VBSR Logo Vermont
for Social Responsibility
Will PattenA World of Change

Change.  We can fight it or accept it, but it's hard to ignore it.  

The most substantive change is happening in the world of business and finance as we recover from this economic meltdown.  The world is hungry for a new way to do business.  

This is an exciting opportunity for VBSR. We are committed to directing the course of change in the Vermont business community.  Our values have never been more relevant and our message has never been more widely welcomed.

But we're not sure our name, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, fully represents who we are today and what we are trying to do.  Does our name imply that we are merely a subsection of the Vermont business community, an advocacy group with a singular focus?

We'd like to hear your opinion on this question.  If you think our name might be misleading or restrictive, let us know by suggesting another name.  We're open to change. Please send us your ideas to info@vbsr.org by the end of March.

P.S. We've lined up a tremendous agenda for our Spring Conference on May 5th.  The information and registration is all online this year at www.vbsr.org.  There are only 400 seats available and they will go fast, so register today.

Our 2009 Member Directory is going to press soon.  If you want to promote your company to the best business community in Vermont, contact Lisa Curtis at lisac@vbsr.org about advertising opportunities.

Will Patten
Executive Director
Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility

In This Issue
Register NOW - Spring Conference
VBSR Educational, Networking and Community Service Events
VBSR Public Policy Legislative Events
VBSR Public Policy Update
Farm-to-plate Bill
2009 Legislative Reception - Success
Request for Proposals to Change Climate Change
New Member Introduction - WoodFuels Energy
Richmond VT Free eNewsletter
VBSR Bookshelf - Growing Local Value
Register Now for 2009
Spring Conference
Online registration now available for VBSR's 19th Annual Spring Conference
"On the Long Trail: Sustaining Success"

Monday evening, May 4, 2009
6th Annual Terry Ehrich Awards Dinner
Northern Lights Cruise Boat
Lake Champlain, Burlington, VT

Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Full Day Conference featuring keynote speakers
David Cay Johnston and Will Raap

Hilton Hotel, Burlington, VT

For full details and to register online, please visit our conference events listing.
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 hosted by
King Arthur Flour
Tuesday, April 7, 2009; 5:30 - 7:30 pm
King Arthur Flour, 135 Route 5 South, Norwich
Visit the events listing for more details...

VBSR Business Open Studio hosted by
Good Point Recycling, Middlebury, VT
Thursday, June 4, 2009; 5:30 - 7:30 pm
To sponsor this event, please contact Rita Bothfeld at ritab@vbsr.org by Friday, April 24

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 Member Statehouse Day
The morning of Friday, April 24th at the Vermont Statehouse - More details to come.
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

As we pass the mid-way point of the legislative session, we continue to advocate forcefully on behalf of our member businesses. The state budget, economic development through the development of our agricultural sector, full funding of the Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee plant, strategic economic development, health care reform, permit reform, and the development of renewable energy continue to be topics of major concern.  Please go to the VBSR policy blog to review the following sections of a comprehensive mid-session update:
Responsible Budget Review Policy Petition submitted to House Ways and Means
VBSR has collected over 80 business endorsements for the "responsible budget review" policy statement.  Please see the petition language and email policy@vbsr.org if you have not yet signed on !

Also, please visit the VBSR public policy blog for ongoing updates and information, and please continue to share your ideas and opinions with us.

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.
Farm-to-plate bill pushes local food and looks to boost Vermont economy
By Addison Independent
Created Feb 23 2009


ADDISON COUNTY - Three hundred farmers packed into the Statehouse on Feb. 17 for a legislative hearing on the future of agriculture before the Senate and House Agriculture Committees Tuesday night, and legislators listened.

Farm and farm-related sectors in Vermont are responsible $503.3 million in total cash receipts each year, according to the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, and the agriculture industry and allied businesses account for roughly 17,000 jobs in the state.

...The Farm-to-Plate initiative grew out of a series of conversations that Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility organized last summer and through the fall to brainstorm about creative - and economically viable - solutions to farming challenges.

The discussions married hopes for strong farming communities with a realistic approach to earning money and building strong economic systems.

2009 Legislative Reception - Success!

VBSR's annual Legislative Reception was once again a great success.  We continue to build relationships between our business members and state policy makers by gathering in an informal and fun setting.  With the economic challenges we are facing it was nice to take some time out to relax and socialize.  Once again, we are very thankful to our generous event sponsors: National Life Group,
Washington Electric Co-op, and Kimbell Sherman Ellis. Thank you !
Green Mountain Coffee and JustMeans Announce Request for Proposals to Change Climate Change

The threat of dangerous, long-term, and irreversible climate change as a result of manmade greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is real. This threat affects the already fragile ecosystems and communities where we live, work, and purchase coffee; moreover, it affects the entire planet, ignoring natural or manmade boundaries.

