Our economic development team is just a call or email away.
We’re here to assist your business and can direct you toward the many state incentives that help businesses thrive.
In addition, the Vermont Legislature and the office of Governor Phil Scott are some of the most easily accessed political bodies in the nation. State and local chambers of commerce as well as regional development centers are positioned around Vermont in an effort to assist businesses with any other problem that arises. Vermont is home to numerous trade, networking, and industry organizations.
OUR BUSINESS ASSISTANCE TEAM
Appointed by Governor Shumlin and reappointed by Governor Scott, in the past 4 years Joan has built a team of dedicated professionals in the dept where the focus is to improve the economic well being of Vermonters. Well-respected in the business community, Joan brings a wealth of experience to the job, having spent six years as executive director of a regional development corporation for Windsor and Orange Counties, GMEDC, where she helped diversify services with real estate investments, flood-recovery grants, and innovative workforce-development projects. Joan has also been a small business advisor for the Vermont Small Business Development Center and served on the Royalton Selectboard for 8 years.
Before moving to Vermont from New York City 14 years ago, Joan spent 20-plus years in the financial services industry in a variety of international sales, marketing, and management roles at J.P. Morgan and Credit Suisse.
These days, she is particularly focussed on business and workforce recruitment and expansion. Like many others in Vermont, she believes the scale of the state allows her to make a positive impact.
Brett Long is the Deputy Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Economic Development. He is responsible for communicating with the State’s larger businesses to ensure that they avail themselves of the many programs that are available from the Department. In addition, he oversees the Department’s economic development programs, workforce programs and business recruitment activities.
Brett also manages three grants from the US Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment. These grants assist the state’s defense-related businesses to thrive by helping them to develop new competencies.
Brett enjoys outdoor activities including skiing, cycling, hiking, waterskiing, and windsurfing. After a career in financial services and small business ownership in the New York area he moved to Vermont, full-time, to have more time to partake in these activities.
Megan Sullivan is the Executive Director of the Vermont Economic Progress Council (VEPC), the approval and authorization body for the Vermont Employment Growth Incentive (VEGI) and the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) program. She works with businesses through the VEGI program to incentivize business growth through quality job creation and capital investment that otherwise would not occur. TIF Districts in Vermont work with VPEC to use tax increment revenue to finance public infrastructure projects that will spur critical private development.
Megan is a graduate of the University of Vermont and loves working and raising her family in her home state. Megan has spent her career in the field of economic development in Vermont and is constantly impressed by the incredible businesses and talented workforce hidden amongst these green mountains. Outside of work she enjoys taking advantage of the rich outdoor recreation opportunities year round with her husband and two children.
John manages the Vermont Training Program which is a general fund sponsored workforce development grant program receiving $1.3 million a year. He is responsible for working with businesses to talk about their workforce needs as well as helping them organize a training schedule for up to a year based upon new equipment, business opportunities, or process changes. On average John visits more than 100 businesses a year in a variety of sectors and facilitates 30-50 grant applications a year, including grants to businesses and training providers.
John has lived in Vermont all of his life and has past employment experiences in manufacturing and human resources. In his spare time during the summer season you will find him out in his garden growing giant pumpkins which he brings to competitions all over New England.
Joanne began her career in public service in the State of Vermont Tax Department before accepting a position in the Dept. of Economic Development’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center (VT PTAC). Joanne has been with the VT PTAC for 14 years and has spent that time providing one-on-one assistance to hundreds of distinct Vermont businesses to help them connect with government contracting opportunities. Joanne is an active member in the Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (APTAC) as well as the Department of Defense Northeast Regional Council which helps her stay current on government acquisition trends. Joanne was born in Connecticut but has spent most her life in Central Vermont, where she resides with her husband and beautiful daughters.
Kristie is the Director of Business Support. She is a client relationship manager responsible for connecting Vermont business client needs to our suite of programs and incentives. These connections support business recruitment, retention and expansion here in Vermont. She is also involved in the State’s workforce-development efforts. Her sector focus includes healthcare, construction, and transportation.
