VBSR Logo Vermont
for Social Responsibility

Rita BevaccoDear Friend,

As we get ready for the 18th Annual VBSR Spring Conference, things are really heating up in the office!  This conference promises to be of the best events we have held yet!   We hope you will join us for the day, Wed, May 14 at Champlain College.

We have also chosen June 12 as the date for the 2008 Terry Ehrich Awards Dinner.  We hope you will join us for cocktails, dinner, presentations, awards and dancing, aboard the Northern Lights Cruise Boat departing from the King Street Ferry Dock at 6:00 pm, returning at 9:30 pm.  Visit the event listing for more details.  Please note, this is a change from the original date, time and location.

For the Spring Conference, we have put together 20 workshops for you to choose from, and have John Abrams, author of 'The Company We Keep,' joining us as our keynote speaker.  We will be dining on lots of local food and will cap off the event with 'The Boycott,' a short one-woman play, followed by a post-conference party!  Exhibitors will be on display all day, and you will have many opportunities to bid on a plethora of silent auction items representative of the impressive array of VBSR businesses and their products. 

Please check out the conference event listing paying particular attention to about sixty sponsors, including VBSR's Champions who are all part of making this event possible. 

Join us for a day of learning and socializing with your colleagues and prepare to go back to your business energized, inspired, and with a list of invaluable contacts.  We hope that this year's event exceeds your expectatations as Vermont continues to lead the way in the nation for socially responsible business.


Rita Bevacco


In This Issue
New VBSR Internet Forums Await Your Participation
VBSR Events
Public Policy Updates
VBSR Internship Program News
Profile in Business - Paul Ralston of Vermont Coffee Company
Coaching Center of Vermont
Green Mountain Power Exceeds Reliability
VBSR Bookshelf - VBSR Keynoter's Book!
Leadership Opportunity - Moderate an Internet Forum on vbsr.org

VBSR's Internet Forums have changed!  We are looking for moderators to get the conversation going.

Forum: (according to Webster) A public meeting place for open discussion

The new forums address the #1 reason that businesses join VBSR: To learn how to improve their business through socially responsible practices.

Consider participating in a forum as part of your effort to commit to socially responsible business practices in the three major areas:
  1. Managing our environmental footprint - from supply chain to waste stream, we can save money while saving the planet.
  2. Managing a respectful workplace - a happy workplace is our number one asset.
  3. Maintaining healthy community relations - Your community is everyone your business touches, from the little league team to your lawyer.
Visit the internet forums on www.vbsr.org today and help improve your business' performance in these areas.

If you have passion and knowledge in any of these areas, we're looking for a few moderators to help us guide and inform these discussions.  Email willp@vbsr.org.
Networking, Social Responsibility and Service Events

18th Annual VBSR Spring Conference
'Business Climate Change'
Wed, May 14, 2008, Champlain College, 7:45 am - 6:00 pm. This year we are happy to welcome featured speaker, John Abrams, Co-founder and CEO of South Mountain Company
Visit the event listing for conference details and links to online registration.

2008 Terry Ehrich Awards Dinner
Join us aboard the Northern Lights Cruise Boat!
Thurs, Jun 12, 2008, 6:00 - 9:30 pm, departing for Lake Champlain from the King Street ferry dock in Burlington.  Cocktails, dinner, awards, presentations and dancing.  Visit the event listing for details.  To register, call Michele Denault-Reynolds at 802-862-8347 or e-mail micheled@vbsr.org

For a more complete listing of events helpful to your business, visit VBSR's Events Calendar.

If you are interested in sponsoring or hosting a VBSR event, contact Rita Bevacco at 802-862-8347 or at ritab@vbsr.org
Public Policy
Public Commission Meetings on the Future of Jobs & Economic Opportunity for Vermont
Commission on the Future of Economic Development (CFED)

As part of its public outreach effort, the Commission on the Future of Economic Development (CFED) will be working with regional groups to host 12 meetings, six in the spring and six in the summer to gather public input as part of writing the state's strategic economic development plan.  Visit the event listing page for details including the date and time of the meeting near you, and how to register.

Early May Adjournment in Montpelier?
All indicators are pointing this direction so we are actively advocating for the priorities laid out by our membership through the public policy action team process. 

VBSR just wrote a letter to all the House Representatives regarding our "must-pass" bills that are still in the House.  These include:
  • S. 350- Energy Independence and Economic Prosperity 
  • S. 373- Full funding of decommissioning costs of a nuclear plant
  • S. 304- Groundwater Withdrawal Permit Program 
  • S. 311- The Use Value Appraisal Program
See the text of the letter on www.vbsr.org.

Thank you to VBSR member Melinda Moulton of Main Street Landing, and Chair of VBSR's Environmental, Energy, and Transportation policy team for her recent testimony before Senate Finance in support of S. 350.

Also, VBSR has been actively tracking and speaking out on health care reform bill H.887 which is is now in the Senate.  Thank you to VBSR members Russ Bennett or Northland Construction and John Wall of Wall-Goldfinger who gave compelling testimony to Senate Health and Welfare regarding needed reform.

View VBSR testimony and agenda to promote the de-coupling of health insurance from employment and the creation of a system of public financing.

