VBSR Logo Vermont
for Social Responsibility
Will Patten

There are big changes taking place at VBSR this fall...and they are all good. 

First, our membership is growing.  We just passed 700 and we expect to pass 1,000 by the end of this year.  105 new businesses have enrolled since July 1st:  33% because they realize that business-as-usual doesn't work anymore;  27% through our alliance with Local First Vermont;  40% to access our group health insurance plans.  Each new member understands and supports our mission.

For many years over 2,000 small Vermont businesses were enrolled in Blue Cross Blue Shield group plans through Vermont Health Services Group which regulators recently determined did not qualify as a business association.  VBSR agreed to partner with Vermont Retailers, Vermont Grocers and Vermont Medical Society to absorb these 2,000 businesses into our associations.  Together we will negotiate health insurance for nearly 3,000 businesses. 

As our membership grows, the VBSR Board of Directors is adding three at-large Directors to be selected by the membership in contested elections.  Like most non-profits, VBSR has a Nominating Committee that recruits Directors to provide geographic, professional and demographic diversity.  Each year a ballot of Directors is presented to the membership at the Fall Conference for endorsement.  This year, an election will select three at-large Board members as well.  We are looking for nominations for both at-large and regular Board members.  Please send us a name of someone you think could help steer VBSR through the exciting years ahead of us.  (Maybe yourself?)  Include a brief description of the person's qualifications.  Please note:  at-large nominees must come from companies with at least one employee and be members in good standing.  Nominations must be received by the end of day on September 22nd.  Email them to calenk@vbsr.org.

I hope you are planning to attend our Fall Conference in Manchester on November 10th.  As always, we will have a provocative and inspirational agenda.

Will Patten
Executive Director
Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility

In This Issue
VBSR Educational, Networking and Community Service Events
VBSR Public Policy Update
Member Events
Chroma Technology Listed in the 2009 Inc. Magazine
The Intervale Center Online Auction
Join the Party to Save the Planet
Neighborhood Stores: An Overlooked Strategy for Fighting Global Warming
Dan Pink: The Science of Motivation
Lactation Support for Nursing Mothers
Free Assistance to Help your Buisness and Employees
Health Care costs top concern of businesses
VBSR Bookshelf - Get Connected: The Social Networking Toolkit for Business
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
Shelburne Orchards, Shelburne Vineyard, and Shelburne Farms, Shelburne, VT
Tuesday, September 22, 2009; 5:00 - 7:30 pm

VBSR Business Open Studio co-hosted by Handy Toyota and Vermont Clothing Company, St. Albans, VT
Thursday, October 29, 2009; 5:30 - 7:30 pm
To sponsor this event, please contact Rita Bothfeld at ritab@vbsr.org by the end of Friday, September 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.
Deadline for sponsorships is Friday, September 18th.

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 Image The public policy regional forum series was launched in Brattleboro last week. There was good turnout of members and local legislators.  The lively discussion included business need for healthcare reform, better energy supply planning, and re-thinking our current economic development policies. Other concerns were the need for more quality affordable housing, enforcement of workers compensation and unemployment insurance laws, and local food procurement. Link here to see the local press coverage of the event.

We invite your participation at other upcoming policy events in Rutland, Montpelier, Manchester and Burlington. Check back to the VBSR events page for further event details.

  • Montpelier - Monday, Oct 19, 4:00-6:00 pm.  Kellogg Hubbard Library.
  • Rutland - Tuesday October 27, 4:00-6:00 pm. The Palms Restaurant (local host).
  • Manchester - Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2009.  Early am, preceding the VBSR fall conference.
  • Burlington -  Date TBD.

VBSRPolicy now on Twitter.

We have started Tweeting and we invite you to follow us. Your feedback and ideas are welcome about how to make this an effective tool to get our members timely information during the legislative session.  Let Andrea know what types of information would be most valuable to you.
VBSR Member Events

Make sure to take advantage of some upcoming events hosted by our members!!!

Click here to view a list of upcoming events
 Chroma Technology Listed on the 2009 Inc. 5000
with Three-Year Sales Growth of 25%
NEW YORK, August 12, 2009 --

Inc. magazine today ranked Chroma Technology No. 4615 on its third annual Inc. 5000, an exclusive ranking of the nation's fastest-growing private companies. According to Inc.the list represents the most comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy-America's independent-minded entrepreneurs.
"Savvy trend spotters and those who invest in private companies know that the Inc. 5000 is the best place to find out about young companies that are achieving success through a wide variety of unprecedented business models, as well as older private companies that are still expanding at an impressive rate," said Inc. 5000 project manager Jim Melloan.

The Intervale Center's Online Auction

The Intervale Center's online auction is now open.

The auction will run from September 8, 2009 through September 30, 2009. 100% of proceeds will go to our programs that support Intervale farming, local food systems, and the Intervale's 350 acres of land and trails.
There's still time to donate! We will continue to accept donations for this auction through Friday, September 18.

Bidders outside of the Burlington, VT area, please take note: Winning bidders will be responsible for paying any additional costs that may be required to ship or deliver auction items outside of the immediate Burlington area. Services won in the auction will be provided wherever the donor of the service specifies.

For more information visit the Intervale Center's website.

Support local food and the amazing place it's grown-
The Intervale.

Join the Party to Save the Planet!
Sponsored by VBSR
2007 Employer Guide Banner
Vermont 350 Dance Party


On October 24, the global warming group 350.org is having a worldwide day of climate action to heighten public awareness and embolden political action around fighting climate change.  

They've got over 1400 actions in 100 countries, and among the many in Vermont is the Vermont 350 Dance Party!

