Our Dedicated Staff, Working to Make Your Stay Excellent & Memorable

MEET THE INNKEEPER TOM

My oldest daughter Christin likes to refer to Calvin Coolidge as my spirit animal, whatever that means.

I grew up on Coolidge Ave in White Plains, NY and when I went to UVM, I lived in the Coolidge dormitory. So naturally, when I decided to buy an Inn I serendipitously fell in love with one located in the city where President Coolidge was born, and where the man stayed a time or two in the early 1900s. Many of the best parts of my life are somehow associated with Calvin Coolidge as well as the Green Mountain State.

Both of my parents are native Vermonters and I grew up spending summers at the farm my mother grew up on in Poultney, as well as my dad’s family home in Proctor. My dad was the son of a marble cutter in Proctor, Vermont, and my mom earned her Medical degree at UVM. They both valued education and my dad also studied at UVM before going on to Dartmouth and Columbia.

I spent my college years in Burlington at UVM, and in Boston at Northeastern earning my MBA. I have three wonderful children and I brought them to Vermont on many vacations to share my love of the green mountains and to make more fantastic memories with my family.

I spent the last 30 years working in corporate America first in Massachusetts and then in Washington State. For a guy like me, that’s a lot of time in the corporate world, and when I left my last job I felt a need to change and get back to my roots. While I grew up in New York, Vermont was still the place that always felt the most like home; my best memories are here. I wanted to put my business expertise into something different and an Inn felt like the right fit. I was always enamored by their inner workings as well as the history behind the Classic Inns of Vermont that always makes for some great stories.

When I found Echo Lake Inn, it felt like the perfect fit. I am incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to run Echo Lake Inn. My predecessor, Mr. Laurence Jeffery continues to teach me more than a lifetime’s worth of knowledge about how to be a seasoned innkeeper, and this place came with a more-than-excellent staff who know exactly how this place runs and how to make guests feel right at home. I am very optimistic about this new adventure and I am very excited to meet all the present and future Echo Lake guests and to learn all of your stories and maybe share a few of my own if you just so happen to enjoy the ramblings of a guy who is enjoying this new life adventure.

Meet The Inn Keepers

Rachel LeClair & Penny McGuire

Innkeepers Rachel & Penny Many of you have interacted with Rachel & Penny over the past year either over the phone, at the front desk or when visiting our dining room or pub. We wanted to share with you a little about their backgrounds and prior experience. They play a key role in making the Inn work well, and will be on hand to greet you and your family on your next visit to the Echo Lake Inn.

Rachel LeClair
Rachel LeClair has been with us for just over a year now in the position of Daytime Innkeeper. Rachel grew up over the hills in Cavendish and was a student at Okemo Mountain School. The Okemo Valley has always held a special place in her heart. Studying Resort and Leisure Management at Green Mountain College and Killington Resort she has always had a love for the hospitality industry. Shortly after college she moved to the Burlington area to work as a wedding planner and conference service manager for Bolton Valley Resort. She worked for Bolton Valley and Topnotch Resort as a wedding planner for close to 10 years before her and her husband decided to relocate to Worcester MA, where Rachel worked for a small semi-private country club as their Banquet/Restaurant Manager. She enjoyed working for a smaller company that had a commodore that she hadn’t experienced before.

Yearning to return home to be closer to their families Rachel and Paul decided to return to Cavendish and build their home. Rachel took a position at The Equinox and after two years was missing the family feel and values of a smaller property. Echo Lake Inn has become a perfect fit. She brings with her an extensive background in events, restaurant services, and hospitality and is so excited to share her knowledge with the Echo Family. She is loving every minute of her job whether it’s bookkeeping, painting, interacting with the guests, or helping out with housekeeping; the diversity of the position makes everyday a different adventure.

When she is not at work or working on the never ending to do list (ahh the joy of home ownership). Rachel enjoys just being outside no matter what season it is, making memories with her husband and their three fur babies; Chata, Chancho, and Hoyt.

Penny McGuire
It all started for me in the small town in West Haven, Vermont. My roots have always been in Vermont. I attended The University of Miami and Graduated with a BA in Marketing. The Florida Keys were calling my name, and I started in the Real-estate business in the late eighties in the Keys. I embraced and succeeded in Real estate and opened my own company as a residential broker. I had an amazing career with more education/lessons than I could had ever asked for.

Today, I work in Beautiful Vermont as an Inn keeper/ Wedding assistant for Echo lake Inn. My responsibilities include greeting guests and making them feel at home in the Inn. I absolutely love my work and the rewards I get, the guest is wonderful I wear many hats at the Inn, such as concierge for your day or week, reserving your dining experience in our fabulous restaurant, or recommending favorite local experiences such as hikes restaurants, and of course shopping. You can also find me creating your favorite cocktail in our pub. Tom and our super staff make me feel right at home, here at the Echo Lake Inn.

Meet The Culinary Staff

EXECUTIVE CHEF PHIL, CHEF KATIE & CHEF JASON

Executive Chef Phil Lewis joined the Echo Lake Inn staff over four years ago. Phil has great passion for all things culinary and excels in the area of creating new and unique sauces and food pairings that will delight your palate. Chef Phil got his start in the culinary industry as a prep cook at a family-style Vermont restaurant where he worked his way up while learning the basics of being a chef. Soon after developing his culinary techniques, Chef Phil moved to Denver, Colorado where he worked at several high-end establishments including the Brown Palace Hotel and the Boston Half Shell.

Chef Phil excels at managing large banquets, creating handcrafted foods, and incorporating fresh dishes that could please any crowd. He eventually returned to his Vermont roots with his children and became the Executive Chef of the Holiday Inn where he worked for 23 years. He has also competed in and won Rutland’s “Death by Chocolate” competition by making a chocolate replica of Killington Ski Resort.

“Just to let you know a little about the kind of chef I’ve always been, even back when I started in my culinary adventure, fresh and local foods have always been a top priority for me. When I lived in Colorado it was very important to me to learn my trade in high end restaurants, where the product was always as fresh as possible. I am a huge supporter of the farm to table movement, and incorporating farm fresh products into to the menu whenever possible. We make all our sauces from scratch nightly to complement our entrees. I believe in developing the local flavor of fresh ingredients, and sourcing from our great state that abounds with a great local food culture. Please join us for dinner at our inn where we all take great pride in providing our customers with a world class culinary experience in a casually elegant atmosphere.”

Chef Katie Schneider has been with Echo Lake since 2018. She has over fifteen years of experience in the culinary field and has worked in a number of nearby inns and restaurants. Katie enjoys all the aspects of a culinary career, including preparation, menu design and presentation. Katie enjoys the creative process of pairing different foods and has an unwavering commitment to quality.

Katie plays a critical role in our events management team and is involved in all aspects of planning the culinary choices for weddings, reunions, and corporate retreats. Katie holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in nutrition from Johnson and Wales University as well as an associate’s degree in the Culinary Arts.

Chef Jason Dias is our most recent addition to our culinary team. He has come to us with a great “can do” attitude and a willingness to expand his culinary skills especially in the areas of preparation, presentation, and food pairing. Jason’s recent experience includes the Downtown Grocery, The Okemo Mountain Resort, and the Inn at Weston.