Not brainstorm – dreamstorm.

So – thanks to Michelle, everyone here is welcome to dream and to FOLLOW THROUGH with those dreams. Michelle has supported the Northeast Kingdom Young Professionals Network, who I should be here representing tonight instead of singing the praises of all my friends – but really it kind of goes hand in hand. We are a small, tight knit community that welcomes new people (shout out to my counter part Cheryl Chander who relocated from CT to the Kingdom!) and welcomes new programs with open arms such as the NEK YPN, which is about five years old with a recent resurgence led by Maura Folan of Green Mountain Farm to School. The NEK YPN currently hold monthly mixers across the Kingdom as we build out programming.   

We have lots of programming in town though with young professionals to support and align. We have a new Big Brothers Big Sisters partly in thanks to Michelle’s support of NEKLS staff members working on the project and I believe the coordinator and the first mentor are both here tonight – shout out to Sierra and Charlie – and that reminds me that we have some great guys that support our work as well! – How about Big Mike who holds down our amazing Recovery Center with thanks to Michelle and Barb for their continued support of that network!

As you can see we have a lot of great collaborations and networking available to young professionals because this group of leaders sees the power of a younger generation and wants us not just to feel empowered but to elaborate on our ideas and helps us to follow through on them.

So with that – let’s elaborate and follow through!! Let’s dream big and inspire those around us. If you want more information about the young professionals network, or are a young professional at heart just let me know – we are having a mixer on Wednesday night at Burke Mountain. Join us and we will dreamstorm our way through the backroads of this beautiful Kingdom together (as long as you drive me!) Michelle – we thank you.

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