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

We are still joyful from the marvelous evening on Sept. 9th at Shelburne Farms where VBSR honored Mark Curran of
Black River Produce with the 2014 Terry Ehrich Award for Excellence in Socially Responsible Business. We posted some photos of the event (see below) and VTDigger did a great story; to check it out, click here.
Mark and his partner Steve are fantastic examples of how you can do well by doing good- and how to have great fun in the process!  Congratulations to Mark and his team.

A few announcements: (you can see below for more details).
- Last call (by Sept. 30) for Nominations for the 2015 VBSR Board of Directors. Please consider joining this great board. 

- Last call (by E.O.D. Friday, September 19) for Fall Conference Workshop Proposals. The conference will be held this year on Nov. 19th at Mt. Snow and we hope to see your there!

We also hope to see you at one of the upcoming VBSR Fall Public Policy Forums. The Nov. 5 morning forum will be held via Vermont Interactive Technology, so if there is a VIT site near you that you want us to add just let us know! 

As always, don't forget to engage with other VBSR members and welcome new members to VBSR (some are highlighted in bold in this e-news). Discuss policy, network, or just do some business!  Members supporting members make us all stronger and better.

Sincerely yours,
Andrea Cohen, Executive Director 
VBSR Welcomes and Thanks our Newest Members!
    This Edition of E-news Sponsored by:
Business Energy Action 
Business Energy Action, working to help businesses reduce their energy consumption by 5% annually for three years. Learn more here, or visit our facebook page to see real stories of companies in action, moving us beyond our goal!

Interested in sponsoring E-news? Contact us today.


VBSR Seeks Board Nominations
Nominations Due by September 30

We welcome talented and engaged members to consider joining our Board of Directors!

To cast your nominations please fill out the Nomination Questionnaire. Please note, nominations may only come from current VBSR members in good standing and must be received by VBSR no later than 5:00pm Tuesday, September 30.

To learn more about the VBSR Board click here. For more about the nomination process, click here. Please contact Andrea Cohen, VBSR Executive Director, via email or at (802) 862-8347 if you have any questions.

Thank you for your nominations!


Mark Curran Honored by VBSR Community 
140+ Attend VBSR Award Ceremony for Co-Founder and Co-Owner of Black River Produce 

On Tuesday, September 9th, nearly 150 VBSR members and friends flocked to Shelburne Farms for an event in honor of Mark Curran, Co-Founder of Black River Produce. The sold-out Terry Ehrich Dinner and Award Ceremony was a celebration of local food, collaborative relationships, and socially responsible business practices.

Guests enjoyed local food from farmers and producers all over the state, as donated by none-other than Black River Produce and prepared by VBSR Gold Member Farmhouse Group. To begin the evening, cocktails and hors d'oeuvres were enjoyed on the sprawling lawn in front of the Farm's Coach Barn. Against the backdrop of a calm Lake Champlain and a nearly cloudless sky, forward-thinking business practitioners could be seen shaking hands, laughing and genuinely enjoying each other's company. 
Once inside, Secretary of Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets Chuck Ross opened the award ceremony by discussing the importance of Vermont's local food economy while highlighting how much Black River Produce has done to further that mission. After glowing remarks from VBSR Board Vice Chair, Chris Miller of Ben & Jerry's, Mark spent a few minutes discussing how his upbringing shaped him into the business person he'd become.  

He also explored how far his company has come
(opening a new meat processing facility), how they had grown sustainably (reinvesting in  the company), and how they practice social responsibility (supporting local farmers, utilizing renewable energy and biodiesel trucks). In perhaps the most moving moment in an evening full of them, it was during this that Mark explained to his colleagues and friends that none of these successes would have been possible without the leadership and vision of his business partner Steve Birge. During an evening where relationships and supporting those around you were highlighted as keys to successful business, it was fitting that Mark shared his moment with Steve and attendees expressed their appreciation of the moment by honoring them with a standing ovation.

Thank you to all of our members and guests who came out to help us celebrate. Congratulations Mark, Steve and Black River Produce; keep up the good work... we know you will!

 Check out the photos here. 
VBSR Policy Coming to a Town Near You
Public Policy Forums Gather Member Input for Statehouse Work

VBSR's policy team is hitting the road later this month for a series of forums and member events across the state. These are great opportunities to hear about the work VBSR has done in Montpelier in the last year and to give feedback on what issues you would like to see the organization focus on in 2015.

