Meet Jo

Jo and her son, Will.
Raised on a farm in Indiana, I learned from an early age the value of a strong work ethic, which serves me to this day. I attended Purdue University where I majored in theatrical studies. I then completed an apprenticeship at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and later spent six years in New York City for further training in voice and acting.
In a life pivot, I went to work as a ranch hand in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and in the following years, I lived with my then-husband in Denver, CO; Framingham, MA; Lincolnshire, IL, and St Croix, USVI, where I began a career in radio. The first of many opportunities to create strong partnerships with notable entities, including the Newport Jazz Festival and “The Father of Outdoor Music Festivals” George Wein came when I was named Music Director at WOTB-FM in Newport, RI. I helped guide the station to the status of the first and only twenty-four-hour jazz station in New England. 
While visiting Stowe in 1989, I saw a brochure describing a community effort to build a playground and decided to volunteer my time. Instantly drawn to the community, on April 1, 1990, my family moved to Stowe. Our son Will attended K-12 in the Stowe school system followed by undergraduate study at New York University. He is now Motoring Editor for Gear Patrol in New York City.
We immersed ourselves in our new community, becoming members of the Stowe Community Church where I joined the choir, founded the Cherub Choir with my friend, Carol Van Dyke, and served on the Music Committee. I worked at Topnotch Resort, Stowe Ski School, Gracie’s, as a private cook for a corporate ski house, as manager of the jam band and Phish-affiliate, the Jazz Mandolin Project, and as director of Stowe Performing Arts.
As PR and International Marketing Manager for Stowe Area Association [SAA], I partnered frequently with Discover New England and Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing and cultivated and sustained many relationships with both press and travel trade in England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Germany, Iceland, and Scandinavia. I developed productive alliances with travel writers, resulting in significant media coverage for the town. As SAA Events Liaison, I assisted “the Stowe Car Show guys” in creating the first full-blown Street Dance on Main Street and organized countless community events in Stowe Village.  
Shortly thereafter, I created my own public relations, marketing and events consultancy, Sabel PR, where I worked with the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing, Vermont Gay Tourism Association, Music Festival of the Americas at Stowe, Vermont Town Hall Speaker Series, Stowe Mountain Lodge, Njoy Event Planning, Vermont Ski Museum, and 4 Points Vermont, among others. As a Farmers’ Ambassador for Cabot Creamery Cooperative Marketing’s “Department of Gratitude,” I traveled nationally to thank volunteers and nonprofits through many events and “Random Acts of Cheddar” and spoke at dozens of Rotary Clubs to honor their “Service Above Self.”
Serving our community became a way of life for me and continues to this day. Following 9/11, I led the singing of our nation’s anthems during the Candlelight Ceremony on the steps of the Akeley Memorial Building. In 1995, I co-founded the Stowe Theatre Guild with Nancy Jeffries-Dwyer where I both produced and “graced” the stage in dozens of musical productions. In 2001, I co-founded the long-running Stowe Weekend of Hope, which was awarded the Travel Industry of America’s Odyssey Award and entered into the Congressional Record by Senator Bernie Sanders.
I served on numerous state and community boards and committees, performed on stages throughout Vermont, and currently serve as Trustee and Development Committee Chair for the Vermont Arts Council. Other town service included six years as a Trustee of the Stowe Free Library, serving as Chair for one year. As an organizer for Women’s March Vermont, I assisted in the creation and execution of March for Our Lives and the Let Equality Bloom Festival in 2018 as well as the Women’s March 2019 and 2020. 
In 2016, I was elected as an At-Large Delegate to the Democratic National Convention for Bernie Sanders and have actively phone banked and canvassed for presidential candidates Howard Dean, Barack Obama, and Bernie Sanders. Additionally, in 2018, I volunteered on the campaign of Stowe State House candidate, Marina Meerburg. I am a 2020 Alumni of Emerge Vermont, the state’s premier organization that recruits, trains and provides a powerful network to Democratic women who want to run for office.
My life experience in the arts, in the tourism industry, and through political activism, organizing, and volunteer work will allow me to better advocate for Stowe as your Vermont State Representative.


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