Financing for Vermont Businesses and Farms

VEDA – Board of Directors

VEDA is fortunate to have a Board of Directors comprised of thoughtful and dedicated Vermonters who bring a wealth of experience to the work of the Authority.


Betsy Bishop

of Montpelier is President of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce. Formerly, Bishop served as the Commissioner of Economic Development in the Administration of Governor Jim Douglas. She worked on Governor Douglas’ staff for seven years, beginning with his transition team, and including six years on the Governor’s policy and legislative team.  Bishop also served as Governor Douglas’ Deputy Chief of Staff.  Prior to this, Bishop served as Vice President of Government Affairs at the Vermont Chamber of Commerce from 1994 to 1998, before starting her own company which advocated for businesses in the state legislative and regulatory arenas.

Tom Gallagher

of St. Albans became the President and CEO of the Peoples Trust Company in September of 2011.  Prior to his appointment, Tom served as the bank’s Senior Vice President and Senior Commercial Loan Officer and has held various positions within the institution during his 15-year career.  He also continues to participate on his family’s farm, which specializes in dairy and replacement cattle.  An Accounting graduate of Champlain College, Tom serves on various community-oriented boards, including the St. Albans Rotary Club.  He also currently serves on the Vermont Banking Association Government Relations Committee and is a member of the Executive Committee.

Leon C. Graves

Leon Graves of Fairfield is the Business Development and Marketing Manager for St. Albans Cooperative in St. Albans, VT.  He worked in a number of positions for Dairy Marketing Services and Dairy Farmers of America from 2003 to 2016, and served as Vermont’s Commissioner of Agriculture under Governor Howard Dean from 1995 to 2003.  Graves was a member of the Vermont House of Representatives from 1987 to 1994 and the Vermont Senate in 1995. He and his family own and operate a diversified farm in Fairfield, VT.

Daniel Kurzman

of Beecher Falls is the new Treasurer for VEDA. Kurzman is the past Northeast Regional Manager of Operations for Ethan Allen, overseeing three manufacturing and sawmill facilities in two states. Previously, he served as Corporate Director of Human Resources at the company. Prior to his employment at Ethan Allen, Kurzman was a public school educator and administrator. Presently, he oversees all Human Resource activities for the two Vermont-based Ethan Allen operations in Beecher Falls and Orleans. 

Kenneth D. McEwan

of Panton is VEDA’s new Chair for the second time, having most recently served as the Board’s Vice-Chair. McEwan began his career in financial services with Shearson Lehman Brothers in 1992, and is now a Senior Vice President in Investments with UBS Financial Services, Inc.  Formerly, McEwan owned and operated First Sherburne Investors, Ltd., a real estate development company specializing in resort, residential, custom home and commercial development in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.  In 1991 and 1992, McEwan served in the Vermont House of Representatives as a member of the Health and Welfare Committee. 

Pat Moulton 

of Montpelier is the Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD), having been appointed to that position in 2014 by Governor Peter Shumlin.  Immediately prior, Moulton was Executive Director of the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation.  Before that, she served as Deputy Secretary and Director of Economic Development for ACCD under Governor Shumlin, and prior to that, she served for a short time as the Vice President of Public Affairs at the Vermont Chamber of Commerce.  In 2006, Governor James Douglas appointed Moulton to serve as Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Labor, a position she held for four years.  Prior to that, Moulton served Governor Douglas as the full-time Chair of the Vermont Natural Resources Board and its predecessor, the Vermont Environmental Board.  Before her environmental regulation and policy work, Moulton spent 22 years in the practice of economic development on the local, regional, and state levels. She has worked as Executive Director of four different regional development corporations in Bennington, Windsor, Windham and Orange Counties, and ran a local economic development office in St. Johnsbury and Lyndon, Vermont.  In 1990, Governor Richard Snelling appointed Moulton to serve as Deputy Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Economic Development, and subsequently, Governor Howard Dean appointed her to serve as Commissioner of that department. Moulton also ran her own economic development consulting company for several years.

Will Patten

Will Patten’s 40 years in the Vermont business community began as a young entrepreneur in Rutland and included more than two decades working with Ben & Jerry’s, from which he retired as Director of Retail Operations in 2007. InRutland, he opened and operated The Back Home Café and Murphy’s.  From 2007 to 2010 Will served as Executive Director of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility. After a short sailing trip, Will returned toVermontto start Back to Basics Vermont, Inc. which invests in and consults on business strategies for new economic realities.  Will was recently appointed by Governor Shumlin to the Vermont Economic Development Board and is joining the board of theLake ChamplainSailingCenter. He is currently serving as Rear Commodore of the Royal Savage Yacht Club inCharlotte. He lives in Hinesburg with his wife, Kathleen. 

