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

This edition of VBSR's enews is packed with information regarding upcoming VBSR events and opportunities to improve your SR business practices. Make sure to scroll down to learn about how to register for our Fall Conference  November 19, how to participate in the Nov. 5 VBSR Policy Forums (via VIT), and how to connect with a Health Care Navigator at one of the "open office hours" at various locations around the state. 

We know you are busy but we hope you can take advantage of these opportunities to learn from, and network with, like-minded business people in the VBSR community. Also, if there are other people in your office who do not receive our emails who might be interested in being added to the list, please let us know by emailing us their name and email address. All the employees of a member company are members of VBSR, and we look forward to engaging with more employees of member businesses!
Sincerely yours,

Andrea Cohen, Executive Director 
VBSR Welcomes and Thanks our Newest Members!
Tracy Bartella, Keene
Nathaniel Brooks, Guilford
Charlotte Cohn, Burlington
Kristina Fischer, Exeter
Scott Gilman, Middlebury
Clair Madden, Burlington
Emily Motter, Putney
William O'Brian, South Burlington
Laura Orvis, Alburgh
Dan Osterholt, Putney
Joel Rosenzweig, Burlington
Monica Wentz, Stowe 

*Also joined Local First Vermont! 
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Allison Hooper Named Featured Speaker for Nov. 19 Event
Exhibit Tables Going Fast

Registration now open for VBSR's 22nd Annual Fall Conference! 

Join us Wednesday, November 19, at the Grand Summit Resort at Mount Snow in West Dover, Vermont. Highlights of our largest southern Vermont event include featured speaker, and long-time VBSR supporter, Allison Hooper of Vermont Creamery (check out here bio here!). The conference will also offer six workshops, 35 exhibitors, a plenary panel on Vermont's health care system, and the presentation of VBSR's annual Legislator of the Year Awards. Last year, the conference drew over 225 attendees to Bennington County.

VBSR's Fall Conference is open to anyone interested in socially responsible business practices and is typically attended by Vermont's business, policy, and nonprofit communities. Participants will learn new ways to implement social responsibility into their organizations, discuss public policy, and network with other forward-thinking business professionals committed to an approach to business which values not only financial success, but also the well being of employees, the environment, and the community.


Registration on or before November 18 is $95 for VBSR members and $125 for non-members. Rates for day-of registration are $115 and $135, respectively. Vermont legislators and full-time students can take advantage of a discounted registration rate of $40.  


Exhibit Tables
A select number of exhibit tables are still available. Tables are $225 for VBSR members and are available on a first come, first serve basis. To reserve your spot, download the exhibitor registration form here.


As always with VBSR events, Carpooling is Encouraged! Driving to the conference and have some open seats in your car, or want to ride down with someone else? Click here to create or join a carpool with Go! Vermont and reduce your carbon footprint. (It will even allow you to choose to find or offer a ride to come down a day early! 



Overnight accommodations are available for Tuesday, 11/18, and Wednesday, 11/19, at the Grand Summit Hotel at Mount Snow for a discounted rate of $99/night. Please call the Grand Summit Hotel directly at  

(800) 817-0764 for reservations and identify yourself as a VBSR conference attendee. (The reservations office is opened from 8-5 PM daily.)

Pre-Conference Networking and Good Cheer 

Save yourself some early morning travel and plan to join us at Harriman's Farm to Table the evening before the conference. Located on the lower level of the Grand Summit Resort, the restaurant and bar is the perfect place to network with colleagues, meet follow VBSR members and unwind before a day of learning. Last year, nearly 50 people enjoyed the extra time to network and share ideas and laughs.

Please contact Scott Buckingham for more information.  
Vermont Intern Program Helps Businesses Succeed 
CB Sacks Now Open for Business

We're celebrating our success! To date in 2014 the Intern Program has listed 175 high-quality PAID internships with over 100 Vermont employers, reviewed over 1,000 applications and placed over 50 interns in PAID internships all across Vermont.

Internships bring together employers who need help with students and graduates who have skills and seek experience. Great things can happen when they come together! Just one example of many:  

VBSR Member CB Sacks is now open for business with help from an intern found through VBSR's Vermont Intern Program in partnership with member and Intern Program sponsor University of Vermont Continuing and Distance Education. CB Sacks makes tote bags, clutches and other accessories from upcycled burlap coffee sacks collected from Vermont coffee roasters, and 5% of every sale goes to Vermont-based Food 4 Farmers, a non-profit that promotes food security in coffee growing communities in Latin America. This is what Vermont, Business and Social Responsibility looks like! Congrats for going "Beyond the Bean", CB Sacks.
VBSR Announces 2014 Legislator of the Year Awardees
Legislators to be Honored at VBSR Fall Conference Nov. 19

VBSR is pleased to announce that we are honoring three legislators for their work at the Vermont Statehouse in supporting socially responsible business practices. Sen. David Zuckerman (P/D- Chittenden) and Rep. Sara Buxton (D-Tunbridge) will receive VBSR's Legislators of the Year award at our 22nd Annual Fall Conference at Mount Snow on November 19. We are also giving a Lifetime Achievement award to Sen. Sally Fox (D-Chittenden) for her years of work in making Vermont a better place to live. Fox passed away early in 2014.

