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

A special welcome to our newest members! We hope you find membership in VBSR to be helpful and inspiring. You have joined a dynamic community of businesses that will offer you challenges AND great peer support. We hope you take advantage of all your membership in VBSR has to offer.

Planning for the 2014 Terry Ehrich Award Ceremony is well underway and we look forward to seeing you when we honor Mark Curran of Black River Produce. Mark has shown us how a small Vermont business can build on Vermont's strengths to the benefit of Vermont's people and economy. Please join us in this celebration at Shelburne Farms, on Sept. 9. Registration is open!

We also have begun planning our annual fall conference that will be taking place Nov. 19 at Mount Snow. We welcome your ideas for workshops, see below for more detail. Please also keep a look-out for the schedule of fall public policy events that we will be holding at various locations around the state--we need your ideas and feedback to move VBSR's public policy agenda forward. 
Finally, please take a moment to complete a survey for Vermont's Office of the Creative Economy, they are interested in getting your feedback to guide future policy and program development. The survey will remain open until August 26.

We hope you are enjoying this exceptional Vermont summer.  Please keep in touch about how we can best support you in the work you do.

Andrea Cohen, Executive Director
VBSR Welcomes and Thanks our Newest Members!
Carolyn Bates, Burlington
Stacy Metzger, Brattleboro  

*Also joined Local First Vermont! 


Terry Ehrich Award to be Presented to Mark Curran 
Join us September 9 at Shelburne Farms 

TE Award StatueVBSR is pleased to announce that we will recognize Mark Curran of Black River Produce with the 2014 Terry Ehrich Award for Excellence in Socially Responsible Business. VBSR members and friends -- as well as colleagues and friends of Mark -- are encouraged to join us at the beautiful Coach Barn at Shelburne Farms in celebration of Mark, Black River Produce, and socially responsible business in Vermont!

The September 9th event will include an award ceremony, dinner, and ample time for networking. Attendees will celebrate and enjoy hors d'oeuvres, a full course dinner and dessert by Farmhouse Group Catering using ingredients from Vermont producers (and very generously donated by Black River Produce!), and cash bar by Shelburne Farms featuring VBSR members.  




Special thanks to our sponsors: Black River Produce, Prudent Living, Let's Grow Kids, Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center, Housing Vermont and Vermont Rural Ventures, People's United Bank, Renewable NRG Systems, Efficiency Vermont, Vermont HITEC and Rhino Foods.


For more information, click here or contact Roxanne Vought

Fall Conference: Call for Workshop Proposals & Conference Sponsors
Save the Date: November 19th, Mount Snow, West Dover, VT

VBSR's 22nd Annual Fall Conference in southern Vermont is scheduled for Wednesday, November 19th. We are thrilled to once again be in the cozy setting of the Grand Summit Hotel at Mt. Snow in West Dover, Vermont. Plan on coming down the evening of the 18th for for a fun-filled reception at Harriman's Farm to Table restaurant and pub at the Grand Summit (this has turned into a wonderful tradition over the past couple of years!). With calendars officially marked, please also consider submitting a workshop proposal and/or sponsoring this year's conference. Feeling nostalgic? Click here for photos from our 2013 Fall Conference! 
Propose a Conference Workshop: Proposals are due Monday, September 15th, 2014. Click here to download the 2014 Fall Conference Call for Workshop Proposal submission form. 
Sponsor/Underwrite the Conference: Sponsors/Underwriter positions available at a variety of price-points. Act by Friday, September 26th to maximize visibility! Click here to find the level that's right for you. 
Please contact Scott Buckingham for more information.  
VBSR Policy Team Launches New Committees
Join Health Care Financing or Living Jobs Committees

VBSR is gearing up for the start of the next legislative session with the launch of two new summer/fall study committees that members can participate in. The committee work will inform public policy policy positions and guidance to be considered by the VBSR Public Policy Committee and Board of Directors. 

Health Care Financing Subcommittee: This group held its first meeting last week and is charged with developing a set of criteria to evaluate an expected proposal from the Shumlin administration next year on public financing of a universal health care system. The study committee is co-chaired by Pat Heffernan from Marketing Partners and Leslie Nulty from ECFiber, and builds on two previous VBSR public policies: Health Care Reform (from 2010) and Tax and Fiscal Policy (2013).

Living Jobs Subcommittee: Vermont increased the minimum wage this year, but that doesn't mean the debate over wages and salaries in Vermont is over yet. VBSR's Living Wage policy was written in 1997 and needs to be updated to reflect the changing economy and needs of working families. Russ Bennett from Northland Design and Construction, who also chairs the Public Policy Committee, will lead this review and expansion of the organization's living wage policy, which is being renamed as "Living Jobs."

