Hidden Talents of State Park Staff

Frank Spaulding is the Projects Coordinator for Vermont State Parks. He oversees construction projects and is the go-to guy for stuff like wastewater systems, toilet building design, contract and bidding administration and ordering the parks' vehicles. He also takes the lead on hazard identification, aesthetic standards and has a lot to do with the captial budget. Perhaps not the most glamorous work, but vital to the safety and enjoyment of all state park visitors. Recently, our Commissioner, Jason Gibbs, put out a call to FPR (Forests, Parks & Recreation) staff soliciting ideas for funny radio ads for the parks. Frank is a funny guy (funny ha ha) and all three of his ideas were selected and produced into radio ads that will run this summer.

Chuck Woessner is the Parks Regional Manager for the northwestern part of the state. He oversees operations for Grand Isle, Lake Carmi, Burton Island and Underhill state parks, just to name a few. Chuck's hidden talents include a smooth baritone voice and great writing and storytelling abilities. He's the voice you hear on the "park reports" that are featured on several radio stations throughout the summer.

Craig Whipple, Director of State Parks, is the big enchilada, so to speak, but he's also an awesome guitar player and singer and he and his bluegrass band, Cold Country, performs at several parks throughout the summer. Look for them at Stillwater or Burton Island state parks. Check on the Events page for upcoming dates.

Ethan Phelps is the Parks Regional Manager for the southeastern part of the state. Like Chuck, he oversees all operations of parks like Coolidge, Silver Lake, Mt. Ascutney and Jamaica. Ethan is also a talented map maker and has created the campground map and guides you see in the parks and on the web.

Aaron Jacobs is the Ranger at Smugglers' Notch State Park. In the winter, he is also the Ranger for the Stone Hut on top of Mt. Mansfield. Aaron's hidden talent is that he's a computer genius. He's the one that came up with the idea for the interactive campground maps and works on making the maps interactive over the winter. He also started this blog and came up with the idea for Venture Vermont.

What do all these hidden talents mean for you? Savings, for sure. But even more so, their contributions have made the parks better for everyone. By having a DIY, go-for-it attitude and sharing their talents and skills that are beyond their normal job descriptions (guess that's "other duties as assigned") they've gotten us ahead faster, farther and more efficiently than we could have otherwise.

Do you have any hidden talents you'd like to share? Drop us a line a


  1. AnonymousMay 29, 2009

    I recognize that Frank Spaulding guy from the Career Fair I went to. Nice guy.


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