Chairs Column: February 2017

by Michael Seaver, Chair

Greetings Fellow VBR Members,

As most of you know, last month I began my term as Chair of the Board for VBR. Our organization has been led by some very remarkable folks and I am humbled yet very proud to have the honor of filling this role for the next two years.  I want to thank Win Smith for his statesman-like leadership and for his tutelage. I hope that I am able to garner the respect that he had while representing VBR over the past two years. Our membership is very diverse and that diversity is clearly one of our strengths. I will be mindful of that fact when I am speaking for the membership. VBR’s well-established reputation is largely due to the thoughtful way we pursue issues and the respectful way that we report out and advocate on those issues. The current environment in our country requires that we be laser focused on continuing to do our work in that manner.

In our January meeting we introduced our work for the next few years; focusing on college and career readiness, and talent pipeline. By focusing on these critical issues and taking on responsibility to convene a diverse group of business organizations, educational institutions and government, we can improve economic outcomes and minimize the need for social services.  We thank Mark Foley for taking the leadership role with this work. As we move forward, he will need input from our entire membership and I ask that you be open to his requests to actively participate.

As I provide leadership to my team at People’s United Bank, I consistently remind my colleagues how much stronger we are when we work together, leveraging each other’s strengths while striving toward a common goal. The Roundtable has a thirty year record of doing just that. Thank you for your past support of our work and please continue your engagement with us in the coming year.  In that vein, please make an effort to join us at our next board meeting at the Vermont Air National Guard where Major General Steven Cray will be our host.