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

The arrival of spring in Vermont means it is time to register for VBSR's Annual Spring Conference! The 25th Anniversary conference will be held this year on Wednesday, May 13, at UVM's LEED-Certified Davis Center. We hope you can attend to learn, network and celebrate 25 years of Changemaking in Action. The agenda is packed with fantastic workshops, a dynamic keynote by Jostein Solheim (Ben and Jerry's CEO), and a plenary session focused on growing your business in Vermont. Registration is open with early-bird rates available until May 6th. Don't wait to secure your spot - register here today.

Spring also kicks off the Buy Local Book advertising season -- consider having a coupon(s), story, or profile in the 2014/2015 book. Like last year we will also have a section dedicated to services and on-line businesses that is open to any locally owned business in the state. Check out the opportunities, the rate sheet, and more information about the Buy Local Book here. The deadline is May 15.

Finally as you might be aware, I will be leaving VBSR at the end of May. I hope to see you at the May 13 conference and at the after-conference party. VBSR will be starting a search for it's new Executive Director and I will share more detail in the next (and my final) edition of e-news in May. I hope to connect with many VBSR members directly over the next month-- you are truly the best and the brightest and make Vermont the best place to live and work.

Andrea Cohen, Executive Director
VBSR Welcomes and Thanks our Newest Members!
Kayla Jacobs, Norwich
Meghan Whirley, Burlington
Patrick John Dineen, Burlington
*Also joined Local First Vermont! 
This Edition of E-news Sponsored by:

Buy Local Book Early-bird Rates Expire May 1 

Deadline to Purchase an Ad: May 15th, VBSR Members $ave!


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 is 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 of Local 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 www.localfirstvermont.org to find out more.


VBSR members receive preferential rates in the Buy Local Book. Advertisers save 10% if you sign up and pay by May 1st! Last year's book reached thousands of people across four Vermont counties!  


Ready to advertise? Click here!


VBSR's Annual Spring Conference: 25 Years of Changemaking in Action 
Ben & Jerry's CEO Helps VBSR Celebrate 25 Years on May 13 Conference

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 Solheim 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. 


Our end of day Plenary Panel "Creating a Thriving Vermont Business" will offer the chance to learn from a great panel of successful small business owners. Moderated by Kristin Carlson (Green Mountain Power), this session will provide insights and an opportunity to learn from Jennifer Chiodo (Cx Associates, LLC), Jen Kimmich, (The Alchemist), and Carina Driscoll (Vermont Woodworking School). 


Attendees will also choose from 15 workshops, enjoy a localvore menu (Underwritten by Black River Produce) and a Vermont-themed Cocktail Reception, visit more than 40 exhibitors and connect with 300 local thought leaders, professionals, and CSR minded individuals.

VBSR members save $50 on registration before May 6!
What are you waiting for?


VBSR's Summer Policy Efforts 
Summer Study Committees a Great Way to Get Involved   

Spring is here and the Vermont Legislature's 2015 session is just weeks away from wrapping up. This has been a difficult session for Vermont lawmakers as they grapple with continued budget shortfalls and concerns over education spending. Thank you to all the VBSR members who came into the State House this year to testify or called and wrote their legislators this year... your efforts really made a difference this year!!!

Even though the session is almost over, there are still several ways to participate in policy-making and legislative advocacy with VBSR. Please contact VBSR Public Policy Manager Daniel Barlow at danielb@vbsr.org if you are interested in any of these options:

- Join the VBSR Public Policy Committee: Members are selected by the Board of Directors and the PPC meets monthly in Washington and Chittenden counties. The Committee is charged with developing long-term policy positions for the organization and overseeing and assisting in our lobbying activities.

- Participate in a Summer Study Committee: This is a low-impact way to participate in VBSR's policy program. Each year, VBSR identifies 2-3 policy issues that should be studied further in anticipation of developing new policies for the organization. Study Committee members commit a handful of meetings over the summer and fall. VBSR will announce soon the issues we will study this year.

