About the Chamber - SVDV Chamber of Commerce
River during the winter time.

About the Chamber

The Southern Vermont Deerfield Valley Chamber of Commerce was established in 1970 to support the region’s business community, promote its unique natural assets and facilitate economic growth throughout the area. Since then it has partnered with businesses and organizations throughout Deerfield Valley to create a vibrant and resilient community.

Mission

The Southern Vermont Deerfield Valley Chamber of Commerce serves the Deerfield Valley by fostering growth and innovation; developing an informed business community; promoting tourism; and advocating for our region.

Chamber Signature Events

Vermont Craft Beer & Chili Stroll – Enjoy crisp Vermont Craft Beer and delicious chili tastings spread throughout Historic Downtown Wilmington. Shop, Sip, Enjoy!

Independence Day Celebration & Fireworks Display – Featuring food vendors, live music, family friendly games, cotton candy and a breathtaking fireworks display on Hayford Field in Wilmington.

Annual Chamber Golf Tournament – Held at Haystack Golf Club, the Annual Chamber Golf Tournament is a fun filled afternoon of golf, raffle prizes and friendly competition. Open to all.

Vermont Blueberry Festival – Blueberries take over Deerfield Valley for a 10 day festival that includes a street fair, blueberry block party, boat extravaganza, blueberry picking at Boyd Family Farm, delicious blueberry specials & so much more!

Vermont Wine & Harvest Festival – Celebrating all things Vermont, the Vermont Wine & Harvest Festival brings together wineries, cider-makers, breweries and distillers along side artisans and crafters for a weekend of tasting, shopping and dancing amongst the stunning Vermont fall foliage.

Chamber Board of Directors

Charlie Foster, Wilmington Inn – Board President
Charlie Foster serves as the President of the SVDV Chamber and is a proud owner of The Wilmington Inn.  With a background in Hospitality, he enjoys meeting new people and introducing them to the area.  Prior to moving to Wilmington, Charlie worked for Hyatt Hotels in Boston.  Charlie is also involved in many community groups – Vice- Chair of the Wilmington Development Review Board, and Chair of the Bi-Town STR/LTR housing subcommittee. Charlie also runs CF Woodcraft, which a successful passion project, making cutting boards and more. In any free time, he likes to fish and travel.   Charlie has been married to Megan Foster for 15 years; Megan is the co-owner of The Wilmington Inn & the owner of Perfectly Planned which is a local event planning business.

Shannon Wheeler, Town of Dover – Vice President
Shannon Wheeler is the Assistant Director of Economic Development for the Town of Dover, coming from a 20+ year hospitality career that spanned bakeries, hotels, and resorts from Miami to the Adirondacks.  She leads the Dover Girl Scout Troop, serves as the Chamber Board Vice President, and has a competitive snowboarder daughter.

Steven O’Hern, Farm Road Estate – Vice President
This Vermont native has a rich history of leading some of the best hotels and restaurants in the country. His first stop iwas as Twin Farms, a 5-Star property in Barnard, VT, where he would work his way up to Restaurant Manager in a few short years. He then headed to Tennessee and Blackberry Farm, a Mobil 4-Star property with country-chic quarters and haute dining. In five years, he ascended to Director of Lodging Operations while developing their signature style of service. In April 2004 Steven reunited with Twin Farms as the Assistant GM and later became the Resort Manager at The Whiteface Lodge in Lake Placid, NY. But a unique opportunity brought him back to Vermont in August 2008, where he launched the Hermitage Inn as General Manager. Steven helped launch Farm Road Estate in 2020 and has seen it grow into a luxury all-seasons property, wedding destination, and culinary hub.

Lisa Sullivan, Bartleby’s Books – Treasurer
Lisa Sullivan serves as the Treasurer for the chamber, and has previously served as the board’s chair. She owns and operates Bartleby’s Books, the area’s independent bookstore in downtown Wilmington. Sullivan moved to the valley in 2001 after working at a successful technology startup. She has worked on a number of boards focused on community and economic development in southern Vermont. She and her husband, Phil, live in Wilmington with their three children.

Chrystal Holt, 1a Coffee Roasters and Valley Craft Ales – Secretary
Born in Idaho, but spent most of her early life in Alabama. Completed Bachelor of Science at University of Alabama Birmingham, then followed up with a Masters in Clinical Psychology at Auburn University. Chrystal has lived many places including Las Vegas, NV; Montgomery, AL; Helsinki, Finland and Washington DC before coming to Vermont in 2018. Her professional background spans a variety of industries to include child psychology, retail, real estate property management, government contracting (program support and management) and now coffee roasting and several small business ventures. She enjoy reading, interior decorating, movies, cooking new things, organizing, hiking, coffee, and gardening. Chrystal is a mother to two daughters and partner to her husband of 13 years. She enjoys contributing to something bigger than herself, and being part of a team. Grateful to be part of the Deerfield Valley community.

