Sunshine Silver Lining

Ending a Busy Quarter!

March was a busy month with tons of events culminating in an exciting end to the first quarter of 2019!


We taught several Youth and Adult Mental Health First Aid Classes, worked with the NEK YPN on both a March Open Meeting and a March Mixer at Burke Mountain, presented at the Vermont League of Cities and Towns Conference, presented about our work with the Regional Prevention Partnerships, presented Women LEAD and even visited a local elementary school to talk to the 8th graders about careers. We also connected with Gwen from the Center for Women and Enterprise and Mieko of Vermont Womenpreneurs and can’t wait to see what comes from those connections!

April will be focused on self care and prepping projects for later on in the spring and summer so we were both grateful for this busy time and are also looking for a little bit of work behind the scenes.

Check out some more photos from our events on our Facebook page and stay tuned for more to come!

xo s



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.

Busy Bee


March has been an incredible month. In addition to planning several events, we have had the opportunity to teach several Mental Health First Aid courses. In April things will slow down a bit as we take a break, so for now we are just basking in the extra energy that allows us to hustle!

Follow our Facebook Page as well to see whats up!

NEK Young Professionals Present Opportunities to Engage in March



(Kinsley Sicard, Sunny Naughton and Maire Folan of the Executive Committee for the NEK YPN)

The Northeast Kingdom Young Professionals Network (NEK YPN), a committee of the Northeast Kingdom Chamber of Commerce, is pleased to present opportunities to engage and collaborate around the region in the month of March.

NEK YPN will represent its work as a part of the new Women LEAD initiative on Monday, March 25, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Eastside Restaurant and Pub, 47 Landing St., Newport. The event is a free fundraiser and mixer, designed to share upcoming leadership opportunities for females in the Northeast Kingdom.

On Thursday, March 27, the NEK YPN will host an informal networking get-together at 4:30 p.m. and a mixer, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the Burke Mountain View Pub at the Burke Mountain Hotel & Conference Center, 2559 Mountain Road, East Burke.

These activities follow the Vermont League of Cities and Towns’ third annual conference on “Strengthening Communities for the Future: A Community and Economic Development Forum.” Thanks to a strong partnership with the NEK Collaborative, the NEK YPN will sit on the panel, “Finding Vermont’s Fountain of Youth: Promoting Youth and Young Professional Engagement,” during the afternoon breakout sessions. The mixer is intended to be a great way for NEK professionals to mingle and network with each other after a day of learning.

On Thursday, March 7, the NEK YPN hosted an open meeting at Do North Coworking in Lyndonville, with more than 30 young professionals in attendance. The open-meeting format gave prospective members the opportunity to hear from group members regarding ways to get involved, participate in the monthly meetings, network with and learn from local area businesses as well as check out the coworking space. Do North is designed to offer affordable office, conference and high-speed internet space and access to those in need.

“We are excited to collaborate with new and emerging businesses, building socio-economic vitality for the NEK. This is an important way for us to learn how we as a group, can better support the needs of business and YPs in our region,” shared Kinsley Sicard, of the NEK YPN, commenting on the variety of events held by the committee.

Locally involved businesses and sponsors for the March 7 function included Bag Balm, Freighthouse Market & Cafe, Apotheker’s Bee Sweetened Goods, Cafe Lotti, Burke Mountain Resort and Breakout Bakery & Cafe. Other collaborators included Green Mountain United Way, Do North Coworking and Sunshine Silver Lining Consulting.

The NEK YPN is a network for young professionals living and working in and around Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. It aims to provide valuable leadership, relationship and educational opportunities through collaboration with community partners. To learn more and get involved, e-mail or visit its Facebook page for events and a membership form @NEKYoungProfessionals.


Announcing Women Lead

Northeast Kingdom – Women LEAD (Leveraging Energy And Drive) is a new initiative led by Michelle Tarryk and Barbara Morrow with over two dozen women leaders and business owners from the Kingdom created to foster leadership in girls and women in the Northeast Kingdom. Women LEAD will launch with a fundraiser at The Eastside Restaurant & Pub on Monday, March 25th from 6PM to 8PM.

Women LEAD is in alignment with recommendations from the recent NEK Collaborative Leadership Development Task Force Action Plan. Recommendations include creating a NEK Leadership Institute as well as a project focusing on engaging NEK Women in Leadership Learning.

“This project has been an absolute thrill! I am in awe of the women who participated in the calendar and I am also very excited about the leadership opportunities that we will be able to bring to young girls throughout the kingdom. I look forward to folks coming out to join us in celebrating the women of the calendar and in supporting this initiative” Tarryk shared.

Please join us on March 25, 2019 from 6PM to 8PM for complimentary appetizers, a cash bar, and hear from several collaborators including Michelle Tarryk of Northeast Kingdom Learning Services, Inc, Katherine Sims of the NEK Collaborative, Alice Kitchel, State President of Business and Professional Women’s Club, Sunny Noelle Naughton of the Northeast Kingdom Young Professionals Network and Vermont Photographer Mary Claire Carroll who shared her talents in photographing our female leaders.

NEK Women: Setting the Pace, an April to March calendar features female leaders in the NEK and will be on sale for $15. Funds raised will go towards leadership opportunities for young women in Orleans, Caledonia and Essex counties.

Bring your friends, your mom, your sisters, your nieces and your daughters to celebrate this exciting initiative in our community.

For more information or to purchase a calendar please contact and please RSVP for the event.