BENNINGTON -- Vermont Business Magazine recently named Bennington's Economic and Community Development Director Michael Harrington a 2013 "Rising Star."
According to a release distributing by Vermont Business Magazine, the Rising Stars program, started in 2010, highlights young Vermont professionals under the age of 40 who are making significant contributions to their immediate communities, as well as to their state.
As the town's economic and community development director, Harrington works to create a business-friendly environment and economic opportunities for the town through partnerships with both local and state organizations.
Harrington also acts as a grant administrator and a loan officer for the town's small business and housing loan programs, and coordinates the majority of the town's marketing and public relations affairs.
Outside of the office, Harrington acts as the president-elect of the Bennington Rotary Club and sits on the Statewide Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Steering Committee.
He is also one of the vice presidents of the Bennington Young Professionals organization.
Harrington said that he was very pleased to learn he had been named a "Rising Star" at the end of September.
"It's something I'm very proud of, but it's very humbling at the same time," he said. "I don't do the work I do for recognition, so when my work is recognized, it's obviously greatly appreciated."
Bennington Area Chamber of Commerce employee Eric Wood nominated Harrington for the award.
"He is truly one of the most deserving people in the town of Bennington," Wood said. "Very few people put in the time and dedication that he does."
Bennington Town Manager Stuart Hurd echoed Wood's sentiments.
"Since I hired him about two years ago, he's done some pretty amazing things for the town, not all necessarily related to economic development, but improving the face of government in Bennington as well," Hurd said. "At first I think there were people that thought maybe he wasn't the right guy for the job because he didn't have the banking experience that the last person did, but I think he's really proved them wrong."
Hurd went on to say that Harrington has played a hand in the revamping of the town's website, which recently received two awards at the New England Developers Association annual meeting: Best in Show and the President's Award.
"From my perspective, Michael is inexhaustible," Hurd said. "He's all over the map, works hard with local economic development groups, and has great people skills. We already thought he was a rising star on our own, but we're happy that he's being recognized and we appreciate everything he's accomplished."
Harrington will receive the award on Nov. 7 at the Double Tree Hotel in South Burlington, along with 39 other young professionals.
The 2013 "Rising Stars" will also be featured in the November issue of Vermont Business Magazine.
Contact Elizabeth A. Conkey at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @bethconkey.