Rich Caplan, Deerfield Valley Real Estate – Past President
Richard Caplan Principal Broker and Owner of Deerfield Valley Real Estate is originally from West Hartford Connecticut he moved to the area in 1987 and began working in real estate in 1989. Rich is currently on the board of directors for the Southern Vermont Deerfield Valley Chamber of Commerce, Southern Vermont Board of Realtors, the Grand Summit Hotel and has been a ski patroller for 33 years. Rich is very knowledgeable in construction, design and land development as the former owner of Caplan Quality Construction. Rich is always seeking new opportunities and is currently working on an expansion of his Route 100 property with the acquisition of 171 Route 100 which will be a combination of a café, office space, and retail.  He and his family are avid skiers, bikers, and hikers and enjoy boating fishing and all the outdoors has to offer. Rich, his wife Laurie and their 3 dachshunds reside in Wilmington and feel very fortunate to have raised their 2 sons Jonathan and Nathan here in the Green Mountains of Vermont. Jon currently resides in Breckenridge, CO, and Nate is attending the University of Vermont.

Taryn Lawerence, La Casita Mexican Restaurant
Taryn is a long time resident of Wilmington, Vermont. She was born and raised in Northern New Jersey. She moved to Wilmington her senior year of high school to attend UVM and has been a Vermonter ever since. If you are looking for Taryn in her happy place, you can find her coaching local kids out on the soccer field, hitting the links at Haystack Golf Course, or enjoying live theater in any capacity. Along with her husband, Taryn owns and operates La Casita Mexican Restaurant in Wilmington. 

Tim Shannon, The Hermitage Club
Tim Shannon is the Sr. Manager of Skiing Services and Youth Programs at the Hermitage Club. A passionate and driven Resort Management Professional with over a decade of Resort Management Experience and a degree in Recreation Services Management. Tim’s passion for proving excellent recreational experiences in complimented by his natural strengths in systems, processes, and strategy. As an outdoor enthusiast and professional Snowsports instructor, Tim can often be found spending his time outdoors on his snowboard, bike, or paddleboard.

Sarah Fisher, Fisher & Fisher Law Offices

Diane McCormick, Deerfield Valley Rotary

Dan Thoemke, Mount Snow Resort
Dan Thoemke grew up in Minnesota. In the late 90’s he moved to Beaver Creek CO. Where he would start working for the mountain in many facets landing with running the Lift Department for the resort. Fast forward 22 years, Dan was relocated to Mount Snow in November of 2020 where he took on the role of Director of Resort Operations. He enjoys skiing, hunting, and spending as much time as he can with his Family.

Chamber Staff

Bethaney LaClair – Executive Director
Bethaney is a passionate non-profit leader, bringing over 15 years of experience to the role of Executive Director. A native Vermonter, Bethaney believes in the power of community and collaboration and


Tim Dolan – Director of Marketing, Bi-Town Marketing
Tim is an accomplished marketing and events professional with over 15 years working in the travel industry. Through his time at Mount Snow and the Chamber of Commerce, he has greatly contributed to bringing new guests to the Deerfield Valley and helped create memorable experiences to keep them engaged and coming back. He loves the outdoors and sharing his passion for them, and can often be found skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, mountain biking and hiking throughout the valley. A man who wears many hats on top of his role as Marketing Director he serves the Town of Dover as a Justice of the Peace, is a Lieutenant on the West Dover Fire Department, a snowcat operator at Mount Snow, and a snowmobile guide at Snowmobile Vermont.

Julia Menges – Membership & Events Coordinator
Julia Menges is the Chamber’s Membership & Events Coordinator. She is a Tourism and Hospitality Management graduate of Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, and a Cultural Studies Master’s Candidate at King’s College London. She has a working background in nonprofit and government data entry and events. 

Come say hello to her on weekdays at the Chamber or stop in to ask about how your business can get involved!

Kathy Blackadar – Visitor Center Services
Kathy Blackadar, celebrating her 60th anniversary of skiing at Mount Snow, has deep roots in Vermont, with her family home in East Dover solidifying her connection to the state. Transitioning from graphic design to various roles including LPN due to family needs, she found her true passion in promoting her community through her work at the local Chamber of Commerce. Alongside her partner Del, she enjoys skiing, snowshoeing, gardening, and spending time with their rescue dog Butterscotch and chickens. With a close-knit family including her daughter Stacy and partner Peter, Kathy cherishes sharing her love for Vermont with visitors and locals alike.

Del Dufresne III – Visitor Center Services
Del has visited the Deerfield Valley since the mid 1960’s. Always loving Vermont, he decided to make it his permanent residence in 2011. Retiring from owning several businesses, Del now dedicates his weekends working at the Chamber. He ensures that residents and visitors are enjoying their time in the valley. Outside of his community involvement, Del is an avid outdoorsmen who enjoys his summers fishing, hiking, gardening and kayaking. His winters are spent snowboarding, snowshoeing and baking bread. He shares his home with another Chamber worker, Kathy, and their dog, Butterscotch, plus some chickens. His greatest joy in life are his four children, and five grandchildren who he enjoys making memories with. 

Janice Marin – Social Media Content Creator
Janice Marin is a Vermont-based artist, working with photography, videography, drawing, and oil painting. Specializing in crafting emotive storytelling through high-quality visuals and connecting through social media content creation. She draws inspiration from Vermont’s natural beauty and close-knit community, frequently embarking on hiking adventures to explore its landscapes.

SVDV Chamber of Commerce