Our Team

Ann Clark Staff

Ann Clark Ltd.’s headquarters are located in beautiful Rutland, Vermont. At our facility, everyone plays a vital role in getting high-quality cookie cutters out the door and into the hands of customers. Everything is managed in-house, from manufacturing processes to the development of custom cookie cutters. The company works long and hard to bring Ann’s cookie cutters to stores within the United States and around the globe. We currently employ nearly fifty Vermonters whose unrivaled dedication to customer service and craftsmanship has set us apart.

 

Key Personnel:

Ann Clark - President

Ann Clark PaintingIn 1989, Ann Clark used her artistic abilities to turn an idea into a successful business right out of her house. Her pig-shaped ornament design inspired her to launch a small series of cookie cutters that she later brought to a trade show in Philadelphia. She tackled the trade show with a small amount of cash and unrestrained enthusiasm. She quickly sold out of her limited inventory and Ann Clark Ltd. was born.

Ann is an alumna of the University of Maryland with a degree in Art. After getting married, she and her husband, John, found a cozy spot in the foothills of the Green Mountains to call home. They raised their three children in Rutland, Vermont and taught them to love the great outdoors. Beyond her passion for art, Ann enjoys traveling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and spending time with her grandchildren. She’s occupies some of her time volunteering for the local garden club and the Rutland City Free Library.

Ann’s favorite cookie cutter is Mountain Bear, although the original pig cookie cutter continues to hold a special place in her heart.

Ben Clark - CEO

Ben ClarkAnn’s son Ben is the most zealous whiteboard user that you might ever meet. He always has a new idea and pushes innovation and continuous improvement with these boards as his aides. Employees at Ann Clark know white board discussions mean change is afoot.

Ben was raised in Rutland, Vermont and graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Vermont. Later, he earned his master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He worked for Black & Decker in new product development and purchasing, as well as the die casting industry. He moved back to Vermont in 1998 with his wife so he could join the family business and raise his daughters here. Since becoming CEO of Ann Clark Cookie Cutters, Ben has been a passionate advocate of lean manufacturing, which is a method of reducing waste without sacrificing productivity and has transformed the small family business into the leading manufacturer of cookie cutters in the world. 

Ben's loves comedy and his laugh can be heard from several rooms away. He also loves skiing, sailing, hiking, mountain biking, hunting and paddle boarding. He currently serves on the board of Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center (VMEC). VMEC’s primary mission is to strengthen and empower Vermont manufacturers - something Ben feels passionately about. He and his wife Denise have two daughters, Margaret and Becca, and the family dog is a chocolate Labrador named Molly.

His favorite cookie cutter is the Watering Can, a shape he often references.

Kevin Coleman - CFO

Kevin ColemanIn 2009, Kevin approached Ann Clark Ltd. on a sales call. Little did Kevin know that Ben believed Kevin was interviewing for the CFO position. Once the misunderstanding was uncovered, Ben graciously turned down the sale and asked Kevin if he wanted the CFO position. Kevin accepted and has held the position since, overseeing financial management, human resources, and purchasing. He has overseen many of the company’s ambitious goals becoming reality. 

Kevin, our representative from the West Coast, was born and raised in Seattle and graduated from the University of Washington with an Accounting degree. He later earned an MBA at Eastern Washington University, where he was also a faculty member. Kevin became a CPA and worked for Deloitte & Touche and in the publishing field.

In his free time, Kevin is a church volunteer, travels, visits family, hikes, bikes, reads history/biographies and builds fires to keep his wife warm. He met his wife Jenny at the University of Washington, and they have four grown children and a gaggle of grandkids. 

At Ann Clark, Kevin is known for his sweet tooth and is always thrilled when someone brings in a treat to share.

Kevin takes great pride in the “W” cookie cutter for the University of Washington (a custom project) and he also likes the traditional Moose. 

John Romano - National Sales Manager

John RomanoJohn has known the Clark family since childhood - so it came as no surprise that when Ben presented an opportunity to work for Ann Clark Ltd., John enthusiastically agreed. Prior to joining Ann Clark, John originated bank loans for 25 years. John is an alumnus of North Carolina State University and holds degrees in Economics and Business Management. At Ann Clark, John pursues sales leads for custom projects and coordinates programs for larger wholesale accounts.