Beth Pearce

of Barre was appointed Vermont State Treasurer in January, 2011 by Governor Peter Shumlin. Treasurer Pearce has more than 30 years of experience in government finance at both the state and local levels. Prior to her appointment, she served as Deputy Treasurer for more than seven years under former Treasurer Jeb Spaulding. During that time, financial reports prepared by Pearce received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association. 

Christopher (Chris) Recchia

of Randolph serves as Commissioner of the Vermont Public Service Department.  Commissioner Recchia has almost 30 years of experience as an environmental leader in the development of state and federal environmental and energy policy and the implementation of programs managing natural and energy resources. Prior to his appointment by Governor Shumlin as Public Service Commissioner, Recchia also served as Deputy Secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources.  Prior to that, Recchia served in numerous leadership roles in the private and non-profit sectors, including positions as Executive Director of the national non-profit Biomass Energy Resource Center (BERC); Executive Director of the Ozone Transport Commission in Washington, D.C.; Deputy Commissioner and Commissioner for the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation; and Director of Environmental Programs for the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority. 

Tammy Richards 

of Williamsville is a business broker with Country Business, Inc., a regional brokerage firm assisting buyers and sellers throughout New England.  Prior to holding this position, Richards spent five years with Pieciak & Company, P.C. focusing primarily on performing business valuations of closely- held businesses.  She is a Certified Valuation Analyst (“CVA”) as designated by the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts (NACVA) and also holds a Chartered Merger and Acquisition Professional (“CMAP”) designation from the Middle Market Investment Banking Association (“MMIBA”).  Before moving to Vermont in 2004, Richards spent eight years working at Citigroup in New York where she held various positions within the investment banking division.  She spent five of those years in the Acquisition Finance Group working closely with private equity firms in valuing and financing their leveraged buyouts of middle market and large-cap companies via syndicated bank loan and high yield bond transactions. She spent the following three years as Vice-President in the Global Loans Portfolio Management Group, where she managed a portfolio of highly leveraged corporate loans retained by Citigroup.

Charles ‘Chuck’ Ross

of Hinesburg serves as Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets for the State of Vermont, having been appointed by Governor Peter Shumlin in January, 2011. For the previous sixteen years, Ross served as State Director for U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy.  Prior to his service on the staff of Senator Leahy, Ross worked on his family’s farms and served as the Vermont State Representative from Hinesburg.  As State Representative, Ross served on the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee, concluding his legislative service as Chairman of that committee in 1994. 

Jane O’Meara Sanders

of Burlington has spent much of her career in public service, primarily with a focus on community development. Currently, Jane represents Vermont on the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Commission. Most recently, she served as President of Burlington College, significantly expanding its campus and degree programs, and earlier, as Provost and Interim President of Goddard College, her alma mater. As a municipal Department Head in the City of Burlington, Jane founded many programs and non-profits for children and families that continue today. She has also worked in the U.S. Congress, been elected as a School Board Commissioner, and run her own small business as a media and educational consultant. Jane earned her Ph.D. in Leadership and Policy Studies at Union Institute & University.

John R. Snow

of Charlotte has spent more than twenty years in international banking and investments. Most recently, Snow retired as Vice Chairman of State Street Global Advisors in Boston, the world’s second largest asset management company. In addition to his time with State Street, Snow’s varied career included senior executive positions at NatWest Bank in New York, PanAgora Asset Management in London, and The Boston Company in Boston and London.  Although in recent years he has had a focus on emerging markets and venture capital/private equity, Snow’s earlier career included work in private client trust management, mortgage banking and global custody banking.

Michael Snyder

of Stowe was appointed Commissioner of Vermont Forests, Parks, and Recreation by Gov. Peter Shumlin in December 2010.  Prior to that he served for 14 years as Chittenden County Forester, providing land stewardship assistance to private landowners and municipalities. For 12 years, he taught two courses in Forestry at the University of Vermont, and he continues to write the Woods Whys column for Northern Woodlands Magazine. Previously, he worked in forest ecosystem science at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest and in land surveying and forest management in New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Sweden.  He owns and manages a 91-acre forest in the northern Connecticut River valley of Vermont.  He received both his Bachelor’s and Master of Science degrees in forestry from the University of Vermont.