There is something about Basin Harbor Club that traditionally attracts the attention of our busy corporate leaders and gets members to show up and speak out. And this year’s meeting was a classic example of members being invested in both the Roundtable and in the topics we presented for discussion. Perhaps, however, the secret sauce isn’t so secret: Give busy people an opportunity to network and learn while on the grounds of a Historic Hotel of America along the shores of scenic Lake Champlain, allow them the opportunity to overnight in a cottage that hugs the shoreline, and offer up a menu that includes a classic Shore Dinner buffet. Bam! Many thanks to Founding Member Pennie Beach and her team for their wonderful hospitality.
For those who were unable to attend the meeting, here are the additional highlights:
- John Hollar of Downs Rachlin Martin, provided a legislative summary of the 2017 session and spoke about the “stalemate” that typified the session, and that reflected the collision of social liberalism and economic realities in the state. He contrasted the Governor’s clear vision of jobs, no new taxes, and protection of less fortunate against the lack of direction from new legislative leadership in the House and Senate.
- Vermont’s Congressional Delegation was represented by Chris Saunders (Leahy), Kathryn Becker Van Haste (Sanders), and George Twigg (Welch), all of whom spoke to the Administration’s proposed budget that threatens many of the priorities and values that Vermont holds dear, including programs that support our neediest Vermonters, protect our environment, and promote economic development. Citing the 50,000 phone calls that their offices received following the inauguration, members were encouraged to make our voices heard even louder on important priorities.
- David Coates, KPMG (retired Managing Partner) and Mark Crow of Tenth Crow Creative, presented Pension Reform 2.0, which connects Vermonters to this issue in a compelling story book fashion. They also announced that the Roundtable and Champlain College will be jointly sponsoring a summit on October 10th, “Promises Made – Promises Kept: Keeping Our Promises to Vermont State Employees, Teachers, and Taxpayers”, to address the long-term consequences of failure to act, and provide a review of the many policy options available to minimize negative outcomes.
- Jill Berry Bowen, CEO of Northwestern Medical Center, introduced the Rise VT: Embracing Health Lifestyles” (risevt.com) project that has been underway in Franklin County, but is going statewide. It is based in the socio-ecological model of behavior change and aims to improve population health and bend the cost-curve through long-term strategic investment in primary prevention.
Members also received their updated membership directories and a commemorative fancy beverage container celebrating the Roundtable’s 30th anniversary.