Andrew Dumont, a certified public accountant (CPA) and avid outdoorsman, has quite a range of interests. An innate kinship with nature and a love for small towns changed the course of his career from being an accountant to promoting development in rural communities. “There was not going to be enough ‘mission’ for me [in a CPA role],” Andrew says about his decision to reroute his professional journey. “Shining a light on inequities that prevent people from reaching their full potential—I feel blessed that I get to do that every day.”
Rural communities’ assets shine
Andrew is currently working with several partners to develop a rural community typology, which is a collection of data that highlights that area’s assets. By highlighting community assets such as financial capital, Andrew hopes to provide quantitative data that speaks to the potential of rural communities and which can drive increased investment. Andrew’s past work focused on the potential advantages of supporting local and regional food systems, including the creation of high-quality jobs, small business opportunities, and health benefits for residents who have greater access to locally grown fresh foods. His goal is to use data and case studies to convince investors, entrepreneurs, and government officials of the value of investing in rural areas, and how to do so successfully.
For the past seven years, Andrew’s work has included researching the advantages and economic opportunities of rural areas. It has also focused on identifying the types of local and regional organizations, partnerships, and resources that are necessary for rural communities to realize their full potential. “I hope we can make a real difference,” Andrew says of the work he and his colleagues do in rural communities. “I believe that we make a difference.”