Robert “Bob” Allen began his tenure at Green Mountain College on July 1, 2016. Bob’s goal as the College’s 8th president is to strengthen its position as the country’s leading small environmental liberal arts and science college. He plans to build the human and social capital of GMC and the region. He is committed to keep teaching and learning as the College’s primary focus, provide for greater access to the wide array of academic and cultural offerings at the college and control the cost of education long term.
Bob is a widely respected and experienced leader of academic and business institutions in the for-profit and non-profit sectors. From 2011 until June of 2016 he served as president/CEO of the Windham Foundation and its operating company The Grafton Village Cheese Company.
From 1982 until his retirement in 2005, Bob served as president and CEO of the Vermont Country Store, a multi-channel retailer of hard-to-find products. During his tenure, the company grew from $4 million to $100 million in annual sales and transitioned from a traditional catalog retailer to a major player in the on-line and digital space. At the Vermont Country Store, he held progressively responsible positions of vice-president of merchandising, executive vice president, and chief operating officer. In 1994 he was selected as the first non-family president of the business. He was promoted to CEO in 1996, leading the company through its first strategic planning process. In 2010, Bob worked as interim president/CEO of the non-profit Direct Marketing Association (DMA) headquartered in New York.
He currently serves on the board of directors for Burlington’s Gardener’s Supply Company, JK Adams, and The Vermont Country Store. His previous non-profit board associations include the Dorset School Board and Burr and Burton Academy in Manchester, Vt. From 1995-2007, he served on the Champlain College board of trustees, which he chaired from 2005-2007. During his final year as a trustee he was a co-chair of Champlain’s Committee on Diversity and Inclusion. His other board associations have included the Preservation Trust of Vermont, the Vermont Institute of Natural Science, the Orton Family Foundation, the Long Trail School and Historic Deerfield (Massachusetts).
Bob is an outdoor enthusiast and avid cyclist, typically riding about 4,000 miles a year in and around the Green Mountain state. The first member of his family to attend college, he graduated magna cum laude in mathematics with a minor in economics from the University of Rhode Island. He and his wife, Karen, are residents of Dorset, Vt. They have two children, daughter Chelsea and son Connor.
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