Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility
Vermont Businesses...Vermont Values. 

Dear VBSR Members-

We hope to see many of you at our Nov. 20th fall conference next week at Mt. Snow. It is not too late to register -- the speakers and the company will be exceptional! It is a sure way to engage and connect with other socially responsible business colleagues and we welcome you! And think about joining us the night before for a pre-conference party at Mt. Snow... always a fun and engaging evening! 

With holiday gift-giving and end-of-year charitable giving around the corner, we want to remind you to Buy Local First, consider charitable donations to VBSR nonprofit members, and always start with other VBSR members in your business-to-business transactions. The VBSR member directory can be accessed here.

Finally it is very important that you make some initial decisions about health insurance for 2014 no later than Nov. 25. If you take no action, and you currently offer group health insurance to your employees, you will be automatically enrolled by your current insurance carrier into the plan most similar to your current plan. If you wish for something else to be implemented, you must take action by Nov. 25.  For instance:
  • you must contact your insurance carrier if you want to extend your current insurance through March,
  • you must contact your current insurance carrier if you want to continue coverage with them, but with a plan other than the one determined to be most similar to your current plan,
  • you must contact your current insurance carrier if you want to switch to a different insurance carrier.
Please see this Fact Sheet recently sent out by Vermont Health Connect for more information, and please call our VBSR Health Exchange Navigators if you would like their assistance. To get started on the Exchange in time for 2014 go to VermontHealthConnect.gov or call 1-855-499-9800.

All the Best,
Andrea Cohen, Executive Director
VBSR Welcomes and Thanks our Newest Members!
Lauren Morlino, Burlington 
Elise Sherman, Charlotte 
Corey Wilga, Burlington   

*Also joined Local First Vermont!  
Less than One Week Until VBSR's 21st Annual Fall Conference  
Register Today, Consider a Car or Vanpool, Join us for the Conference Pre-Party!

With just under one week left until VBSR's 21st Conference, there are a few things we'd like you to keep in mind! 


Registration: First and most important, if you haven't done so yet, REGISTER TODAY! You can save $30 on the price of admission to the show.

Exhibiting: Thought about exhibiting but don't have the extra cash? Use what you have to buy what you need... VBSR has offered up a limited number of exhibit tables on the VBSR Marketplace. Tables are $225 and include one ticket to the show. Contact Amy Kirshner to see if one of them is available today.

Pre-Party and Lodging: If you've been following our Facebook event page, you've probably noticed that people are getting excited about our Fall Conference Pre-Party. If you're traveling from near or far, please consider oining us Tuesday night at Harriman's Farm to Table. Doors for the resort's restaurant will open at 6 and they'll serve food until 10. Last year, nearly 50 people enjoyed the extra time to network and share ideas and laughs. (Don't forget to call the resort at 800-817-0764 to reserve your room for only $99!!!)


Alternative Transportation: This year, Go! Vermont and VBSR are teaming up to encourage carpooling and vanpooling to the Fall Conference. Both are great options to connect with others and reduce the environmental impact of traveling to the conference. Click here to find a ride or start a carpool today.  


Questions about any of these topics or the fall conference in general? Contact Scott Buckingham for more information. See you soon!

Questions about the exchange? Click here to talk to one of our navigators.

Interested in sponsoring E-news? Contact us today.


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Statewide Public Policy Forum Recap
VBSR Members Engage in First Interactive Forum

VBSR members from across Vermont met for a statewide, virtual public policy forum on Wednesday, November 6, to help the organization prepare its 2014 legislative agenda.


Nearly 30 business leaders at seven locations across the state gathered for the forum, which was connected via video conferencing by Vermont Interactive Technologies. Members gathered at sites in Williston, Montpelier, Brattleboro, Bennington, Newport, Middlebury and Rutland.


"This was a great way for our members in different regions to actually see and interact with each other," noted Executive Director Andrea Cohen. "Equally important, we were able to get this input while substantially  reducing our carbon footprint."


