RISING STAR 2015
Will was born and raised in Chittenden, Vermont, where he still runs his business. After graduating from Rutland High School in 2005 he moved down to Massachusetts where he continued his formal education at Bentley University. Will Currently holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and an MBA with a concentration in Entrepreneurial Studies.
Currently, Will is the Owner and Operator of the Mountain Cider Company, which produces Hot Spiced Apple Cider Concentrate as a beverage base for food service establishments. He also participates actively in the Rutland City Rotary Club and the Rutland County Parent Child Center.
In his free time Will enjoys hiking, traveling, pub trivia, and camping.
Steve relocated to Rutland, Vermont in 2011 after graduating from Southern Connecticut State University with a BS in English and concentration in Secondary Education. Since then, Steve has eagerly sought out opportunities to get involved in the community. He utilized his passion for food when he started working for the Rutland Area Farm and Food Link (RAFFL) in 2012 where he managed the organization's communications and cooking education program. Shortly thereafter, he began writing the weekly “Rutland Bites” food column in the Rutland Reader. Currently, Steve is the Executive Director of the Downtown Rutland Partnership.
In his free time you'll find Steve experimenting in his kitchen, likely with something he grew in his vegetable garden.
rising star 2015
Gwen is a CPA and Partner at O’Brien Shortle Reynolds & Sabotka, PC. She is a 2003 graduate of Castleton University, where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. She has been with O’Brien Shortle Reynolds & Sabotka, PC since 2005, providing both tax and auditing services. During her free time, she enjoys running, baking, and spending time with her husband Joel and young daughter Brooke.
Tyler grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska and lived there until June 2015 when a sense of adventure and a career opportunity for his wife compelled him to move to Rutland. Immediately, he became swept up in the momentum of the region and wanted to be a part of it. Rutland Young Professionals was his entry point for getting involved in the community and he hasn’t looked back.
Tyler’s professional background has given him the opportunity to work with diverse teams in diverse industries. He is currently Assistant Director of the Rutland Economic Development Corporation (REDC), where he has the privilege of working to ensure our region is prosperous and welcoming. Tyler also serves on the boards of Community Capital of Vermont and the Rutland Area Food Co-op.
Tyler spends his spare time exploring Vermont with his wife, friends, and his corgi.
BOARD IMmediate past PRESIDENT
RISING STAR 2014
Sara is a founding member of Rutland Young Professionals and has spoken about RYP at Rutland Regional Medical Center, Vermont Country Store, Castleton University, Community College of Vermont, and the College of St. Joseph; with the Vermont Futures Caucus; and at the Young Professionals Economic Pitch Session in Montpelier.
Sara is currently Human Resources Manager at Casella Construction. She serves as a board member for Heritage Family Credit Union, the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, and Stafford Technical Center in Rutland.
Sara is a graduate of Dartmouth College and holds a Master’s degree in Political Geography from the University of Washington, where she was a National Science Foundation graduate research fellow. She is also a proud Rutland City resident, a member of Project VISION, and a supporter of the I Love Rutland campaign.
RISING STAR 2015
Colie grew up in the Rutland area and attended Castleton University, where she earned her bachelor's degree in Sports Administration. Colie then went on to earn her master's degree in Elementary Education from the College of Saint Joseph. While earning her master's degree, Colie worked in Special Education at Proctor Elementary School and completed her student teaching at Rutland Intermediate School.
Currently, Colie works for the Rutland City Recreation Department as the Program Director for Youth Sports. In this position she gets to incorporate both of her passions, sports and working with children.
Outside of work Colie enjoys teaching dance with the Vermont Dance Troupe, community service projects as a member of the Rutland City Rotary Club, being active, and watching sporting events at all levels.
Events committee co-chair
RISING STAR 2015
Leslie is a nutritionist and the co-owner of Vermont Sport & Fitness, a locally established health and fitness club in Rutland.
A native of the area, she attended Rutland High School before moving on to higher education at the University of Vermont (’07). There she earned a Bachelor of Science degree with a concentration in Nutrition and Food Science. In 2009, she and her husband Dan moved back to Rutland and in 2017 they made the transition to become small business owners.
Outside of work Leslie enjoys running and staying active, cooking for her family, and spending time with her husband and their two boys, Sawyer and Mason.
Community Outreach COMMITTEE CO-CHAIR
2017 Summit co-chair • RISING STAR 2017
Laura is a Rutland native and a fourth generation Vermonter who moved back to the area in 2016. She is currently the Project Management Team Lead for the Cerner Corporation, in support of Rutland Regional Medical Center.
After graduating from Rutland High School, Laura attended Yale University earning her Bachelors of Science in the History of Science and Medicine. She then pursued pediatric research at the Boston Children's Hospital before entering a career in healthcare management consulting which took her from Boston to Chicago.
Laura has become an active member of the Rutland community, serving as the RYP representative to the Chamber of Commerce, Co-Chair for the 2017 Young Professionals Summit of Vermont, and Chair of the Wonderfeet Kids' Museum Events Committee.
She feels lucky to be able to live in such a beautiful area, and spends her weekends sugaring, skiing, playing tennis, gardening or cooking up a new recipe!
Heather moved to the Rutland area from Los Angeles in 2014. She is originally from Massachusetts and holds a BFA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College.
Heather began her career in editorial with positions at both the Los Angeles Times and The Huffington Post. She pivoted to digital to work on the development of Hulu in 2007. Since then, she has been helping brands like Sony Home Entertainment, Nickelodeon, and Taco Bell present themselves on social media in impactful ways.
She's currently the Director of Content Distribution at Weber Shandwick. She also runs @Rutland_VT on Instagram.
Marketing committee chair
rising star 2015
Lyz is a Rutland native who earned her BFA in Visual Communications with a Concentration in Graphic Design and Minor in Psychology from Endicott College in Massachusetts. She returned after school to begin her career as a graphic designer at the Rutland Herald, and simultaneously built her own freelance design business. She most recently worked for the Downtown Rutland Partnership as their Marketing Coordinator for over 2 years.
Since early 2017, Lyz has been pursuing her own graphic design business in Rutland. She is happy to be working with a variety of clients and helping her community grow.
In her spare time, Lyz enjoys the beautiful landscapes, fresh food, and outdoor activities that Vermont has to offer, but won’t pass up the opportunity to travel and explore new things.
COMMUNITY OUTREACH COMMITTEE CO-CHAIR
Rising star 2016
In addition to his work with Edward Jones, Reed also serves as a board member of The Rutland City Rotary Club, The Rutland County Women's Network and Shelter, and volunteers at the Boys and Girls Club.
Reed grew up just outside of St. Louis and is a graduate of Missouri State University, where he earned a Bachelor's degree in Finance. After college, he went on to work for Edward Jones asa Financial Advisor at the company's headquarters in his hometown, before choosing to relocate to The Green Mountain State. Since 2013, he has built his business in the Rutland community helping serious, long-term investors reach their financial goals.