Outside work, John enjoys hiking and snowshoeing on the Long Trail with his wife Kathy, as well as, visiting his adult children. Additionally, John promotes Italian culture as a trustee of the Rutland Italian American Club and researches both genealogy and local Vermont history. John proudly notes his research on his third great-grandfather James McDonough who was well known as “The Gouger” due to his “riotous living.” Fortunately for the office, John does not share those genes! 

John favors nautical-themed shapes, particularly the shark cookie cutter. 

Denise Cupoli - Creative Director

Denise CupoliIn 2011, Denise joined the Ann Clark team after relocating from Colorado to Vermont. A graduate of Cornell University with a degree in Design and Environmental Analysis, she began her career in interior design and architecture and expanded her knowledge and skills across many creative disciples. Today, she utilizes her creative expertise for Ann Clark's packaging, marketing collateral, and developing new cookie cutter shapes. She keeps up with trends in various industries to see what shape to produce next. A mother of two, Denise quickly responded to the unicorn trend by creating our Unicorn Head cookie cutter, a popular choice and her favorite shape.

In addition to her work at Ann Clark, Denise runs a freelance graphic design business for a multitude of global clients. Beyond her interest art and design, Denise spends her time outdoors rock climbing, paddle boarding or taking peaceful hikes with her family in the Vermont mountains. 

Denise proudly recounts: "My most extreme adventure yet was in Nepal where I climbed Kala Patthar mountain just above the basecamp of Mount Everest. The view at 18,000 feet was well worth the 5-day trek."

Gwen McShea - Digital Marketing Director

Gwen McShea

The company’s internet guru, Gwen, joined us in 2015. Hailing from upstate New York, she has lived in Ireland, traveled around the globe, and settled in Vermont. Gwen is an 'idea person' who is passionate about information and analyzing data which she uses to implement digital marketing strategies. She studiously researches how people search for cookie cutters, which gives the company insight into the keywords people use (e.g. "gingerbread man" vs "gingerbread boy"). Gwen graduated from Alfred University with bachelor's degrees in both Business Management and Fine Arts. Throughout her career, Gwen has handled website, design and digital marketing roles for a variety of companies and industries, including book publishing, home improvement and e-commerce agencies. 

In her free time, Gwen indulges in many interests which include: traveling, creative activities, enjoying good food, reading, playing soccer or card games, hiking and cheering on her husband's robotics team. She enjoys spending time with her family and her German Shepherd Io.

Her favorite cookie cutter to date is the Unicorn Head because of its well thought out design.

Eugenia Cooke - Sales Manager

Eugenia CookeEugenia is our most outspoken sports fan and manages both our sales representatives and our inside sales team for our wholesale business. She skillfully cultivates the company's business relationships and is passionate about providing our customers with an unrivaled wholesale experience. Eugenia is a self-proclaimed ­­­"data geek" with more than 30 years of experience in sales analysis. At Ann Clark, she carefully scrutinizes wholesale customers' buying patterns and preferences.

Eugenia moved here in 1982 and hasn't looked back. She is an alumna of The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA and an avid birder, locavore and "tree hugger." She enjoys many outdoor activities including cycling, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Eugenia is a devoted fan of the New England Patriots – Giants fans beware!

With her deep devotion to birding it is not a surprise that Eugenia's favorite cookie cutter is the Teardrop Bird.

Julian Fenn - Senior Marketing Specialist

Julian FennJulian grew up on a small family farm in Western New York that had four generations of family living under the same roof. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from SUNY Geneseo with degrees in Sociology and International Relations and he made his way to Vermont via Dartmouth College, where he pursued a master's degree in Globalization Studies. He began working at Ann Clark in 2017 as part of the sales team and has since applied his intellect and talents to our marketing and operational efforts.

Julian has a passion for local politics and serves as the Shrewsbury Town and Rutland County Chair for the Democratic Party and participates as a member of several other state committees. He enjoys coin collecting, bird watching, natural history, economics, writing, hiking and rockhounding. He takes pride in his impressive collection coins and rocks and lives in Shrewsbury, Vermont with his partner Elana.

With his deep farming roots, it’s no wonder Julian’s favorite shape is the Tractor. In fact, his first words were "John Deere." It’s not a surprise that he made his way to Rutland, the birthplace of John Deere!