Chamber &
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Make Your Own Leaf Person


Visitors and townspeople, old and young, enjoy making "Harvest People" (a/k/a stick figures, scarecrows, leaf people...).


At HarvestFest, we supply all materials, accessories, and instruction on how to make your very own "Harvest Person." This event is a great way for people to be creative and let imaginations run wild. Event-goers choose clothes, a hat, shoes, and embellishments to personalize their own "Person." Bring your own clothes or choose from our assortment. Volunteers help with the finishing touches. The first "Harvest Person" per family is free of charge. After that, they are only $5 each.


Besides Harvest People-making, the event includes hayrides and pumpkins, delicious grill, apple pies, donuts and all kinds of treats, all offered by area non-profit organizations.

Leaf People making is sponsored by the Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce, this event begins at 10 a.m. in Central Park, Brandon. Rain location will be announced if necessary.




"My name is Michelle Maseroni and I am a senior at Otter Valley Union High School.  Recently, a unique opportunity was granted to me to intern with the Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce.  I am very involved with my school and community in multiple venues.  As a three sport athlete, the secretary of my class, the vice president of student council and an enthusiastic leader of many community and school related events, I feel that working with the Brandon Chamber would allow me to expand upon the fields of marketing and communication that I plan to pursue in college. I am a local girl raised in the Village of Pittsford, educated at Calvary Preschool, Lothrop Elementary and Otter Valley Union High School. I have been able to establish a variety of quality ties to Pittsford and Brandon. This internship will enable me to obtain a deeper understanding and appreciation of local history, economy and business as well as the importance of and participation in community events.  I am certainly not a shy person and look forward to meeting new people and sharing my affinity of living in a place that I love!"

The Brandon Chamber welcomes Michelle. We will report on some of her work in upcoming newsletters! 




Megyn Pitner, Electrologist

18 Union St, Brandon  ~  802-683-4775


Membership Category: Health Care



Warren Kimble Print Gallery

Thomas J. Brown

3295 U.S. Route 7, Pittsford  ~  483-2334


Membership Category: Arts, Antiques.



The Brandon Museum at the Stephen A Douglas Birthplace will be open for the season through October 14. Open daily 11 am - 4 pm, handicapped accessible, no admission.




Vermont Health Connect is available to help Vermonters make the transition to the Health Exchange. Here is some information from them.

Thee Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires applicable employers to provide employees with a written notice of their health insurance coverage options by October 1, 2013.

Regarding what the notice needs to include, the Employee Notices page has a list of requirements as well as links to sample notices for you to download and adapt.

Finally, rest assured that you are not are not required to declare if you will be offering insurance in 2014, only what you are currently offering. While we encourage you to make your decision about 2014 coverage over the course of the next several weeks in order to give your employees plenty of time to make their decisions, you certainly don't have to make this decision by Oct. 1 and you are not required by the FLSA to do so.


FLSA Employee Notices:


And here are more resources for you:


Looking for an Interactive Introduction?Jellyvision is a firm with a strong track record of helping employers and employees more easily understand their benefit options. Their brand new online storybook, An Employer's Guide to Vermont Health Connect, lets businesses read a customized introduction to Vermont Health Connect and what it means to them.

Online storybook:


The Small Employer Estimator is a tool to help Vermont's small businesses 1) determine if they are eligible to offer health coverage through Vermont Health Connect and 2) compare the costs of providing coverage and not providing coverage. Watch Danforth Pewter CEO Bram Kleppner explain how his company used the tool to help make their decision.

Small Employer Estimator:
Vermont Health Connect videos:  



NavigatorsNeeding to Talk to a Real Person?

If you want to get beyond the computer, our Vermont-based Small Business Hotline is available for one-on-one conversations, as are Navigators in your community.




