ACEDC Board Member Chosen for Executive Entrepreneur Program

Sarah "Sas" Stewart of Stonecutter Spirits in Middlebury was selected as one of 20 VT entrepreneurs participating in the executive-level 2018 Emerging Leaders training program held at Vermont Technical College (VTC) in Williston. Stonecutter Spirits is a member of the Addison County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC) and Sas also serves on its Board of Directors.

This VT Emerging Leaders class is a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) training program for entrepreneurs wanting to expand their small businesses. During the 7 month course these students will work with their instructor along with a network of industry experts to create a 3 year strategic growth action plan. VT’s graduates are also assessed annually for 3 years upon completing the program. 

Emerging Leaders is for established business owners and not for start-ups or people who are thinking about starting a business. To be considered, firms must be for-profit enterprises, been in business for at least 3 years, have at least 1 full time employee (other than self), and have annual revenues between $400,000 and $10 million. There are no restrictions on the types of businesses that can participate.

The SBA established the Emerging Leaders program in 2008 to assist entrepreneurs in urban communities, but in 2016 the SBA determined the program could benefit rural states such as Vermont.  This is the program’s third year in the state. In VT, the Emerging Leaders program is financially supported by TD Bank, KeyBank, Community National Bank and the VT Economic Development Authority (VEDA).

The VT Emerging Leaders’ program is sponsored by fellow ACEDC member Davis & Hodgdon Associates CPAs, and other economic development partners such as the VT Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC), VT Agency of Commerce & Community Development (ACCD), VT Chamber of Commerce (VCoC), VT Manufacturing Extension Center (VMEC), VT Business Magazine (VBM), and VT Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR).