Lyman is Proprietor, with his sons, Cabot, Gardner and Eliot, of The Vermont Country Store. The retailer employs more than 600 and sells through two stores, catalogs, and the web. Lyman started the Orton Family Foundation to help residents of small cities and towns better define and shape the future of their communities. He was a Planning Commissioner in his hometown, Weston, Vermont, and watched divisions grow over a proposed animal amusement park. The park was approved, but soon failed. The scars on the mountain healed far faster than the divide in town, which prompted Lyman to consider a better way to do town planning. Lyman holds a bachelor's degree from Middlebury College.