“When I began my national search for a college with a specialization in hospitality and tourism, it was a challenge to find a program that would fit both my educational and personal needs.
“As a non-traditional student with two children, I found that Johnson State College had the resources, schedule and program that worked for me. I not only learned the business of the hospitality and tourism industry in the classroom, but I had the chance to work in the field through the department’s network of businesses.
I worked at three major ski resorts in the area and eventually had an internship with the State of Vermont, in the Department of Tourism and Marketing, which offering me a job when I graduated! The education I received from Johnson enabled me to hit the ground running and quickly advance. Only a short time later I was appointed Deputy Commissioner for the department.
It’s a great job that allows me to travel all over the world promoting Vermont as a destination for tourists and partnering with businesses and organizations to spread the word about all the great things Vermont has to offer. I love my job, and I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have it without Johnson State College.”
In 2012, Steve was named a “Rising Star” by Vermont Business Magazine.
Here are some excerpts from the information provided by Steve at the awards ceremony:
Career Highlights: There are so many parts of my career that I have enjoyed, and also many that have been challenging. My most challenging and most rewarding moment was in the weeks following Tropical Storm Irene. It was a time when government, community, business and citizens came together to tackle one of this state’s largest challenges. My challenge was to bring visitors to Vermont during our most critical tourism season. Together we quickly created and executed a national and regional advertising campaign to ensure visitors that Vermont was open for business. We launched a call center for volunteers and donations to the disaster relief fund in a little over 8 hours. We worked 24 hours a day to ensure that Vermont was top of mind for consumers, and never once did we tire. It was an amazing moment in time for me to be a part of.
Favorite Part of Job: My favorite part of representing the Vermont tourism industry is working with Vermont’s small businesses and learning about the uniqueness of their products and supporting their efforts for success. Vermont is filled with creative people and I have learned so much by listening to small business owners recipes for success.
Most Inspiring Mentor Todd Comen, head professor of Johnson State College’s hospitality and tourism program. I attended Johnson State College as a nontraditional student, and Professor Comen worked tirelessly to support me.
Link to Steve’s award page for more information.