- Come to a Policy event or webinar: VBSR holds both in-person and virtual meetings that connect our business members with the top policy-makers and legislators in Vermont. These are great opportunities to hear directly from the experts on an issue and to get educated about some of the big issues facing Vermont's SR business community. Recently, we've held webinars on healthcare and the proposed carbon tax, and had several high-level lawmakers meet with members at our Legislative Day this past April 9th. To get involved, keep watch on VBSR's event page for announcements.
Get-Togethers Draw 150 to Middlebury and Brattleboro
Networking Mixes with Discussions on Importance of Community and Employee Wellbeing

On April 15th, nearly 70 VBSR members and friends gathered to enjoy an evening of networking and community in the Brattleboro Brooks House. "With so many VBSR members involved in saving this building, we knew we had to have a Get-Together here," said VBSR's Communication and Membership Manager who noted that at least 7 members were involved in the effort. Vermont Tech and Community College of Vermont Co-hosted the event and guests enjoyed tours of the newly renovated building, made connections, and discussed the true meaning of community engagement and its connection to social responsibility. Afterward, several VBSR members were spotted sharing a meal at anchor tenant and new VBSR member, duo Restaurant!

"What goes around comes around... THAT was our business plan," said Judi Danforth to nearly 80 VBSR members and friends in attendance at a Danforth Pewter-hosted Get-Together on March 26. "From the start, we said we wanted to treat our employees like we would want to be treated."

In addition to connecting with like-minded business professionals, attendees enjoyed great food, a cash bar, and the chance to learn from and understand the history of the pewter purveyors. Founders Fred and Judi Danforth discussed the history of VBSR, CSR in Vermont, and their businesses. Current CEO Bram Kleppner shared Danforth's efforts to keep employee wellbeing and environmental stewardship at top of mind in day to day operations. At the end of the evening, business cards having been exchanged and meaningful discussions hashed-out, guests left the event happy to have Danforth Pewter working hard to forge a path for others in the CSR realm.

Thank you to everyone who attended and sponsored these events! Click here to check out photos of the Brooks House event, or take a peek at these shots from Danforth Petwer. 


The Vermont Convo Taking Airwaves
 Wednesdays at 1 PM, WDEV Radio 
Did you know that VBSR's The Vermont Conversation is the second-most listened-to program in it's time slot on Wednesdays at 1 PM? In the past two years, host David Goodman and VBSR have collaborated to bring Vermonters the stories and discussions that have the most impact on our community. From local to national issues, business to policy, education to advocacy, The Vermont Conversation never disappoints!

Click here to check out our most recent shows. Interested being featured on the show? Email us a topic or idea today. Sponsorships for the show will open again next month. Keep your eyes peeled and be thinking about how this show can help you reach thousands each week and support VBSR's mission to advocate for people, profit, and planet!  


Member-to-Member Offers
70+ Offers Available, New Offers Monthly! 
New Offers:  

Champlain Community Services
is offering a roughly 20% discount (depending on quantity purchased) for VBSR members to attend it's Tenth Annual Benefit Auction and Dinner. Click here to receive this discount!
The event is Thursday, May 7th at 6 pm at The Sheraton Burlington Hotel and Conference Center. ALL proceeds go directly to CCS programs, including its nationally-recognized supported employment program Way2Work and its new career development program for high school students with disabilities, School2Work.

Strolling of the Heifers would like to offer a 20% registration discount to VBSR members to register for the Slow Living Summit, which takes place June 3-5 in Brattleboro. The Summit is focused on farms, food, and food systems this year and should be of great interest! Click here to get to the registration page and enter the code:

Standing Offers:  
VBSR members strive to support like-minded businesses, and several offer discounts to fellow members. Click here to peruse the more than 70 member-to-member offers available from and to our members! 