During the hour and 45 minute-long forum, Pat Heffernan of Marketing Partners presented VBSR's new tax and fiscal policy, Bram Kleppner from Danforth Pewter discussed upcoming health care reform questions and Chris Miller from Ben & Jerry's talked about VBSR's GMO labeling campaign. VBSR members also raised a number of policy issues they would like to see the organization focus on. Click here to see what members want us to focus on and read the whole article. 


Buy Local This Holiday Season  
Save Money, Support Local Businesses

According to the National Retail Federation, individuals will spend approximately $750 on holiday related shopping this year. As the holidays approach and "door-busting" season begins, Local First Vermont encourages you to support your community and BUY LOCAL when you shop.

Looking for a fun and easy way to support local business? Use the "Buy Local Book" as a buying guide and/or purchase the books as gifts that encourage others to support local merchants! Books are available for sale in Addison, Chittenden, Lamoille and Washington Counties. For a full list of book distributors, click here.
BEA Participates in REV Conference 
Participants Talk Energy Savings

Last month BEA helped sponsor the Renewable Energy Vermont Conference and hosted a panel discussion on the energy saving measures done by local businesses as a part of BEA. Black River Produce, Hand Motors, and Vermont Public Radio talked about what they have done to reduce their energy consumption and save thousands of dollars in their running cost. CCTV was on-hand and recorded the session. Check out the video here.

Also, don't forget that BEA is now open for a second round of enrollment. Want to learn how we can help you reduce energy consumption, increase your bottom line, and get a little promotion for it in the process? Learn more here or, if you're ready to get started now, fill out the short application today.
Changes to Health Care Law
Businesses Applying for Extension have Until Nov. 25

In late October, some new options for small business were announced relating to enrollment in Vermont Health Connect. In a letter to the VBSR membership (click here), VBSR Executive Director Andrea Cohen explained that among the changes was the additional option for small businesses to enroll into the Exchange directly with insurance carriers, and a new provision that small businesses will be able continue with the current insurance they are using through the end of March.

This week the State released additional guidance on these additional options (link here).   It is important that small businesses make some decisions for 2014 no later than Nov. 25. As things progress, we're doing our best to keep you informed.  Don't forget to connect with VBSR Navigator Tim or Anissa to get your questions answered. If you're looking for resources to help, visit our updated website to find the latest answers and tools.

Vermont Digger reported on the recently announced changes, Read the full story here.


Call for Internships! 
Fall Semester Coming to a Close

Want to explore a special project, build capacity for current employees, or create inroads for new employees? The Vermont Intern Program can help. We post and promote positions, recruit interns, and screen candidates - a FREE service available to all Vermont businesses. 

We also help businesses create new internship positions and provide guidance to employers throughout the internship.

Whether semester-long or project-based, part-time or full-time, we can connect you with over 1500 skilled students and recent graduates. Let us help you reach this hardworking population! Getting started is as easy... if you'd like to post a new internship, simply fill out this INTERNSHIP FORM and we'll then begin sending qualified applicants your way.

Questions? Want to learn more? As always, we are available to assist you directly:
roxannev@vbsr.org or (802) 862-8347.


VBSR Members "Get-Together" at King Arthur Flour  
Over 75 People Enjoy Networking in the Upper Valley

On October 24th, VBSR members and friends traveled to the Upper Valley to network with like-minded business professionals at King Arthur Flour's newly renovated cafe. 75+ guests not only got to network, but also heard inspiring ideas for energy reduction, employee engagement and benchmarking social responsibility efforts. A huge VBSR thank you to King Arthur Flour for providing tours (including a stop at the in-house VPR studio) and preparing a delicious spread including Pumpkin Cider Bisque, Sausage Apple Pizzas, Beet Pizza, local cheeses and much, much more!


Thanks to everyone who came out the event, especially our sponsors B Lab, Business Energy Action, Cx Associates, Efficiency Vermont, Tip Top Pottery, TruexCullins, and Vermont Public Radio! If you missed the event, check out the photos here!  


