Several local people are among the 20 Vermont entrepreneurs selected for an executive-level training program at Vermont Technical College in Williston.

The program, Emerging Leaders, offers free training for entrepreneurs who want to expand their small businesses. During the seven-month course, the 20 students work with their instructor and a network of industry experts to develop a three-year strategic growth plan. 

Among the Emerging Leaders class members:

• Ethan Parro, Parro’s Gun Shop in Waterbury.

• Dave Strom, Super Thin Saws in Waterbury.

• Josh Wolfgang, Pinnacle Sports in Stowe.

• Paula Yankauskas, DVM, Lamoille Valley Veterinary Services in Hyde Park.

• Mimi Buttenheim, Mad River Distillers in Warren.

“Since Vermont started hosting this class in 2016, we have had more than 250 applicants. It shows there is a real demand for a class like this in Vermont,” said Darcy Carter, Vermont director for the federal Small Business Administration.

The class is taught by Cairn Cross, co-founder of FreshTracks Capital, a venture capital firm focused on investing in under-served Vermont markets. Cross is also a lecturer at University of Vermont and Champlain College, teaching business, entrepreneurship and funding.

To be considered, firms must be for-profit enterprises, have been in business for at least three years, have at least one full-time employee other than self, and have annual revenues between $250,000 and $10 million.


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