VBSR Logo Vermont
for Social Responsibility
Will PattenVBSR and You

The collapse of the financial system is throttling economic activity.  As the impact of that collapse reaches Vermont, I expect that you are scrutinizing every 2009 expense item...including business association dues.  

I hope when you get a renewal invoice from VBSR you will remember that socially responsible businesses in Vermont are the total opposite of the businesses that have  imploded around the world.

While they made reckless investments for short term gains, we make long term investments in social, environmental and financial assets.   While they built enormous wealth of artificial value, our goal is sustainable and authentic success.  While they chased global dominance, we value commitment to community.  

Our Strategic Plan has challenged us to articulate and demonstrate a more prudent business model that honors long-held Vermont values.  We hope you will help us meet that challenge.

To help you manage cash flow during these tough times, we are now accepting dues in quarterly payments through our web site.  We have also increased our presence in the State House to fight for uncoupling health insurance from employment, for reliable and affordable energy, for investment in the infrastructure that our small businesses rely on and for government policies that support Vermont businesses.

Our 2009 calendar of educational networking events is very full.  Our first Business Open Studio (nee Get-Together) will be held at Villanti & Sons Printers on February 3rd.  Our annual legislative reception is on February 12th in Montpelier. And save the date, May 5th, for our Spring Conference at the Hilton Hotel in Burlington.

VBSR is now offering disability and dental insurance for both groups and individuals.  Contact Calen King for more details: 862-8347, calenk@vbsr.org.

Will Patten
Executive Director
Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility

In This Issue
The Sun Rises on Progressive Asset Management's New Vermont Office
VBSR Educational, Networking and Community Service Events
VBSR Public Policy Legislative Events
VBSR Public Policy Update
VT Clean Energy Development Fund - GRANTS AVAILABLE!
Wood & Wood Sign Systems Wins Honorable Mention Award
VEOC Board of Directors Elects New Leadership
VBSR Supports Smokefree Workplace Bill
The Sun Rises on Progressive Asset Management's New Vermont Office
by Todd Walker, Progressive Asset Management

The Vermont office of Progressive Asset Management (PAM), the nation's leading socially responsible financial services network, has moved to greener quarters.  Its new building in Wells is powered by the sun.  It boasts PV and passive solar energy generation, with 14 Evergreen PV panels generating 2600 watts of electric power, plus a large solarium for passive heat collection.  "It's a dream realized," says Todd Walker, branch director.  "Not just in more space for us and our clients, but most importantly in the ability to utilize clean energy every day."

Progressive Asset Management new office

VBSR Educational, Networking and Community Service Events

2009 VBSR Business Open Studios:
connect, learn, share, apply.

...new name, fresh focus...

Join us for this year's Business Open Studios and learn something new, think something new, meet someone new.

VBSR Business Open Studio co-hosted by
Villanti & Sons Printers / Domtar Corp.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009; 5:30 - 7:30 pm
Villanti & Sons Printers, 15 Catamount Dr, Milton, VT
Recycled vs. Virgin Paper: An Unnecessary Battle
Knowing the difference and balancing both!
For more information and directions, visit our web site.
Please RSVP to info@vbsr.org or 802-862-8347
Thanks to our sponsors!
Good Point Recycling and Vermont Community Loan Fund

VBSR Business Open Studio co-hosted by
VBSR and Westminster Cracker
Monday, March 9, 2009; 5:30 - 7:30 pm
Franklin Conference Ctr, One Scale Ave, Rutland, VT
Discuss the current economic crisis and some initiatives affecting business under consideration in Montpelier, and take a tour of the Westminster Cracker Company.
To sponsor this event, please contact Rita at 802-862-8347 no later than February 11

VBSR 2009 Spring Conference events...
Save the Dates!

2009 Terry Ehrich Awards Dinner
Monday evening, May 4, 2009
Location to be announced
2009 Spring Conference
Tuesday, May 5, 2009; 7:30 am - 5:30 pm
Hilton Hotel, Burlington, VT
For more information on sponsoring the conference or submitting a workshop proposal, please visit our web site conference page.

For more information on all upcoming events, please visit VBSR's web site.

