Lindsay (Hill) Kurrle ’93

    Lindsay (Hill) Kurrle ’93

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    Current job title and employer and briefly describe what it is you do: Secretary of Commerce and Community Development, State of Vermont.

    In a few sentences, tell us about yourself: My husband Jim and I built our home on what was once my family’s farm land in Middlesex, VT. We are the proud parents of three children. After graduating from Saint Michael’s, I worked at the international accounting firm KPMG and became a certified public accountant. For nearly two decades, I co-owned and operated a gas station and convenience store and a fuel hauling business. In 2016, Governor Phil Scott appointed me to be the Commissioner of Labor. In 2019, he appointed me Secretary of Commerce and Community Development.

    When I am not working, I enjoy traveling and spending time with my family on Joe’s Pond, watching my kids play hockey, and going for long walks with our dogs, Bruin and Rosie.

    Please tell us about your Saint Michael’s experience: I have such fond memories of my time at SMC. I was a member of the JV field hockey and varsity tennis teams and did work study. Through those activities, I met some of my closest friends. Saint Michael’s felt like the perfect fit for me. I grew up surrounded by a large extended family who lived in the neighborhood. I was surrounded by a strong sense of community. Someone was always there for you; to celebrate the good times and to pull you through the tough times. The Saint Michael’s community turned out to be so similar to the one I grew up in. My father passed away during my sophomore year at SMC. The Saint Michael’s community rallied around me and my family. I cannot imagine how I would have managed without the support of my friends, my teachers, and the team I worked with in the Sports Information and Development Offices where I performed my work study duties. I still draw on many of the experiences I encountered while at SMC. I felt well prepared to enter the workforce and have been able to use my degree in accounting as well as lean on my liberal arts education to try other careers.

    What advice would you give to women students: Be confident and trust your abilities. Women traditionally have a tendency to undersell or even underestimate their value. I know. I have found myself thinking “I can’t do that.” But the truth is, I CAN and you CAN do that. Allow yourself to try things and know that if it doesn’t work out the way you hoped, turn it into a learning opportunity, and grow from it.

    What are some strategies that can help women achieve a more prominent role in their organizations: Besides the obvious ones, be present and be prepared, I have two strategies that have served me well. Have good body language, and give people the benefit of the doubt. Why good body language? Your body language is the equivalent of putting up a billboard that tells everyone what you’re not saying. If you show your passion and your desire to be a part of the solution, people will want to pull you along with them. Opportunity doors will open up. Why is it important to give people the benefit of the doubt? For me, it’s about trust and forgiveness.

    What keeps you motivated and driven on a daily basis: I am motivated by a desire to give people a positive experience. Whether it’s at home, being a wife and mother, to working with businesses and communities. It’s important for me to show I care, and I want people to know I have done what I can to provide support for a stable environment, one where they can grow and prosper.

    What woman most inspires you and why: Many women have inspired me for a variety of reasons. My mother, women I have worked for, women I am blessed to call “friend,” and famous women who inspire me by their acts of kindness and their mental and physical strength. I am grateful for the love, encouragement and support of many amazing women.