Rutland Rising: Professional Job Talks & Advice

Rutland Rising: Professional Job Talks & Advice

On Fridays this fall, at 12 noon ET, Dr. Michael Shank, in partnership with Castleton University, will host a professional development series featuring successful leaders in the business community, in city, state and national government, and in the nonprofit sector. Speakers will discuss how to successfully market yourself in today’s job climate and offer best practices for getting into similar jobs in the public and private sectors. There will be ample opportunity for participants to engage in Q&A with the speakers. The sessions are meant to be fun and engaging, so come with questions!
RSVP below for the Rutland Rising series!


September 18 – Jillian Bonnardeaux, U.S. Department of State

Job Talk: “Foreign Service 101: How to Be a Diplomat and Represent America Abroad

Jillian Bonnardeaux is a Diplomat, also called a Foreign Service Officer, with the U.S. State Department. She is currently the Diplomat In Residence with the East West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, and was most recently the Spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand. 


September 25 – Fmr. U.S. Congressman & Educator Michael Honda and Fmr. Vermont Secretary of Education Rebecca Holcombe

Job Talk: “How to Advocate for Equity as an Educator and Policymaker”

Michael Honda served in Congress for 16 years, served in the Peace Corps in El Salvador, and in his 30-year career as an educator, Honda was a science teacher, a principal at two public schools, a school board member, and a co-founder of the federal government’s Equity and Excellence Commission. Rebecca Holcombe is a life-long educator, who served as a teacher, school administrator, and Vermont’s Secretary of Education.


October 2 – Navid Hanif, United Nations

Job Talk: “Working for the United Nations: A Life of Purpose and Passion”

Navid Hanif is the Director of the Office for Financing for Sustainable Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) United Nations. (Link to Full Bio)

October 2 – Kendra Tupper, Google

Job Talk: “How an Engineering Degree Can Open Doors”

Kendra Tupper, PE, is the Sustainability Operations Lead for Google, a licensed Mechanical Engineer, and previously served as the Chief Sustainability and Resilience Officer for the City of Boulder, Colorado. (Link to Full Bio)


October 9 – Dr. Kimairis Toogood, International Alert

Job Talk: “How to be a Peacebuilder”

Dr. Kimairis Toogood is the Senior Adviser for International Alert’s Africa Programme covering West (Mali, Liberia and Nigeria) and East Africa (Kenya and Somalia). She was formerly the Peacebuilding Advisor to the British Council’s Nigeria Stabilization and Reconciliation Programme in Abuja, Nigeria. Previously, she served as a Conflict Prevention Officer with the US State Department’s Bureau for Conflict and Stabilization Operations. (Link to Full Bio)

October 9 – Jyoti Stephens, Nature’s Path Foods, Inc.

Job Talk: “How a Career in Food can Help Address Our Planetary Crisis”

Jyoti Stephens is VP of Mission and Strategy at Nature’s Path Foods. (Link to Full Bio)


October 16 – Sophia Lafargue, U.S. House of Representatives

Job Talk: “Geeking Out on International Trade Policy in America’s Financial Capital”

Sophia Lafargue is the Chief of Staff for U.S. Congressman Gregory Meeks (NY) in the U.S. Congress. (Link to Full Bio)

October 16 – Deborah Burke, Rockefeller Brothers Fund

Job Talk: “How to Work for a Foundation and Save the World at the Same Time”

Deborah Burke is the Program Officer for the Sustainable Development program at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. (Link to Full Bio)


October 23 – Ven Neralla & Jennifer Van der Heide,
U.S. House of Representatives

Job Talk: “Strategies for Working in Congress or Getting a Political Appointment
in the Next Presidential Administration”

Jennifer Van der Heide is the Chief of Staff for U.S. Congresswoman Deb Haaland (Haaland is one of the first two Native American women to serve in the U.S. Congress). (Link to Full Bio) Ven Neralla is the Chief of Staff for U.S. Congressman Andy Levin. 


October 30 – Kelsey Garrett, The Boeing Company

Job Talk: From American Government to Corporate America:
Changing Industries, not Identities”

Kelsey Garrett leads Corporate Strategy – Market Intelligence for Boeing. Previously, Kelsey worked for the U.S. Department of Defense in the Defense Intelligence Agency as a military intelligence liaison in the Pentagon and in Kosovo, and was the Deputy DIA Liaison for four years at the U.S. Embassy in Paris, France. (Link to Full Bio)


November 6 – Josh Martin, Ideas42.org

Job Talk: “Non-Traditional Career Paths/Strategies
(That land you in jobs you never imagined existed when starting out.)

Josh Martin is the Managing Director of Ideas42.org. (Link to Full Bio)

November 6 – Lisa Witter, Apolitical

Job Talk: “Why Democracy is the Next Hot Investment Space”

Lisa Witter is the Co-founder and Executive Chairperson of Apolitical. (Link to Full Bio)


November 13 – Dana Gold, Government Accountability Project

Job Talk: “How to Pursue a Legal Career and
Keep the Government Accountable to Its Citizens”

Dana Gold is the Senior Counsel and Director of Education for the Government Accountability Project. (Link to Full Bio)


November 20 – Kate Johnson, Government of the District of Columbia

Job Talk: “Why and How to Work for City Government and
Help Cities Become More Sustainable”

Kate Johnson is Chief of the Green Building and Climate Branch, Urban Sustainability Administration, within DC’s Department of Energy and Environment. (Link to Full Bio)


RSVP Below for the Rutland Rising Series!
This series is reserved for Rutland County students of all ages. If you're an alumnus of a Rutland County school, please note school and graduation year in comments below.
After submitting this form, you'll be emailed the zoom/call-in information for the session you've selected.