Vermont Health Connect Toll-Free Hotline: 1-855-899-9600

Toll-Free Small Business Hotline: 1-855-499-9800




The Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors will not have an open meeting in October. The Board will meet in a closed session. The next meeting open to the general membership and the public will be November 18. Contact the Chamber at 802-247-6401 or for more information.  



scroll down to the bottom of this email and check them out!




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The Brandon Farmers Market Harvest Fair is October 12th is 10 am to 4 pm in Central Park. Produce, Goat Milk Soap, Flowers, Maplle Syrup, Baked Goods,  Plants, Granola, Jewelry, Crafts, Hand Knit and woven items & Yarn.



Congratulations to Tonya and Peter Bonvouloir, new owners of Shapiro's in downtown Brandon. Also congratulations to Dave Howells and Cindi McTaggart for their more than 30 years of Shapiro's ownership.  You can still reach Shapiro's at 247-5505. Their email address is:
Tonya and Peter are eager to welcome you to the store. New merchandise and new lines are coming in daily!
OCTOBER 12 & 13 
Balloons  ~  Face Painting  ~  Tattoos  ~  Cupcakes  ~  Toy Demos 
20% off ALL TOYS

And for the entire month of October: 25% off ALL MELISSA & DOUG products! 


The Vermont Crafts Council is sponsoring a Fall Open Studio Tour for the third year this October with 127 sites participating. Just like the Spring Open Studio weekend large yellow signs will mark the locations of artists and craftspeople who will open their studio doors to visitors on Saturday, October 5th and Sunday October 6th, from 10am to 5pm.

Brandon is a great place to start your tour. You can pick up local and state maps at TheBrandon Artists Guild at 7 Center St. in Brandon then visit 5 local artists within walking distance from the gallery. Participating artists are:

Mixed Media artist Joan Curtis will be showing some of the large acrylic paintings fromher recent Peaceable Kingdom series at her Union St studio. The paintings, with visionary imagery, symbolize how humans could learn to find space for our wildneighbors, and perhaps delay the sadness of extinction. Her mixed-media sculpture will also be on view, and she'll be able to demonstrate how it is constructed. Curtis has participated regularly in statewide Open Studios Weekends for two decades; she always looks forward to greeting visitors in her studio.
"Flourish" mobile created from copper wire and hand painted organdy, Patty Sgrecci

Patty Sgrecci specializes in mixed media kinetic sculptures and mobiles. You can visither in The Granary at 29 Union St. where she will be demonstrating the art of balance. Youʼll find lots of leafy, fall themed mobiles fluttering overhead in her studio and learn how she prepares her specialty papers and fabrics before they are transformed into a sculpture.

Photographer Don Ross is known for his abstract quarry photographs. In addition heprovides numerous creative services including fine art, commercial, and food photography. Don specializes in photographic reproduction of 2 and 3 dimensional works of art, archival pigment ink printing, and high resolution scanning as well ascreative digital services. You can visit him in The Granary.

Ceramic artist Susan Smith-Hunter will be showing textural ceramic sculptures, wallplanters and pique assiette mosaics. Her studio is right next to The Granary in Brandon.

October 5th & 6th is a great weekend to view foliage and art all over the state.Maps of the participating artists can be picked up at the Brandon Artists Guild at 7 Center St in Brandon.


Omya's Middlebury Quarry Open House is Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. - rain or shine. For a rock'n good time come see what Omya does and learn more about Vermont's geology and mining! Take a bus tour of the open-pit marble quarry or disembark and explore. View the large trucks and equipment on display, learn about rocks and minerals from experts and collect a souvenir! Suitable for all ages.
Omya's Middlebury Quarry access road (1975 Private Road) is located on the east side of Rt. 7, 2 miles south of Middlebury, VT or 1 mile north of the Rt. 125 & Rt. 7 intersection to East Middlebury. The turn (between Connor Homes & Foster Motors) will be prominently marked on the day of the event.
For more information call the Omya Community Feedback Line at 802-770-7644 or visit



The new Fall schedule is out!


