Difficult Conversations: How to get at the truth of things without causing or receiving harm
Guest Presenters: Jane Arthur and Jody Fried
Chewing on Leadership is hosted by Vermont leaders and creates a potent platform for relevant questions and meaningful dialogue about what inspires us in our work and ways to impact leaders and changemakers across Vermont.
This 60-minute conversation will examine difficult conversations. We experience difficult conversations in our community, personal and work lives and witness them through news and social media outlets writ large. At their best, difficult conversations are gateways to truth telling, looking at ourselves, another person or a situation directly that opens the conversation up to greater compassion and understanding. At their worst, difficult conversations sever relationships. Issues of local, state, national and international difference are more prevalent and are deepening the "us vs. them" approach. For those of us committed to civility and curiosity, now is the time to engage in and facilitate productive, meaningful and inclusive conversations.
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Jane is a graduate of VLI Class of 2012. She was the Director of VLI from 2014-16. Jane was the Director of Karme Choling Shambhala Meditation Retreat Center in Barnet for 7 years prior to her work with the VLI. Karme Choling is part of Shambhala, a worldwide network of over 200 city and residential centers teaching meditation and how to lead a meaningful life. She supervised 30-50 residential staff, managed a $1.7 million budget and stewarded over 700 acres of land with several thousand visitors a year to the center.
Jane has also been trained and practiced as an attorney and a nurse. Her nursing career included a stint in the Air Force Nurse Corps where she was awarded the Meritorious Service Award for her service as head nurse of a pediatric clinic that served approximately 200 children a day at Malcolm Grow Hospital at Andrew’s Air Force Base. She also worked for 10 years as a neonatal intensive care nurse at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Her law degree is from the George Washington University, National Law Center. She served as an Assistant Public Defender in Fairfax County, Virginia and as an Assistant Attorney General for the Public Safety Departments for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. In addition to her work for VLI and Shambhala, she sits on the board of the Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital. She is past president of the St. Johnsbury Rotary Club.
Jane loves to travel and has done so extensively. She loves Vermont and being of service. She lives in Danville with her partner, John, and their 2 cats.
Jody Fried is a native Vermonter. He and his wife, Erin, reside in a two hundred year old farmhouse in Peacham with their four children: Molly (14), Rian (11), Liam (10) and Eliza (5). Jody has had a diverse career with direct experience in the private / corporate setting, entrepreneurial / small-business ventures, the non-profit sector and as a community activist.
As Executive Director of Catamount Film & Arts, Jody is responsible for the overall administration, management and operations of the regional arts organization and box office serving Northern Vermont and New Hampshire. The mission of Catamount Arts is to inspire appreciation of and participation in the arts, promote the arts throughout the region, and cultivate the arts as an integral part of community life. His responsibilities include supervising the day to day operations as well as providing the vision, direction and oversight of all activities that sustain and develop the organization. He supervises a small staff and collaborates closely with a board of directors of over twenty.
Catamount Arts has played a central role in the cultural life of the Northeast Kingdom since 1975. The acquisition and renovation of the historic Masonic Lodge building in St. Johnsbury in 2005 expanded Catamount’s physical capacity and greatly expanded its ability to provide service to the community. Since joining the organization in 2009, Jody’s primary focus has been to methodically move Catamount down this path. The new Catamount Art Center now serves as one of the premier art facilities in all of New England. When he’s not working or carting one of his kids to soccer practice, you will probably find Jody pedaling his bike.