Sara Byers, 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.
Rebecca Towne, Vice Chair
Rebecca Towne is Vermont Electric Cooperatives’s Chief Executive Officer. She has nearly two decades of utility experience in Vermont, with a strong focus on team building, leadership and strategic innovation. Most recently, Rebecca was vice president of organizational strategy at Vermont Gas Systems. Prior to her work at Vermont Gas, Rebecca spent 14 years in roles of increasing responsibility at Green Mountain Power, including Chief Talent Officer. She joined VEC—the second largest electric utility in Vermont and one of two electric cooperatives in the state—in October 2018. Rebecca holds a BA from Swarthmore College and an MS from St Michael’s College. She serves on the board of the United Way of NorthWest Vermont. A seventh-generation Vermonter, Rebecca grew up in Cambridge and today lives in Essex.
Mark Crow, Treasurer
Mark Crow is President of Tenth Crow Creative, an advertising and design agency based in Burlington, Vermont. Working with clients in a variety of industries, Mark’s industry experience includes healthcare, food/beverage, manufacturing, financial, lifestyle/fitness and energy. Prior to joining Tenth Crow as a partner in 2006, Mark practiced business and real estate law for 18 years, mostly as a partner with two Burlington firms. He graduated with a J.D. from the University of Southern California and a B.A. from Colorado College.
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.
Judith W. ‘Judy’ O’Connell, Immediate Past 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.
Seth E. Bowden
Seth Bowden was elected the Roundtable’s third President in May 2021 when he joined the organization. Prior to that, Seth worked in economic development as the Executive Vice President of the Greater Burlington Industrial Corp (GBIC). During his 13 years with the organization, Seth led their research and publication efforts, and has successfully worked with numerous regional employers to gain access to economic incentives and training funds.
He brings a history of working collaboratively with state agencies and partner organizations on public policy goals in the fields of workforce training, early childhood education and child care, and higher education.
His work in outlining Vermont’s labor force challenge has been shared extensively with legislators, community leaders, and was the foundation for GBIC’s workforce development efforts. In addition to supporting Vermont’s value adding employers, he prepared and edited the State’s Higher Education Task Force report and was a co-author of the Vermont Science and Technology Plan for EPSCoR. He has served as the Chair of the Economic Subcommittee for ECOS and Co-Chair of Vermont’s Science and Technology Plan Committee.
Seth volunteers with a number of organizations and committees in his community, and is an avid skier and biker. He received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Vermont, with minors in Economics and English.
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)
President and CEO
Greater Burlington YMCA
Liquid Measurement Systems
Global-Z International, Inc.
Suresh V. Garimella
The University of Vermont
Joyce M. Judy
Community College of Vermont
Nicole M. LaBrecque
Vice President, Business Development, Marketing and Communications
President & CEO
Green Mountain Power Corp.
Sarah M. B. Morris
Fifth Generation Host
John D. Sayles
Vice President, Hospital Services
The University of Vermont Medical Center
VBT Bicycling Vacations, and Country Walkers
President & CEO
Vermont Community Foundation