If you are interested in hearing more about the study committee work, please contact VBSR Public Policy Manager Daniel Barlow today!
Intern Program Improvements
Improvement Goals Aimed at Ease of Use

The Vermont Intern Program has been hard at work on many initiatives.  We recently completed an update to our website (check it out!) with the goal of improving navigation and making it easier to access information. The next phase will include an expansion of our employer toolbox, including links to online resources for workforce development. If you have feedback, please let us know!

We're also gearing up for the fall semester with new positions continuing to roll in daily, including a fall internship with the Vermont Intern Program and with VBSR's membership team! At the same time, we've been out meeting with employers, regional Chambers and Regional Development Corporations to expand our reach into more of Vermont's communities. 

We are very proud of our work to support Vermont's economy, and all of this would not be possible without the support of our own intern, Claire Shapiro. Claire is a UVM graduate who joined us in April and has proved herself indispensable. She will be moving on soon to pursue other opportunities. Thank you, Claire!


VBSR Takes the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge 
Disease Effects 30,000 Americans at Any Given Time
VBSR Takes the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge 
John Sayles, Executive Director of the Vermont Foodbank, challenged VBSR Executive Director Andrea Cohen to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Those challenged are encouraged douse themselves with a bucket of ice water, send a small donation to an ALS charity, and help spread awareness through talking about the cause on video. Those who want to avoid the bucket altogether can make a larger donation and forgo the videotaping! Andrea challenged staff members Russ Elek and Dan Barlow as well as the VBSR Board Chair, Sara Newmark of New Chapter

In turn, Russ and Dan asked VBSR members to use their organizations for good. Russ challenged Wayne from SunCommon, as well as the Lake Champlain International crew and the team from The Gold Trout.

Dan challenged VBSR Policy Committe Chair Russ Bennet from Northland Design and Construction, Lindsey DesLauriers from Let's Grow Kids and Nick Carter from Planned Parenthood of Northern New England.

The ALSA says approximately 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year. The incidence of ALS is two per 100,000 people, and it is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans may have the disease at any given time. VBSR is proud to support the research of cures, prevention and treatment.
Education and Action
Employee Well-Being an Important Part of Doing Business  
In light of the recent events which have left our local and national communities reeling, its important to remember that depression is not something that is only experienced outside of the workplace. According to Mental Health America (MHA), "depression ranks among the top three workplace problems for employee assistance professionals, following only family crisis and stress." Unfortunately, the MHA also notes that most employees struggling with depression "will not seek treatment because they fear the affect it will have on their job and they are concerned about confidentiality."

The truth is, being engaged in -- and cognizant of -- employee wellness is an important aspect of running a successful organization, especially one which supports the triple bottom line approach to business. The University of Michigan Depression Center notes that "depression is associated with more than $44 billion per year in lost productivity in the workplace from both absenteeism (workers with depression lose approximately 2.3 days of work per month) and "presenteeism" (workers with depression are often not able to accomplish as many tasks or perform at as high a level as workers without depression)."

By tuning into your employees needs, you can create an atmosphere of trust and understanding while supporting both the needs of your employees and your business. To better understand depression and support your employees, please check out the resources provided below. We're all in this together!

Facts and Symptoms - Mental Health America
Why Employers Should Care About Depression - University of Michigan Depression Center   


VBSR Marketplace Preps for Improvements
Auto Statements and Manual Entry to Come Soon     


Last month we talked a bit about latest system improvements to the VBSR Marketplace. But just because some great work has been done, doesn't mean were done doing great work! Here's what your Marketplace Team has on deck for the rest 2014:
  • Auto statements. The goal is to get these to an easy, understandable presentation that you can download on a monthly basis for your accounting.
  • Clearer transaction history page viewable to you. If you have questions, you can login and see the data that pertains to your transaction. Currently you can only view a truncated version, any questions require Amy to pull data from the back end.
  • The ability to enter your own transactions instead of emailing Amy!
  • A referral system. Once we get another 100 or so people in the system you'll see an increase in your sales, your ability to purchase a diversity of goods, and overall effectiveness of the system
  • Request Progress Reports. To improve the matching time of requests, we've developed a tracking system so we can keep you up to date on the work we are doing to match your requests and be in communication with you more consistently about that. The goal is to get matching time down to a few days instead of a few weeks.

