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Meet Michael Harrington of New Directions Consulting

May 2, 2009

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New Club Member: Michael Harrington was born in the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center and lived on Gage Street in Benningon until he was ten years old. His parents are Deb Mackin and the late Bob Harrington. When he was ten years old, his mother remarried. Then he lived in Hoosick Falls, visiting his father in Bennington on weekends. Michael learned about Rotary through his father. Michael helped out at the car show and pancake breakfasts as much as child could,helping Bob pick up trash or serve pancakes. He always remembered the Rotary pin that his father would wear every Friday. "It’s a unique feeling and a proud feeling to be able to follow in his footsteps and do the same thing." Prior to working at New Directions, Michael was head of student affairs at Paul Smith's College. He was in charge of student housing, resident life and student disciplinary and judicial system and student activities. After gaining many skills, Michael was ready to move on.

There was an opening in his mother's consulting firm, New Directions which celebrates its 25th this August. The company focuses on looking at different organizations and the effectiveness of organizations. They have branched out into a number of areas, but the core focus has always been training, team building and educating midlevel managers on effective ways to supervise, communicate and resolve conflicts.

Michael went to college at SUNY Plattsburg and received a bachelors degree in mass communication, radio and television broadcasting. He did his graduate work in Liberal Studies with a focus in administration and leadership. Michael's brother just graduated from college and he may also be starting with New Directions as well. Michael was at Paul Smith's College for three years. He was looking for work and a friend suggested Paul Smith’s College. They called him on a Saturday. He called back Saturday night and they asked him to come for an interview the next day. The interview started at 2 pm and by the time it was over at 5, they said they would like him to start on Monday. He started a week later.

Michael has always stayed connected to Bennington so although he sees many changes, it also seems the same to him. When you are young you want to leave where you grow up, but when you come back home," it isn't as bad as you thought."

Michael is still involved in the radio station that his father was involved in and the building looks the same. Michael feels that it has been a great experience for him to be back in Bennington. To sit at Rotary with friends of his father's and mother's is very special to him.

Michael enjoys spending time chatting with people and family.. He loves going to the movies because his father would take the two boys to movies on the weekends. Michael enjoys recreational sports. A few years ago, he purchased a motorcycle, which he never had much time to ride when he was at Paul Smith's College. Michael is looking forward to taking part in whatever is coming up at Rotary.

Author: Sally Sugarman (Club Member & Windmill Editor)

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