We're having a big concert at Higher Ground with two great dance bands: Spiritual Rez and Barefoot Truth.
Then the concert is getting simulcast on line and on cable so that people anywhere in Vermont or around the world can have their own dance party with the live feed from Higher Ground!  

It's true!  Anywhere in the world!  Because really, Vermont is just a state of mind.

For more information or to find/organize your own dance party, you can visit our website www.vt350dance.com
Neighborhood Stores: An Overlooked Strategy for Fighting Global Warming
Stacy Mitchell - August 19, 2009

What I find most striking about my mother-in-law's memories of the neighborhood where I live, and where she spent her childhood in the 1940s, is how many businesses our little residential section of town once boasted. Back then, there was a grocery store, hardware store, barber shop, two drugstores, a tailor, and several corner stores.

Those businesses all disappeared in the following decades, as the streetcar lines were dismantled, families acquired cars, and shopping migrated out to supermarkets and, later, malls and big-box stores....

Read More....
Dan Pink on the surprising
science of motivation

Career analyst Dan Pink examines the puzzle of motivation, starting with a fact that social scientists know but most managers don't: Traditional rewards aren't always as effective as we think. Listen for illuminating stories -- and maybe, a way forward.

About Dan Pink
Bidding adieu to his last "real job" as Al Gore's speechwriter, Dan Pink went freelance to spark a right-brain revolution in the career marketplace.

To watch this talk, click here
Lactation Support for Nursing Mothers
in the Workplace:
The Vermont Breastfeeding Network in coalition with the Vermont Department of Health and the Vermont Commission on Women announces a statewide initiative to increase the numbers of businesses who provide lactation support to breastfeeding employees.  It's new, it's free and it's the law in Vermont. 

In May 2008, Vermont's labor law was amended to include a requirement that employers provide a private space and break time during the day for breastfeeding (lactating) mothers to express milk for their child. Whether it's a worksite consultation, checklists for lactation room requirements, or general lactation support information you need, call the Vermont Department of Health WIC State Breastfeeding Coordinator, Tricia Cassi, at (802) 652-4177, email at TCassi@vdh.state.vt.us
Free Assistance to Help Your
Business and Employees !!
Button Up Vermont --

Home Energy Savings Workshops
Available for Vermont Businesses:

Central Vermont Community Action Council, in partnership with Efficiency Vermont and the Vermont Energy and Climate Action Network, is seeking Vermont businesses who are interested in hosting a one-hour workshop for their employees on what people can do to save energy in their homes (these make a great lunchtime presentation).

These one-hour workshops are taught by certified energy professionals and are designed to teach Vermonters about the fundamentals of how homes lose energy, simple do-it-yourself measures for incremental energy savings, significant saving opportunities associated with extensive energy retrofits, and available technical and financial resources. 
They are seeking participating businesses who can host workshops for 25 people or more, and we are open to either individual businesses or groups of businesses approaching us to host a workshop. 

If you are interested in helping to organize a Home Energy Saving Workshop for your employees, please contact Diana Peduzzi at button-up@cvcac.org (802-279-1708), or Paul Markowitz, Coordinator at paul@markowitzvt.com (802-229-6307).   
Health care costs
top concern of businesses

BRATTLEBORO -- The No. 1 concern of businesses in Vermont is not taxes, the state's business climate or the loss of bright young people to better paying jobs in other states, according to a new survey.

For many of the 700 members of the Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, providing health care insurance to their employees is their biggest concern.

That was the conclusion reached by VBSR after it collated data from a survey it sent around to its members earlier this year.

"As a percentage of business costs, health care still blows everything away," said Andrea Cohen, VBSR's public policy coordinator, during a meeting at Marlboro College Graduate Center on Tuesday afternoon.

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!
Adams Construction VT LLC

Andrea Learned

ASK-intTag LLC

Back to Health Family Chiropractic

Bennington Center for the Healing Arts

Blue Heron Antiques

Bridge School, Inc.

Brown Dog Books and Gifts

BS Krimpet LLC

Cassie Horner

Center for Northern Woodlands Education

Cheryl Wilfong

Christopher Page

Church Street Marketplace District

Cleveland Advertising Services

Conley Construction & Property Mgmt. Inc.

Deborah Wachtel

Dynamic Energy Therapy

Eagle Network Solutions

Equinox Village

F.L. Kochman, Inc.

George B. Tucker, Inc.

Giles Hill

Green Apple Marketing, Inc.

Greentree Real Estate

GWR Engineering

Images by McArdle

Jane Weintraub Opportunity and Change Consulting

Joe Duffy Tile

John F. McGuire

Judith D. Schwartz

Judith Evrard Brower dba Schoolhouse Marketing Group

Jules Oliltski Warehouse

Kids Are Priority One Coalition

Law Office of Martha Davis

Mac Equipment & Steel Co. Inc.

Mark Albury

Michael Minadeo + Partners

  North Country Medical Home Care, Inc. dba Green Mountain Medical Gas Services

Pinnacle Outdoor Group


Pleasant Street Apartments

Puciloski Textbook Services

Rail Travel Center


Roney C Hoffman Interiors

Sexual Assault Crisis Team

Shear Images

Smith & Vansant Architects PC

Standards Technology Group

Terasem Movement Foundation Inc.

The Abbey Group

The Garlic Press, Inc. dba Pop Color & The Real

The Green Life

Timothy Rice Construction


Tricia Senzel, CPA

Vermont Children's Aid

Vermont Records Center & Archives Inc.

VBSR Bookshelf
Get Connected: The Social Networking Toolkit For Business

Starr Hall

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