Vermont Businesses for 
Social Responsibility
Just Good Business.
Dear Members and Friends:

We wanted to start by saying "thank you" to Green Living Journal for their recent feature article on VBSR's 25th Anniversary: "Why Here? Why Now? Why VBSR?" and wish our friends there a big happy 25th anniversary as well!  

It has been a great first quarter of the year celebrating and planning activities to reflect, honor, and celebrate VBSR's accomplishments throughout the year. I imagine that many of the VBSR founders would be pleased to know that VBSR is more focused and effective than ever, and that the current Board and staff are committed to  making Vermont the best place to do business. Thank you members for your support and contributions!

Please make a point of celebrating with us at a VBSR event in the next few months. We will be having a "Get-Together" at Danforth Pewter in Middlebury on Thursday March 26, a VBSR Lobbying Day at the statehouse on April 9, a Get-Together at the Brooks House in Brattleboro on Wednesday April 15, and our 25th Annual Spring Conference on May 13 at UVM Davis Center in Burlington where Jostein Solheim, CEO of Ben and Jerry's will be the keynote speaker. Gather, network, learn, and have fun with VBSR member colleagues!

Please also make sure to make your voice heard on the various policy and budget decision in play in Montpelier right now. Your legislators very much need to hear your opinions and perspectives.  You can contact Daniel Barlow, VBSR's Public Policy Manager with any questions regarding VBSR's efforts in Montpelier.

Sincerely yours,
Andrea Cohen, Executive Director 
VBSR Welcomes and Thanks our Newest Members!
Anna Hill, South Burlington
David Cadran, Brattleboro 
Julian Kilicarslan, Burlington
Milagro Carranza, Colchester
*Also joined Local First Vermont! 
    This Edition of E-news Sponsored by:  
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 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


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Jostein Solheim to Keynote VBSR Conference 
Ben & Jerry's CEO Helps VBSR Celebrate 25 Years
Save the Date: May 13 

VBSR's 25th Annual Spring Conference is right around the corner and we want to see YOU there! Join us on May 13th in Burlington as we come together to celebrate 25 years of moving the CSR dial forward.


This year, we are thrilled to welcome Ben & Jerry's Chief Executive Officer Jostein Sholheim as our Keynote Speaker. Now in his fourth year as CEO, he is not your average CEO. Solheim continues to champion the iconic ice cream maker as it navigates its next chapter in business history. The vision, according to Solheim, is that Ben & Jerry's must continue to aspire to be a social justice company that just happens to make ice cream. 


Through out the day, attendees will attend several workshops designed to help CSR minded business professionals be more efficient, educated and in-tune with their organizations. Rounding out the day, guests will have the chance to learn from a great panel of successful small business owners; moderated by Kristin Carlson (Green Mountain Power) "Creating a Thriving Vermont Businesses" will provide insights and an opportunity to learn from Jennifer Chiodo (Cx Associates, LLC), Jen Kimmich, (Alchemist Brewery), and Carina Driscoll (Vermont Woodworking School).  


Attendees will also enjoy a localvore menu (Underwritten by Black River Produce), 40+ exhibitors*, a Vermont-themed Cocktail Reception and approximately 300 local thought leaders, professionals, and CSR minded individuals. Registration opens April 1, but you can click here for a sneak peak of the workshops we're working to formalize. Save the date and join us on May 13!!!

*There are a limited number of exhibit tables remaining. Tables are available on a first come, first serve basis to VBSR members and state agencies. Each table comes with a six-foot set-up, wifi, and one complimentary conference pass. Click here to reserve your spot today.


Engage with VBSR's Policy Efforts 
Members Invited to Attend Carbon Tax Webinar, Lobbying Day   

The Vermont Legislature's 2015 session is nearing the home stretch and VBSR has two exciting opportunities coming up to learn more about important bills and help influence public policy in Montpelier. Please join us for these two events - a webinar detailing a carbon pollution tax proposal in Vermont and a half-day of lobbying activities at the Statehouse.

April 1, 4-5 PM: Putting a Price on Pollution: An interactive webinar designed to explain Vermont's carbon tax proposal. VBSR invites you to join this webinar that lays out all the key details about Vermont's carbon pollution tax proposal and how it will improve the state's economy and make us more energy independent. Attendees will hear from legislative leaders, advocates, and business leaders that support combating climate change. Space is limited - please register today!

April 9, 9 AM - Noon: VBSR Lobby Day at the Vermont Statehouse. VBSR invites our members to the Vermont Statehouse next month to get an update on the current legislative session and discuss issues important to socially responsible businesses with lawmakers and Administration officials. Members will get a crash course in lobbying, receive updates from legislative leaders and committee chairs, and then have lunch with their representative or senator in the Statehouse cafeteria. To register, please email to Dan Barlow! 

VBSR at 25    
Share Your Story Today! 

