February 2015
Chamber Newsletter

2015 Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce Presidents Award
Chamber President Liz Gregorek presented, with great pleasure and pride, the 2015 Chamber of Commerce Presidents award to New England Woodcraft!

New England Woodcraft's and the Thurston family's decades long commitment to the Brandon/Forest Dale community was recognized at the Chamber's annual dinner at the Lilac Inn. Harmon and Maxine started the business in their garage on Seminary Hill in the early 1960s and turned it into a national and worldwide success story. They are Brandon's largest employer and their support and dedication to their employees, their community and their many, many philanthropic endeavors is immense.

We applaud and thank Harmon, the Thurston family and the whole New England Woodcraft family for their impact on the Brandon/Forest dale area and making our community a better place to live and work.

New England Woodcraft- 2015 Presidents Award business of the year!

Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce- Meet the Candidates Forum
February 17, at 6:30pm

To be held in the Town Hall basement meeting room. It will be moderated by Bernie Carr. Candidates will have an opportunity to introduce themselves and answer questions from the public. For more information, contact the Chamber at 802-247-6401 or info@brandon.org



 The 2015 candidates and races are as follows-

3 year select board seat- Dave Atherton

2 year select board seat remaining on Maria Ammatuna's 3 year term- Seth Hopkins and Richard Baker

2- 1 year select board seats - Ethan Swift, Doug Bailey and Dennis Reisenweaver



Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 7 PM

at the Fellowship Hall of the Brandon Congregational Church

Do you have someone in your family dealing with addiction? Do you wish you had a peer group to support you in these difficult times?


Brandon Cares is hosting a meeting to establish a support group. The style of the group is entirely up to you. Should it be more akin to NARANON, a twelve step program? Or something more like Wit's End in Rutland run by a drug and alcohol counselor?


This is an anonymous group and all information shared is strictly confidential. Come and help us form a support group that works for the Brandon area.









      Narcan (naloxone) Kits FREE of CHARGE to anyone who might be present at an opiate overdose including people who are opiate dependent, family members or friends, training is approximately 15 minutes.  Just stop by the Stephen Douglas House/Museum between 7 pm and 9 pm on February 18th. Bring a friend.



Sarah Stone and Fred Barnes on Valentine's Day
Brandon Music Presents Fred Barnes and Sarah Stone on Valentine's Day

Back by popular demand, Brandon Music presents jazz piano/vocalist duo Fred Barnes and Sarah Stone on Valentine's Day, Saturday, February 14th at 7:30! Packaging romantic standards by greats like Ira and George Gershwin, Burt Bacharach, Stephen Sondheim, Cole Porter, Hoagy Carmichael, Rodgers and Hart and so many more, an evening with Sarah and Fred is a perfect fit for the most romantic holiday of the year.


Since meeting and forming an immediate musical connection in 1998, Sarah and Fred have developed their cabaret performances to include musical selections from the 1940s to the present. Theirs is a show that will take you to another time in which Doris Day, Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald and Rosemary Clooney ruled the stage and jazz piano greats like George Shearing, Art Tatum and Bill Evans romantically soothed your musical soul.

Fred Barnes is no ordinary jazz pianist, he's a master with the ability to reshape, rejuvenate and refresh even the oldest tune. His unique jazz technique has taken him all over New England, New York and New Jersey, even playing on the high seas aboard the QE II! According to Doug Anderson, Executive Director of the Middlebury Town Hall Theater, "In Fred's hands, even the oldest standard becomes as fresh as the day it was written."


While at the microphone, Sarah Stone uses her vast background in musical performance to simply embrace her audience. She croons, she soothes, she lives to wrap herself around a song and present it as a loving gift to those she entertains. Her voice has taken her from her home state of Florida to all over the United States and Canada, only stopping for Mexican food, expensive coffee and to see an overly large ball of yarn (not worth the hype).


Tickets are $15 with a pre-concert dinner available for $20.  Reservations are required for dinner and recommended for the show. Venue is BYOB.  Call (802) 247-4295 or e-mail info@brandon-music.net for reservations or more information. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Rd. Brandon, VT 05733. www.brandon-music.net 


CREATE at Compass Music and Arts Center
Compass Music and Arts Center offers, CREATE a winter camp for children 7-12 years old

From February 16-20 from 8:30am - 3pm daily, the camp will be an opportunity for young people to utilize their imagination and extend their creativity whilst also experiencing the pleasure and fun of working with or testing out new mediums in different disciplines. The Camp is supported by artists, writers and the Compass cook, Donna, who are all offering workshops. 


