Once in a while, we like to pull back the curtain and show you all that goes on behind the scenes at Hanson & Doremus. There is no wizard or wizardry behind the production, just a lot of old-fashioned work done by people that we think form quite a unique team.
This is our 26th year of doing business, and we are lucky to have had remarkably little turnover and a lot of continuity over the years. Eric Hanson & Anne Doremus recently handed over many of their responsibilities to devote more time to the core of our work – investment thinking. The rest of us, meanwhile, have taken on more under a new management structure led by Sven Eklof, Art Wright, and me, Julie Won. The important thing is that our work of quietly doing our very best continues as it always has. The 11 people behind that work are listed here, in alphabetical order by first name:
Alex Watson is one of our portfolio managers, a research analyst, and a member of our Investment Committee covering Consumer Staples and Communications. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst ® — and our technology guru. Alex seamlessly transitioned us to “Work from Home” during the pandemic, and he’s endlessly patient with our dumb tech questions. We’re glad he humors us. Alex lives with his family in South Burlington and loves all things Vermont and winter.
Alma Pilausic is a key member of our Operations team. That means that she makes sure that money, papers, and records go where they should go, and that reports say what they should say. Basically, Alma gets things done. On top of that, she also does all our stock trading (she has a lot of energy). Alma lives in Williston with her family, including three children ages 10, 9, and 6. And if that’s not enough, she’s also a fiercely driven runner and just got a new puppy. Recently, Alma has been learning to ski.
Anne Doremus is one of our senior advisors. In her 25 years with the firm, she has handled portfolio management, client relationships, equity research — and also run the whole show as Managing Partner, though she recently stepped down from that role. Today, Anne does research and helps with client relationships. As a member of our Investment Committee, she covers Industrials and Utilities, generates ideas across sectors, and generally, just makes sure that everything we’re doing makes sense. Anne lives with her husband in Shelburne, where her two grown children sometimes come to visit.
Art Wright is one of our firm’s three owners and managers under our new organizational structure. He works closely with clients as a portfolio manager and oversees the firm’s marketing and business development. Art is a Certified Financial Planner ™ professional. He also teaches a class at the University of Vermont on personal finance – no easy task to get undergraduates focused on financial responsibility. Art originally hails from Bennington, Vermont, and now lives in South Burlington with his family. One fun fact is that he is a really good cook. I mean really good.
Eric Hanson is another one of our senior advisors — and the firm’s founder. He works with the Investment Committee, helps with client relationships, and does a lot of the thinking for this newsletter (which, after all, is called “Thoughts”). Eric also is a newlywed, and he and his wife now split their time between Burlington and a new house in Greensboro, Vermont. We have never seen Eric, a world traveller, as Vermont-bound as he has been this past year during the pandemic. But someday, when travel is again sensibly doable, Eric will go off to more far-flung places and come back to regale us with stories.
Jordan Lafayette is the head of our Operations team. We like to say that if Jordan doesn’t know the answer, then there is no answer — because Jordan knows what is allowed and not allowed when it comes to moving assets, starting accounts, and reporting. I like to try to stump her, but I haven’t succeeded yet. Jordan also has all of us attend her regular meeting on “efficiency,” a constant drive for her. The big news is that Jordan and her husband just welcomed their second child. She will be returning from maternity leave soon – and boy, are we glad!
Julie Won has taken over the role of Managing Partner from Anne. She is a portfolio manager, works actively with clients, and runs the firm’s Investment Committee. Julie joined the firm when her daughter was in preschool, and now, that daughter is a junior in college. Julie spent a number of years working for the firm remotely from the Bay Area in California, where she focused on investment research. She moved back to Burlington last year with her husband, and she is learning to embrace winter again.
Kristen Rich is our Office Manager and also in charge of Human Resources. She is one of the longest standing employees of the firm, going back to 1996, and she’s worn a lot of hats over the years. Her recent responsibilities have included everything from setting our office Covid policies and making sure we are HR compliant to laying out and producing this newsletter. Kristen lives with her family in Williston. But the fun fact is that the family has three dogs, two cats, four beef cows, and ducks and chickens. Plus, there’s a horse on the way.
Liz Ford is a portfolio manager, a member of our Investment Committee, and our bond trader. In addition to covering the Consumer Discretionary and Finance sectors, Liz is our specialist on socially responsible and impact investing. Liz got her MBA in Sustainable Innovation and is passionate about ESG (environmental, social, and governance) investing. Liz is a devoted backpacker who has done some serious solo excursions. She also was once a world-ranked pool player.
Sarah Cocina is our newest addition to the company. She joined the Operations team last fall and has quickly learned to help clients and really, multi-task, because we ask her to do a lot. Sarah is the one member of our team with creative cred. She was once a professional photographer and she has a background working with branding and marketing firms. (Sarah’s resume was impressive not just for its content, but also its visual layout). Sarah lives in Shelburne and enjoys skiing and hiking with her husband and two young daughters.
Sven Eklof is one of the three firm owners and managers under our new organizational structure, along with Art and Julie. He works closely with clients as a portfolio manager, and he oversees Operations and Compliance. Sven also is a Certified Financial Planner ™ professional, and with nearly a decade and a half of experience with the firm, he carries a lot of institutional knowledge. Sven has three young children and lives with his family in Essex. He coaches a lot of youth sports for fun, and still plays a lot of sports himself – also for fun.