Al Moulton: Horsehoes ’round his neck, lucky for us

first_imgVermont economic development leader and good friend Al Moulton died last Sunday. He was famous to many of us for his helping hand in job creation and politics. For those of us who called him friend and really hardly knew him beyond a professional relationship, he embodied what we all hope to do: leave the world a better place than we found it.The lesson we can learn from Al is one of being collaborative, being strategic and being good humored. Among his most lasting achievements is the captive insurance industry. He did not conceive of making Vermont an important domicile for captive insurance companies, but he used his management and political skill to get Governor Snelling and the Legislature to see the opportunity, seize it and then actually get it done. Vermont is now the third largest location for captives in the world and by far the largest in the United States.But to look at a significant success like that might obscure the innumerable small things he did for businesses every day in his many roles, just helping people and helping Vermont. Al’s was a good life well lived.Below is his obituary notice. Click on the picture of Al to read the profile Vermont Business Magazine did in October 2006. In that article by Joyce Marcel, he said, “You need to take the long view.”There will be a memorial service for Al Moulton at 11 am at the Centre Congregational Church in Brattleboro on Saturday, May 7.Al Moulton claimed he wrote only one poem in his life, which he said he recited hundreds of times over the years. He wrote it for a Rotary speech in 1956: Who Is They? “Who is they?Why, they is we.We are the ones who can build our townWe are the ones who can let it down.We are the ones who can make it growWe are the ones who can let it go.It’s up to us if our town’s going to moveOr we can sit back and seal its doom.Who is they?Well, I’ll tell youWe is they, and they is you.”  ObituaryElbert George “Al” Moulton, Jr, 85, of Townshend, died suddenly from heart failure Sunday, May 1, 2011, at his home in Townshend. Al was born in Brooks, ME, March 4, 1926, son of Elbert G., Sr. and Fannie (Brown) Moulton. Al was educated in public schools in Brooks. He served in the navy during World War II, both in Normandy and Okinawa. After the war, Al completed his degree at the University of Maine. He married Geraldine “Geri” (Lockhart) of Winterport, ME in June, 1950. Al and Geri remained in Maine until 1956, when he began a career in Chamber of Commerce work as the Director of Brattleboro’s chamber. He continued working with the Rutland Chamber of Commerce and the chamber in Lawrence, Mass. He served several terms in the state government of Vermont, including the first Director of Development and as Secretary of Agency of Commerce and Community Affairs. He served as the state’s chief economic development leader under Governors Hoff, Salmon, Snelling and Kunin. He was instrumental in the establishment of some of Vermont’s landmark laws and initiatives: Act 250, Vermont’s land use and development law (1970); the banning of billboards in the state (1968); and the establishment of Vermont’s Captive Insurance industry (1981). His career in Vermont politics started in 1968. He ran successful campaigns for Governor Deane C. Davis and for US Senator Robert Stafford. He served as Chairman of the Vermont Republican party in the late 1960’s. In 1971, Al left state government to help with the development of Quechee Lakes. He served as Executive Director of the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation and Springfield Regional Development Corporation from where he retired in 1994. Al helped numerous companies start-up, expand or relocate to Vermont, helping to create hundreds of jobs. He loved the state and was an unapologetic advocate and salesman for Vermont. Al was predeceased by both of his parents; his wife of 59 years, Geri; and grandson, Joel. He is survived by his children, Bob and Barbara (Hennesey) of Duxbury, and their daughter, Lucy; Daniel and Kevin (Murphy) and Sara (Cross Moulton), all of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and their daughters, Kristen and husband, Jordan Tronsgard and Heather and husband, Matthew Brillinger; David and Lisa (Rice) of Whitingham, and their children, Jennifer, Jeffrey, Jillian, Amanda (Johnson) and Jessica (Johnson); and Patricia and Timothy Powden of South Londonderry. A memorial service will be held Saturday, May 7, 2011 at 11 a.m. in the Centre Congregational Church in Brattleboro. A burial will be held for immediate family at a later date. Friends may call from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, May 6, 2011, at Atamaniuk Funeral Home, 40 Terrace St., Brattleboro. To sign an online register book with messages of condolence, please visit is external). Arrangements are under the direction of the Atamaniuk Funeral Home, Inc. In lieu of flowers, friends may donate to the “Al Moulton Economic Development Scholarship Fund.” Make checks payable to the NEDA Education Scholarship Fund, c/o REDC, 112 Quality Lane, Rutland, VT 05701.last_img