Marketing Sub-Committee


Nick Grimley | Commercial Sales Executive :: Hackett, Valine & McDonald (HVK)

Nick is the Steering Committee Advisor for the Burlington Young Professionals. Nick is a Commercial Sales Executive with Hackett Valine & MacDonald, an insurance and risk management firm located in South Burlington, Vermont. Nick is a graduate of the University Of Wyoming College Of Business where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Finance. Nick joined the Burlington Young Professionals for the chance to foster professional opportunities for young people in Vermont.

Eric LaMontagne | Outreach Director :: Lake Champlain International

Eric is the Outreach Director at Lake Champlain International. He graduated from the Rubenstein Schhol at the University of Vermont where he studied Wildlife and Fisheries Biology. As Outreach Director for Lake Champlain International, his position is all about developing strong relationships. Through creative, two-way partnerships he is bale to help people take advantage of opportunities to grow their businesses in the Northeast Region, while supporting LCI’s mission of a swimmable, drinkable, fishable Lake Champlain.
On a personal level, Eric loves to do anything that gives him an excuse to be on the water or in the woods.

Abbie Tykocki | Director of Marketing and Public Relations :: Burlington Telecom

In addition to working as Director of Marketing & PR for Burlington Telecom, Abbie has been a BYP member since 2013. Previously she managed marketing and development for Vermont Stage and the Discover Jazz Festival. Abbie holds a BA in Theatre from Michigan State University and a Masters in Arts & Media Management from Columbia College. She channels her love of the theater into actively volunteering with Lyric Theatre and Vermont Stage. When she's not networking, you can find her at her home in Essex Junction with her brilliantly handy husband, rambunctiously adorable son, and sweet rescue pup.

Events and Meet Ups Sub-Committee

Blair Knowles | Real Estate Agent :: Keller Williams Reality, Inc.

Blair wears many hats, she is the Owner and CEO of Knowles Real Estate Group, she is a Landlord, a Listing Specialist, and a Deal Closer. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication, Drama and Video Production from the University of St. Thomas in Texas. She sees real estate as one of those rare professions where you can truly impact the way people live and the way our neighborhoods function and thrive. From a homeowners finances to their actual physical surroundings Blair finds that helping individuals and families sell and find homes is one of the most exciting ways to contribute to peoples lives and to the amazing communities of Vermont.
Blair is a property owner and a landlord in the Burlington area. She is an avid yoga practitioner, member of the Burlington Young Professionals and long distance cyclist (ask her about the time she biked across the United States!)

Leah Swanson | Catering Accounts Manager :: Have Your Cake Catering

Leah Swanson is the Catering Acocunts Manager at Have Your Cake Catering. She graduated from the University of Vermont with a degree in Social Work. Leah is a dedicated Burlington community member. She started working with Have Your Cake Catering in the spring of 2012 and has worked there ever since. Initially, she picked it up as a part time gig to make money while in college, but it then led to her current position! She loves making someone’s vision their reality—especially when it comes to weddings.
She's lived in Vermont her entire life—grew up in Halifax, and no, not Nova Scotia! She loves Vermont and its changes in seasons. Some of my favorite things are finding the perfect autumn leaf, snowshoeing in the woods with my dog, going on brewery tours of Vermont’s finest beers, going for a nice bike ride, and going out to eat! Whether she is volunteering her time in the community or planning a wedding, Leah is sure to have a big smile on her face.

Elena Yakimova | Systems Analyst :: MyWebGrocer

Elena is an active member of the community. She enjoys helping others succeed, grow their career, network and have fun!  She volunteers for a number of professional associations as the VP of Programs at PMI Champlain Valley Chapter, Director of events at IIBA Green Mountain Branch, and a planning committee member at The Professional Collaborative. She feels as though BYP is the perfect place to reach out and foster collaboration between young professionals in the area, so she is very excited to be part of the Steering Committee.
Elena works for MyWebGrocer, where she does business, systems analysis, and project management. She graduated from UVM with an MBA, and studied Accounting and Finance for her bachelors. Originally from Yaroslavl, the Burlington sister-city in Russia, Elena fell in love with Vermont—the nature, the  incredible people and the community. In her spare time she likes traveling, working out, running, baking, and meeting new people.

