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Ownership & Management

The Northeast Kingdom Development Corporation (NEKDC) has signed a ground lease with the Town of Hardwick to manage and operate the Yellow Barn. The NEKDC is a non-profit 501(c)(3) that serves as a catalyst for economic development efforts in the region, especially those built on public-private partnerships such as the Hardwick Yellow Barn. As the fiscal agent for the Hardwick Yellow Barn, NEKDC is the primary entity to secure bridge financing during the development of the project and the construction period.

Other initiatives currently undertaken by the NEKDC include the anticipated acquisition and repurposing of a vacant 50,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Newport currently in federal receivership. The purchase and renovation of the building will allow the NEKDC to lease space to a growing snow grooming and utility equipment business for sales, service, and distribution. In recent years, the NEKDC successfully applied for funds from the Northern Border Regional Commission to construct electrical infrastructure at the former paper mill in Gilman (Lunenburg) that would allow a wood pellet manufacturer to locate at the facility.

The NEKDC board represents regional leaders in community and economic development from both the private and public sectors.

Aminta Conant, NEKDC President: Minty has been in business for thirty years with experience running manufacturing facilities in Vermont, New Hampshire and North Carolina. After years of business consulting to companies across the United States and Europe, she is currently Special Projects Manager (formerly CFO) and part owner of Caledonia Spirits, the maker of Barr Hill Gin. Previously, she served as the Director of Lean Six Sigma programs for Lydall, Inc., an international manufacturing company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Minty is a CPA and has an MBA degree, and brings to the NEKDC Board not only her experience and knowledge of accounting, finance, and good business practices, but also her experience in working in a public company. For thirty years she has actively managed rental property in both Vermont and New Hampshire. Passionate about economic development, she sits on several boards that are dedicated to increasing employment in the Northeast Kingdom. She lives in Barnet.

Kim Butler: As a member of the Downs Rachlin Martin (DRM) Business Law and Real Estate Group for more than two decades, Kim provides counsel to clients in the business, commercial finance and real estate development fields. Kim advises for-profit and non-profit businesses and their owners and managers on all aspects of the business life cycle, including entity formation, operational matters, corporate governance, contracting, equity and debt financing, succession planning, business sales, and mergers and acquisitions. She currently sits on the Board of Trustees of Burke Mountain Academy and is also the former member President of the Board of The Riverside School, and a former member, board member and Past President of the Littleton Rotary Club. She also has previously served as President of Affordable Housing, Education and Development (AHEAD), Inc., was founding director of the Littleton Consumer Cooperative Society, Inc., and chaired the Kirby (Vermont) Zoning Board and Planning Commission.

Richard Isabelle: Rick has been the owner of Isabelle Insurance Agency for more than a decade. Based in Newport, he is committed to helping individuals and businesses in the agricultural, commercial, and contracting industries throughout northern Vermont and New Hampshire. With a strong background in finance and business, he is well equipped to help clients grow their businesses while protecting their financial wellbeing through affordable insurance solutions. Rick has been recognized by Farm Family/American National Insurance Company for his efforts in helping his clients meet their needs. Recognitions include the achievement of a multi-year President's Club Award, and Farm Family's top award, The Multiple Line Distinguished Sales Award for 2015 and 2016, and Presidents Club 2017 and 2018. Rick’s business experience also includes more than three decades of banking with Community National Bank, where he served as Regional Vice President.

Eric Remick: A software and computing consultant from the private sector, Eric currently serves as the Chair of the Hardwick Selectboard and is a key member of the Hardwick Yellow Barn core project team. He has participated in weekly progress meetings since the core team’s formation in 2018 and has served as an anchor tenant liaison by attending regular design meetings with the project team’s architect and engineers, as well as design consultants for anchor tenants. Familiar with local, state and federal funding sources, he also regularly interfaces with project grant funders and lenders. He is also active of the Hardwick Trails Committee, the Vermont Trails and Greenway Council, and the committee for Lamoille Valley Rail Trail, which runs directly adjacent to the Yellow Barn. He lives in Hardwick, where he has been a sugar maker since 2004.

Tom Robinson: Tom has 33 years of local banking experience at Passumpsic Bank and Community National Bank, including experience in branch management, consumer lending, mortgage lending, retail lending management, and commercial banking. Prior to that, he had 11 years in administration with the St. Johnsbury Trucking Company. Tom has a BS in Business Administration from the University of Vermont. In addition to the Northeast Kingdom Development Corporation, Tom’s community service commitments include the Northern Counties Health Care Board and the board of Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital. Duties include Treasurer and Board Chair for both organizations. Tom also serves on the Board of Directors and as Treasurer for the Northeast Kingdom Development Corporation, and also as a board member of the Northeastern Vermont Development Association, the regional planning commission and economic development corporation for Caledonia, Essex, and Orleans Counties. A lifelong Vermont resident, Tom resides in Waterford.

David Snedeker: Since 2013, Dave has served as the Executive Director of the Northeastern Vermont Development Association, the joint regional planning and economic development corporation serving the 3-county Northeast Kingdom region of Vermont. Responsible for overseeing all organizational activities, much of his current work is providing direct assistance to the business community - connecting businesses both small and large to the resources they need to thrive and grow. He was instrumental in creating the region’s Foreign Trade Zone and has successfully written many funding applications for infrastructure and business development. His municipal service includes roles as Village Trustee, Zoning Administrator, Planning Commission Chair, and Municipal Administrator. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University and Master’s degree with a focus on regional planning and community development from Western Illinois University. He lives in Barton.