One of the challenges to doing business and making payments in a new way like the Marketplace is overcoming the inertia of the learning curve. The goal is to make the Marketplace so darn easy to use, that you prefer using it to other payment methods. It will take a while to get there, but since we own the house now, we can make improvements that reflect how you want to use the system. Thanks for helping us get this far, we hope you're as excited about these changes as we are!


Also, please join us in welcoming our newest Marketplace users:  

Northeast Kingdom Apparel  

Hark! Digital  


Burlington Bank Card

Vermont Farm Table 


Don't have a VBSR Marketplace account? Get started today; use what you have to buy what you need! 


VBSR to Participate in International CSR Exchange
Vermont Families Needed to Host Professionals from Belarus in September

Ten professionals from Belarus will visit Vermont from September 3 -24, 2014, as part of a Community Connections Program managed by the Bureau of Europe and Eurasia at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Program administered by World Learning (WL) and facilitated by PH International. This exchange will promote a better understanding of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), increase knowledge and awareness of effective CSR integration skills, and offer a personal experience of the U.S. and Americans in leadership roles. During the event, VBSR will participate in a number of sessions, including a Q&A and an intro to CSR.

While in Vermont, participants will stay with host families and meet with American professionals from socially responsible corporations, non-profits, and legislators promoting responsible business practices in America.
PH is currently seeking families in Washington and Chittenden Counties to host one or more of these participants for either part of or for the duration of their visit in Vermont from September 4-21, 2014. Host families are asked to provide a comfortable and clean place to sleep, breakfast and dinner, minimal transportation to centralized pick-up and drop-off locations, and some weekend activities.

For more information about becoming a host family, please email Renee Berrian or call her at (802) 496-4545.


Networking in Poultney! 
3 Dozen Members and Friends Learn How to Implement Sustainability Goals   

Huge thank you to all of our guests who attended our Networking Get-Together hosted by Green Mountain College on July 23. We began the evening by networking in the beautiful Gorge Lounge and enjoying an array of food and drink provided by our hosts.  


After hearing about some important VBSR policy initiatives, Dr. Karen Martinsen Fleming treated guests to a short presentation on "sustainable social responsibility" before entering into a question and answer session with a very engaged crowd. At the end of the evening, over 3 dozen VBSR members and friends made connections with like-minded professionals and took away some great, implementable CSR tips.


Check out the photos from our evening of education and networking in Rutland County!


The Vermont Conversation Enters New Year    
THANK YOU to our New Sponsors   


The Vermont Conversation continues to engage and expand its listener base, largely because of the great guests our host David Goodman has brought to the show. Recently, Governor Phil Hoff stopped by the show  to discuss his victories and defeats, his relationship with Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, his struggle with alcoholism, his views on universal health care and education, his legacy, and he offers advice to today's leaders.


Earlier in July, we pondered the question: Can Sustainable Food Save Vermont and the World? VBSR members Tom Strearns (High Mowing Seeds) and Todd Hardie (Caledonia Spirits) joined a panel of local and sustainable agricultural experts to   explore the idea. Listen to their thoughts here


Great shows like these wouldn't be possible with the support our show's underwriters. Please join us in thanking The Alchemist, Fairpoint 
Communications, Fletcher Allen Health Care, Green Mountain Power, Let's Grow Kids, and National Life Group

Don't forget to tune into WDEV Radio (AM 550, FM 96.1) Wednesday's at 1 PM!

If you have an idea for a show or want to join us on The Vermont Conversation, email us today! 


Member Benefits Corner 
VBSR Staff Picks Favorite Member-to-Member Offers    

Did you know? There are over 70 Member-to-Member Offers here on the VBSR website?


Recently we asked our staff to weigh in on their favorite offers. Here are their favorite offers and reasons!



Annettes Preschool: 5% discount off Childcare Tuition.
Contact: Andrew Sambrook Web: http://www.annettespreschool.com 

Roxanne Vought, Intern Program Manager: "Affordable, quality childcare is critical to a healthy workforce in Vermont. Who doesn't know someone who could take advantage of this?!" 


Green Lube LLC. (DBA Oil n' Go): $8.00 off any oil change and 10% off all automotive services.*
*Most vehicles. Some restrictions may apply. Not valid with any other promotions. Must mention discount at time of check-in.
Contact: Rob Remillard Web: http://www.oilngo.com 

Russ Elek, Communication and Membership Intern: "It's so rare to see automotive CSR, how cool is this???"


