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REDC Gets Interim Leader as Jepson Departs

Published in the Rutland Herald | Story by Gordon Dritschilo | May 15, 2018

Lyle Jepson said REDC is ready to carry on without him.

Jepson is leaving his post as executive director of the Rutland Economic Development Corporation to become the director of the Career & Technical Teacher Education Program at Vermont Technical College. REDC announced Tuesday that Tyler Richardson, REDC’s assistant director, will take over as interim director while the organization decides what to do next.

VTC is based in Randolph, but Jepson said he will remain in the Rutland area.

“The position is such that most of my work I can do pretty much remotely from anywhere,” he said. “I will be doing a lot of traveling around the state to the different tech centers supporting teachers as they work on licensure — returning to my roots, essentially.”

REDC_opportunies

Prior to taking over REDC, Jepson was director of Stafford Technical Center. He left that job in 2014 to become Castleton University’s dean of entrepreneurial programs, and as such assumed the directorship of REDC in 2015 after his predecessor, Jamie Stewart, was pushed out in favor of a deal that had CU taking over administration of the agency.

CU pulled out of that deal earlier this year as part of a restructuring triggered by an expected $1.5 million operating loss. Jepson’s position with the university was eliminated, but he stayed on at REDC.

“To be perfectly honest, I expected Lyle to be here a little longer,” REDC board president John Russell said. “His talents and his reputation in this state are so great I expected him to move on to bigger and better things — just not this quick.”

Russell said the board learned Jepson was leaving Friday and met Monday, appointing Richardson as interim director.

“I would like folks to know you’re not going to see a change or an interruption in services,” he said. “Lyle ran the first rung of a race and we’re going to have a smooth baton-pass to our next executive director.”

He said he would convene the board’s executive committee in the near future to decide what they want to do in the long term.

“The first thing I am inclined to do is see how we can promote from within,” Russell said. “I’m interested in exploring that first. On principle, I’m a big proponent of promoting from within.”

However, Russell said it is not solely his decision, and if the executive committee decides to do a search, his preference would be to recruit locally.

Jepson was heavily involved with the regional marketing initiative in which REDC is working with the Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce and other organizations to promote the area to tourists as a place to live full-time. That plan was billed as a long-term effort, expected to take several years to show fruit. Russell said it will be able to carry on through those upcoming years without Jepson.

“Lyle is a big personality when he comes into a room, but there are a lot of other people who had a role to play,” he said. “I don’t see that hiccupping.”

Jepson said he would miss the people he works with, but he was ready to do a different sort of work.

“Economic development requires an intense amount of your time, professionally and personally,” he said. “It requires you to be ready to go, whenever you’re called upon, to wherever you’re called upon. … I think it’s time for me to spend a little more time with my family. They may not like that, but I like that.”