VBSR Logo Vermont
for Social Responsibility
Will Patten

The old Vermonter was remembering, "A-yut, last year summer was on a Tuesday." 

Summer showed up in August this year but it won't stick around long.  Time to get back to work.

Andrea is working with various members on policy positions to take to the Legislature.  We hope to have a proposal to deal with the deficit in the Unemployment Insurance trust fund and we may make some suggestions to improve the state's permitting process.  We also have a group exploring sustainable communities and would ideally be able to model what they would look like. Additionally, she will be traveling around the state this fall holding a series of local public policy forums starting on Sept. 8 in Brattleboro.  You can find out more  about these forums by clicking here.

Rita's busy planning our Fall Conference which will be in Manchester on November 10th and scheduling a number of Business Open Studios around the state.

Lisa is making revisions to the SR Venture that members can use to assess how their companies are doing in socially responsible business practices.  She is also working with the Membership Committee to organize and expand the number of local networking events or "Circles".  

Tara is teaching business people how interns from Vermont colleges can  benefit their companies.  These energetic young people can apply their education and skills to any project you may have while they discover career opportunities in their chosen field.  Internships are brilliant.

Calen is happily busy enrolling lots of new members in VBSR.  Our membership is back approaching 650 and it's growing daily!

I know it's still August but it's time to work on the wood pile.

Will Patten
Executive Director
Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility

In This Issue
VBSR Merges With Local First Vermont
VBSR Educational, Networking and Community Service Events
VBSR Public Policy Update
Farm to Plate Initiative launches
NRG Systems joins global campaign to fight climate change
Vermont Business Materials Exchange
350.org International Day of Climate Action
Vermont's Community Development Credit Union
Goddard president, Marc Schulman, reflects on his tenure
More Coaches join the Coaching Center of Vermont
Keep it Local America
VBSR Bookshelf - Shop Class as Soulcraft
VBSR Merges With Local First Vermont

Burlington, Vermont, August 12, 2009

Two of Vermont's most innovative trade associations have decided to join forces.  Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR) and Local First Vermont are merging their memberships. VBSR is a statewide business membership organization made up of over 600 Vermont companies representing over 30,000 employees and $4.5 billion in annual sales. Local First Vermont has been one of the leading voices in the "Buy Local" movement in Vermont.

"A new economy is taking shape in Vermont." said VBSR board chair, Julie Lineberger.  "It features an old-fashioned appreciation for supporting our neighbors and communities and taking care of our land.  Local First Vermont and VBSR are leaders in the creation of that new economy.  We are delighted to team up with the hundreds of business members of Local First Vermont to promote strong local communities."

"Building a resilient economy that positions us well for the coming decades is a priority," said Local First Vermont board chair Chris Morrow. "Having a solid, foundational local economy will build strong communities and put us in a good position to interact with the national and global economies as needed.  Our local, independent businesses are the backbone of our economy and the torch bearers of a way of life we want to strengthen.  The Local First Vermont leadership will continue to push this agenda"

Together with VBSR's membership, Local First Vermont will continue to work to raise awareness about the value of locally owned, independent businesses by working with companies around the state and through special marketing efforts such as Independents Week and their holiday campaign.  LFVT is also part of a larger effort called the 10% Shift (10percentshift.org) which encourages people to shift just 10% of their purchases to local vendors.  The impact of purchasing decisions is large.

VBSR member companies are committed to VBSR's mission 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. Businesses interested in joining VBSR or learning more about Local First Vermont can find information at www.vbsr.org or call the VBSR office at 802-862-8347.
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
Vermont Artisan Designs & Gallery 2, Brattleboro, VT
Tuesday, August 18, 2009; 5:30 - 7:30 pm

VBSR Business Open Studio co-hosted by
Shelburne Orchards, Shelburne Vineyard, and Shelburne Farms, Shelburne, VT
Tuesday, September 22, 2009; 5:30 - 7:30 pm
To sponsor this event, please contact Rita Bothfeld at ritab@vbsr.org by the end of Tuesday, August 25


VBSR 2009 Fall Conference
Save the Date!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009; 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
The Equinox Resort, Manchester Center, VT
For more information on sponsorships or exhibit space at the conference, please visit our web site conference page.