 Space is limited, call 247-9997 for reservations.

More classes will be added starting in January with possibly different  days and times.  


11 Center Street, Brandon 



Saturday, October 19, 2013 7:00 p.m. Jeff Rapsis & his Silent Movie Festival performs "Nosferatu" (1921) original adaptation of Bram Stoker's "Dracula" 
Sponsored by Heritage Family Credit Union.  Free will offering.  Last silent film of the season. 

As always we look forward to seeing you at the Town Hall. If you have any questions or would like help please contact us at and visit our website at



 Compass Music & Arts Center    

Compass Music and Arts Center hosts Photography Month

October is Photography Month at the Compass Music and Arts Center (CMAC), sponsored by the Compass Music and Arts Foundation (CMAF). The photography series will celebrate the marriage of light and images with our first ever open photography show that includes a month's offerings of workshops and classes.  


The photography exhibit, "Reflections of Community", is open to amateur photographers of all ages, with an opening reception on Friday, October 18 from 5-8pm. Submit your 8" x 10" framed photos with registration form and $5 per submission fee (up to three per person) by October 3. Forms are available at or by contacting Maria at or 802-247-3000. Photos will be on exhibit and viewed by the public, friends, and family from October 7 until October 23.


CMAF believes community, conversations, sharing and art belong together, in the same room!  Internationally recognized photographer, Caleb Kenna, (together with special guest photographers) will lead the Compass Foundation's four-part, hands-on workshop series on Thursday, October 3, 10, 17, and 24th from 6:00-7:30pm at CMAC. Your workshop fee of $130 is required at the time of registration.


Robert Black, local architect, artist and master teacher, will lead a workshop on photo collage, Tuesday, October 8, 15, and 22nd from 6-8pm. Bring your old photos, magazine clippings, sticks, leaves, anything you want and discover how to bring all these together in a new order...a new art! Open to all ages! All materials provided. $20 for one session; $35 for two; $50 for all three, plus $10 for materials. Space is limited.


Members of the Compass Music and Arts Foundation will receive a 10% discount on all workshop fees. Become a member when you register for class!  For more information contact Maria Ammatuna at or call 802-247-3000.


Compass Music and Arts Center is open seven days a week from 11-4pm and is located at 333 Jones Dr. Brandon VT, 05733. Visit   




The Inhabited World of Prindle Wissler


 The Compass Music and Arts Center offers a great opportunity to see a selection of work by one of the area's most beloved artists. Prindle Wissler was a life-long artist and teacher who studied art at Skidmore College and Columbia University but was a lifetime learner, making discoveries and messes, as she would say, right up to the time of her death in 2011 at the age of 99. 


Prindle taught in New Hampshire after college but settled in Middlebury when she married her husband, Ben, who taught physics at Middlebury College while she taught art at the Mary Hogan Elementary School.


Regardless of being classified as legally blind in her later years, Wissler continued to create work, simply adapting her technique by working very close to her paper, making abstract drawings. That spirit, sense of fearlessness toward experimentation and love for what she did, says a lot about the woman and a lot about the body of work she created. The collection of work Prindle left behind reflects a lifetime of learning and experimenting, resulting in pieces which show a great range of artistic styles, mediums, and influences.


The title of the exhibit, The Inhabited World of Prindle Wissler, speaks to this variety seen in her work, but also to her incredible sense of humor and fun. Prindle chose not to create realistic representations in her art and she didn't teach that either. She taught and lived the notion of using one's imagination. The pieces on display were selected by her son Richard Wissler, an artist in his own right, to show the breadth of her work over the course of roughly nine decades of artistic endeavors.  Richard hopes that the exhibit will continue to evidence Prindle's distinctiveness as an artist and give prominence to her position as a key artist in Vermont. Ask those she influenced the most, her students, and they will be the first to say she is not someone who should be forgotten.  The exhibit of over twenty pieces continues through October. All works are for sale.