Kristie administers a Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund program, which was originally capitalized through grants from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Brownfield Initiative makes funds available for the clean-up of sites to spur redevelopment. Kristie also serves as the program lead in the Windham County Economic Development Program (WCEDP), which provides funds to stimulate job creation through business start-up, expansion, or relocation, encourage entrepreneurial activity, and strengthen the economic development infrastructure in Windham County.
Kristie’s career in state government began in 1999, with the bulk of her service in the State’s self-insurance program; she joined the DED team in 2016. She is a lifelong Vermonter who enjoys spending time with family, gardening, cooking, entertaining, and admiring her home’s mountain and sunset views.
Through direct oversight of the Vermont Global Trade Partnership, Tim helps Vermont businesses gain access to seminars and trade shows to broaden the reach of their products and exports. He also works with trade partners to foster the increase of foreign direct investment within Vermont. Tim assists regional development directors with new and expanding business recruitment, site location, and technical assistance. Tim also serves as the Northern Border Regional Commission’s Program Manager for the State of Vermont. Prior to joining the Department of Economic Development Tim served for 15 years as the Executive Director of Kingdom Trail Association in East Burke, Vermont.
Hilary manages Vermont’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP), a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration to help companies grow their international sales and job creation by offsetting costs associated with trade shows, international marketing, and export training. She assists businesses in applying to receive reimbursement for pre-approved individual activities and coordinates State of Vermont-led trade missions, trade shows, and trainings.
Hilary also serves as a designee on the Working Lands Enterprise Board, which supports innovative entrepreneurs at the forefront of Vermont’s Working Lands economy through technical and financial assistance to help growing businesses thrive.
In 2016, Hilary joined the Agency to coordinate cultural heritage, agritourism, and recreation initiatives in the Department of Tourism and Marketing. She represented the Department on the Farm to Plate Network’s Agritourism Task Force, managed the scenic byways program, and helped launch the Stay to Stay relocation program. Her prior experience includes marketing for the Vermont Ski Areas Association and serving as vice-chair on the Vermont Mountain Bike Association’s board of directors. When she’s not busy operating a small coworking space in Waterbury and finishing her graduate degree at Marlboro College, Hilary is an avid outdoor enthusiast in all seasons.
Shelley is in charge of maintaining the economic development website, handling all of the department’s social media engagement, and project managing other special assignments. Always eager to work with new people, both in and outside the state, Shelley loves the varied nature of her work; and as someone who has lived in Vermont her whole life, she has extensive knowledge of the Vermont business community. When not at work, Shelley is an avid runner and enjoys spending time with her daughter Chloe.
Nick heads up the department’s efforts to drive entrepreneurship and tech commercialization in Vermont. Having co-founded LaunchVT 5 years ago, Nick brings a solid background in entrepreneurship and ecosystem building to the table. Through LaunchVT he has helped numerous startups connect with the people and resources they need to succeed. Prior to joining the department, Nick was most recently Director of Business Development at Vermont Teddy Bear. He has also spent over 10 years in sales and client facing account management roles helping business owners manage risk and solve problems. Outside of the office, Nick is an avid skier and fly fisherman.
Elaine Haney is the project manager for ThinkVermont for the Agency of Commerce & Community Development. She is the former administrative director of the Chancellor’s Office of the Vermont State Colleges. Elaine is also chair of the Town of Essex Selectboard, the chair of Channel 17 Town Meeting Television, and a board member of the Vermont League of Cities and Towns. She is a former small business owner and has a background in municipal government, community development, and higher education.
Daegan Goodman previously worked with the Agency as an intern and has returned to fill the role of business generalist and grants administrator. He provides outreach to the Vermont business community, largely in the advanced manufacturing sector. He does this by marketing the Department of Economic Development’s suite of programs, incentives, and grants and aligning resources to support business attraction, retention, and expansion. He also collaborates with State, regional, and community partners to advance collective goals. Additionally, Daegan manages a portfolio of grants, primarily the Vermont Training Program. Daegan has lived in Vermont all his life and enjoys boating, hiking, waterskiing, and lacrosse.