October 2, 2014
Presentation: How Navy SEAL Training Turned My Life Around
Until just recently, Mike Smith was the Vermont State President of FairPoint Communications. Mike led the company’s successful regulatory reform efforts in Vermont, which enabled the company to compete on a more level playing field and respond to the needs of the customers. He provided focused leadership to the Vermont operations, from the company’s reorganization to the nearly $80 million in broadband build out across the state that has connected 90 percent of FairPoint’s Vermont markets with high-speed internet. Mike also led the company’s national corporate communications efforts.
“Mike’s efforts have been instrumental in transforming FairPoint into a leading communications provider in Vermont,” said CEO Paul Sunu. “He has helped the company adapt and excel with his determination, leadership, and commitment to being the best.”
Mike’s career spans more than 30 years with experience in executive leadership positions in both the public and private sector.
He began his career serving honorably in the U.S. Navy, first with Underwater Demolition Team 21 and then as a member of SEAL Team Two.
Mike was elected to the Vermont House of Representatives and served on the House Natural Resources Committee from 1977-1978. He was the town manager of Hardwick and then spent five years in Boston working for the Massachusetts Municipal Association (MMA) and ultimately as a partner of the MMA Consulting Group in Boston.
As the general manager of the Public Employer Risk Management Association (PERMA), he assisted in the revitalization of an insurance company for local governments in New York.
Mike was appointed deputy state treasurer for the State of Vermont under Treasurer James H. Douglas, serving from 1995-1999.
In 1999, he was named Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Yankee Captive Management, a captive insurance management firm, and a partner at the insurance firm of Hackett, Valine and MacDonald in South Burlington, Vermont. Governor James H. Douglas appointed him Secretary of Administration in 2003. In 2005, Mike was appointed Secretary of Human Services and then reappointed Secretary of Administration by Governor Douglas in 2006.
He is a native Vermonter, born in Rutland. He is a graduate of the University of Vermont in Burlington, from which he earned a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science.
Mike recently served as a member of the Vermont Pension Investment Committee and the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce. He is a current board member of the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation, The Flynn Center for Performing Arts, and Spectrum Youth & Family Services.
He lives in Westford Vermont with his wife, Mary. They have two grown daughters.