Rob Schonder.

Rob Schonder has announced his candidacy for a seat on the Waitsfield Select Board. After moving to the Mad River Valley more than 10 years ago, he says he could not have been luckier in the place he chose. When he arrived in The Valley, he began working at Sugarbush Resort where he has held many positions, including in guest services, ticketing, systems administration and golf, and collaborating with leaders of many other departments.

For the past five years he has served as the director of golf and season pass/ticket operations. In this management role, Schonder oversees all aspects of golf course operations in the spring, summer and fall and season pass and ticketing in the winter months.

Through his roles at Sugarbush, Schonder said he has constant interaction with Valley residents and understands the issues that residents face. As a young professional with a family, he understands that the high cost of living makes The Valley and Waitsfield a difficult place to call home and that sacrifices must be made to enjoy the quality of life that Waitsfield offers.

He said he knows that Waitsfield is not alone, as the entire state of Vermont is facing the same issues, but he asks the question, why can’t Waitsfield be a leader in changing the direction of the state?

Schonder said that he knows from his many interactions and relationships with Waitsfield residents that the community is extremely involved, passionate, unquestionably knowledgeable and highly intelligent, all of which are traits that town leadership should use to their advantage.

As a member of the Waitsfield Select Board and a representative of his constituents, he said he will rely on input and ideas from Waitsfield residents and set them into action to move Waitsfield forward as a model for other towns in Vermont.

“Waitsfield residents must be tolerant to change and typically some risk in order to reap the rewards of innovative ideas,” Schonder said.

“I plan on living in The Valley for many years to come along with my wife, Jennifer, and our young daughters, Addison and Emma,” he said, noting that both of his daughters will be attending Valley schools in the coming years. The Schonders have resided in Waitsfield for over five years.

“Therefore, the health of our local school system is of utmost importance to me and my family. I am determined to make sure that all children in The Valley receive the highest quality education possible from our local schools,” he said.

Schonder acknowledges that he is not a career civil servant with years of political experience.

“I believe that I’d be a refreshing change for Waitsfield and I’ll offer a fresh, honest, unbiased, common sense approach to local government,” he concluded.