Green Mountain College: 10% tuition discount for members, members' family and employees on either Sustainable MBA or Online Advanced Start Bachelor's completion programs.
Contact: Ken Labate Web: http://www.greenmtn.edu 

Chris Prado, VBSR Intern: "What a great offer!"  


High Mowing Organic Seeds:10% off of order.
Contact: Tom Stearns Web: http://www.highmowingseeds.com  

Daniel Barlow, Public Policy Manger: "Love the seeds - non-GMO!" 


Mocha Joe's Roasting Co: We will offer a 10% discount off our retail prices at our cafe location and on our website.
Contact: Pierre Capy Web: http://www.mochajoes.com 

Andrea Cohen, Executive Director: "Great people, great coffee!!!"

UVM Adventure Ropes Course: 20% off all programming.
Contact: Heidi Williams Web:  http://www.uvm.edu/ropescourse 

Scott Buckingham, Communication and Development Manager: "This is great for personal, professional and team development!"


Way Out Wax: 10% off any Way Out Wax order (including Private Label candles branded with your business name/logo! Minimum order quantities apply).
Contact: Jim Rossiter Web: http://www.wayoutwax.com 

Calen King, Finance and Local First Program Manager: "These candles are the BEST and the only ones I burn at home around my kids. (No chemicals!)"

 Check out the full list of offers here on the VBSR website, or send us your own offer today

VBSR Events
Upcoming VBSR Hosted and Sponsored Events

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

Member Events
Upcoming Member Events

August 23:
Wall to Canvas 5 - (Magic Hat)

September 1: September Champlain Basin Derby Kick Off

September 4: United Way of Chittenden County LIVE UNITED Breakfast & Building Block Awards
(United Way of CC)

September 16: The Round Table of Practice: Shared Leadership
(Global Round Table Leadership)

September 27: Living Green Fair
(Living Green Fair)

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

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. 
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.

VBSR Members Earn 5x5x5 Awards  

Our friends at Vermont Business Magazine and KeyBank recently announced the awardees of their annual 5x5x5 Awards, celebrating the growth of business in Vermont! Please join us giving the following VBSR members a round of applause for their achievements!


MANUFACTURING: Keurig Green Mountain, AllEarth Renewables, Vermont Smoke & Cure   

RETAIL: Green Mountain Power Corp., Small Dog Electronics, Washington Electric Cooperative Inc.
SERVICE: Resource Systems Group, Inc., Vermont Energy Investment Corporation
TECHNOLOGY: Dealer.com
WHOLESALE: High Mowing Seed Company, Instrumart

Check out the complete list and event details here!


Goddard College/WGDR Radio Receive Vermont Community Foundation Grant  

Goddard College recently announced the receipt of a competitive, $20,000 Vermont Community Foundation (VCF) Innovations and Collaborations grant. The grant, co-funded by the Lyman Orton Fund and an anonymous  donor-advised fund of the VCF, will support the work of its licensee WGDR/WGDH Goddard College Community Radio, to grow their new media education project, Indie Kingdom: A Youth Radio Curriculum and Partnership. Check out more details here.  


Hunger Mountain Coop Accepting Cooperative Community Fund Grant Applications

Hunger Mountain Coop is now accepting grant applications from local businesses, organizations and initiatives that are doing work to enrich the Central Vermont Community and further The Coop's Mission of building a dynamic community of healthy individuals, sustainable local food systems and thriving cooperative commerce. "The Cooperative Community Fund is another way for our Coop to work together to further our collective vision of a more healthy and sustainable community in Central Vermont," said General Manager Kari Bradley. Learn more and apply today!  


Vermont HITEC participates in White House Summit on American Apprenticeships  

For a nonprofit from the small state of Vermont, Vermont HITEC has attracted some high level attention lately that started with their participation in a series of roundtables organized by the U.S. Department of Labor in June and culminated with an invitation to participate in the White House Summit on American Apprenticeships held in Washington DC on July 14. Vice President Biden even mentioned Vermont HITEC calling it a "model that works" during his remarks at the summer National Governor's Association Meeting. Check out the latest here! 



Do Good Fest Raises Money for Cancer Patient Fund

In July, hundreds turned out for the Do Good Fest, an all-day music festival on the grounds of the National Life Group to raise money for Central Vermont Medical Center's Cancer Patient Fund. "Our company values are doing good, being good and making good," said Mehran Assadi, chief executive officer of National Life Group. "Being good is part of the fabric of the company. It's part of our DNA, and part of doing good is being a good citizen in the community." Learn more about the festival and how NLG accomplishes their mission. 


Thank you VBSR Champion Members for your ongoing support!


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

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