Name’s Steve Zeoli. Like Ethan Allen and Seth Warner, I was born and raised in Connecticut before moving to Vermont. I received a two-year degree in forestry from Paul Smith’s College in the Adirondacks, before transferring to the University of Vermont for my bachelor’s degree in recreation management. This credential helped my land the best job I’ve ever had, caretaker/interpreter for two summers at Mount Independence State Historic Site in Orwell. Unfortunately, the seasonality of the job and the $3 an hour I was paid didn’t make this a feasible career option for me!
During this time, I was saving money and planning a bicycle trip that would last a year and take me on a loop around the United States. My companions and I started that trip in October of 1980 (just after my final days at the Mount) and completed it 13,000 miles later in August of 1981. This experience landed me a job at Cannondale Corporation, a bicycle equipment manufacturer headquartered in Connecticut. At first I worked as a salesman in the outlet store, but after I told the president of the company that I like to write, he made me copywriter in the marketing office. I had no experience and, truth be told, no talent for this work at the time, but I plugged away and within a few years I was the director of the marketing department.
But it had always been my goal to move permanently to Vermont, so after eight years with Cannondale, I did just that. Though I first took time to take a two month drive through American west. In Vermont I landed a position in the marketing office of Champlain College, a role I kept for 12 years. I enjoyed working with the many different constituents at the college, but I finally tired of the office politics and resigned. Another trip out west. When I returned, I took a position at a small, nonprofit publisher in Brandon, where I work today as the director of marketing and sales.
After leaving Champlain College, I moved to Hubbardton, which brought me back to the neighborhood of Mount Independence. I got involved with the Mount Independence Coalition and am currently the president of that nonprofit organization that works with the Division for Historic Preservation to advocate for that great historic site.
I published my book about Mount Independence in 2011. You could call it the result of a lifetime of interest in the Mount, but since it’s such a short book, I’ll resist doing so.
A few years ago I met Amy and for the first time I wanted to be married. We live on a lake with our two cats, Henry and Angus.