A Sustainable, Accessible Vermont Convo 
Wednesdays, 1-2 PM

If variety is the spice of life, then "The Vermont Conversation" is cooking up something good! In the past month, we've tackled issues from adult learning, to global adventures, to how to use technology to rate accessibility. The show also welcomed back long time VBSR supporter Bruce Siefer and Ed Antczak who discussed their new book, Sustainable Communities: Creating a Durable Local Economy. Check out all the shows here, or click on a specific show below to stream past episodes. And don't forget to tune into next week's show, where will have live action from VBSR's 21st Annual Fall Conference!


October 23: Adventurers 

October 30:  Dirty Wars, Peace and the Media

November 6: Literacy and Adult Learning in Vermont 

November 13: Sustainable Communities 


psst... Hey VBSR Members... this is YOUR show. Have a topic you'd like us to explore? Email us today.
Thank you show sponsors: Business Energy Action, Fairpoint Communications, Fletcher Allen Health Care, National Life Group and People's United Bank.
VBSR Bookshelf
Brought to you by: Chelsea Green
By: Amory Lovins and Rocky Mountain Institute

Oil and coal have built our civilization, created our wealth, and enriched the lives of billions. Yet, their rising costs to our security, economy, health, and environment now outweigh their benefits. Moreover, that long-awaited energy tipping point-where alternatives work better than oil and coal and compete purely on cost-is no longer decades in the future. It is here and now. And it is the fulcrum of economic transformation.


A global clean-energy race has emerged with astounding speed. The ability to operate without fossil fuels will define winners and losers in business-and among nations.


In Reinventing Fire, Amory Lovins and Rocky Mountain Institute offer a new vision to revitalize business models, end-run Washington gridlock, and win the clean-energy race-not forced by public policy but led by business for enduring profit. This groundbreaking roadmap reveals market-based solutions across the transportation, building, industry, and electricity sectors. It highlights pathways and competitive strategies for a 158%-bigger 2050 U.S. economy that needs no oil, no coal, no nuclear energy, one-third less natural gas, and no new inventions.


Click here to learn more and/or purchase the book through VBSR member Chelsea Green.   

Making the Trade
A VBSR Marketplace Profile of Marlboro College Graduate School 

What I didn't realize until I got involved was that as soon as you join the Marketplace, Amy works hard to put you in touch with people in the network who can meet your needs." - Kate Jellema, Nonprofit Management Program Chair, Marlboro College Graduate School


Working professionals seeking to continue their education have many options in today's business environment, so what does Marlboro College Graduate School do to stay ahead of the competition? Join the VBSR Marketplace of course. "Marlboro is very interested in the potential of the Marketplace to support a network of local, socially-responsible businesses and nonprofits in Vermont," says Kate Jellema, "Our involvement grew out of a particular need."


"If we had needs that couldn't be met by the current pool of participants, she [Amy] would actively recruit new members into the Marketplace. Her personalized approach allowed me to find just the right company to help us," Kate observed. VBSR's access to independent Vermont businesses allowed Marlboro to immediately start trading.  


Three Ways Marlboro College Benefits from the VBSR Marketplace:

  • A New Student: "Jim Lockridge at Big Heavy World and I were looking for ways to enable him to take Marlboro's Certificate in Nonprofit Management course."
  • A New Service Provider: "While in theory we could have hired Matt in the conventional way, we never would have done so without the VBSR Marketplace."
  • A New Way of Doing Business: "The VBSR Marketplace model also contributes to a stronger bottom line because it allows organizations to offer what they have in abundance in exchange for goods and services they need.

Click here to read the full Marlboro College story. If you're ready to starting working with Amy to use what have to buy what you need, click here



Log-on to VBSR's website to post an event. Forgot your password? Send us an email! 