Partners Sub-Committee

Kristin Howard | Marketing Director :: Spirit of Ethan Allen

Kristin is the Marketing Director of the Spirit of the Ethan Allen, where she has been working for the past four years. She graduated from Saint Lawrence University in 2010 where she received a Bachelor of Arts in English. She loves to be a tourist in her own state. She spends a lot of time wandering around Burlington and Stowe. Both towns are really dog friendly, so her pup is usually enjoying the sites and sounds along with her!


Aria Allen | Team Manager :: National LIfe Group

Aria recently moved back to Vermont after living in Jacksonville, Florida for several years where she managed a Contact Center at Wounded Warrior Project. She grew up in Greensboro, VT and attended Wheaton College and the University of North Florida where she graduated with a Bachelors in International Studies. She is happy to be home near her family and living in this wonderful state again.

Chelsea Lafayette (Advisor) | Marketing and Development Manager :: Burlington Discover Jazz Festival

Chelsea Lafayette joined the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival in 2014 after seven years with the Flynn Center of the Performing Arts as Program Manager, working on event sales and artist contracts. She is a graduate of Tulane University in New Orleans, LA, where she studied Communications and Art History and interned with French Quarter Festivals. Originally from Dallas, Texas, Chelsea serves on the steering committee for the Burlington Young Professionals through the Lake Champlain Region Chamber of Commerce.

Charitable Events Sub-Committee

Joe Doud | Assistant General Manager :: Vermont Lake Monsters

Joe is the General Manager for the Vermont Lake Monsters baseball team, the short-season Single A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. Joe grew up in nearby Colchester and loves the fact that he can develop professionally in the community he was raised in. Joe is an active member of the Steering Committee because he wants to create an environment for young professionals to develop in the Burlington area.

Kerry Hill | Career Advisor: Division of Communication and Creative Media :: Champlain College

Kerry is part of the Career Services Team at Champlain College and works with students with in the CCM Division (Communication and Creative Media). Originally from Massachusetts, she attended Saint Michael's College and knew immediately that upon graduation Burlington would be her home. Where else can you hike all day and relax at night by Lake Champlain? This community is truly like none other. Kerry has been involved with the LCRCC through work with various non profits and student programming and is beyond honored to start a new chapter with the BYP.  She is looking forward to connecting young professional both inside out outside of the higher education world to career opportunities across the state.

Peter Pikulski | Associate Agent :: Nationwide Insurance

Peter is an Associaote Agent at the Jared Jabaut Agency, an independent Nationwide Insurance and Financial Services Company located in Shelburne, VT. Peter graduated from Saint Michael's College with a degree in History and has been living and working in the Burlington area since 2009. Peter joined the Burlington Young Professionals to help create a place where young professionals can build meaningful connections that pave the way for successful and meaningful careers in Burlington.

Zack Engler | Local Manager :: The Chill Foundation

Zack is a 2013 graduate of UVM, where he earned a degree in Environmental Studies. During his studies, Zack was given the opportunity to intern with the Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean, which drew him to careers in the non-profit world. As an avid snowboarder and skateboarder from a young age, working with the Chill Foundation has allowed him to combine his passion for sport with his drive to help the community. He is responsible for all operations of the Chill Foundation’s Burlington area youth development programs. Zack is also a long time volunteer at Camp Ta-Kum-Ta, and currently sits on both their Program Committee, and Board of Directors. A native of Jay, Vermont, and current South Burlington resident, Zack enjoys taking advantage of all that Vermont has to offer. He is excited to work with BYP to connect and collaborate within this exceptional community.