If you are interested in sponsoring or hosting a VBSR event, contact Rita Bothfeld at 802-862-8347 or at ritab@vbsr.org.
VBSR Public Policy Update

VT Flag ImageThanks to all the members that took time to complete the annual public policy survey !  We are now reviewing the results and will report back soon with the significant findings that will direct our policy work over the next year.  

Public Policy Fall Forums
We are gearing up for our annual public policy forum series to be held around the state this fall.  We hope you can attend one being held near you.  This is a great opportunity to meet with VBSR staff and members, and local legislators to discuss public policy issues of concern.   Forum topics likely to include re-licensure of Vermont Yankee, Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, Health Care Reform, Environmental Permitting Improvements, and State Economic Development Policy.   We are looking for your thoughts and suggestions.  

Please check the VBSR events page for evolving details:  Scheduled so far:
  • Brattleboro. Tuesday, Sept 8,  2009. 11:00 am-1:00 pm. Marlboro College Graduate Center (local host)  
  • Montpelier. Monday, Oct 19, 2009.  4:00-6:00 pm.  Kellogg Hubbard Library.
  • Manchester. Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2009.  Early am, preceding the VBSR fall conference. 

We are also planning to hold forums in Rutland (likely in Oct), and in Burlington (in Mid Nov. to wrap up the series).  If you would like to host a local policy forum (and can help ensure businesses participation) please contact Andrea at andreac@vbsr.org.

Current Activity
Policy topics that the Public Policy Committee and special workgroups having been working on this summer include unemployment insurance trust fund, permitting system improvements, and "magnet regions".   We have also been working to forward our energy supply and health care reform agenda.  Please check the public policy pages for summary updates and adopted VBSR policies on these and other policy issues, or contact andreac@vbsr.org.
Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund launches new Farm to Plate Initiative
The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF) announced today that is has officially launched the Farm to Plate Initiative, has named a 15 member Strategic Planning Process Team and has hired Kit Perkins as the Initiative's project manager.

"The Farm-to-Plate Initiative aims to bolster Vermont's food system by quantifying market potential and pin-pointing critical bottlenecks, especially in processing and storage infrastructure and distribution systems so that more of Vermont's agricultural products can be enjoyed by Vermonters and throughout the Northeast,"

NRG Systems joins global campaign to fight climate change
NRG Systems, manufacturer of wind measurement equipment, has joined dozens of other wind energy companies to raise awareness of the role of wind power in fighting climate change. The Wind Power Works campaign, an initiative of the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), calls for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions 25-40% below 1990 levels by 2020 and rapid deployment of wind energy to help meet this target.

"A major transformation in our energy supply is critical to fighting climate change," said Barton Merle-Smith, director of marketing and sales for NRG Systems, "Wind power is the only clean, reliable and cost-effective energy source ready for rapid, global deployment.

Vermont Business Materials Exchange

The Vermont Business Materials Exchange (VBMX) is a free web-based service that seeks to reduce waste by promoting the exchange of reusable commercial materials. Through VBMX, businesses with surplus or by-product materials connect with other businesses or individuals who can use these materials productively. While businesses save money on disposal fees, they also reduce their impact on the environment.
VBSR Sponsors Vermont's action for 350.org's International Day
of Climate Action
2007 Employer Guide Banner
You've probably heard that Bill McKibben's group 350.org is planning an international day of climate action on October 24.  Their aim is to increase public awareness of the climate crisis, and mount political pressure for an effective, science-based international climate treaty when worldwide negotiations get underway this December in Copenhagen.  They've already got over 1000 events worldwide - and growing.

Amongst the Vermont actions is a statewide dance party organized by VBSR member Kathryn Blume.  Kathryn's put together a concert at Higher Ground with two great bands, a ska group called Spiritual Rez, and Barefoot Truth, an acoustic jam band.  The concert will then get video and audio simulcast across the state (on-line, on air, and on cable) so that people all over Vermont can have dance parties in their own communities with the live feed from the main event.

