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Voices / Letters from readers

Short tenure at BDCC a sad comment on loyalty

At a recent breakfast meeting of the Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce, we heard from Pat Moulton, new executive director of the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC). She described the many efforts BDCC has embarked on to benefit our economy and people. I found her very impressive.

Four days later, I was no longer as impressed. Pat took on her new job less than four months ago and, it was announced that she’s leaving to be the state’s new Secretary of Commerce and Community Development.

I’m sure she was under pressure to fill that post. And when higher duty calls, it’s fine to answer. Except if you’ve just committed yourself to a critically important other job.

Maybe in this case there were extenuating circumstances. But it happens too often when there are none. The CEO leaves for a bigger company, the college president for a classier college, the minister for a bigger church before they’re even settled in their job. And people do that, it seems, without qualms.

If you’re a bagger at the grocery, it’s a smaller problem. The job requires less learning and is more easily filled. But executive director is the leading role, to learn and shape the part takes time, and you have staff and a board who are counting on you. Such jobs need a person’s commitment for at least several years.

In the wider world, loyalty is fading: loyalty of employers to employees and the enterprise, and therefore loyalty of employees. We shouldn’t let that happen here.

Byron Stookey

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Originally published in The Commons issue #250 (Wednesday, April 16, 2014). This story appeared on page D2.

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