Judith W. ‘Judy’ O’Connell, Chair
Judith O’Connell is Managing Partner and CEO of Champlain Investment Partners, which she co-founded. She has more than 25 years of financial services experience. She is primarily focused on the firm’s day-to-day operations, client service and business development. Prior to joining Champlain, she was a Senior V.P. at NL Capital Management, Inc. Before this, she was the Director of Mutual Funds/Intermediary Markets at Dresdner RCM Capital Management in San Francisco, California. Early in her career, she held management positions within investment operations, compliance and treasury at The Boston Company. Judy graduated from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst with a Bachelor of Science in Finance.
Sara Byers, Vice Chair
Sara Byers is Co-Owner and President of Leonardo’s Pizza, her family’s pizza delivery business. In addition to the boards Sara serves on, she is also an appointed member of Vermont’s Capital Debt Affordability Advisory Committee. In 2015, Sara was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Commerce Degree from Champlain College. She has also received awards from Mercy Connections, Women Helping Battered Women, Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce and the United Way of Chittenden County.
Scott A. Giles, Treasurer
Scott Giles is the President and CEO of Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC). He is a nationally recognized expert on higher education policy. From 2008-2009, Scott served as Chair of the Federal Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance. Prior to joining VSAC, Mr. Giles served on Capitol Hill as Deputy Chief of Staff of the House Committee on Science and on the professional staff of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Previously, he had worked for ten years as a Senior Associate at Cassidy & Assoc.
Don C. George, Secretary
Don George is the President and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont. He joined BCBS in 1993 and has held various and increasing levels of responsibility during his career with the plan. Most recently, he was V.P. of the company’s managed health systems division and Senior V.P. and Chief Operating Officer of TVHP.
Mark K. Foley, Jr., Immediate Past Chair
Mark K. Foley, Jr. is the fourth generation owner of Foley Services, the leading linen, uniform and mat rental company in Vermont. Mark is also the owner of MKF Properties, a real estate management company, which owns and manages commercial rental properties, primarily in Rutland’s Historic Downtown. Mark lives in Rutland Town with his wife Kelly, and three children.
Lisa M. Ventriss
Lisa M. Ventriss joined the Roundtable in 2002 as President and chief spokesperson.
Since then, Ms. Ventriss has led the organization to become effective and respected business champions for public investments in the early years of a child’s life; for improvement of Vermont’s PreK-12 education system to bring equity, access, and quality of experience to all children; and, for better alignment of the state’s education and training programs with the needs of the State’s employers. The Roundtable’s efforts have resulted in meaningful policy changes at the state level and have earned a national reputation and recognition for successful community building on these issues.
Prior to joining the Roundtable, Ms. Ventriss held a leadership position in the Vermont captive insurance industry, in which she represented the industry and its strategic partners as it grew into the largest domestic and third largest captive domicile in the world. The hallmark of her contributions was in laying the foundation for what has become the industry’s leading educational organization, the International Center for Captive Insurance Education (ICCIE).
Ms. Ventriss holds leadership positions in a number of Vermont and New England-based organizations. She earned a Master of Public Administration and B.A. in Political Science from the University of Vermont and is the recipient of a number of awards including the 2017 Catherine McAuley Award from Mercy Connections. Ms. Ventriss is married and has three sons and one darling grandson.
Sherra D. Bourget
Sherra D. Bourget is the Operations and Communication Director for the Vermont Business Roundtable. In her role at VBR, Sherra manages day-to-day operations, member services, event planning and communications. Born in Indiana and raised in Northern Virginia, Sherra began her career in the Metropolitan D.C. area, first as a service manager for a premier spa and patio furniture company, and then in sales for the largest distributor of prefabricated fireplaces and surrounds on the East Coast. She relocated to Vermont in 1999, and received her post-secondary education at Champlain College (summa cum laude), earning a B.S. in Multimedia / Graphic Design. She is a 2016 graduate of Leadership Champlain and member of the Society for Human Resources Management. She resides in Fairfax, overlooking Mt. Mansfield and the ski trails of Smugglers’ Notch Resort, with her husband and daughter.
Mary Anne Sheahan
Mary Anne Sheahan, MSA, PMP is the Executive Director of the Vermont Talent Pipeline, a role developed by the Vermont Business Roundtable in January 2018. She leads the statewide initiative of Talent Pipeline Management (TPM). VTPM is an employer-led, data-driven implementation model to fill the skills gaps in industry’s most critical jobs.
Now operating in three industries of Construction, Healthcare and Advanced Manufacturing, VTPM is building a pipeline of skilled talent. Training resources from secondary, post-secondary and higher education are developing industry recognized skill for new entrants – and for the advancement of incumbent workers.
Mary Anne was trained in Talent Pipeline Management by the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation, in Washington, DC. Most recently she served as Executive Director for Leadership Champlain and the Director of Workforce Development for the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce. She was previously VP of Academic Operations at Middlebury Interactive Languages, running five summer language academies in the US and overseas. She has also consulted as a Project Manager and Process Improvement Consultant for major initiatives in Vermont businesses including Banknorth Group, Burton Snowboards, and the University of Vermont. Mary Anne has a Master’s degree in Business Administration and is certified as a Project Management Professional and an Appreciative Inquiry Practitioner.
Office Managing Partner
Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies (VCET)
John R. Brumsted, M.D.
President and CEO
The University of Vermont Health Network
Tenth Crow Creative
President and CEO
Greater Burlington YMCA
President and CEO
Vermont Electric Power Company, Inc.
Liquid Measurement Systems
Claudio D. Fort
President and CEO
Rutland Regional Medical Center
Global-Z International, Inc.
Suresh V. Garimella
The University of Vermont
Joyce M. Judy
Community College of Vermont
President and Dean
Vermont Law School
Sarah M. B. Morris
Fifth Generation Host
John D. Sayles
VBT Bicycling Vacations, and Country Walkers