JAMES H. DOUGLAS
State of Vermont
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
For Immediate Release:
March 2, 2009
Dennise Casey: 802.233.9436
Tom Evslin: 802.760.1226
Governor Announces New Office of Economic Stimulus & Recovery
Former VTrans Secretary & High-Tech Entrepreneur
Tom Evslin to Lead Intensified Effort
Establishes New Director of Accountability with Auditor’s Office
Montpelier, Vt. – Today Governor Jim Douglas announced the creation of the Office of Economic Stimulus and Recovery (ESR) to coordinate the State’s use of federal funds authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Governor has tapped former Vermont Transportation Secretary and high tech entrepreneur Tom Evslin to head the Office as Chief Recovery Officer. The Office will be located in the Agency of Administration and report to Administration Secretary Neale Lunderville.
The Vermont Federal Recovery Office, which was established in January before the recovery bill became law, has been fully incorporated into ESR. Jim Bush will continue to serve in a leadership role as Director of Physical Infrastructure, responsible for oversight and delivery of the nearly $200 million in new state and local infrastructure projects.
“The scope of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act extends beyond the original intent of Medicaid and transportation funds,” said Governor Douglas. “In turn, we have expanded the Federal Recovery Office into the Office of Economic Stimulus & Recovery to ensure the federal money flows into our economy quickly and with strict accountability measures in place.”
The Office of Economic Stimulus & Recovery will assist and coordinate efforts of State, community and private organizations to obtain funds for projects that not only alleviate the pain of the current recession but build the infrastructure necessary for Vermonters to succeed in the second decade of the 21st century.
“The Office of Economic Stimulus & Recovery will work at entrepreneurial speed to make certain Vermont obtains all possible funds and gets maximum effect from tight coordination between programs,” said Evslin. “As much as possible, we need to use new technology to preserve Vermont values while building the foundation for a strong economy that can compete in a changing world.”
Accountability and transparency are key elements of the newly constituted Office. Working with Auditor of Accounts Tom Salmon, the Office will appoint a Director of Accountability from the Auditor’s staff to assure that federally funded projects are designed from the beginning to meet stringent requirements for audit and accountability. The Director will serve as a direct link between the Auditor’s Office and Office of Economic Stimulus & Recovery. “This important partnership is essential to ensure that Vermont exceeds the new federal standards for transparency, accountability and effectiveness,” said Auditor Salmon. “We want to ensure compliance and accountability right out of the gates.”
Evslin has agreed to lead the Office working at minimum wage – and has volunteered to return his entire salary to state coffers. “I’m thrilled and honored for the opportunity to help advance Vermont and position us for a strong economic recovery,” Evslin continued.
The Office will be staffed by existing state employees on temporary assignment from agencies and departments. In addition to a Director of Physical Infrastructure and a Director of Accountability, the Office will include staff resources for Network Infrastructure, State Programs, Planning, and Community Partnerships.
Tom Evslin Bio
Tom Evslin was Secretary of the Agency of Transportation under former Vermont Governor Richard Snelling, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Vermont State Colleges, and is currently vice-chair of The Snelling Center, a non-profit dedicated to good governance in Vermont. Evslin’s civic career began as town moderator in Worcester, Vermont in the 1970s.
Evslin ran a software business in Vermontfor many years before going to work for Microsoft, where he was responsible for communication products. Evslin went on to work at AT&T where he founded their first Internet business, WorldNet. In 1997 Tom and his wife, Mary Evslin, founded ITXC which was a pioneer in the use of the Internet for phone calls. The company grew to be one of the world’s largest wholesale carriers of international calls. The company went public in 1999 and is now part of Indian telecommunications giant Tata Communications. Mary Evslin was the founding chair of the Vermont Telecommunications Authority. The Evslins live in Stowe, Vermont.
Dennise R. Casey
Deputy Chief of Staff
109 State Street¨ The Pavilion ¨ Montpelier, VT 05609-0101