Climate change is not a problem that can be solved by a single entity -- be it government, business, civil society or individuals. We believe the long term solution will come from the combined efforts of all of the above. While government will play an important role, we need not wait for government direction to take steps to understand, reduce, and mitigate our share of GHG emissions.

Accordingly, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) is publishing this Request for Proposals (RFP) from organizations working to change climate change, with specific focus on the following four areas:
  • Transportation-related emissions
  • Threats to coffee-growing communities
  • Building political will
  • Empowering individual action
WoodFuels Energy Option

WoodFuels is a unique (and, today, very timely) solution to a long-term forward problem: how to cost-effectively heat larger commercial facilities with locally produced sources of energy.
Today, we have a program that offers you
      A permanent solution
      At no capital cost or risk to you
      With a realistic expectation of future savings
      And, perhaps of equal importance to the 3 points above - local energy, produced locally and sourced from sustainably harvested forests.
Our company is presently offering 10 year contracts to a limited number of customers in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.  Our first boilers will be installed this summer and our services will commence in the fall of 2009.

We are constructing two pellet plants, one in Vermont and one in Maine, to supply pellets from our own 15 year contracted supply of whole logs. We will not produce pellets for anyone other than our customers, so if you contract with WoodFuels, you will be 100% assured of both the highest quality low emission pellet and guaranteed supply.  You in turn will have an ownership of our pellet facility for your contract period.  Similar to a  utility, you are only responsible to pay for the metered BTU's that your business consumes. We do not charge per pound or by the ton for the wood pellet supply, you simply pay your bill at the end of the billing period.
And since you won't pay for or maintain the new pellet heating system, you will have 100% assurance for the 10 year contract period that we are fully invested in the continuing reliability and quality of service to your properties.  Our primary customer is one who consumes #2 fuel oil, propane or gas and uses the minimum of 100,000 gallons or more a year.  We have been in contact with large public schools, private school, colleges, hospitals and manufacturing facilities.
Richmond Area Business Association Free eNewsletter
The Richmond Area Business Association cordially invites YOU to subscribe to its new, FREE eNewsletter.
  • Want some good news for a change?
  • Want to learn what Richmond-area businesses, professionals, and organizations are doing to serve you better?
  • Did you know there are 250-300 small, independent businesses, home-based professionals, and organizations, which significantly contribute to the high-quality of life and economic vitality, found throughout RABA "territory"?
  • Want to keep up-to-date about what the Richmond Area Business Association (RABA) is doing?
Subscribe today and discover what's happening in Bolton, Huntington & Richmond.

During these difficult economic times, we need to be even more mindful of the fact that what makes living here so special is that there is such a strong sense of community--that is, we recognize the importance of sharing not only in our community's triumphs, but in its burdens, as well.  No doubt the upcoming Richmond bridge closure will impact our entire local area, but particularly so on downtown businesses. Therefore, during the closure, RABA's eNewsletter will focus on Richmond's downtown merchants, as their well-being AND the continuing vitality of our local commerce will depend on YOUR support.  One simple way for you to do that is to subscribe to the eNewsletter, below.  Remember, it's a win-win situation if we all do our part to keep informed and support our area businesses.

Subscribe now. Your name and email address will NOT be shared, outside of RABA.
Invitation from
President Mark Schulman to Friends of Goddard College

So we can understand what you know about Goddard, I hope you can take a few moments to respond to a questionaire located at the following link.


The survey is completely anonymous and answers are held in confidence. The research firm we have hired to conduct the study will neither request nor collect any identifying information about you; EXCEPT if you agree to participate in a short follow-up to the questionnaire. No individual answers will be reported, only information as a whole.

Your participation in is very important to us. Thank you in advance for your help.

Mark Schulman, President
Goddard College
123 Pitkin Road
Plainfield, VT 05667
Newsletter Sponsorship

2007 Employer Guide Banner

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!
Logic Branch Productions

Seven Days

Bill Schubart

Lederman-Allen Interests

Suzanne Bansley - Marlboro College

Jonathan Crowley - Marlboro College

Patricia Csurny - Marlboro College

Lawrence Furman - Marlboro College

Kevin Lehman - Marlboro College

Christopher Lindgren - Marlboro College

Tom Rossmassler - Marlboro College

Maple Landmark Inc.

Stelker, Fischer, Edwards & Greenapple P.C.

Shelburne Vineyard

Laughing Moon Chocolates

Four Winds Nature Institute

VBSR Bookshelf
Growing Local Value
How to build business partnerships that strengthen your community

Laury Hammel
Gun Denhart

VBSR Bookshelf Information Courtesy of Northshire Bookstore
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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