Our first forum will take place in Southern Vermont this coming Wednesday, September 24, at Brattleboro Savings and Loan in downtown Brattleboro. The Windham County Forum will take place in the Community Room at 221 Main Street from 3:30-5 PM.

RSVPs are appreciated, but not necessary. Forums are open only to VBSR members. Light snacks and refreshments will be served.

VBSR's other upcoming Policy Forums:
  • Wednesday, October 1 - Addison County Public Policy Forum at the Danforth Pewter offices at 2 Seymour Street in Middlebury from 3:30-5 PM. Click here for more info.
  • Wednesday, November 5 - Statewide Policy Forum via Vermont Interactive Technologies with locations in Williston, Montpelier, Bennington, Rutland and Newport, from 8:30-10 AM. Click here for more info.
Thank you - we look forward to meeting with you for some great conversations and policy feedback!
Fall Conference: Call for Workshop Proposals Extended
Submit Your Proposal By End of Day Friday, September 19 

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 Mount 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.  
Propose a Conference Workshop: Proposals are due Friday, September 19. 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.

**Also, we hope to have registration open October 6! Keep your eyes peeled and ears open for more details... and don't forget to save the date: November 19!!!** 
Please contact Scott Buckingham for more information.  
2014/2015 Buy Local Book Launch a Huge Success 
Nearly 200 Books Sold in Four Locations 
On Saturday, September 13th, Local First Vermont officially released the brand new, hot off the presses, 2014/2015 Buy Local Book.

Throughout the day, VBSR staff members and interns participated in the "Buy Local Book Launch Day" by setting up at four different locations, including Bear Pond Books Stowe, Capital City Farmers Market, and at VBSR members The Vermont Book Shop and City Market.

Normally retailing for $15 in stores, when the dust had cleared nearly 200 Buy Local Books were bought at the one-day-only price of $10. In an effort to reward those shopping local, 5 books were also raffled off at each location! (Check out the winners here.)
Thank you to everyone who helped come out and make this event such a huge success! If you missed out, there is still plenty of time to get your new Buy Local Book; coupons are good until next September! Click here for list of current retail distributors or find out if a school near you is selling them as a fundraiser!

Thank you for supporting your local business owners!

*Please note, while we hope to expand this project, our Buy Local Book is currently only available for purchase in Addison, Chittenden, Lamoille and Washington counties.
Education and Action
Do You Offer Flex-time? Should You? 
Flextime options can be a great no-cost benefit to offer your employees. Offering flextime can benefit the business and the employee. Not only can a flextime policy help employees manage work/life balance, oftentimes it can help them to stretch their paycheck further by avoiding extra childcare or elder-care fees. Also, the Center for Talent Innovation found that employees at companies that offer flextime reported greater engagement in their jobs, higher job satisfaction, more loyalty to the business, and better overall mental health.

If you have never considered offering flextime as a routine policy, take a look at pages 16-22 of VBSR's Livaeble Jobs Toolkit and get started! 


    This Edition of E-news Sponsored by:
Let's Grow Kids  
As a business leader, you can make a difference for Vermont's children by speaking with your professional networks about early childhood development and the economic case for investing early. Find our business statement, an informational handout for businesses, and our new educational video at letsgrowkids.org/business.

Interested in sponsoring E-news? Contact us today.


Member Benefits Corner 
VBSR Members Share Resources and Knowledge Via Linkedin Group   

Did you know VBSR membership comes with access to a private Linkedin group? In the past year, this group has grown to over 900 participants and averages more than a dozen conversations a month.

In the past month, users have shared information on Results Based Accounting, Main Street Businesses, empathy in the workplace, Lake Champlain, the future of work, and nut farming (yes, nut farming) in Vermont.

Have something to share? Want to join the conversation? We invite any and all VBSR members to JOIN OUR LINKEDIN GROUP TODAY.

Marlboro College, a long time VBSR member and supporter, is generously offering a 25% off discount for current VBSR members wishing to enroll in the 2014-2015 session of the Fall Certificate in Nonprofit Management. Learn more here.