Following a delicious breakfast, youngsters will engage in a range of 2D and 3D art activities, crafts, cooking, literature and dance activities.


The daily rate is $35 inclusive of breakfast and a home-cooked lunch. All materials are supplied. The weekly rate is $140. For the schedule of activities and the registration form, visit www.cmacvt.org, email info@cmacvt.org or call 802-247-4295.


Compass Music and Arts Center is located at Park Village, 333 Jones Dr. Brandon VT, 05733 (Park Village used to be the Brandon Training School, located 1.5 miles north of downtown Brandon off of Arnold District Rd.).

28 Days of February Special

It's the 28 days of February Event at Village Spa and Salon
We will be offering a variety of specials in all areas of the spa and you pay only $28.00 
We have :
  • A detoxifying foot soak with Shiatsu Chair Massage $28.00
  • Eye Lash Tinting $28.00
  • Ear Candling $28.00
  • A Spa Manicure (your choice Almond or Citrus) $28.00  
  • An Awaken by Surface Scalp Facial $28.00- with this service receive 15% off Awaken Products for at home care 

OR  Upgrade your 50 Minute Massage to 80 Minutes for an additional $28

Call us to schedule your appointment for February today!!

PS.  We are suffering a bit from cabin fever and may occasionally offer and extra daily or weekly special...be sure to check facebook, our website and your email....you might be pleasantly surprised

See you soon,                                          click here to schedule your appointment

Heather & Jenn

Brandon Music Presents the DuPont Brothers

Join us on Saturday, February 21 at 7:30pm for a concert of "stop-in-your-tracks" music. 

Zack and Sam DuPont have been described by Fay Grant of The Mountaineer as "deeply passionate old souls with a new and refreshing take on contemporary folk-pop music."  Lush finger-style guitar work is complimented by elegant prose and a vocal blend that could only be matched by blood relation.  The sound is Vermont-made Folk-Americana.


The brothers reunited in 2013 after years of geographical separation to form a collaboration of music passionately shared by both.  Their songs blend the contemplative winters of the northeast with the solitary beauty of the southwestern desert.  The Burlington, Vermont-made duo has hit the ground running since their formation.  Dan Bolles of Seven Days is quoted: "The DuPont Brothers have found their voice, quite literally.  In many instances they blend so well, it's hard to discern who is singing what.  Together the brothers resonate at just the right frequency.  There were moments that honestly gave me the chills."


The brothers have recently shared the stage with Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Ben Sollee, Gin Wigmore, Chris Thomas King, Langhorne Slim, Howie Day and The Lone Bellow to name a few.  They have played over 300 shows, covered 30,000 miles on the road and release their sophomore album, "Heavy as Lead" on February 17th. Celebrate the first official release party with them at Brandon Music.


Tickets are $15 with a pre-concert dinner available for $20.  Reservations are required for dinner and recommended for the show. Venue is BYOB.  Call (802) 247-4295 or e-mail info@brandon-music.net for reservations or more information. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Rd. Brandon, VT 05733. www.brandon-music.net | http://www.dupontbrothersmusic.com/ 

Fantastic opportunity for downtown landlords, business owners and property owners!

Tuesday, February 24 from 4:30 - 5:30 pm


Vermont's Downtown and Village Center tax credit program has a proven track record of results - incentivizing investment, expanding businesses and creating jobs. Learn more about the program basics, eligibility, how to apply and how to put together a winning application from Caitlin Corkins, Tax Credits & Grants Coordinator for the Agency of Commerce and Community Development. A Training Session will be held Tuesday, February 24 from 4:30 - 5:30 pm at the Town Hall basement meeting room and is designed for property owners as well as economic development and municipal professionals. RSVP to the Chamber at info@brandon.org or call 247-6401.

Michael Nerney presents

ADDICTION : The Why, The How, and the What Now?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

at 7 PM

at the Brandon Inn

cosponsored by Brandon Cares and Rutland Area Prevention(RAP)


Michael Nerney, an internationally known lecturer, a consultant in Substance Abuse Prevention and Education and former Director of the Training Institute of Narcotic and Drug Research, Inc. (NDRI). Doors will open at 6:30 and seating is limited. For more information, please contact us at



Please join us at the Brandon Inn at 7 p.m.

This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.