Compass Music and Arts Center is open seven days a week from 11-4pm and is located at 333 Jones Dr. Brandon VT, 05733. Visit or call 802-247-4295 for more information. 



Fall 2013 Chaffee Art Center Workshops

Thursday, October 17th, 3:30-5:30pm
Instructor: Celeste Walker.  Tuition: $45.00 nonmembers, $40.00 members
This fun and whimsical class will explore the potential for embellishing inkblot outlines with mixed media techniques. Materials are included but we welcome you to bring any of your own items that you wish to embellish your creation with. 
Age: 13+   Location: Chaffee Art Center, 16 South Main Street, Rutland

Papier-mâché Masks
Saturdays, October 5th & 19th, 12-3pm
Instructor: Courtney Jean Perry.  Tuition: $35.00 nonmembers, $30.00 members
This mask-making workshop will allow kids, adults, parents and grandparents alike to explore their creative side while learning simple papier-mâché techniques easily replicated at home. If time permits, participants may make accessories to embellish their mask-character. You are encouraged to bring along any scrap fabric, beads, buttons, feathers, natural objects, etc, that you may want to decorate your mask/costume with. Materials included. Come join the fun!  Location: Chaffee Art Center, 16 South Main Street, Rutland

Felting A Flying Pig
Saturday, October 26th, 10am-4pm
Instructor: Sue Carey. Tuition: $80.00 nonmembers, $75.00 members
Participants will learn wet felting and needle felting techniques while creating a sculptural pig with wings. The finished product can be free standing, hung as an ornament, or used any other way you can imagine! All materials will be provided.
Level: Beginner/Intermediate.  Location: Chaffee Art Center, 16 South Main Street, Rutland, VT 05701

Thursday, November 7th, 3:30-5:30pm
Instructor: Celeste Walker.  Tuition: $55.00 nonmember, $50.00 members
In this fun workshop particpants will make this cross between a scarf and a necklace using novelty yarn. Perfect for the approaching season--surprisingly warm and exceedingly decorative. Materials are included. If you have your own materials that you wish incorborate into your own creation we welcome you to bring them. 
Age: 13+    Location: Chaffee Art Center, 16 South Main Street, Rutland

Wampum Weaving
Thursday, November 14th, 3:30-5:30pm
Instructor: Celeste Walker.  Tuition: $45.00 nonmembers, $40.00 members
Learn how to weave America's first currency! The skills learned will allow you to make larger projects such as a choker or belt on your own. Class includes enough materials to finish one wampum bracelet.  Age: 13+   Location: Chaffee Art Center, 16 South Main Street, Rutland

Hat Trick
Saturday, November 9th, 12-4pm
Instructor: Jennifer Usher of Make It Sew.  Tuition: $20.00 nonmember, $15.00 members
Embellish a favorite hat with funky decorations you can create!  Please bring a hat (or 2) that you would like to add an accent to! We will create decorations with ribbon, yarn, feathers, beads, fabric, and imagination. Learn basic hand sewing skills, and take home an updated fun hat! All hats are welcome, from knit caps to cowboy hats! Other than your own hat, materials will be provided, but if you have anything you would like to bring or share that is welcome also. Location: 16 South Main Street, Rutland, VT

Please email us at or call us at (802) 775-0356 to register for you class. For more information about our programs, events, and exhibits please visit our website at or find us on facebook.
Deadline for sign up is five days prior to scheduled workshop. Payment is due upon registration. Refunds will be given to those who cancel up to 5 days prior to workshop.





Hiroya Tsukamoto's music has been described as "new acoustic music which is a blend of North and South American folk plus Japanese roots."  Hiroya will perform on Saturday, October 5 at 7:30 p.m. at Brandon Music.


Hiroya is a one-of-a-kind composer, guitarist and singer/songwriter from Kyoto, Japan.  While a student at Osaka University, Hiroya was introduced to a musical and social movement in South America called Nueva Cancion headed by musical legends such as Victor Jara and Violeta Para. 


