MONTPELIER — Gov. Phil Scott has appointed two former legislators to coordinate plans to expand the size of Vermont’s workforce. Sen. Dustin Degree (R-Franklin) will serve as special assistant to the governor and executive director of workforce expansion. Former Rep. Sarah Buxton (D-Windsor-Orange 1) will assume the new role of director of workforce policy and performance within the Vermont Department of Labor. “Growing and strengthening our workforce is the most important goal we have as we work to grow our economy, make Vermont more affordable, and protect the most vulnerable. Increasing the size of our workforce is central to our ability to make investments in the priorities of our state,” said Scott.
RANDOLPH — Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Alexander Orem has joined Gifford Medical Center. Specializing in adult joint replacement surgery, he brings anterior approach total hip replacement and bone-saving knee surgery expertise to Gifford’s orthopedic team. He currently is a staff physician at Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s orthopedic surgery adult reconstruction division and will be seeing Gifford patients two days a week in Randolph. “I enjoy helping patients regain their quality of life after suffering from degenerative joint disease,” he said. “It is rewarding to see the positive outcome this surgery often brings.”
RUTLAND — John Haussner has joined Davis & Hodgdon Associates CPAs as an associate accountant. Haussner is a graduate of Pace University with a master’s degree in business administration and is on track to earning a certified public accountant license within the next year. Prior experience includes audit and accounting positions, most recently at PKF O’Connor Davies, LLP in New York. He has a strong background in nonprofit auditing as well as experience in bookkeeping and providing analytical support to many in the nonprofit industry, including health care organizations, private schools and foundations. Haussner will be operating from the firm’s Williston location.
RUTLAND — Richard Cassidy was recently selected by his peers for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America 2018 edition in the following areas: Employment law (individuals and litigation), labor and employment, and mediation, according to a news release. Cassidy, a Rutland native, is a 1975 graduate of Mount Saint Joseph Academy. He is a personal injury and employment lawyer who also works regularly as a mediator and arbitrator. A founder of Rich Cassidy Law, he has more than 36 years’ experience with the practice of law in Vermont.
MONTPELIER— Judy Geer and Win Smith have joined The Nature Conservancy’s board of trustees. Geer, of Morrisville, along with her husband, Dick Dreissigacker, direct the Craftsbury Outdoor Center, a nonprofit outdoor recreational and training facility that hosts Nordic skiing, rowing, running and cycling activities. Geer has also been a part of the Concept2 team, that manufactures and sells rowing and fitness equipment. A former Olympian, Geer was a member of the U.S. National Rowing Team, which competed in the 1976, 1980 and 1984 Olympics. Smith, of Warren and Shelburne, is chairman and CEO of Summit Ventures NE, which owns Sugarbush Resort, where he also serves as president.
BURLINGTON — The Vermont Housing Finance Agency reports that David Adams, chief of program operations, will retire Nov. 17. At the same time, Maura Collins will be promoted to the position of deputy director. “Dave has expertly led our programs through the turbulent economic and mortgage industry changes of the past two decades,” said VHFA Executive Director Sarah Carpenter. Adams, a longtime Jericho resident, was inducted into the New England Mortgage Bankers Hall of Fame in 2012.
JOHNSON — Margo Warden, director of first-year experience at Johnson State College, has been chosen to receive this year’s Jackie Gribbons Leadership Award, given by Vermont Women in Higher Education. The Jackie Gribbons award recognizes Vermont female leaders who develop innovative programs, act as mentors and models, and contribute substantially to an institution. “Margo Warden is the embodiment of positivity. She understands deeply how to engage students, has a built-in compass for social justice, and is one of those leaders who motivates others through her own willingness to roll up her sleeves and cheerfully get the work done,” said Tracy Sherbrook, a VWHE executive board member who works at Lyndon State College. Warden has worked as director of first-year experience since 2006.
Jim Avery of Cornwall has been accepted into the Vermont School Leadership Project’s class of 2018, a program of the Snelling Center for Government. Avery is the principal at Otter Valley Union High School in Brandon. Avery joins 24 other educators from across the state in a program that offers intensive professional development for superintendents, principals, curriculum and special-education directors, as well as other education professionals who have proven leadership abilities. The class of 2018 will meet at Lake Morey Resort over the next 13 months. During their second year of the program, associates will apply and integrate new information through a transformation initiative conducted within their schools.
WATERBURY– On Oct. 17, Vermont officials announced an online tool to help Vermonters weigh health insurance options and choose the health plan that best fits their medical needs and budget. The 2018 Plan Comparison Tool allows individuals and small-business employees to compare at least 24 health plan options, not just by monthly premiums and deductible amounts, but also by estimated total annual costs. “Comparison shopping is how Americans try to get the best deal possible for all kinds of consumer choices,” said Cory Gustafson, commissioner of the Department of Vermont Health Access. “This tool makes it easy for Vermonters to do that research and comparison (shop) for health insurance.”
RUTLAND — Ted Rappahahn has been selected as director of finance for BROC Community Action. Rappahahn brings a wealth of financial experience and knowledge to the position. He is a successful, hands-on, detail-oriented and highly motivated individual, according to a news release, whose contributions to management positions in the past have included strategic recommendations and solutions demonstrating creativity and insight. Rappahahn and his family are building a home in Sunderland and enjoy skiing in Vermont.