Vance is/was almost singularly responsible for the style of the Vermont Castings and similar stoves. She did the design work for many of their famous models, and continues designing stoves for them and other clients (such as Jotul) even today!
Along with her partner Al Wilker, she operates Red House Design, an industrial design studio in Vermont.
From an article by Stephen Morris:
"Smith was already a company veteran, having played key roles in the design of the Defiant and Vigilant woodstoves. Born in Boston, raised in California, educated at Wellesley and Harvard, she migrated north to join a group of designers, builders, architects, and ski bums in the Mad River Valley of Vermont. renewable energy ranked right up with fresh powder as a priority for this group, which eventually spawned a variety of entrepreneurial enterprises, many of which still exist and form the backbone of the ecological building community.
E Design Patent for the Intrepid with Vance R Smith named as inventor.