At our last Networking event, guests took some time to weigh in on their thoughts about VBSR turning 25! Have a story to share? Email us your favorite story or a message for one of our boards, or register now for our Networking Get-Together at Danforth Pewter where you'll be able to pen your own ode to VBSR! 
Women's Meet-up Draws Large Crowd
125+ Pack Burlington City Hall

We had a fantastic time at the Women's Meet-Up in Burlington on March 11!

The event, co-hosted by VBSR, the Vermont Intern Program, Vermont Works for Women, and Greater Burlington Women's Forum brought together over 125 women of diverse ages and backgrounds and introduced new audiences to local organizations and programs.

The audience spent time in both structured and open networking sessions, learned about the benefits of woman to woman mentoring, and heard from Beth Sachs, Tiffany Bluemle, and Jan Blomstrann.

During the event, we overheard folks sharing their excitement: "I'm surprised we didn't blow the roof off," one person said. Another voiced what we were all thinking: "Can you imagine what we could accomplish with all of the women in this room?"

Thank you to our wonderful partners and speakers, and to all who came out to make a successful event! Thanks too to Sara Munro, Carina Driscoll, and Megan Humphrey for contributing photos, which you can see here.


2015/2016 Buy Local Book Underway

Deadline for Ad Sales: May 15th 


It's time to sign up to be in the 2015/2016 Buy Local Book!



Again this year, professional services and online businesses will have their own devoted section. This area will be great for designers, accountants, consultants and many others to introduce new customers to their business.

The Buy Local Book, a comprehensive and 
invaluable resource guide and coupon book, is an annual project ofLocal First Vermont. VBSR is the host organization for this important program with a mission to preserve and enhance the economic, human, and natural vitality of Vermont communities. This is achieved by advocating for and promoting the importance of support for locally owned independent businesses. The Buy Local Book, which provides consumers with an easy way to support the local economy, is an extension of the Local First Vermont mission.


The Buy Local Book, currently in its sixth year, continues to grow. This year's book will focus on Chittenden, Addison, Washington and Lamoille counties. Visit to find out more.


Ready to advertise? Click here! 


Tough Questions on "The Vermont Convo"
The Vermont Conversation Airs Wednesday's at 1 PM on WDEV
Is primary care endangered? Is there an alternative to austerity? Should marijuana be legal? How can we reach our legislators more effectively? VBSR's host David Goodman tacked these questions and more over the past month on "The Vermont Conversation." Click on the title to hear any show, or shoot us an email if you would like to be on the show or have an idea of a topic you'd like to see us cover!

March 12: 
Saving Primary Care & The Socrates Cafe: How Asking Questions Builds Democracy 

Is primary care endangered? That's the contention of some who are concerned about the Medicaid cost shift, in which providers make so little money on Medicaid that some health care providers are refusing to treat Medicaid patients altogether. Discussing this and possible solutions:

  • Dr. Joseph Haddock, family practitioner in Williston
  • Leslie Nulty, owner of Focal Point Advisory Services in Burlington
  • Russ Bennett, owner of Northland Design & Construction in Waitsfield

Is there an alternative to austerity? As the Vermont legislature considers over $100 million in cuts to close a budget gap, One Vermont, a group of social service advocates and businesses, proposes to balance the budget without budget cuts.

  • Jack Hoffman, Public Assets Institute
  • Andrea Cohen, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility
  • Karen Lafayette, Vermont Low Income Advocacy Council
  • Julie Tessler, Vermont Council of Developmental and Mental Health Services

Grassroots Activism and Technology  

We talk with the founder of New Grassroots, a new web app that aims to connect legislators with concerned citizens, and advocates of marijuana legalization, who are among those trying out the new approach.

  • Benjamin Brown, chicken farmer, founder and CEO, NewGrassroots
  • Matt Simon, New England Political Director, Marijuana Policy Project


BEA Vertical Business Energy Action Secures Funding
Vermont Bioenergy Initiative Supports Energy Reduction Program

Recently, VBSR announced that we secured funding to continue the Business Energy Action (BEA) program through 2015. This additional funding for BEA is provided by the Vermont Bioenergy Initiative, a program of the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund.

"We're grateful for the support of Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund as we work to help Vermont businesses reduce their need for fossil fuel," said VBSR Executive Director, Andrea Cohen. "Business Energy Action helps businesses be not only more responsible consumers of energy, but also helps their bottom line to create a more vibrant economy here in Vermont."   


The Vermont Bioenergy Initiative connects diversified agriculture and local renewable energy production for on-farm and community use by supporting research, technical assistance, and infrastructure development in emerging areas of bioenergy, and overall education on the benefits of renewable energy and energy efficiency. Funding was made possible by the Office of US Senator Patrick Leahy and the US Department of Energy. Learn more here. 

BEA works with companies to help them implement energy efficiency strategies that help to save 5% per year, and is currently working with more than 80 member businesses across the state. Click here to learn more and see who we've helped save energy. 


