VBSR Logo Vermont
for Social Responsibility
Will Patten

Raise a Ruckus

You have been very clear over the past few years that the spiraling cost of health insurance for employees is a burden that is now too heavy to bear.  Through an affiliation with Vermont Health Services Group, VBSR can now offer group health plans at competitive premiums so you won't have to maintain membership in other business associations just to access better insurance rates.  But competitive rates are not affordable rates and the cost spirals continue to soar. 

The most hopeful aspect of the current policy debates is the link that has been established between a functional health care system and economic recovery.  The debate is just as much about improving quality and expanding access as it is about controlling costs.  It's about investing in human capital as an economic imperative.  Several reform initiatives are underway in Vermont.  None of them will move forward unless Vermont businesses continually emphasize the importance of health care reform to the health of your business.  We will keep you posted on opportunities to participate in these discussions.

S88 and H100 will be considered in the upcoming session. They call for the creation of a single payer health care system in Vermont funded with "broad- based taxes".  The Health Care Reform Commission will be evaluating the success of Catamount Health and whether it achieved the stated goals for reduction in the number of uninsured Vermonters.  Other initiatives are expected including insurance mandates, caps on hospital budgets, and public   financing.

Senator Sanders is sponsoring federal legislation that will grant Vermont waivers from Medicaid, Medicare and Erisa regulations in order to finance a Vermont solution to the health care crisis.

The federal reform legislation passed by the House would make substantive changes in our health care system but it would not go into effect until 2014 and the reforms would have slow and minimal impact Vermont.

Our best hopes are the Vermont solutions.  In the coming months, Vermont businesses need to raise a ruckus about the unbearable burden that our health care system has become.

Will Patten
Executive Director
Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility

In This Issue
VBSR Educational and Networking Events
VBSR Public Policy Update
Managing and Retaining Employees in Hard Economic Times
2010 Governor's Awards for Environmental Excellence and Pollution - Now Accepting Applications
King Arthur Flour Receives A+ in The Better World Shopping Guide
Times Argus: Business group seeks input on legislative agenda
VBSR Member designs 2009 Green Mountain Award Recepient
NRG Systems CEO Comments on Reinvestment & Recovery Act
The Story of Stuff
VBSR Bookshelf - Lifting the Yoke: Local Solutions to America's Farm and Food Crisis
VBSR Educational
and Networking 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 Concept2
Refreshments courtesy of The Bee's Knees
Wednesday, December 2, 2009; 5:30 - 7:30 pm
Join us at Concept2, 105 Industrial Park Drive, Morrisville, VT
For details and registration information, visit our web site...

VBSR 2009 Fall Conference Thank You
VBSR would like to express our gratitude to everyone who contributed to a wonderful day of inspiration, practical ideas, information sharing, and lots of networking!
Please note: The attendee list has been corrected...view the updated list on our 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 Public Policy Update

2007 Employer Guide BannerVBSR Public Policy Forums

Final Public Policy Forum and Reception!
Please attend!  
December 7, 4:00-6:30, Burlington

We are wrapping up our fall policy series with a big event at the Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center on Dec. 7 from 4:00-6:30 pm.  The event will also be a fundraiser for the Vermont Campaign to End Childhood Hunger.  

Agenda topics include Vermont Yankee, Renewable Energy, Health Care Reform, and State Economic Development Policy. Panelists include Legislative Committee Chairs Sen. Vince Illuzzi, Rep. Tony Klein, Sen. Ginny Lyons, and Rep. Steve Maier.  The reception follows the formal agenda.  All are welcome!

Please confirm your participation by Wed. Dec. 2 to Calen King or call 862-8347.  For more details and directions please go to the VBSR event calendar.