VBSR and GroSolar are serving as event sponsors, and Vermont Natural Resources Council, Vermont Earth Institute, VPIRG, Local Motion, CatalystNow, and The Point have all signed on board to help spread the word.  More groups are joining the party every day.

Their website - vt350dance.com - will have downloadable educational material, and lots of volunteer opportunities into which people can channel their dance-inspired energy.

Kathryn says they're still welcoming both fiscal and in-kind event sponsors (in particular companies who can cover ad time on The Point or donate printing for posters, fliers, and banners) as well as individuals or groups wanting to hold a dance party in their own town.  "Dance parties can be large or small," she says. "You could hold one in your living room, your church, your warehouse, your town hall, or the nearest empty barn."

For more information, visit vt350dance.com or contact Kathryn at 482-2488 or kablume@gmail.com.
Vermont's Community Development Credit Union Awarded $2 Million in Recovery Funds

Opportunities Credit Union in Burlington, VT was recently awarded $2million from the Community Development Financial Institutions as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  As Vermont's only community development credit union, this money allows Opportunities Credit Union to expand financial counseling and loan services to low-income Vermonters.   With 10,000 members statewide, the Credit Union provides a safe place for socially responsible investments with deposits up to $250,000 insured by the NCUA.  Local investments weigh heavily for these grant funds.

"This grant provides much needed assistance to families facing foreclosure, small and micro businesses needing additional capital, and refugees and immigrants needing savings products or vehicles to get to work"    Cheryl  Fatnassi, President, Opportunities Credit Union

For more information go to www.oppsvt.org
Goddard president, Mark Schulman,
reflects on his tenure

TIMES ARGUS STAFF - Published: August 10, 2009

Mark Schulman, president of Goddard College in Plainfield since 2003, said last week he will step down at the end of the academic year to return to California to write and pursue other progressive educational opportunities.

"When we came from California to Vermont - my wife, my dog and I - ...we were not clear how long we would stay," Schulman said Thursday. "As things worked out, as Goddard moved forward, it became more and more fun, more and more possible.

"Goddard reinvented itself," he added, "and so we stayed."

More Coaches join the
Coaching Center of Vermont
The Coaching Center of Vermont, a collective of diverse coaches, each unique in talent and expertise, has added new coaches:
  • Lucy Gage Bogue, Family Coach, specializes in working with parents of gifted children and teens to help increase their understanding of themselves and their children, identify what is most important within their families and their lives, and communicate better with family members and others in their lives. Lucy also works with gifted teens and gifted young adults to help them better understand themselves, their own giftedness, and their own values and dreams.
  • Glen McClintock, Heart's Adventure Life Coaching, offers an effective, convenient way to help you achieve results, live a more meaningful life, and sustain life changing behavior in your life and career. Are you ready to challenge yourself?
Visit www.coachingcenterofvt.com to learn more.
Keep it Local America

Check out this Video
Newsletter Sponsorship


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!

Arvad's Grill & Pub

Bloomfield Law Office

Brook Valley Appliance

Clevelend Advertising Services

Cota CPA

Environmental Compliance Services, Inc.


Ferguson-Henderson Investments

Free Vermont Radio

Great Big Graphics

Green Mountain Inn

GT Design

Jamieson Insurance Agency

John Terborgh

Johnson Marble and Granite, Inc.

Karen Taylor Mitchell

Londonderry Hardware

Michael's on the Hill

New Morning Natural Foods

Peradventure, Inc. dba Resort Maps

Points North Energy LLC

Powers Market

Rutland Food Co-op

Scott + Partners, Inc.

Sleeping Lion Associates

Spectrum Youth and Family Services

SW Photography

The Equinox

The Norwich Bookstore

The Pharmacy-Northshire

Vermont State Employees' Association

Village Square Booksellers

Williston Family Eye Care

VBSR Bookshelf
Shop Class as Soulcraft

Matthew B. Crawford

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