 Brandon Cares is a community organization dedicated to education, outreach, treatment and prevention of opiate drug addiction. You can find us on Facebook or email us at brandonvtcares@gmail.com 


Reed, Rosin and Pedal at Brandon Music


Brandon Music welcomes Reed, Rosin and Pedal (RRP), a Vermont classical music trio, on Saturday, February 28, at 7:30pm.

Reed, Rosin and Pedal features artistic director Wesley Christensen on clarinet, Laura Markowitz, violin and Melody Puller, piano.  The group was formed in 2012 and is made up of Vermont musicians from the Vermont Symphony Orchestra and the greater Burlington area.  Whether playing the wild notes of Bartok or the smooth and flowing lines of Khachaturian; RRP's mission is to promote the music of this unique combination of instruments.


A sample of some of the pieces they will perform include, 'Serenade for Three' composed by Peter Schickele, 'Five Pieces for Two Violins and Piano' by Dmitri Shostakovich and 'Cuatro Estaciones Porteņas (The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires) composed by Astor Piazolla and arranged by Reed, Rosin and Pedal.


Wesley Christensen, a.k.a "Reed", has played clarinet with the Champlain Philharmonic Orchestra, Vermont Youth Orchestra, Shrewsbury Chamber Music Society, University of Vermont Symphony Orchestra, the Vermont Mozart Festival, and the Opera Theatre of Weston.  Christensen has played at many venues including the Flynn Theater in Burlington and Carnegie Hall in New York City.  He was a recipient in 2009 of the Eden's Edge Young Artist's Award.  Christensen graduated from the University of Vermont in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music.  He currently teaches clarinet at the Monteverdi Music School in Montpelier.


Laura Markowitz, a.k.a "Rosin", received her Bachelor's degree in Music from Indiana University, studying there with Paul Bliss and Peter Marsh.  Markowitz has been a member of the Santiago Philharmonic (Chile), the Florida Orchestra, and the Ohio Chamber Orchestra.  Currently, she is a member of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra and also plays in the Burlington Chamber Orchestra and the Green Mountain Opera.  Markowitz plays in various chamber music concerts and coaches chamber music through the Vermont Youth Orchestra Association and at Kinhaven Music School in the summer.  She also plays in the band Symphony Reel which tours Vermont schools throughout the year.


Melody Puller, a.k.a "Pedal", has performed in numerous St. Paul's Cathedral Arts concerts since 2004, in both solo and collaborative recitals.  She received her Master of Music degree in Piano Pedagogy and Performance from the University of Idaho in 2002, studying piano with Dr. G. Jay Mauchley.  Puller moved to Vermont in 2002 and continued her studies with Elaine Greenfield.  She has performed in the master classes of John O'Connor and Andre LaPlante at the Adamant Music School.  She maintains a private teaching studio and has been a board member for the Vermont Music Teachers Association since 2005.


This concert promises an evening of enjoyment for classical music lovers as well as listeners of high quality music in general.


Tickets for the concert are $15 with a pre-concert dinner available for $20.  Reservations are required for dinner and recommended for the show. Venue is BYOB.  Call (802) 247-4295 or e-mail info@brandon-music.net for reservations or more information. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Rd. Brandon, VT 05733. www.brandon-music.net | http://reedrosinandpedal.weebly.com/ 

Otter Valley Theatre Honor
Trip to Scotland Arts Festival

Otter Valley's Walking Stick Theatre Group has been invited to attend the world renowned Fringe Arts Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland in August of 2015. They are one of 40 schools nationally to be selected to perform there. This selection is a tremendous honor for our school and the theatre department, however now they have to get there.  

Donations to support this wonderful educational opportunity can be made online at http://www.gofundme.com/OtterValleytoFringeFest. Any contribution will be appreciated. The total cost of the trip is over $60,000.

 Multiple fundraisers will also be taking place throughout the school year.

Thank you in advance for your consideration.


 Office Space for Rent
Union Street Co-Offices

Affordable, Professional and Private!
New! Co-office space in Brandon with three- four individual offices.
Located on 25 Union Street at corner of Union St. and Railroad Ave. Walking distance to the center of town and all village amenities.
Furnished Offices
Internet Service
Security System
Conference Room
Comfortable Waiting Area
Kitchen with Refrigerator, Stove and Dishwasher
Bathroom with Shower
Handicapped Entrance
Off-street Parking
Rent: $350 - 375/month includes utilities

Affordable, Professional and Private!
Contact- Stephanie Zak Jerome
247-3214 (office)


Call for Artists and Music Enthusiasts:

Sales offer opportunity to sell your unwanted items

Artists and music enthusiasts naturally generate excess supplies, artwork, music and equipment. Compass Music and Arts Center offers two separate events where these unwanted items can be sold to the general public. Clean out your overstuffed closet or basement and make some cash at the same time! See the event information below and contact 802-247-4295 or info@cmacvt.org to reserve a space or with questions.