In 2000, Hiroya received a scholarship to Berklee College of Music.  He is the recipient of the Professional Music Achievement Award.  Since 2000, Hiroya has been performing internationally including several appearances with his group at Blue Note in New York.  He has released five albums as lead performer.  His latest album "Heartland" features a mix of elements from several genres expressed in Japanese songs and guitar instrumentals that Hiroya spent years composing.  Celine Keating (author/Acoustic Guitar/minor7th) is quoted as saying, "Hiroya Tsukamoto plays with fluid mastery, pristine tone and great warmth." The Boston Herald quotes "A Japanese guitarist, Hiroya Tsukamoto takes us to an impressionistic journey".


This concert is a "journey" not to be missed!  A pre-concert dinner is available for $15.00.  General admission is $15.00.  Reservations may be made at (802) 465-4071 or e-mail  Venue is B.Y.O.B. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Rd. Brandon, VT 05733.






Suzie Brown is a singer-songwriter of unforgettable melodies and evocative lyrics. Her folk/Americana sound mixes with reggae, R&B, rock, and pop influences. Hear her perform at Brandon Music on Friday, October 11.


The Philadelphia-based Brown continues to carve out her place in the rich Folk/Americana tradition on her fan-funded, sophomore album, "Almost There." The album was produced by Oliver Wood (The Wood Brothers) and recorded live in Nashville. It ranges from tender balladry to reggae-tinged blues and buoyant folk-rock. Whether she's leaving love behind, embracing it with schoolgirl giddiness or meditating on yearnings unfulfilled, it's her voice (often compared to Patsy Cline), with its dulcet, husky edge and hint of twang that captivates.


Brown writes songs to process her life. For a singer-songwriter, it's not that unique of a creative impulse, but when you're also a cardiologist, used to being stoic and selfless on the job, the catharsis is even more essential. "Music is my place to be honest," says Brown. "I can say how I'm really feeling. I like not having to be so strong."


She attended Dartmouth University and did her residency at the University of Pennsylvania.  However, when the passion for music that she flirted with as a young adult, became more of an incessant pull, she knew she would never be fully satisfied without the space to write the songs that called to her. So she now splits her time between her music career and spending a few days a week in the heart failure clinic at the Albert Einstein Medical Center.


Brown has opened for the likes of Lyle Lovett and Livingston Taylor and was named a finalist in the Mountain Stage NewSong contest, a semi-finalist in the International Songwriting Competition, and has had her music featured at Starbucks, The Gap and Anthropologie.


The performance begins at 7:30pm with a pre-concert dinner available.  General admission is $15.00; $30 includes dinner and the show. Reservations are recommended and can be made by contacting (802) 465-4071 or  Venue is B.Y.O.B. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Rd. Brandon, VT 05733.





Don't forget to register, and join us for the free interactive workshop.


Mobile Marketing & Understanding Apps


Wednesday, October 2, 8:30  -  10am.


Ilsley Library community room, 75 Main St., Middlebury.


FREE, but you must register. Remember to bring your laptop! 



Patrick Ripley spent many years writing, editing and managing various traditional media outlets before following industry trends and turning his focus to modern media in the mid 2000's. He has written, edited, and managed thousands of pieces of online content and has overseen development, creation, design, and management of multiple websites and social media campaigns. Patrick advises business owners on digital strategies on behalf of the Vermont Small Business Development Center. Take a look below for info about the Workshop Series.


Click here for more info and to register online


We'll see you there!


Robin Scheu                                  Steve Paddock

Executive Director                         Agribusiness Program Director

ACEDC                                          VtSBDC






The 2012 Economic Census, the U.S. Government's official five-year measure of American business and the economy, is entering its final days of data collection.  Many businesses have shared with us the challenges of responding with fewer resources.  We have listened, and have provided time extensions and other considerations in allowing businesses additional time to respond.  For businesses that received Economic Census forms but have not yet responded, it is very important to do so now.  Keep in mind that the Economic Census is required by law. 