Would You Like New Customers?
Advertising and Marketing Services Available Via the VBSR Marketplace 


Looking to promote your business? The VBSR Marketplace has some great options to help you with your needs. Remember, the Marketplace allows you to use excess goods and services to purchase your business wants and needs. In addition to the chance to work with the new and growing customer base using the Marketplace, there are several members who offer a chance to spread your message to the masses!


Note: You will need to log in to your Marketplace Account to view these offers. Need a login? Activate an account on your own, or contact us for assistance and/or with any questions.

Available Marketing and Outreach Offers:

We can even get you custom made chocolate bars with your logo on them if you want a sweet promo opportunity! Need Help with Brand Analysis or Graphic Design before you start marketing? We've got that too! Click here to login today and peruse all the offers on the marketplace! 


Need more credits to purchase these goods and services? Sell table space, sponsorships, or tickets for your event by posting an offer. Want more great tips like this on how to use the Marketplace? Follow the Marketplace blog! 


Upcoming VBSR Events
Mark Your Calendars!

May 13: VBSR's Annual Spring Conference 
We pretty much covered all you need to know about the conference here. All that's left is registration... click here to join us on the 13th in Burlington!

Questions? Concerns? Check out the full agenda here or contact us if we can help. 

June 25: Networking Get-Together Hosted by the VBSR Board of Directors!

As we continue our celebration of 25 Years of Changemaking, the VBSR Board wishes to invite you to a very special Networking Get-Together. Join VBSR members and friends for an amazing evening at American Flatbread and Lareau Farm in Waitsfield. This month, we'll run the event a bit differently than in the past. Instead of a program focused on our hosts, we'll spend 5 minutes sharing VBSR's successes over the past 25 years and invite the group to participate in toast to the next 25 years! Details and registration coming, mark your calendars and plan to attend! 



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.

City Market Awards Grants to Local Food Projects
City Market City Market congratulated their 2014 Co-op Patronage Seedling Grant recipients and offered almost $60,000 in grant funding to local food projects at a recent Grant Celebration that also launched the 2015 CO-OP Patronage Seedling Grant Process. Read more about the recipients and the program here

National Life Group Foundation Grants $10,000 To Bicycle Trail

National Life Group

A $10,000 grant from the National Life Group Foundation to the Cross Vermont Trail Association will help provide a key link to the area's recreation network.The money is earmarked to the association's Build The Bridge project, which calls for construction of a bicycle/pedestrian bridge over the Winooski River east of Montpelier. That bridge will help to connect the trail that winds its way from Lake Champlain to the Connecticut River. Read more about the project and grant here.


CATMA Announces Name Change to Reflect Its Expanded Service Area and Launches a New Website 

CATMA announced that it has changed its name to Chittenden Area Transportation Management Association, a 501(c)(3) member based non-profit organization, whose acronym remains. This change reflects CATMA's expanded service area from the Campus Area to Chittenden County in offering employers a managed commute program that has proven to influence people's travel choices and reduce single occupant vehicles. Read more about the change and new website here.

Stevens & Associates Wins Award For The Historic Brooks House
Stevens & Associates, P.C. received an award in this year's Engineering Excellence Awards Competition bythe American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Vermont. The Awards recognize outstanding examples of engineering excellence in projects recently completed within Vermont. The architectural design and engineering firm received the competition's highest honors, the Grand Prize Award, for its work in renovating and rehabilitating the Historic Brooks House located in downtown Brattleboro. Read more here.



CLiF Announces 10 Organizations Win At-Risk Children Literacy Grants 

The Children's Literacy Foundation (CLiF) is pleased to announce ten New Hampshire and Vermont organizations are winners of its At-Risk Children program grants. The grants will be distributed in the fall of 2015. Each organization will receive an onsite library of new books, a seminar supporting parents and caregivers in reading aloud with their children and a professional storytelling presentation. In addition, children served by each organization are presented a wide variety of books and every child may select two to keep. Read more about the winners and program 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