If you are interested in sponsoring or hosting a VBSR event, contact Rita Bothfeld at 802-862-8347 or at ritab@vbsr.org.
VBSR Legislative Events
VBSR 2009 Legislative Reception
Thurs, Feb 12, 5-7pm, The Main Street Grill, Montpelier  This is your opportunity to meet and mingle with Vermont Legislators.  Sponsored by National Life Group, Washington Electric Cooperative, Inc., and Kimbell Sherman Ellis. Visit the event listing for more details.  Contact VBSR at 802-862-8347 to register or e-mail info@vbsr.org

VBSR Member Statehouse Day
Fri, Apr 24, 8am-2pm, The Vermont Statehouse 
VBSR members are invited to gather at the statehouse to learn legislative process, advocate, and monitor committee meetings.  Contact VBSR at 802-862-8347 for more information or e-mail andreac@vbsr.org
VBSR Public Policy Update
VT Flag Image2009 Legislative Session Underway

So far the legislative session has been dominated by the economic downturn.  Creative solutions and long-term thinking are essential and no option should be off the table.  VBSR's 2009 fiscal and economic development policy has been guiding our policy advocacy.  Now is surely the time to streamline and innovate, and we must also ensure that we don't let infrastructure continue to decline or that services critical to the most vulnerable are cut.

Please make sure to attend VBSR's annual legislative reception on Feb. 12th, to show support for VBSR legislative advocacy.

Contact Andrea Cohen, VBSR's Public Policy Program Manager, at andreac@vbsr.org or call 802-862-8347 if you would like to be added to our public policy "e-list" for periodic policy e-mail updates.

Also, please visit the VBSR public policy blog frequently during the legislative session to get updates from the statehouse.
VT Clean Energy Development Fund - GRANTS AVAILABLE!

$2 million in grants available for renewable energy and combined heat and power projects.

Proposals due to the Department of Public Service by
Friday, Feb. 27, 2009.

For more information visit http://publicservice.vermont.gov/energy/ee_cleanenergyfund.html
Wood & Wood Sign Systems Wins Honorable Mention Award
Wood & Wood Honored with Design Portfolio Award for Solstice at Stowe Mountain Lodge

Wood & Wood Solstice signWAITSFIELD, Vermont - A leading national sign industry source magazine, Sign Business,showcased Wood & Wood, Inc. with an Honorable Mention award for the design and fabrication of the interior Solstice restaurant ID sign in the 16th Annual Portfolio Sign Design Contest. This understated steel sign was one of many signature signs recently designed by Sparky Potter, owner of Wood & Wood Inc., to compliment the rustic, alpine architecture of the five-star Stowe Mountain Lodge, Stowe, VT.

VEOC Board of Directors Elects New Leadership

Paul Millman - VEOC Board President
Burlington, Vermont (November 24, 2008) - The Vermont Employee Ownership Center's Board of Directors has elected new officers for the coming year.

Paul Millman is the newly elected Board President. Millman is the president and co-founder of Chroma Technology Corporation (Rockingham, Vt.) and has served on the VEOC board since 2002, previously as Board Vice President. He brings a wealth of knowledge of Vermont's business community and has worked tirelessly to promote employee ownership.

VBSR Supports Smokefree Workplace Bill
Vermont's Smokefree Workplace Act still allows indoor smoking rooms at businesses across Vermont and even smoking in open areas under some circumstances.  VBSR has signed a resolution urging legislators to close this loophole.

Go to the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Vermont's website to sign the resolution showing your business's support for this effort and learn more about the cost of smoking to businesses.
Newsletter Sponsorship

Efficiency Vermont

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

Welcome New VBSR Members!
The National MS Society, Vermont Office

Advanced Illuminations


Linking Learning to Life (LLL)

Reina, Inc.

Williston Mortgage Corp.

Cooperative Fund of New England

Northlands Job Corps Center

VBSR Bookshelf
Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money
Investing as if Food, Farms, and Fertility Mattered

by Woody Tasch

Slow Money

VBSR Bookshelf Information Courtesy of Chelsea Green Publishing:

Chelsea Green Publishing
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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

This cartoon was drawn over 15 years ago. Calvin's perspective of his lemonade stand business has a resonance to the American Auto Industry's position on the economy. Click on the image for a full-size version...

Calvin & Hobbes