The Chair’s Column: 4th Quarter 2011

As I write this I am happy to see that we have 75 registrations for our winter meeting.  I look forward to seeing you Thursday and hearing your input even with snow in the forecast.  2012 promises to be an exciting year – and in a more positive way than some of the excitement we’ve experienced in the last few years.

Our recent Board planning retreat felt excitement around leveraging the Roundtable’s preeminent position as Vermont’s long term think tank to suggest innovative solutions across many areas.  Success here will further our vision for Vermont to be the best place to do business, be educated, and live life.

Imagine two YouTube videos of Vermont.  Both are set some time down the road; could be 2020, or maybe 2030.  One video shows a Vermont where, during tight budget times of 2012, the highest social return on investment programs were funded.  Positive feedback loops from those efforts caused Vermont to rise in state rankings on those measures we weren’t already leading.  The second (perhaps in black and white) shows a Vermont, where during those same times protected interests received the largest investments, with less regard for the citizens of the state.

Let’s get to work on making the rosier Vermont video a reality.  Did a couple of thoughts in that regard just pass through your head?  Write them down and bring them to our winter meeting.  We will be collecting these; discussing them; drawing out themes, and maybe even conclusions; all this coming Thursday afternoon.

Fully one out of four VBR members joined within the last two years.  We welcome the strengths, interests and perspectives of our newest members and encourage them to jump in with both feet at these twice annual meetings, and in our working groups covering education, health care, and energy, among others. We will have the Governor joining us at the end of the afternoon, having just delivered his take on state investments.  Let’s use this opportunity to personally convey our point of view to him and the Speaker of the House, who will also be in attendance.

Finally looking beyond this week, we are planning a big bash on June 14th to culminate our 25th anniversary.  We have great speakers lined up, and plan to announce our scholarship fundraising for the Nordic Educational Trust. Think about a table full of folks you’d like to bring to this wonderful event.  Dinner is open to friends and colleagues of members.

Again, I look forward to seeing you on the 12th.