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Singled Out

Seven Days readers nominate Vermont’s most eligible bachelor(ette)s


Published February 8, 2012 at 1:07 p.m.

It’s tough to spend a Vermont winter single. These cold, dark nights seem made for cuddle buddies and crackling fires, and just when the daylight hours begin to make their slow comeback, February brings one last, cruel wallop: Valentine’s Day.

Seven Days wanted to know: Who’s braving out the season alone — and who’s kicking ass at it? With no specifications for age, sexual preference, income or appearance, we put it out to our readers to nominate the state’s most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes. Frankly, we were blown away. Within five minutes of the contest’s opening, we already had three individuals who were smart, passionate, caring and quirky, and attractive, to boot. And then we received many more.

Meet our top six nominees below. As of press time, they’re all spectacularly single. No promises that they won’t be snapped up by V-Day.

Bachelorette No. 1


Name: Stephanie Winkler

Age: 30

Town: Burlington

Occupation: Fundraising for a Vermont college

What her nominator says: “Stephanie is seriously cute, intellectually curious and brilliantly single.”

Favorite thing about yourself: “I think I’m really fun loving. I really enjoy the company of others, and I really like getting to know people.”

In your spare time: “I like to be outside as much as possible because I travel so much for work. I compete in triathlons and ski and snowshoe when we actually have snow. I swim in the lake. I read, I cook, I travel. My newest hobby is homeownership. It takes up more time than I realized.”

What you look for in a partner: “I look for someone who is loyal, fun, adventurous, witty, smart, curious, engaging and handsome.”

Best compliment you’ve received: “I’m complimented most often on my blue eyes.”

Any dating disaster stories? “I could write a book!”

Relationship deal breaker: “People who aren’t accepting of others.”

Dating advice for the opposite sex: “Communication is key, no matter what you’re feeling.”

How do you pursue a crush? “I ask them out. I’m pretty direct.”

Email Stephanie: [email protected]


Bachelorette No. 2


Name: Adna Karabegovic

Age: 22

Town: Burlington

Occupation: Marketing manager at Church Street Marketplace

What her nominator says: “Speaks four languages fluently — English, French, German, Bosnian. Down to earth and doesn’t come with drama.”

Self-description: “I’m originally from Bosnia. I grew up in Germany and here, as well, in Burlington. I’d say I’m a very direct person. I’m very protective of my friends and family. My friends are my family.”

What you look for in a partner: “Laughter. A good time. To be on the same page with someone.”

Describe your first kiss: “I was 5. It was this little boy in my neighborhood ... Someone dared us to kiss in the hallway. All the kids were cheering us on. My sister was the only one going, ‘Don’t do it!’”

Relationship deal breaker: “Someone who doesn’t have a sense of humor. Can’t stand that.”

Describe your ideal Vermont date: “Dinner for two, and ... he cooks.”

Last song you listened to: “‘Ratujemo ti i ja’ by S.A.R.S.”

Five-year plan: “Eventually I want to be involved in economic development abroad. Ultimately, I am looking to apply for the Peace Corps, but it’s not set in stone.”

Craziest thing you’ve done for love: “I’ve traveled borders and countries to go back to love.”

Where would you take someone on a romantic Vermont getaway? “Woodstock. Stay at an inn. Lock ourselves up so we don’t feel the winter.”

Email Adna: [email protected]

Photo by Andy Duback.


Bachelorette No. 3


Name: Christine Hertz

Age: 27

Town: Montpelier

Occupation: Third-grade teacher

Number of countries visited when school’s out: 20.

What her nominator says: “Christine is an amazing catch! Raised in Burke, she has lived in the Green Mountain State her whole life. She knows how to have a good time and can balance life and work.”

Hobbies: “I’m really outdoorsy. I kind of embrace whatever season Vermont has to offer. I ski and Nordic ski and snowshoe in the winter. I volunteer with Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports.”

What you look for in a partner: “Someone who can make me laugh and somebody who is educated and interested — you know, passionate about something that they do.”

Describe your ideal Vermont date: “Going on any kind of adventure out in the mountains, followed by a great beer. My ideal date would always be at the Alchemist, but that is no longer.”

Favorite thing about winter: “I love that we often complain about not having enough snow, as opposed to having too much.”

Last song you listened to: “‘Shake It Out’ by Florence and the Machine.”

