Vermont Business Roundtable Acquires Nordic Educational Trust

Plans Underway to Expand Scholarship Eligibility Statewide

(South Burlington, Vt.) The Nordic Educational Trust was created in 1988 by former Roundtable member, Ross Anderson and his wife, Gail, to provide scholarship grants and other financial aid to assist deserving students from Chittenden and Grand Isle counties in pursuing technical education at two-year post-secondary institutions.  To date, the Trust has awarded over 40 need-based scholarships to Vermont students; support that is not predicated on previous academic performance, yet has in many cases provided the opportunity for life-altering educational experiences. Effective this summer, oversight and administration of the Trust and scholarship recipient selection, has been transferred to the Vermont Business Roundtable, in recognition of its long-standing focus on education as an economic development strategy.

According to Bill Stritzler, Managing Director, Smugglers’ Notch Resort, and Chair of the Roundtable, “Of particular interest to the Roundtable is the opportunity to expand the eligibility criteria to students from all across Vermont; to grow the size of the trust by reaching out to the state’s business community to “grow its own” technical workforce for the future; and, to provide mentoring opportunities between scholarship recipients and business leaders. We applaud the vision of the Andersons and are eager to build upon their legacy.”

From previous primary research by the Roundtable, specifically its’ Pulse of Vermont: Quality of Life survey series, which is conducted every five years, there is well-established evidence to demonstrate that one’s satisfaction with life increases with one’s level of education and income. And certainly, in today’s increasingly complex economy, post-secondary education is a mandatory investment that people should make, if they have the opportunity. Said Roundtable President, Lisa Ventriss, “Our 2005 study showed that just under 50 percent of Vermonters came from other states, but they constituted 73 percent of the college graduates and 70 percent of those with incomes over $100,000. So, clearly, helping Vermont students knock down barriers to post-secondary education is a priority for the Roundtable.” The Roundtable’s 2010 Pulse of Vermont survey findings will be released later this fall.

The Roundtable has appointed the following members to serve on the inaugural Board of Trustees: Steve Voigt, President and CEO, King Arthur Flour Co., Roundtable Vice-chair, and Chair of the Roundtable’s Education Working Group; Renee Bourget-Place, Partner, KPMG; Robert “Sparky” Millikin, Managing Partner, TruexCullins Architecture & Interior Design; and, Lisa Ventriss, Roundtable President.