Vermont Small Business Development Center Announces State Star

Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) State Director Linda Rossi this week announced Business Advisor Laurel Butler as VtSBDC’s 2017 Vermont State Star. “I am pleased to make this announcement and to recognize Laurel for her many contributions to Vermont start-ups and the positive impact she has made to our organization.  Laurel was nominated by her peers and is a highly respected member of the VtSBDC team,” Rossi said.

Butler is the Start-up Specialist and champion of student and youth entrepreneurship initiatives at VtSBDC. She joined VtSBDC as a consultant eight years ago and was hired a year later under the Small Business Jobs Act, which allowed her to assist 83 new business start-ups. She is currently a business advisor and student entrepreneur specialist as well as Vermont Technical College’s manager of gender equity/STEM & experiential outreach programs.  In this dual role, she shares her passion and professionalism when assisting people of all ages in reaching entrepreneurial endeavors and educational pathways. 
Butler is a native Vermonter with over 35 years of professional experience. She has also lived in many parts of the U.S. and the world. Growing up as an hotelier’s daughter, Butler was introduced early on to hospitality, business, and entrepreneurship.  She spent many years in management, marketing and training in that industry and has owned and operated her own small hospitality businesses.

Butler is certified in secondary education, teaching entrepreneurship, and business finance.  She is an advocate for “experiential learning” with a passion for helping young people develop an “entrepreneurial mindset.” She leads several statewide programs including a business plan, pitch, and visual media competitions, as well as a week-long Governor’s Institute on Entrepreneurship. 

“Laurel is known for her dogged determination, empathy, and attention to detail,” said fellow VtSBDC Area Advisor Charley Ininger. “She has been an outstanding performer…I am proud to be her colleague,” he said.

Butler will be recognized at the national America’s SBDC conference in Nashville in September. America’s Small Business Development Center Network is a partnership uniting private enterprise, government, higher education and local nonprofit economic development organizations. “It is truly an honor to receive the State Star award and to be doing work that doesn’t feel like work. It’s what I enjoy and I am most passionate about. However, the greatest honor of this award is that it is granted to me by my peers, my colleagues,” Butler said.