Sangha Studio Offering Business Memberships for only $89 to fellow VBSR Members!
Contact: Caitlin Pascucci Web: www.sanghastudio.org

Take a look at all of the Member-to-Members here. (There are over 70!)
Turning Event Space into Event Sponsorship
A VBSR Marketplace Success Story      


"We believe that growing the Marketplace will help to grow the sense of community and cooperation amongst Vermont businesses and individuals," commented Neily Jennings, Operations Director at Common Ground Center.


The Eco-Lodge Common Room where Yestermorrow staff met is a 100% solar-powered meeting space.

Since its humble beginnings as a two-week long family camp program in 1994, community and cooperation have been two of Common Ground Center's core values. Because of community input and buy-in and the cooperation of thousands of participants and volunteers over the years, the non-profit organization has been able to grow into a year-round retreat center that continues to run its signature family camp programs along with hosting a variety of community groups, schools, and like-minded businesses. "Joining the Marketplace felt like an obvious way for Common Ground Center to extend the values of community and cooperation by transacting directly with local vendors in a new way", added Jennings.  


Common Ground Center's first transaction on the Marketplace was to accept credits from Yestermorrow Design & Build School in early June.


The two groups have had a relationship for quite a while: Yestermorrow students designed and built three rustic cabins, a

composting toilet, and a tiny suspension bridge on the site of CGC. So

"Butterfly cabin" was designed and built by Yestermorrow students using recycled windows and doors and wood from the CGC property.

when Yestermorrow offered to use Marketplace credits to pay for a day-long staff meeting in CGC's Eco-Lodge Common Room, Common Ground Center was excited to accept the offer.


"We were excited to be able to use the EcoLodge at Common Ground Center for our last day-long staff retreat. What a beautiful spot and relaxing space!" noted Kate Stephenson, Executive Director, Yestermorrow Design/Build School.  

Common Ground Center used some of the credits from the Yestermorrow transaction to sponsor a VBSR gathering in Bristol, VT at the end of June, and will be using the remaining credit to acquire some of the supplies and services it needs to operate its summer family camp programs.


Going forward, CGC plans to invite community organizations that want to rent its facilities to do so through the VBSR Marketplace, and offer to pay its vendors with Marketplace credits. "The more people that are exchanging goods and services through the Marketplace, the more useful it will be, and it has potential to strengthen our local & socially-responsible economy over time," Jennings said.


We agree!


Don't have a VBSR Marketplace account?


Get started today; use what you have to buy what you need! 


Governor Shumlin on The VT Convo 
Big Names Join Host David Goodman on VBSR's Radio Show 
If you haven't been listening to The Vermont Conversation with David Goodman, you've been missing out!

This past week, Goodman was joined by Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin and activist Bill McKibben... on the same show! The two talked divestment and the Climate Change March in NYC. Since we last checked in, Goodman has also tackled the issue of Early Childhood Education (with VBSR Gold Member Let's Grow Kids) and the state of Vermont's education system overall.

Click here for a list of shows to catch up on... or listen to again!

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


VBSR Events
Upcoming VBSR Hosted and Sponsored Events

September 24:
Windham County Public Policy Forum (Brattleboro)

September 26: Vermont Town Hall: Can Business be a Force for Good? (Stowe)

October 1: Addison County Public Policy Forum (Middlebury)

October 7: Southern Vermont VBSR Chapter Meeting (Brattleboro)

October 16: Integrating Mission Into Ownership: New Approaches To Business Ownership, Control, and Finance (Burlington - Members Only)

November 5: Statewide Public Policy Forum (Statewide VIT Locations)

November 19: VBSR's 22nd Annual Fall Conference (Mount Snow, Pre-party Nov. 18)

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

Member Events
Upcoming Member Events

September 25: Lead Paint Certification Class
  (rk MILES)

September 27: Living Green Fair
(Living Green Fair)

October 2: Making iPad Videos that Tell Your Story Effectively (RETN)

October 2: Free Building Science Seminar for Builders & Architects (rk MILES)

October 4: Oktoberfeast 3 (Magic Hat Brewery)

October 7: The Round Table of Practice: Shared Leadership (Global Round Table Leadership)

November 5: Vermont Development Conference (White + Burke)

November 12-14: Becoming a Measurement Guide (Yellow Wood Associates)

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.