Do you want to get involved in promoting VBSR public policy?  Email Andrea at andreac@vbsr.org to be added to the public policy e-mail list.

Share Your News on Leigh Cole's Business & Law Blog
Leigh Cole
Get your news posted on Leigh Cole's Business and Law Blog.  Leigh Cole is a business lawyer with Dinse, Knapp & McAndrew, P.C. and is looking for press releases about your business.  This a good opportunity for VBSR businesses to share their news with the Vermont business community.  E-mail leigh.cole@dinse.com to share your news! 

Also, remember, you can share your news with VBSR members by posting on www.vbsr.org.
VBSR Internship Program News: 

The VBSR intern program is off and running!  We are pleased to say we have over 135 students interested in being placed in our member businesses and over 20 VBSR businesses interested in creating opportunities! 

We are happy to offer this service to our members, and to be part of the effort to keep Vermont students here by connecting them with job opportunities! 

The list of opportunities keeps growing everyday!  We look forward to matching interns with your businesses for the Summer '08, Fall '08 and Spring '09 terms.
Visit VBSR's Intern Page for internship opportunity listings, a summary of the program, useful forms and links.  Check back soon for a listing of businesses and current internship openings. 

Interested businesses and students should contact Lisa Curtis at lisac@vbsr.org or call 802-862-8347.
Profile in Business - Paul Ralston
Vermont Coffee CompanyVermont Coffee: Organic, fair trade coffee for the discerning palate all the way from Bristol

by Joe Schmidt, for Vermont Business Magazine, April 2008 Edition

Five thousand pounds of coffee a week, over 100 tons a year. Respectable sales for a Vermont company that opened its doors in January 2002. But hardly surprising, when you consider the owner is entrepreneur Paul Ralston.

After attending the University of Vermont Paul's first job was with the Nash organic farm, where he was the "milk man", making home deliveries in the Bristol area. In 1977 he opened the Bristol Bakery on Main Street, learning pastry-making skills on the job. Acquisition of an antique coffee roaster for the bakery launched his coffee career.

Coaching Center of Vermont Announces New Partner

Growth Drives Expansion

From, Charlotte Edwards, Coaching Center of Vermont

The Coaching Center of Vermont, a collaborative of life and business coaches located in the Champlain Mill, Winooski, is pleased to welcome Lea Belair, PCC as a new partner. Belair brings over thirteen years experience and entrepreneurial expertise, including having owned and managed several successful businesses. She brings international credentials and know-how as an instructor in coaching skills, change management, and business development. Her book Walk on Water: How to Make Change Easier is the basis of an advanced coaching program approved by the International Coach Federation (ICF) and makes Belair a popular speaker on thriving in change.


Green Mountain Power Exceeds Reliability Standards

Green Mountain Power"Our customers consistently tell us that providing reliable power is the most important thing we do, and in 2007 we had fewer customer hours without power, despite significant storms hitting our service territory," said Mary Powell, senior vice president and chief operating officer. "Major investments in tree-trimming and other system upgrades have had a direct effect on improving system reliability."

An analysis of the causes of all the outages in Green Mountain Power's system during 2007 shows that outages caused by tree branches within the rights-of-way were at the lowest point in five years. Upgrades to the system and a fast response to the outages meant that the total amount of time customers were out due to tree branches within the rights-of-way was well below previous years.

Our Newsletter Sponsors:
Sustainable Business UVM

Institute for Global Sustainability, UVM


Front Porch Forum Logo

VBSR members now receive a 10% discount on purchase of advertising on Front Porch Forum.



Way To Go VT Logo

gosh!Reducing air pollution and saving money is surprisingly easy.

May 5 - 9
Commuter Challenge

Sign Up!

INTERESTED IN SPONSORING VBSR'S NEWSLETTER?  E-mail Michele Denault-Reynolds at info@vbsr.org or call 802-862-8347 to secure a space today.

Welcome New
VBSR Members!

Villanti & Sons, Printers, Inc.

Central Vermont Solid Waste District

Vermont Soy

Magnolia Bistro

Char Associates

Orange Mountain, Inc.

Woodbury Daycare


Blue Sky Environmental Strategies

Champlain Housing Trust, Inc.

rbTechnologies, LLC

Vermont Works for Women

Evergreen Homebuilders LLC

McKenzie Country Classics

VBSR Bookshelf
The Company We Keep -
Reinventing Small Business for People, Community and Place

By John Abrams
*Keynote Speaker at 2008 VBSR Spring Conference

The Company We Keep

VBSR Bookshelf Information Courtesy of Northshire Bookstore:

2007 Employer Guide Banner
test image

60 Lake Street, Suite 3G
Burlington, VT 05401

Our mission is to foster a business ethic in Vermont that recognizes the opportunity and responsibility of the business community to set a high standard for protecting the natural, human, and economic environments of our citizens.

We are commited to a multiple bottom line approach to business that values people, planet and profit.  For more information about our organization visit info@vbsr.org

Membership Information
Going Green Expo VT
UVM, Gutterson Athletic Center
Admission: $5 (children under 12 - free)

Sat, May 10, 10 am - 7 pm
Sun, May 11, 10 am - 4 pm
(Mother's Day!  Kids bring your mother and she gets in free)

Host Sponsor: VBSR Member Business, groSolar