NEW DIRECTOR OF CONFERENCES AND EVENTS. Charlotte Porcelli admits she has “big shoes to fill” as Lyndon State College’s new Director of Conferences and Events. The Pennsylvania native takes the helm from Donna Wheeler. Wheeler is retiring after 33 years in a variety of positions at LSC, 24 of those managing conferences and events.
The Conference and Events office is LSC’s hospitality section. They are responsible for year-round logistical support for all events, programs, conferences, and camps catering to both non-LSC groups and individuals on campus. The office arranges, organizes and manages space, food services, facility rentals, technology, equipment, and other campus services. They even order centerpieces, decorations, and party favors, if needed. This office also manages the College’s “master calendar” so that nothing — classrooms, the dining hall, meeting spaces, or beds — gets double-booked.
Porcelli’s office must be prepared for a broad range of events and clients. The 2013 summer bookings includes wedding receptions, day-long local business retreats, five different week-long sports camps, a week-long session of continuing education classes for science teachers, and Boys State, a week-long convention for top Vermont high school students. The operation generates nearly $600,000 a year in revenue for the college.
Porcelli is no stranger to the hospitality field; her first job out of high school was at Disney World in Florida. Her resume reflects work in business, communications, and public relations. She has had a number of positions including a stint as a county planner in Jefferson County, Colorado. Her responsibilities were so varied in the real estate division of Crested Butte’s Mountain Living Sales Center that she would “plan cocktail parties for guests for one afternoon and climb the mountain to collect water samples the next.”
Both she and her husband longed to return from Colorado to the east coast to be closer to family. They landed in Burke in 2002. Porcelli worked at Burke Mountain in guest relations and was group sales manager for more than six years. Her responsibilities included sales and marketing, event coordination, and administration.
Outgoing director Donna Wheeler says she plans on devoting more time to her family and spending more time in the LSC gym. “I’m not retiring, but refining.” She will miss the clients adding that “many of them are my friends,” and working with the students, “I couldn’t do this job without the students, especially in the summer. We are so busy.” Wheeler has remained close with many of the students she supervised over the years.
Incoming director Charlotte Porcelli says she is “looking forward to learning the job at LSC.” Although the position is new to her, she is already familiar with a number of the people on her customer list. “They were clients at Burke,” she said. “I’ve already worked with some of these folks.”