Ben & Jerry's Signs Employers' Amicus Brief In Support Of Gay Marriage 

Our friends at Ben & Jerry's making a bold new stand in defense of same-sex marriage. Check out this story in The Huffington Post on how "the Vermont-based ice cream giant has signed an Employers' Amicus Brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to review pending marriage equality ban cases in Utah, Oklahoma and Virginia." Congrats to Ben & Jerry's for using business for good!


Sangha Studio Becomes Burlington's First Nonprofit Yoga Studio  

Recently, Sangha Studio officially changed its status to nonprofit and launches a new sustaining membership program. Sangha Studio partnered with Hosh Yoga, a Brooklyn based nonprofit studio, to create the studio's new structure and mission: Health and wellness is a right of life, not a luxury. Participate, regardless of skill level and income. The partnership started when owner, Caitlin Pascucci met Henry Cross, of Hosh Yoga, at a conference. "I was inspired by his success and realized that a nonprofit, sustainable membership studio was something that Burlington didn't already have, but could really benefit from," says Caitlin Pascucci, owner of Sangha Studio. Click here to learn more about what Sangha Studio can do for your business here. 


Local CPA Firm Conducts Survey On Outlook of Vermont Businesses

Davis & Hodgdon Associates CPAs The Certified Public Accounting firm of Davis & Hodgdon Associates CPAs located in Williston, Vermont, conducted its semi-annual economic survey in July regarding the outlook of Vermont-based businesses.  The survey, customized by the Firm to evaluate small- to medium-sized business, was completed by nearly 100 businesses located throughout the state, primarily in Chittenden (52%) and Washington (11%) counties, but also in Addison (7%) and Lamoille (6%), among other counties. Respondents were once again asked to forecast their company sales, capital spending and hiring intentions for the next six months. They were also surveyed to describe the current state of the economy, identify key issues impacting their business, as well as list issues that they would like to see addressed by the Vermont legislature by the end of 2014. Check out the results here.  

JDK Design Unveils New Name, Logo, and Evolved Commitment to Design
Principal/Chief Creative Officer Michael Jager has revealed the new identity of the evolution of Jager Di Paola Kemp Design. The company, which reconfigured in late 2013, is now Solidarity of Unbridled Labour.

Solidarity represents the unity of a focused group of design professionals who, along with clients, create a cohesive partnership that nurtures ideas and collaboratively builds better brands internationally. Unbridled perfectly captures the act of breaking free from the traditional marketing frameworks and constraints that limit creativity, in addition to acknowledging 30 years in the making, the vast unbridled network of talent of the Solidarity collaborators. Labour acknowledges the passion, energy and intention that the team and its client collaborators pour into what they create. The word honors the "makers" passion that brings the work to life and drives meaningful results. Check out more about the new project. 


Green Mountain Power Receives Public Service Board Approval to Lower Rates for Customers

Green Mountain Power recently announced that state regulators have approved the company's proposal to decrease electric rates by 2.46% for residential and commercial customers starting October 1. The rate decrease will be the second decrease offered by GMP in three years and is part of the company's mission to deliver reliable, clean and cost-effective power to its customers. "Our energy future is a bright one. We are empowering customers with new tools and resources to control energy use and save money while at the same time bringing down rates for all customers," said Mary Powell, President and CEO of GMP. "Lowering electricity rates at a time when other costs continue to rise, is an important part of helping Vermont families and businesses." Read the whole release. 



Marlboro College Graduate and Professional Studies Announces Revised Curriculum for Certificate in Nonprofit Management

Marlboro CollegeMarlboro College Graduate and Professional Studies has announced a revised curriculum for the 2014 Fall Certificate in Nonprofit Management. This renowned 80-hour series helps nonprofit leaders gain and refine the essential skills needed to strengthen their organizations and achieve their missions. The series will take place in Montpelier, at the Comfort Inn and Suites at Maplewood, and in Brattleboro at the Marlboro College Graduate and Professional Studies Center.

 **Marlboro College, a long time VBSR member and supporter, is generously offering a 25% off discount for current VBSR members wishing to enroll in the 2014-2015 session. LEARN MORE.**


Neighborworks of Western Vermont Featured on NPR

Check out this great profile of the work from our friends at Neighborworks of Western Vermont and their HEAT Squad: "Old houses that dot New England's landscape are often expensive to heat. A nonprofit housing agency in Vermont is using customer service to get homeowners to make their houses more energy efficient." Listen to the story here! 


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