Host Sponsor: Main Street Landing.
Co-Sponsors: American Flatbread Burlington Hearth, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, Kimbell Sherman Ellis, LLP
Main Street Landing LogoAmerican Flatbread Logo  VEIC Logo   2007 Employer Guide Banner

VBSR Public Policy Issue Brief - Energy Supply and Vermont Yankee

Back in January 2009, VBSR adopted an energy supply policy that outlined our position regarding re-licensing of Vermont Yankee.  In order for the facility to continue to operate past 2012, a new license must be granted by the Public Service Board, following an affirmative vote by the Vermont Legislature.  VBSR's position is that Vermont Yankee should not be re-licensed unless a variety of conditions are satisfied including: adequate financial capability for the full cost of decommissioning, safe and viable off-site storage of spent fuel, demonstrated improvements in facility management (to ensure safety and reliability), and true cost accounting that factors in the externalities and long-term environmental, safety and financial risks. Last session, VBSR advocated in support of H.436, the Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Bil. The bill passed in the legislature but was vetoed by the Governor.

Even though the next legislative session won't convene until January, there is no lack of news or debate regarding Vermont Yankee.  Legislative leaders set a November 1 deadline for Vermont Yankee and the state's largest utilities, including Green Mountain Power and Central Vermont Public Service Corporation, to create a new power purchase agreement (PPA) so that the legislature would have time to deliberate before the end of the session.   The PPA has been under negotiation for more than a year and the deadline has not been met. With no agreement, it will be extremely difficult for the Legislature to make a decision regarding Vermont Yankee this session.  VBSR will continue to communicate to policy makers our position regarding Vermont Yankee, and promote our policy that emphasizes energy conservation and increases in our energy portfolio of renewable energy.

Other upcoming VBSR policy events:
Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund- Farm to Plate Initiative- local food summits. Please attend to help create strategic agricultural economic development in Vermont. The remaining summits include:

- Northwest Vermont- November 18th. 11:30-4:00 pm Milton
- Northeast Vermont- December 3rd, 3:00-7:00 pm, Orleans
- Addison County- December 8th, 11:30-3:30 pm, Middlebury
- Central Vermont- December 10th, 5:30-8:30 pm, Montpelier

For details about these and other events go the the VSJF website.
VBSR Sponsors:
Managing and Retaining Employees in Hard Economic Times:
Livable Jobs and Working Bridges

A Workshop
Friday, November 20th from 11:30 am - 2:00 pm

Cost: $10 Livable Jobs Toolkit and Lunch Included
Brattleboro Savings and Loan
221 Main Street
Brattleboro, Vermont

Spence Putnam from Green Mountain College and Nancy Lynch Executive Director of Peace and Justice center will be presenting.  

RSVP to Tara Pfeiffer-Norrell at tarap@vbsr.org
Send checks to VBSR,
60 Lake Street, Burlington, Vermont 05401
For Credit Card Payment call:
862-8347 and speak with Calen King
Now Accepting Applications for the
2010 Governor's Awards for Environmental Excellence and Pollution Prevention

Applications for the 2010 Governor's Awards
are now being accepted. 

The Vermont Governor's Awards for Environmental Excellence and Pollution Prevention were established in 1993 to honor Vermont individuals, organizations, institutions, public agencies, businesses, and industry using innovative approaches that reduce or eliminate the generation of pollutants and wastes at the source. Categories have been expanded since then to include other environmental leaders.

To date, more than 100 award-winning efforts have been recognized.

Contact Vicky Viens if you have any questions at: 802-241-3487 or email: vicky.viens@state.vt.us.

Applications Due by December 31, 2009

For more information please click here
King Arthur Flour Receives A+ in The Better World Shopping Guide
Norwich, VT October 1, 2009

Employee-Owned King Arthur Flour is the Only A+-Ranked Baking Goods & Supplies Company

King Arthur Flour is the only Baking Goods & Baking Supplies company ranked with an A+ in The Better World Shopping Guide. King Arthur Flour is noted in the guide as a "Corporate Hero" for being employee-owned, and receiving honors such as a Business Ethics award and Better Business Bureau Torch Award.