Artist Sale- March 7, 10-4pm

     Calling all Artists: Do you have unwanted art supplies, materials, or artwork that you would like to sell? Sell them at our Artist Sale on Saturday, March 7th from 10-4pm and give someone else the chance to utilize the materials or enjoy your works of art. This is not a sale in which to offer your full-priced, gallery-ready pieces, however, in addition to offering unused art supplies, consider selling items such as older, unsold work and reject art or "seconds".


$25 per space ($30 if renting a table) for each 6'x6' selling space with a maximum of 3 spaces per seller. Spaces are limited. No commission is taken so price your items to sell. Send completed registration form and payment by check by Thursday, March 5th. Registration form is available online at www.cmacvt.org or by contacting 802-247-4295 or info@cmacvt.org.



Music Swap Meet-April 4, 10-4pm

     Calling all Music Enthusiasts: The Music Swap Meet on Saturday, April 4th from 10-4pm is a great opportunity for record collectors and enthusiasts, audio fanatics and musicians of all types to sell, swap and barter vinyl records, CDs, 78s, tapes, audio equipment, phonographs, radios, musical instruments, ephemera and more.


$25 per space ($30 if renting a table) for each 6'x6' selling space with a maximum of 3 spaces per seller. Spaces are limited. No commission is taken so price your items to sell. Send completed registration form and payment by check by Thursday, April 2nd. Registration form is available online at www.cmacvt.org or by contacting 802-247-4295 or info@cmacvt.org.



Compass Music and Arts Center is located at Park Village, 333 Jones Dr. Brandon VT, 05733 (Park Village used to be the Brandon Training School, located 1.5 miles north of downtown Brandon off of Arnold District Rd.). www.cmacvt.org

Creative Music & Live Looping Workshop and Concert with Acoustic

Double-Neck Guitarist Ian Ethan Case


Creative Music & Live Looping workshop, Saturday, March 14, at the Compass Music and Arts Center from 11am-2pm with Ian Ethan Case (fee $35) followed by a concert at Brandon Music at 7:30pm (tickets $15).


Following a very successful performance at Brandon Music (sister venue to the Compass Music and Arts Center) in 2014 which left the audience exhilarated, exhausted, amazed and enthralled, Ian Ethan Case will give a second not-to-be-missed performance at Brandon Music on Saturday, March 14th at 7:30pm.  Ian is only one of about five musicians worldwide to tackle the acoustic double necked guitar in earnest.  Drawing on a diverse musical background that saw Ian taking piano lessons at the age of five and later studying the drums, orchestral percussion, saxophone, electric guitar and bass, he naturally moved into playing this extraordinary, seldom-seen instrument.


Prior to the concert, Ian will be offering a workshop at the Compass Music and Arts Center from 11am-2pm.  This is an amazing opportunity for all musicians and those interested in music to develop their knowledge, skills and explore their unique creative potential.


In the first half of the workshop, Ian will focus on: 

  • ear training
  • developing better timing and rhythmic versatility
  • finding your own path (Ian will share a bit of his journey so far and how he ended up on this particular track in terms of musical direction, as a way to encourage people to explore their own unique creative potential.) 

In the second half, Ian will take everyone through the technological aspects of live looping, as well as demonstrating and exploring with the participants looping's creative aspects.


Emmy-winning composer and producer Peter Bruce Wilder was one of the first to discover Ian's talent and unique voice in the remote hills of Northern Vermont, proclaiming in 2008:

"Ian Ethan represents something so new in musical approach, that the result is near impossible to pigeon hole into a 'sounds like' statement. It has been my personal privilege to observe his unwavering and deep exploration of this new technique and on a relatively rare instrument ... the original music of Ian Ethan is not to be missed."
In January 2013, Ian was invited to perform with some of the world's foremost guitarists and bass players as part of Muriel Anderson's "All-Star Guitar Night" at the annual NAMM convention in Anaheim California, where he shared the stage with Robben Ford, Victor Wooten, Stu Hamm, Mimi Fox, and Stanley Jordan, among others. Since then he has gone on to perform with some of the most respected artists in his genre, including international solo bass icon and innovator Michael Manring and Grammy Award-winning reed player Paul McCandless (Bela Fleck & The Flecktones, Paul Winter Consort), as well as top notch classical musicians from the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra.

