April 21, 2018, Williston, VT— Dave Long, founder and president of Staticworx, Inc., began a seven-month program for emerging leaders, sponsored by the Small Business Association of Vermont. The SBA’s Emerging Leaders Initiative provides close to 100 hours of classroom time, and focuses on helping participating business owners and executives develop a three-year strategic growth plan. Participants work with experienced coaches and mentors, attend workshops, and meet with peer groups to share experiences and discuss problems and potential solutions.
After completing the program, graduates are assessed annually for three years, providing the ongoing support necessary to bring their long-term plan to fruition. “It’s an honor to be selected,” Long says. “We have a chance to connect with government resources and business leaders invested in nurturing and developing local businesses.
Long is impressed with the innovative businesses represented by the group, and the creativity of people in the state of Vermont. “This is an amazing place. People come to Vermont for the quality of life. They don’t necessarily buy in to cultural excesses,” he muses, and that free-spirited attitude, he feels, drives innovation and creativity.
One of the goals of the class it to encourage business leaders around the state take an integral part in supporting and bolstering their communities—a shining example of doing well by doing good, Long believes.
Congressman Peter Welch and Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan were guest speakers at the introductory class. Their presence shows the state’s commitment to supporting local businesses, Long says, to promoting business growth, and to increasing job opportunities vital to the welfare of Vermonters and Vermont communities.
The course leader, Cairn Cross, is co-founder of the venture capital firm, FreshTracks Capital. He’s also a lecturer at the University of Vermont and Champlain College, where he teaches business, entrepreneurship and funding.
“I applied hoping for a chance to meet and network with others operating a diverse range of businesses,” Long says. “I’m eager to apply what I learn to helping Staticworx reach the success I know we’re capable of achieving.”
About the Emerging Leaders Program
The SBA established the Emerging Leaders program in 2008 to assist entrepreneurs in urban communities. In 2016 the SBA expanded the program to rural states such as New Hampshire and Vermont. This is the program’s third year in Vermont. The Vermont Emerging Leaders program is also sponsored by TD Bank, KeyBank, Community National Bank, and the Vermont Economic Development Authority.