Zuckerman is honored for his work in passing GMO labeling legislation in Vermont this year. A long-time advocate of labeling genetically engineered food, Zuckerman showed that he could build a strong coalition of allies to navigate the difficult regulatory waters around increasing consumer information about food sold in supermarkets.

Buxton's award comes from her work to bring universal pre-kindergarten services to Vermont. Buxton, who serves on the House Education Committee, was the face of the proposal as it moved through the House in 2013 and the Senate in 2014. She never wavered in her commitment to expand pre-k and artfully made the case that investing in early childhood education is good for children and our economy.

Fox has a long and distinguished career in the House and Senate and briefly served as VBSR's lobbyist in the early 2000s. The focus of her work was often the well-being of Vermont's poor, disabled and disenfranchised. Her husband, Sen. Michael Sirotkin, who replaced her in the Senate after her death, will accept the award on her behalf.

Join us at the award presentation by registering for VBSR's 22nd Annual Fall Conference today - full conference details can be found here. VBSR members will also gather early next month to talk about public policy and our 2015 legislative agenda at a Statewide Policy Forum held via VBSR member Vermont Interactive Technologies. Members can participate through five sites across the state on the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 5. For more details, go here link.
VBSR Teams with Clean Yield and Donella Meadows Institute  
50+ Attend "Integrating Mission Into Ownership" 

Thank you to our friends at Clean Yield Asset Management and Donella Meadows Institute for helping us to put on "Integrating Mission Into Ownership: New Approaches To Business Ownership, Control, and Finance" on October 16th.

We had a great morning exploring the importance of mission, ways of incorporation and the push to invest locally. Over 50 folks joined us for the conversation featuring author Marjorie Kelly, local legend and Founder and Chairman of Gardener's Supply Company Will Raap (seen left), and Securities Deputy Commissioner Michael Pieciak.

Thanks to all who came out for a morning networking and education, and also to Eric Becker for moderating the lively question and answer session!

Did you miss the session? Our friends at CCTV recorded the panel and we took photos. Click here to watch the panel, or check out the photos here! 
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End of Year Giving 
Alternative Ways to Support VBSR

Did you know that VBSR has a 501(c)3 sister organization known as the VBSR Research and Education Foundation (REF)? This organization allows to us to put on educational events such as conferences and Get-Togethers, and helps research and fund tools such as our health care financing calculator and our Livable Jobs Toolkit. If you're interested in supporting this side of VBSR's efforts, see below for some easy ways to donate through some of our great members!

1% for the Planet
Recently, VBSR-REF was approved as a 1% for the Planet member! (Check out our profile here.) That means that if you have committed to giving back through 1% for the Planet, you can donate directly to VBSR-REF and help us continue our research and education efforts to support the environment and our communities through sustainable business!

Image Outfitters

Since Image Outfitters joined VBSR, they've been champions of the cause. And now they can help you champion VBSR's cause, too. Through their iShareworks! Unique Charitable Donations Program, Image Outfitters will strive to meet or beat any competitor's pricing and then donate 10% of the sales to the non-profit of your choice. As VBSR members, Image Outfitters would be happy to help you help VBSR! Contact Kali today to learn how you can support VBSR simply by making everyday purchases your business already makes!
Business as a Force for Good? 
VBSR's The Vermont Conversation Airs Wednesday's at 1 PM on WDEV 

Can capitalism solve the problems of capitalism? Can business be a force for good? VBSR sought to answer those questions and more when we sponsored a recent Vermont Town Hall featuring Jeffery Hollender (Hollender Sustainable Brands) and Tom Chappell (Tom's of Maine), two pioneers of socially responsible business. David Goodman, host of The Vermont Conversation, moderated the session and recorded it too. Check out this edited version of the conversation held on Sept. 26, 2014, at Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center. Thanks too, to our friends at Earthshift who blogged about the event, found here


Recent shows have also included VBSR members Black River Produce and the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund talking about the Farm to Plate movement, as well as a look at the lives of some of the hidden voices of Vermont.

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! 


Education and Action
Work Supported Volunteerism 
VBSR members believe that we're only as good as the community around us. So outside of monetary donations, which at times can be hard to contribute, how else can we impact those around us?