How do you like your eggs cooked? “Over easy. Or eggs Benedict if I’m feeling fancy. Egg sandwiches on my way to a ski mountain.”

Biggest turnoff: “Men who spend more time grooming themselves than I do.”

Five-year plan: “I would like to travel to Peru.”

Where would you take someone on a romantic Vermont getaway? “A cabin in the mountains.”

Email Christine: [email protected]


Bachelor No. 1


Name: A.J. LaRosa

Age: 31

Town: Burlington

Occupation: Attorney

What his nominators say: “A.J. isn’t a man. He’s a legend. A rare breed of quick-witted lawyer, knee-dropping telemark skier and cocktail-mixing gentleman.”

Self-description: “An outdoorsy, fun-loving, down-to-earth professional who likes to make people laugh [and] has a deep passion for cooking and the outdoors.”

Fun fact: A.J. reports on mountain conditions as the resident weather man at

What you look for in a partner: “Intelligence. Independence. Humor.”

Describe your first kiss: “It was very awkward and it was in the woods.”

Relationship deal breaker: “Smoking. Close-mindedness. Those are the two worst for me.”

How do you pursue a crush? “I’m a go-getter. I think if you like somebody, you just go straight for it. You don’t play games. I’m a little type A in that way.”

Describe your ideal Vermont date: “Hiking to an overlook for a nice sunset with a cold beer. Or inviting someone over and cooking for them.”

Last song you listened to: “‘Good Feeling’ by Flo Rida.”

Where would you take someone on a romantic Vermont getaway? “A hut high on Mansfield.”

Craziest thing you’ve done for love: “I’ve done a lot of crazy things ... but I can’t let all the secrets out now.”

Email A.J.: [email protected]


Bachelor No. 2


Name: Peter Isles

Age: 31

Town: Burlington

Occupation: Artist and graduate student pursuing a PhD in natural resources at the University of Vermont.

What his nominator says: “Cares about the environment, loves his friends and his dog Trout. Did I mention handsome and single!?”

Describe yourself in three words: “Intelligent. Quiet. Creative.”

Fun fact: Peter’s visual art — which includes paintings, drawings, sculpture and collage — has most recently been exhibited at the S.P.A.C.E. Gallery.

Dating advice for the opposite sex: “Be yourself. I’m most attracted to people who seem confident and friendly without coming across as conceited.”

Relationship deal breaker: “I’m not really one for deal breakers. I keep an open mind.”

Craziest thing you’ve done for love: “I moved to Houston, Texas, during the Bush years. I’m sure I’ve done crazier things, but I don’t think I’ll spill about them here.”

Last song you listened to: “‘Breathless’ by Nick Cave.”

Five-year plan: “I’d like to start keeping bees.”

Where would you take someone on a romantic Vermont getaway? “My family has a beautiful cabin on a lake in the Northeast Kingdom. I’m a big fan of a quiet weekend spent cooking nice meals in a comfortable setting, maybe with a moonlight swim thrown in.”

Email Peter: [email protected]


Bachelor No. 3


Name: Jewels Hackney

Age: 25

Town: Burlington

Occupation: Green grocer; guitarist and songwriter with punk-rock band Rough Francis

What his nominator says: “Ladies, it’s happened to the best of us. Maybe you heard his boisterous laugh from across the Radio Bean, and realized that an angel’s song couldn’t be sweeter. Or maybe you were struck by his sizzling riffs and rock-star moves when you saw him onstage. No matter the circumstance, it’s a mind-numbing, sensational, full-body feeling ... you’ve been jeweled.”

Self-description: “I have a magnetic personality. I’m a positive person, jovial and friendly. I’m a little bit moody, in a good way.”

What you look for in a partner: “I think jive is the first, No. 1 thing. It’s gotta jive. I’m looking for someone who’s just on that wavelength.”

Three main requirements: “Ass, class and sass.”

Describe your ideal Vermont date: “A long walk, a hot beverage ... and the rest just falls into place.”

Favorite thing about winter: “Not having to go outside.”

Craziest thing you’ve done for love: “I once flew out to California to tell a girl that I loved her and gave her a one-way plane ticket to Vermont.”

How do you pursue a crush? “Sometimes I bide my time and weigh every option. Other times, I just say, Forget it, and go right for it. Sometimes I feel like I can’t waste any time.”

Email Jewels: [email protected]

Photo by Matthew Thorsen.

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