From the Publisher: The 25-Year Trio | From the Publisher | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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From the Publisher: The 25-Year Trio

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Published December 13, 2023 at 10:00 a.m.


Don Eggert, Colby Roberts and Diane Sullivan at the Seven Days office. - KIRSTEN THOMPSON ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • Kirsten Thompson ©️ Seven Days
  • Don Eggert, Colby Roberts and Diane Sullivan at the Seven Days office.

Seven Days passed a milestone over the Thanksgiving holiday: On Thursday, November 23, creative director and associate publisher Don Eggert marked 25 years at this newspaper. For more than half of his life, the 47-year-old graphic designer and IT guy has kept Seven Days looking fresh. A self-taught MacGyver, he has led the company through the digital revolution and almost single-handedly built our online presence. Remember Y2K? Don predates it!

In January, our sales director and associate publisher Colby Roberts will join Don in the half-life club: In 1999, at age 25, Colby was selling ads for the "alternative" rock station 99.9 the Buzz, which shared our building on Burlington's South Champlain Street. One couldn't help but notice the snow-loving Rutland native sauntering through the halls; he was young but confident, competitive and snappily dressed. Somehow, we convinced him that an "alternative" newspaper was the cooler product, and, for the past quarter century, Colby has been part of a team of account executives who bring in the money that funds our journalism.

It helped that Diane Sullivan started the same day as Colby — working alongside him, in fact, as a reluctant member of the Seven Days sales team. Although she wasn't suited to that particular job, Diane stuck it out for a couple of years while proving her other talents. "I kinda did a little of everything," Diane remembered, including stints as production manager and personals coordinator. "I never had training of any sort for anything ... I recall when the first classified designer was going to leave, Don asked me if I wanted to do it. I said, 'Sure, but you'll have to learn me how' — I didn't know how to turn a computer on, let alone design things."

Diane Sullivan, Don Eggert and Colby Roberts at Burlington's Mardi Gras parade on March 3, 2012 - FILE: MATTHEW THORSEN
  • File: Matthew Thorsen
  • Diane Sullivan, Don Eggert and Colby Roberts at Burlington's Mardi Gras parade on March 3, 2012

Now the company's award-winning art director, Diane dispatches the photographers and artists who illustrate our stories and lays out most of the article spreads in the print paper every week. She also writes the "Ask the Rev" advice column, draws the Coloring Contest in Kids VT, and is the husky voice on our office voicemail system and at the beginning and end of every audio recording on Seven Days Aloud.

Did I mention she's the lead vocalist and songwriter in our company band, Enemy of the People? Tattooed and often rocking some kind of headdress or costume, Diane wears a black pleather jacket sporting the word "Badass" above a sparkly unicorn. That's an accurate illustration of what she brings to the table.

Not surprisingly, Diane, Colby and Don are fast friends. In the 25 years the three of them have worked together, they have been there for each other's marriages — Diane officiated at Don's — the birth of Colby's three kids, and the tragic death of Diane's husband and fourth musketeer, Matt Thorsen, our longtime go-to photographer.

Their work-life relationship is a crucial part of the company culture at Seven Days. Don brings order to everything he touches and also supplies tasty treats and washes the office dish towels. Colby keeps everybody motivated. Diane plays Santa at the holiday party and makes all the hard work we do look ... fun.

All three of them are now employee-owners. They received stock from the company as my cofounder, Pamela Polston, gradually relinquished hers on the way to retirement. I knew they were a good investment. In fact, I'm not sure where Seven Days would be without them. Thank you, Don, Colby and Diane!

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