People in the news

Burlington attorney Thomas D. Kohler, an intellectual property litigator and patent prosecutor, was elected to membership in the firm as a director after first joining DRM in the fall. Most recently, Kohler was a partner in the San Francisco office of Morgan Lewis & Bockius.

Vermont College of Fine Arts announces that two members of its arts community have won national honors for their writing for young adults. Faculty member Kathi Appelt’s middle grade novel The Underneath (Atheneum, 2008) has won a Newbery Honor, presented by the American Library Association, and VCFA Board of Trustees member and former faculty member Tobin (M.

Eric D. Jones, who practices in both the Burlington and Lebanon, N.H. offices, will be the new chair of the Employment and Labor Practice Group. Jones represents regional and national employers in a broad range of matters, including the defense of employment disputes before state and federal courts and enforcement agencies.

Jennifer Smith was recently voted 2008 Employee of the Year at Otter Creek Awnings, Sunrooms & Custom Closets of Williston, Vermont. Smith, a resident of Jericho, joined Otter Creek in 1997 in the role of Office Manager.

Michael Burak, a member of Burak, Anderson & Melloni, has been named by Super Lawyers magazine as one of the top attorneys in Vermont. Only 5% of the lawyers in New England received this peer recognition and professional achievement award. Anja Freiburg and Shane McCormack were also named as “Rising Stars” by Super Lawyers magazine.

Dinse, Knapp & McAndrew, P.C. a business and litigation law firm with offices in Burlington, Vermont and Plattsburgh, New York announced today that two attorneys have joined the firm. Andy MacIlwaine joined the firm as an associate in September, 2008. MacIlwaine practices litigation with emphases on civil cases, including professional malpractice defense and commercial litigation.

A native Vermonter with 20 years of experience in family care is making the Chelsea Health Center his workplace and town of Washington his home. Dr Brian Sargent has returned to Vermont and Gifford Medical Center after a career in the US Navy that spanned 32 years. Born in Northfield, Sargent grew up in Bradford and Underhill.

John McSoley and Peter McCoy have announced that Tom Stretton has been admitted as a partner to McSoley McCoy & Co effective January 1, 2009. Stretton joined McSoley, McCoy & Co in 2000 and specializes in audits of businesses, non-profit organizations and retirement plans.

The Vermont Agency, a comprehensive financial services firm, has hired the following associates in the second half of 2008: Leslie Armstrong, Robert Bisson, Ross Burke, Liz Kenerson, Louise Kowalewitz, Henry Laidlaw, Gosia Mazurkiewicz, Todd Mugford, Uday Smith, Tyler Spiegel, and Tyler Wood. These associates are also agents for National Life Insurance Company.

Susan Biggs joins Southern Vermont College (SVC) as the new director of communications. Biggs has worked in the communications field for over 25 years in the education, non-profit and the business sectors. Most recently, she served as director of corporate communications at Applejack Art Partners.

Geoffrey R Hesslink, SVP for Merchants Bank has announced the appointment of William “Bill” Kidder, as commercial loan officer. Kidder will be based in the White River Junction office, working alongside Ed Childs and Vicki Olsen. Prior to joining Merchants Bank, he was employed with RBS Citizens, NA as a vice president in the corporate banking group.

SymQuest Group, Inc, has announced the appointment of Todd Chandler to account executive for the Rutland and Glens Falls, NY territories. Chandler has more than 20 years of experience as a former employee of Canon USA.