In this economic climate, it is necessary to have the most accurate measure of our economy.  Response to the Economic Census allows us to provide exactly that.  Thank you very much for your participation.  To assist you, we are prepared to discuss your compliance via phone.  Please call us at (877) 790-1876.  Due to timing, we also encourage you to use electronic reporting available at: We look forward to helping you respond to the Economic Census.  Your response makes a difference.






Middlebury, VT... On Saturday, October 12, tour six premier historic barns in northwestern Addison County. The tour will focus on the changing architecture and use of barns over two centuries.  Six properties, with farm buildings dating from the late 18th  to late 20th centuries, will be featured on the self-driving tour. The sites will be open from 10AM to 4PM, rain or shine. The Historic Barn Tour is sponsored by the Sheldon Museum in Middlebury and proceeds benefit the museum.  


The tour will include properties in Cornwall and Weybridge.  Barns on the prominent late 19th-century Glen Dale Stock Farm on Cider Mill Road in Cornwall include an English barn dating from the late 1780s.  Sunrise Orchards in West Cornwall, the former Dean Stock Farm, has an 1884 barn designed by the locally prominent architect Clinton G. Smith, whose work also included the barn on the UVM Morgan Horse Farm which will be featured on the tour. Monument Farm Dairy's Hagar and Jewett Farms in Weybridge,  and the Barnett Farm complex in Cornwall are also tour stops.


Experts on early agricultural architecture will interpret several of the properties: Josh Phillips, former director of the Vermont Barn Census who is considered the state's resident expert on barns; Caitlin Corkins, VT Division of Historic Preservation; Glenn Andres, professor of the history of art and architecture at Middlebury College; and Jack Watts, owner of Glen Dale Farm. Craft demonstrations and barn building and agricultural hand toolexhibits at Glen Dale Farm will bring farm practices to life.

Tickets include a map, guided walking tour of barns, and related activities and presentations. Tickets are $20; children under 12 admitted free, and are available in advance, at the Sheldon Museum and online at  On the day of the tour, tickets are available at the Sheldon and at the featured barn properties.  Advance purchase is recommended..


The Sheldon Museum is located at 1 Park Street in Middlebury. Museum hours:., Tuesday - Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m, and 1-5 p.m. on Sunday. Further information on the tour and other museum programs is available on the website or by calling (802)388-2117.

Chicken and Biscuit Dinner on Oct. 26@ St.Marys Hall.  There will be 2 seatings: 5 & 6 pm. For reservations Call 377-1979. 









A Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce membership benefit is accepting Brandon Green aka Brandon Bucks. Over the years, the Chamber has put tens of thousands of dollars back into the Brandon economy with the sale of this local currency.


Due to popular request, we have changed the certificate for the first time since we started them -- almost 20 years ago. First of all, we shrunk the size of the certificate to better fit in cash registers. They are now 7-1/2" across and 2-5/8" in height. Also, we have added a new denomination. $5 certificates are still the same green color. There is now a $25 gold certificate, printed on the same "check" safety paper but in a goldenrod color.  


Certificates are available for purchase at the Park Street branch of Lake Sunapee Bank. Contact the Chamber if you have questions. 


The colors didn't photograph well! The $25 certificates are goldenrod in color. The $5 certificates remain the same green as always.




 The list is growing as is the number of cards in members' (including employees) hands. Here's the list to date.  

It is super easy to add your offering to the list. Just give a call (802-247-6401) or send an email (  


Not a Chamber member but want to get in on the Biz Card action? We have many Individual Members -- what a great way to support a local non-profit and get your Biz Card! Just click here for an application ($50 annual membership)  


Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 267, Brandon, VT 05733
802-247-6401 ~   ~