Vermont's Business Assistance Team

We only use red tape for ribbon cuttings.

Our economic development team is just a call or email away. 

We’re here to assist your business and can direct you toward the many state programs and  incentives that help businesses thrive.

In addition, the Vermont Legislature and the office of Governor Phil Scott are some of the most easily accessible political bodies in the nation. State and local chambers of commerce as well as regional development centers are positioned around Vermont in an effort to assist businesses with any other problem that arises. 

Joan Goldstein

Vermont Department of Economic Development

Joan Goldstein has been Commissioner of the Department of Economic Development since April of 2015 – initially appointed by Governor Shumlin and reappointed by Governor Scott. During that time, she has built a multi-talented team of professionals with varied expertise across sectors including financial, technology, small business, and government. She has particular interest in advancing the state’s 


entrepreneurial activities, while implementing the covid-19 relief and recovery investment programs. Prior to her appointment to commissioner she spent six years as Executive Director of the Green Mountain Economic Development Corporation (GMEDC). Under her tenure the regional development corporation for Northern Windsor and Orange counties was able to diversify services with real estate investments, brownfields and flood recovery grants, and innovative workforce development projects and programs. Prior to GMEDC, Goldstein worked as a small business advisor for the Vermont Small Businesses Development Center. Before moving to Vermont from New York City 16 years ago, Joan spent many years in the financial services industry at JP Morgan and Credit Suisse in a variety of international sales, marketing, client relationship, and project management roles in the correspondent banking, equity capital markets, and private banking areas. She previously held Series 7,63, and 24 securities and NYS insurance licenses. Joan serves and has previously served  on many municipal, non profit, and for profit boards including selectboard, Gifford Health Care, Vermont Institute of Natural Science, and Mascoma Bank. In her leisure, she enjoys spending time with family, cooking, and riding on rail trails. 

(802) 272-2399

Brett Long

Deputy Commissioner
Vermont Department of Economic Development

As Deputy Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Economic Development, Brett oversees the Department’s economic development and workforce programs, including business recruitment. Brett also manages a grant from the US Department of Defense’s Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation that helps defense-related businesses across New England develop new capabilities.

(802) 461-9353

Sara DeFilippi

Trade & Partner Relations Manager
Vermont Department of Tourism and  Marketing

Sara DeFilippi is the Trade & Partner Relations Manager for the Department of Tourism and Marketing. She manages relationships with domestic and international travel trade partners as well as tourism partners in Vermont. Sara is also the department lead for the Big E, agritourism and Amtrak marketing.

(802) 272-2633

Hilary DelRoss

Communications Director for the Department of Economic Development

As the Communications Director for the Department of Economic Development, Hilary tells the stories of Vermont companies successfully utilizing State programs and initiatives to start or scale their business. She previously served as a program manager in the Departments of Economic Development and Tourism and Marketing, connecting Vermont organizations to State resources.

(802) 622-4337

Kristie Farnham

Director of Business Support
Vermont Department of Economic Development

Kristie is the Program Manager for our Brownfields Clean-up and Windham County Economic Development Programs.  She also serves as the Vermont State Program Manager for the Northern Border Regional Commission.   

Kristie’s career in state government began in 1999; she joined our team in 2016. She’s a lifelong Vermonter.

(802) 398-5268

Nate Formalarie

Communications Director
Agency of Commerce and Community Development

Nate Formalarie is the Communications Director for the Agency of Commerce and Community Development and the Department of Tourism and Marketing. He handles media inquiries and leads the Agency’s content team, tasked with telling the stories of Vermont. Previously Nate worked at WCAX-TV, Woodchuck Hard Cider and Cabot Creamery Cooperative.

(802) 522-7323

Nick Grimley

Director of Entrepreneurship & Tech Commercialization
Vermont Department of Economic Development

Nick’s work drives entrepreneurship and tech commercialization in Vermont. A co-founder of LaunchVT, Nick brings entrepreneurship and ecosystem building to the table. He was Director of Business Development at Vermont Teddy Bear and has a decade’s experience in risk management and problem-solving. Nick is an avid skier and fly fisherman.

(802) 798-2328

Brittany Nevins

Captive Insurance Economic Development Director

Brittany is responsible for the marketing and business development of Vermont’s captive insurance industry, working to strengthen the state’s reputation as the premier captive insurance domicile. Brittany has supported various industries and received a MA in Sustainable Development from SIT Graduate Institute and an undergraduate from the University of Vermont.

(802) 398-5192

Joanne Spaulding

Vermont Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC)

Joanne has been with the VT Procurement Technical Assistance Center since 2004, helping Vermont businesses find government contracting opportunities. Joanne is a member of the Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers and the Department of Defense Northeast Regional Council. Joanne lives in Central Vermont with her husband and daughters.

(802) 522-9135

Abbie Sherman

Executive Director
Vermont Economic Progress Council

Abbie Sherman is the Executive Director for the Vermont Economic Progress Council. Through the VEGI and TIF program, she works with businesses and communities to spur economic opportunity and vitality. Abbie is a lifelong Vermonter and with over 11 years of municipal experience. She is a member of the Vermont Government Finance Officers Association, serving on the executive board since 2018.


Tim Tierney

Director of Business Recruitment and International Trade 
Vermont Department of Economic Development

Tim oversees the Vermont Global Trade Partnership, helping businesses broaden the reach of products and exports. He works with trade partners to boost foreign investment within Vermont and helps regional development directors encourage business growth. Tim serves as a member of the State International Development Organizations and the Eastern Trade Council.

(802) 505-5496

John Young

Vermont Training Program

John manages the Vermont Training Program, a workforce development grant program that helps businesses address needs, including training for new equipment or process changes. John visits over 100 businesses a year and facilitates 30-50 cross-sector grant applications.

A lifelong Vermonter, John grows giant pumpkins for competitions all over New England.

(802) 355-2725

Daegan Goodman

Senior Economic Development Specialist & State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Manager
Vermont Department of Economic Development

Daegan manages Vermont’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grant awarded by the U.S. Small Business Administration. STEP supports Vermont businesses to engage internationally, through trade missions, trade shows and export education. Vermont’s STEP objective is to increase the overall number of small business exporters and increase their export sales with a focus on relationship development, export planning, and job creation.