Times Argus:
Business group seeks input on legislative agenda

Montpelier, Vermont

Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, a group of  
750 companies and employers in the state dedicated to progressive social policies as well as turning a profit.....

The meeting, at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library, is the second of several gatherings by the group around the state. Judging by the association's previous meeting in Brattleboro, there will likely be discussions about health care and energy policy among the residents and legislators who attend the Montpelier gathering, said VBSR Executive Director Will Patten.

VBSR member designs the 2009 Green Mountain Award Recipient

The Vermont Division for Historic Preservation Downtown Program presented the 2009 Green Mountain Award for the Best Public Space Improvement in Vermont to THE BANK PARK. This award is presented annually to "Downtowns" (there are 23 of them) and "Village Centers" (there are 94 of them).  Wilmington is the first Village Center to have ever won this award.

The Bank Park was designed by Joseph Cincotta of LineSync Architecture
NRG Systems CEO Comments on Reinvestment & Recovery Act:
Jan Blittersdorf invited by national wind energy association to attend Obama energy speech

Jan Blittersdorf, CEO and president of the Hinesburg manufacturer NRG Systems, was among a handful wind industry representatives invited by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) to attend last week's energy and climate speech by President Obama at MIT.

Through AWEA, Blittersdorf issued a statement on how the Reinvestment & Recovery Act has impacted her company and the wind energy industry in general.

The Story of Stuff

Click here to view this video

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!
A Community Resource Network

Adele V. Pastor, Law Office

Alistair McCallum Photography

Amalia T Franceschi

Art Cernosia, LLC

Barn Door Media, LLC

Bennington Rescue Squad

Bittersweet Lane LLC

Bragdon Law Office

C.J. Livendale & Associates, Inc.

C+L Cleaners

Cedar Hill Electric

Clean Energy Group

Consultant Engineer

Delicata Catering

Edward Flanagan

Flourishes Studio

Franklin County Industrial Development Corporation

Fundamental Shift, LLC

G3 Power Consulting

Green Mountain Gazebo

GVH Studio, Inc.

Halcyon Forestry

Hay and Heifers

I and I Clothing

Jay Churchill Painting

John W. Durkee, CPA, PC

Juval International, Inc.

Kathleen Swanson

Kedron Valley Property Services

Kenneth B. McWilliams & Associates LLC

Ken's Bookkeeping  Service

Kittredge Mortgage Corporation

L. S. Giard Consulting, Inc.

Laura Zeppieri

Leonardo's Pizza, Inc.

Lincoln Brown Illustration

Little's Home Maintenance

Lynn Melanie Jeffery dba Lynnier Lines

Mansfield Tax Service LLC

Microproducts Inc.

Mindful Rest Counseling

New England Forestry Consultants, Inc.

Nicoll's Accounting and Tax Service

Omniafiltra, LLC

ORCA Media

Pamela Brown Associates LLC

PawPrint & Mail

Philenor Rare Books

Pie in the Sky Farm Bed & Breakfast & Retreat

Porter Music Box Co.

Powersmith Farm, Inc.

Redstart Forestry

Reilly PhD - Psychologist

RFE, Inc.

Richard Stark, CPA

Robert K Shafer

Ronald Moulton Trucking

Ross Insurance And Company

Ryan Finch

Sarabby, Inc.

Second Chance Farm

Speeder & Earl's Inc.

Strolling of the Heifers, Inc.

Sweet Pond Studio

T & J Enterprises

TBD Financial Services

Teamswork, LLC

Terry F. Wiehs

The Office Extension

The Woodwright

Timothy C. Corcoran

Vermont Information Consortium

Vermont Karelia Rule of Law Project, Inc.

Windhorse Consulting

Winmill Publishing Corp.

Woodstock Recycling & Refuse Corp

VBSR Bookshelf
Dealing with the Tough Stuff

Margot Fraser and Lisa Lorimer

VBSR Bookshelf Information Courtesy of Northshire Bookstore
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

Find us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter