Lyman and his three sons, Cabot, Gardner and Eliot, are proprietors of The Vermont Country Store, a retailer selling through two stores, nationally distributed catalogues and the Internet. The business is located in Vermont, employs over 600 people and actively supports local communities with contributions and employee-led volunteer programs. Lyman established the Orton Family Foundation in 1995 to help the citizens of rural America better define and shape the future of their communities. The Foundation is funded with profits from The Vermont Country Store and Lyman continues to serve as the Chair of the Board of Trustees.
Lyman became interested in land use issues through serving on the Planning Commission of his hometown of Weston, Vermont and recognized the need for more comprehensive tools and processes to help community leaders and the citizens more easily make sense of defining and shaping the long-term growth of their communities. Lyman now serves on the boards of Scenic America in Washington, DC and The Community Agriculture Alliance in Steamboat Springs, Colorado and recently created the innovative Art of Action project in Vermont.