Member News  
We want your news and press releases!! Submit or post a story on our Facebook page or send Russ an email...
News items will be posted in the "Member News" section of our website and will be considered for inclusion in VBSR's monthly E-News.



Pwnie Express Wins Vermont Tech Jam Award Penetration 

Congrats to Pwnie Express! In late October, Pwnie Express, the leading provider of rapid deployment remote security assessment products, announced that its Pwn Pad won the prestigious 7th annual Vermont Tech Jam Innovation Award. "We are honored that the Vermont Technology Alliance recognized the Pwn Pad for its innovation and simple approach to creating smart devices that leverage the use of open source tools and platforms," said Paul Paget, Pwnie Express CEO. Read more here.   


City Market Announces Completion of Prepared Foods Department Redesign

City Market recently completed construction in their Prepared Foods Department.  The redesign was a two phase project that aimed to increase working and shopping spaces for employees and customers. The major aspects of the project were completed in September. City Market worked with a number of companies to complete the construction, including New England Air Systems, Sorrell Construction, Vermont Concrete Cutting, Demag Rigging and Action Moving, Grand Restaurant Equipment, and Mountain Valley Sprinkler. Some of the equipment that was retired during the redesign, including the walk-in cooler, the hot and cold bars, and the bread shelving displays, were donated to the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf. Read about the rest of the reno here, and check out the new look the next time your in Burlington.  


Renewable Energy Businesses Set VT Goal of 20 Percent Renewables by 2020  

Vermont's renewable energy businesses are calling for Vermont to meet 20 percent of its total energy consumption with renewable energy, conservation, and efficiency by 2020. The Board of Directors of Renewable Energy Vermont (REV) laid out the near-term "20 by 2020" goal to its membership at the business group's annual conference and exposition Tuesday, calling it critical to address climate change, strengthen our local economy and meet the state's clean energy goal of 90 percent by 2050 goal. Read the plan. 


Burlington College Featured in U.S. News 

In October, Burlington College announced it had been included on the list of the 10 Colleges with the Highest Rate of Student Internships! Overall, 94% of graduating students leave Burlington College with internship experience. Check out this list of like-minded schools who are working to give their students real world working experience. Keep up the great work Burlington College!   




Webskillet Working Hard to Make a Difference 

Normally, we don't post newsletters in this section. But recently we were blown away by some of the work the crew at Webskillet is accomplishing. In the past year, this small coop in Burlington has worked to challenge established big bank interests on behalf of struggling and middle-class communities, helped the Cystic Fibrosis Lifestyle Foundation achieve their most successful fundraising year to date, and worked with National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) on campaigns to win a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in California, Massachusetts and Illinois; and pass new regulations to include home care workers in the Fair Labor Standards Act. Keep up the great work!   


Caledonia Spirits Wins Gold and 2013 Gin of the Year at International Wine and Spirits Competition

Vermont's own Caledonia Spirits impressed the judges at the sixth annual International Wine and Spirits Competition in Hong Kong, walking away with 2013 Gin of the Year and a Gold Medal for Barr Hill Gin. Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Ross, who was in Hong Kong leading a Food and Agriculture Trade Mission, accepted the award on the company's behalf. "Caledonia Spirits is an example of the authenticity upon which the Vermont brand is built," said Ross. "This company has put a stake in the ground for other Vermont businesses looking to expand their presence into the international marketplace." Congratulations! 


Member Jobs
Recently Posted Member Jobs 
Log-on to VBSR's website to post a job. Forgot your password? Send us an email!

Looking for an internship? Click here for our most recent listings. 
Thank you VBSR Champion Members for your ongoing support!


   Ben and Jerry'sGardener's Supply
as of 12/17/12Green Mountain Coffee
Main Street Landing LogoNew Chapter newRenewable NRG 8/2013

SVillanti and Sons Printers
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 committed to a multiple bottom line approach to business that values people, planet and profit.


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Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility
255 South Champlain Street, Suite 11
Burlington, Vermont 05401
(802) 862-8347