Offering volunteer hours (and options!) can be a great cost-effective benefit to offer your employees. In addition to supporting your community and often times gaining visibility, having your employees volunteer may actually impact employee attitudes, effort and productivity. But don't just take our word for it, check out this report on the benefits of employee volunteer programs.

If you're already offering a volunteer program, you may want to connect your employees with the Cabot "Reward Volunteers" app. This app allows people to track how many hours they donate and offers awards for helping out! (It also gives nonprofits a place to list their needs!)

Want to set up some time to donate as a company activity? Long-time VBSR members and friends at the United Way of Chittenden County can help with that. Click here to start impacting your community today!  


Member Benefits Corner 
VBSR Members Save on Fall Conference Rates   

In addition to supporting VBSR's public policy efforts, there are a slew of benefits to being a VBSR member. Over 70 members have expressed an interest in working with VBSR members and are willing to offer a discount to make it happen! Check out our two newest offers below, or contact us today to offer a discount of your own.

In addition to saving money with like-minded businesses, membership also allows you to save money on VBSR activities. Our Fall Conference on November 19th is open to both members and friends of the organization, but as a way to say "thank you" to the folks who support us year-round, we're offering VBSR members the chance to join us at the conference for $30 cheaper than nonmembers! Already a VBSR member? Register for conference today!

Not a member? Join today!


5% off hourly consulting rate for VBSR members
Contact: Nadine Canter Barnicle Web: www.cbc-cavu.org

Image Outfitters:
When you order from Image-Outfitters, they will use their non-profit giving platform to donate 10% of the sale from your order to VBSR if you mention VBSR when getting set-up with your order!
Contact: Kali Trigg Web: www.image-outfitters.com

Take a look at all of the Member-to-Members here. (There are over 70!)
Non-Profits Accepting Donations in Trade Dollars
Giving and Receiving with the VBSR Marketplace       


Did you know you can donate your Trade Dollars to your favorite non-profit? And that it may be tax deductible?


For Non-Profits:

Yes! As a non-profit you can accept donations of Trade Dollars in the Marketplace.  Non-profits who have accepted Trade Dollars donations have purchased goods and services such as:gift certificates to local restaurants to thank volunteers, website upgrade help, and more.

To post a Donation request:

  • Login to the Marketplace (or join now)
  • Go to the Offers Tab (Yes - Offers, not Request.) This allows a fellow user to "Buy Now" and transfer the Dollars automatically to your account.
  • Hit the Add New Offer Button
  • Tell us about your non-profit and what you're like to use the donation for in the description. We suggest adding a amount of $25 or $50 into the Offer and putting text like "Happy to accept any amount, just message us" in the description.
  • We'll run your listing in our weekly email blast.
For Other Users:

To Make a Donation:

  • Look through the Offers Tab to see if you want to support any of the non-profits with listings. If so, you can simply hit the "Buy Now" button to transfer credits. If you'd like to donation a different amount, message the non-profit with the number, or contact the Marketplace admin staff directly to set up the transaction via phone 399-4210 or email.
  • Look through the People Tab to see if there are any non-profits without listings you would like to support.
  • Recruit your favorite non-profit to join the Marketplace. If you need help from Marketplace staff, just let us know.
  • If you need a donation receipt, ask the non-profit directly at the time of transaction.
Tax and Other Details:
  • If the non-profit is 501(c)3, then a donation of Trade Dollars is tax-deductible. When you donate, message them asking for a receipt.
  • If the non-profit is a state non-profit without 501(c)3, your gift will be useful but not tax-deductible. Not sure? Just give them a call and ask.
  • As always, we're not tax professionals or CPAs here at the Marketplace, so if you have any specific questions, check with your CPA.
  • We do charge the regular service fee for the transfer to cover our overhead. The amount depends on your account type.


We hope you find this feature of the Marketplace to be useful!


Don't have a VBSR Marketplace account?


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


VBSR Hosts Health Connect "Open Office Hours"
Statewide Events Help Businesses Navigate the System

Join VBSR's Health Connect Program Navigator throughout the state October through December for "open office hours." Our Navigator will be available to meet with businesses and employees about Vermont Health Connect.


 Click here for full list of dates, or visit our VBSR events page for more info on each individual event.


October dates don't work in your schedule? Stay tuned for November dates, or contact us to request us to to your town!


VBSR Events
Upcoming VBSR Hosted and Sponsored Events

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

Throughout October: Raising of America (VBSR, in collaboration with our gold member Let's Grow Kids and numerous other partners, invites you to participate in a community discussion about the importance of the early years, featuring a sneak peek of the powerful new documentary: The Raising of America. Click here for more details.) 