Most recently, after both were featured nationwide on the same NPR program ("Here & Now", Dec. 2013), Ian performed his original works at the Boston Museum of Science Planetarium with 4-Time Grammy Award-winning cellist Eugene Friesen, with whom he continues to collaborate.


For more information about the concert or to enroll in the workshop contact Edna Sutton by March 13th at 4pm at 802-247-4295 or visit www.cmacvt.org.


Compass Music and Arts Center is located at Park Village, 333 Jones Dr. Brandon VT, 05733 (Park Village used to be the Brandon Training School, located 1.5 miles north of downtown Brandon off of Arnold District Rd.).


Click on the link below for the latest newsletter from our friendly little print shop in Middlebury.

Antiques By the Falls




For Sale: The Inside Scoop is selling its copy / fax / email machine; a Kyocera Taskalfa 300ci. This machine would be perfect for a business in town that would like to offer copy / fax service to the public, or for a business that does high volume. It has lots of miles left on it. We are in a month-to-month contract with a firm that provides all supplies and service at no cost -- we pay per click per copy made. Lots of value. Some of the features of the machine include:

*           Black & white copying

*           Color copying

*           Copying of all sizes up to 11 x 17

*           All thicknesses of paper

*           Fax in or out

*           Scan documents and email them out

*           Reads JPG and PDF documents off a flash drive

*           You can download the printer driver to one or more computers.


Give us a call if you are interested and we can talk numbers. This is a great opportunity to purchase a fine machine.

Janet and Joel 802-236-3737




Welcome !!
2015 New Members- go to Brandon.org for more info on our newest members


Edward Jones- Brady Prentice, financial advisor 989-5464

Briggs Carriage Co. Hair Lounge- Lisa Phelps 465-8396


Own a business?? Join us and connect with other dynamic businesses in the Brandon area.
Just click here for an application and rates.  

We also have many Individual Members -- what a great way to support a local non-profit and all the great things we do in our town. (Individual membership is only $50/year)

Jeanne Collins- RNESU Superintendent

2nd Floor Office above Gourmet Provence

39A Center Street, Brandon, VT



Includes room, free WI-FI, closet, waiting room, kitchenette, bathroom and great location.

Interested? Contact:

Jim at 247-9595 or Nancy at 558-1444 


Please Practice Polite Parking :)
Be aware of your fellow businesses and their needs.

We all have to be aware of parking by our employees in the downtown. Try to park off the main streets when possible, and if you park out front before other businesses open, try to move your vehicle after regular hours kick in.
 There's lots of off-street parking so take advantage of it when you can.
Remember we're here for hours working, but our customers are only popping in for a short time, so let's make it easy and convenient for them to shop and support all of our businesses.

Thanks for making it easier for all of our customers.

BIZ Cards





"Brandon Means Business" campaign
  We want YOUR Success Story!


Has being in Brandon made a positive impact on your business?  Has the great water, the revolving loan fund, supportive community, reliable employees or (fill in the blank) been a key in helping you grow and succeed in your business dreams? 
The Reporter, the Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce and the Brandon Area Economic Development Committee want to promote Brandon's business appeal while also promoting your business. The Reporter will create testimonial ads featuring key individuals from local businesses and their quotes on why Brandon is good for Business.
We'll run those ads on the Chamber and Town websites, The Reporter and other area newspapers. Don't be shy. It's at no cost to you and as they say, it's a win - win!


Contact Alyssa Zollman at ads@brandonreporter.com or Bernie Carr at info@brandon.org or 247-6401 for more details.


The Brandon Artist Guild will be closed on Mondays through April.


Think Spring!!


802 247-4956

Vermont Association of Chamber Executives
Insurance program offerings for Chamber members.
Although the VACE health insurance program, that many of took advantage of for years, is no longer available, other products still offered through VACE include, Dental, Vision & Life/Accident packages. More information on all of these products can be found at www.vaceinsurance.com
Or contact Holden Financial Services (802) 775-2503 

Next Chamber Meeting-
 Monday, February 16th 2015 at 6:30
The Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors will meet at 6:30pm in the Cliver Room at the Stephen A Douglas Birthplace. Chamber membership and the general public are invited to attend.