Upcoming VBSR Events
Mark Your Calendars!

VBSR members and friends are invited to an evening of networking and education in Middlebury. Engage with forward-thinking business professionals, catch up with old business partners, check out the pewter making process, and learn more about employee well-being and management from founding VBSR member Danforth Pewter. Hors d'oeuvres generously provided by our host. Preregister today for a chance to win a $50 gift card from Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op!

Click here to register today!

Special thank you to our Sponsors: Bristol Financial Services, High Meadow's Fund, Merritt & Merritt & Moulton, Middlebury College, SunCommon, Trinitas Advisers, Vermont Community Loan Fund, and Vermont Health Connect!

College students today want to engage in meaningful work that will bring about positive change in the world. At the same time, financial pressures lead many to question whether it is possible to follow their passions and still earn a decent enough living. Brought to you by Green Mountain College, VBSR and Rodgers Consulting, this conference will explore the challenges and opportunities of doing both.  


Join us for an inspiring series of TED-style talks from mission-driven entrepreneurs and leaders of change in business, government, and education. Engage with these and other leaders in stimulating discussions and meet with them informally. Come make new personal and professional connections and discover how you can make a difference AND make a living. This event is FREE and open to the public. Click here for more info, or REGISTER TODAY!


April 15: VBSR Networking Get-Together Co-Hosted by CCV and VTC

VBSR is thrilled to be working with Community College of Vermont and Vermont Technical College to bring a VBSR Networking Get-Together to the Brooks House in downtown Brattleboro. This beautiful building is has been restored to better than ever, thanks in part to investors, including VBSR member Steven's & Associates who helped purchase the building. Furthering the VBSR member ties, Brattleboro Savings and Loan was a lender of the project, Duo Restaurant is another VBSR member who currently operates in the building and our Co-hosts were the first two tenants to commit to space in the restored building.


Join us for an evening of networking and education, and a chance to witness the restoration of this important downtown landmark first hand! REGISTER TODAY! 


Sponsorships available for this event! Contact Russ today, or click here to learn more about how you can support this event and gain visibility with your peers.  

Hosting an Event Using the Marketplace
Save Some Cash on your Next Event!         


Hosting a conference, staff retreat, sales meeting, or customer event soon? If you've got a tight budget, there's no need to spend cash to get what you need. We have a huge supply of event space and a lot of supporting goods and services to make your event fun and profitable! Here's a list of live offers in the Marketplace to help you. (Links require you to login to view - need help with your password? Need to Get Signed Up?)


Member Events
Upcoming Member Events

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 us 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.

Full Barrel Cooperative Brewery & Taproom Moves Forward
Do you know who owns your beer? After a year of organization, planning, and home-brewing beer, the members of Full Barrel Cooperative Brewery & Taproom are one step closer to making the answer to be "you." On Sunday, March 1st, member-owners gathered in Burlington and voted to approve the brewery's first bylaws, elect a board of directors, and select the brand's firstlogo. The milestones come on the heels of the brewery receiving incorporation status from the State of Vermont in early February. Read more about the elected board of directors, new logo, and bylaws here 

GMCS to Become the First US Company to Receive Accreditation from Bucks New University International

Green Mtn. Concert Services Inc. (GMCS) will become the first American company to receive the Front of Stage Pit Course certification from Bucks New University in High Wycombe, England. With this course certification GMCS can train and certify its staff in specialized barricade and pit management techniques developed through the Bucks New University Centre for Crowd Management and Security Studies. Read more about the certification here.


Vermont School Union Goes Gig-E Thanks to Sovernet 

Sovernet Logo 2012 - web
Sovernet Communications and the Windsor Southeast Supervisory Union ("WSESU") jointly announced today that the geographically-dispersed K-12 school system in southeastern Vermont has upgraded its data network to one Gig of broadband over fiber.  Also called "Gig-E," the connection delivers 1,000 Megabits of Internet bandwidth to the four village and town school districts that comprise the union. Read more about the Gig-E connection here 



CLiF Announces $25,000 Program Grants to Eight Elementary Schools 

The Children's Literacy Foundation (CLiF) will award Year of the Book grants to eight New Hampshire and Vermont elementary schools for the 2015-2016 school year. The grant provides $25,000 in literacy programs, events, support, professional development and new books to each school over the course of one school year. Click here to read more about the program grant winners. 


The Keurig 2.0 Brewing System Lineup Expands with the Addition of the New K200 Series
Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. (Keurig) (NASDAQ: GMCR), a leader in specialty coffee, coffee makers, teas and other beverages with its innovative brewing technology, today announces the addition of the KeurigŪ 2.0 K200 series to its family of KeurigŪ 2.0 brewers. Read more about the brewing system here.

Keurig's also recently published their latest sustainability report. Check it out here! 
    This Edition of E-news Sponsored by:  
Vermont Health Connect



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