Better Middlebury Partnership hires new marketing coordinator
MIDDLEBURY — The Better Middlebury Partnership (BMP) has extra reason to celebrate as it prepares to stage this Saturday one of its most popular annual events, the Vermont Chili Festival, which will bring thousands of people to Addison County’s shire town.
The BMP has hired a new marketing coordinator, Karen Duguay, who will help organize events like the Chili Festival and work to bring more shoppers and businesses to downtown Middlebury. She joins Jamie Gaucher, Middlebury’s new business development director, as a duo that will make the town more of a hub for economic development.
“I had been waiting for this opportunity for so long,” Duguay said on Thursday. “I was anxious to get back into marketing.”
It was Duguay’s experience in marketing, primarily on behalf of some well-known transportation organizations, that helped her stand apart from among five top candidates who had applied for the BMP job, vacated last November by EJ Bartlett. Bartlett has taken a job at Middlebury College. Duguay’s résumé includes marketing/communications stints with the Chittenden County Transportation Authority, the Lebanon (N.H.) Airport and Connecticut Transit.
“It was clear she was a self-starter,” said BMP President Ben Wilson. “We also liked the fact that she was local. It is nice to have someone with an understanding of the community.”
Duguay, 31, was born in Leicester and now lives in New Haven with her husband, Todd, and their two young children, Leah and Brady. She currently works part-time as development associate with the Lake Champlain Waldorf School. Part of her job includes organizing fundraising events at the school.
She will work roughly 30 hours per week with the BMP. Her duties will include improving the BMP website and social media sites, planning events and serving as a resource for downtown merchants and their customers. The BMP’s major events each year include the Chili Festival, Midd Summer Fest, the Spooktacular and Very Merry Middlebury.
“I have a lot of respect for what organizations like the BMP do,” Duguay said. “It is fantastic to see that kind of activity in town.”
Wilson is confident Duguay will do a great job.
“We are very excited,” Wilson said. “The BMP is poised to make some exciting things happen in town.”
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