October 23: Loon to Lynx: Celebrating 40 Years of the Endangered Species Act (Co-Sponsored by VBSR members: VNRC, VLS, UVM)

October 25: Taste of the Lake Reception (Lake Champlain International)

October 29: Opening Doors to College & Careers: Expanding Opportunities for People with Disabilities (UVM)

October 31: Grottoblaster (Goddard College)

November 1: Storytellers on a Mission to Benefit Vermont Parks Forever (Vermont Parks Forever)

November 5: Vermont Development Conference (White + Burke)

November 7: CONCERT: Ben Sollee with opener Jim and Sam and Tall Heights (Goddard College)

November 10: WORKSHOP: Making iPad Videos that Tell Your Story (RETN)

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

November 13: Designing a Closed Loop Community (VTC & VEC)

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.

High Mowing Organic Seeds Offers Nation's First Full Line of Non-GMO Project Verified Seeds
High Mowing Organic Seeds today announced that its entire line of seeds, all certified organic, has now been verified by the Non-GMO Project, an independent non-profit committed to preserving and building the non-GMO food supply. High Mowing Organic Seed Company now offers the first full line of organic, Non-GMO Project Verified seeds for farmers and gardeners. "This is an unprecedented achievement," said High Mowing Organic Seeds owner and founder Tom Stearns. "We committed to this because organic, non-GMO seeds have to be the foundation of the healthy food system of the future." Click here to learn more. Great job High Mowing! 

Fuse and Dealer.com Named "Best Places to Work" by Outside Magazine

Fuse, LLC, a marketing agency specializing in connecting brands with teens and young adults, and Dealer.com, the automotive industry's leading provider of streamlined and intuitive solutions for managing car dealership marketing, were both recently named some of the best places to work by Outside Magazine. Click here to learn what makes Fuse different, or find out more about Dealer.com here.   


UVM Selected to Host Northeast Regional Surface Transportation Workforce Center  

The University of Vermont (UVM) Transportation Research Center has been selected to host the Northeast Regional Surface Transportation Workforce Center under a four year grant from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).   The new Center will be based at the Transportation Research Center (TRC) on the UVM Trinity Campus in Burlington.  The new Center will focus on developing programs with partner groups throughout the region to train transportation workers for future needs and to promote participation by underrepresented groups in the transportation industry.  It will work closely with private industry and public sector transportation agencies as well as a rich network of education, labor and workforce offices across 11 states and the District of Columbia. Learn more.  


VBSR Members Team Up: Green Mountain Power Purchases Electric Bikes for Staff   

Green Mountain Power Biking just got a little easier for Rutland based employees of Green Mountain Power. In keeping with its commitment to alternative energy sources, GMP has just purchased two-state-of-the-art electric bicycles for staff to use around the city. "We have roughly 300 employees in Rutland on two campuses and we are constantly traveling back and forth between the two," said Jenn Cortez, Innovation Champion. "Additionally our staff is always out and about off to meetings and running errands. We're hopeful that many of our coworkers will choose to travel using the electric bikes rather than by car."

The are supplied and maintained by Vermont's only electric bike dealership, Zoombikes, of Middlesex. 

National Life GroupA 500 kilowatt solar power project currently under construction on the grounds of National Life Group is expected to go on line by the end of the year and will generate a significant portion of the company's electricity. The new project will be part of the state's net metering program, as an existing 70 kW rooftop system on the company's roof is, feeding power onto the electrical grid while replacing reliance on fossil fuel. The 10,000 megawatts per year that the two systems will produce represents more than 15 percent of the company's power demand. And that represents about 3 percent of the 82,256 megawatts per year of power demand in the entire city of Montpelier. Check out more details on the project here.


Long-time VBSR Member Publishes Book 

Business Culture ConsultantsHow many people do you know who struggle with chronic dissatisfaction at work? Wouldn't it be helpful to have a book that provides real options and practical resources? Author Flip Brown of Business Culture Consultants is proud to announce the release of his new light-hearted but in-depth book - Balanced Effectiveness at Work. Described as a "resiliency manual for anyone who works for a living" the material is drawn from Flip's extensive experience working with good people in great organizations for over twenty years. Learn more here. 


Champlain College Opens "Maker Lab" 
Champlain College Logo Champlain College recently celebrated the launch of "The Champlain MakerLab", a rapid prototyping facility is equipped with state of the art 3D printers, a 3D scanner, laser cutter, vinyl cutter, large format printers, electronics prototyping, Arduinos, sewing tools for wearable computing and more traditional tools. The space and tools allow students and the Champlain extended community to explore the possibilities for invention and entrepreneurship now available thanks to the unique marriage of digital technologies and once impossible to manufacture physical components. Learn more about the grand opening.


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