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

If you would take a few minutes please fill out this survey about financial service benefits. We are exploring new opportunities to bring to you and would appreciate your feedback! Click here for survey.

We continue to be so energized following the the 25th Anniversary Spring Conference! It was amazing and we want to thank those who attended and especially the workshop and keynote presenters. We extend a special "thank you" to Jacob Park and the rest of the VBSR Program Committee for all of the great ideas and support as we pulled the content together. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and the information exchanged and the relationships developed will certainly be long lasting.
At the start of the Conference we took some time to look back and celebrate the past quarter century of VBSR. What our members have accomplished together is really inspiring. We were reminded about how VBSR has always been ahead of the times and how the vision of the founders continues to be relevant today. Click here to check out this list of 25 accomplishments of 25 years. (As you might expect it was hard to limit to 25!)

So what about the future? We know VBSR's mission continues to be essential, the power of business to change the world is well understood, but we must continue to challenge ourselves to improve our own practices and we also must stretch beyond our comfort zone and push our policy makers and business colleagues. Issues like climate change and income disparity do not bode well for a sustainable future for our businesses, communities, and families. Our work is not done and we need your support and engagement as we look to the future.

As you might be aware, VBSR is currently in the search process for it's next Executive Director. We are looking for someone who has the right mix of passion and skills to bring this organization forward, to tackle the next set of challenges, and to seize the next opportunities. Please let people know about this opportunity!

Since this is my last enews intro, I do want to share with all of you that it has truly been a honor to have worked for the past 9 years for VBSR. I am proud of the important work we have done together and I thank you for trusting me with the stewardship of this outstanding organization. I am excited for VBSR's future and can't wait to see what great things you will accomplish. The VBSR businesses community and it's amazing individuals will forever have a special place in my heart. I have always said you all are the best and the brightest and that you make the world a better place, and you have never proven me wrong. All the best to all of you.


Andrea Cohen, Executive Director
VBSR Welcomes and Thanks our Newest Members!

Please Welcome VBSR's Newest Champion Member!

Please Welcome VBSR's Newest Gold Members:
Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC
Vermont Economic Development Authority
This Edition of E-news Sponsored by:

Please join us July 16-17 for the 2nd Base of Pyramid (BoP) Global Network Summit at the University of Vermont. The 2015 Summit will present and discuss BoP business initiatives being implemented by entrepreneurs and corporate innovators that are driving sustainable innovation across the world from the bottom up. More at
Duane Peterson to Receive VBSR Terry Ehrich Award
Peterson to be Recognized for Dedication to Socially Responsible Business Practices

VBSR is happy to announce Duane Peterson, Founder and Co-President of SunCommon, as the 2015 recipient of the Terry Ehrich Award for Excellence in Socially Responsible Business. Named for the late owner of Hemmings Motor News and a founding member of VBSR, the award is given to a member who best exemplifies Terry Ehrich's commitment to the environment, workplace, progressive public policy and community.

A social entrepreneur, Duane is on his seventh career with stints as a medic, police officer, non-profit manager, political campaigner, justice department official, legislative director and values-led business practitioner. The common thread: organizing people to take meaningful action towards positive change. He moved to Vermont in 1996 to help Ben use Ben & Jerry's as a force for social change. After 12 years there as Ben's Chief of Stuff, Duane left to launch his latest venture, SunCommon, to make it easy and affordable for homeowners to help repower Vermont with clean, safe and local solar power. A Benefit Corporation and a Certified BCorp, SunCommon is Vermont's largest solar business with 100 workers. Duane has been a part of the VBSR community since 1996 and his wife Laura has served as VBSR's Program Manager. He's a member of the Social Venture Network and serves on the Board of VPIRG as well as VBSR.

Peterson joins recent Terry Ehrich Award recipients Mark Curran, Black River Produce; Jan Blomstrann, Renewable NRG Systems, Inc.; and Allison Hooper, Vermont Creamery. Fellow VBSR members proposed Peterson for the award through an open nomination process and VBSR's Nominating Committee suggested the board of directors honor Peterson with the award. The official announcement was made to a crowd of 325 members and friends at VBSR's 25th Annual Spring Conference on May 13. Peterson will be honored at the 2015 Terry Ehrich Award Ceremony and Dinner in September. For more details, visit


June Get-Together Hosted by the VBSR Board of Directors 
Join us at Lareau Farm on June 25!

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! Instead of a program focused on our hosts, we'll enjoy hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar, spend 5 minutes sharing VBSR's successes over the past 25 years, and invite the group to participate in a toast to the next 25 years! You will not want to miss this celebratory Get-Together. click here to learn more or 

Spring Conference Recap! 
325+ Pack the Davis Center

Our 25th Annual Spring Conference is in the books and holy cow what an amazing day! Thank you to the more than 325 folks who attended. We laughed, cried, networked, and learned how to better implement CSR strategies into our operations during the day-long event.

Attendees loved hearing Ben & Jerry's CEO Jostein Solheim's Keynote, enjoyed locally sourced menu thanks to Black River Produce, visited with more than 40 exhibitors, and chose from 15 different workshops ranging from solar financing to accessing leadership strengths (which could be heard all the way down the hall!).

We spent time networking with like-minded businesses, took an amazing group photo and said goodbye to Andrea Cohen, our executive director who is about to embark on the next stage of her professional journey. Thank you to all of our conference underwriters, sponsors, exhibitors, panelists, and Champion Members. Most importantly, thank you to all of our attendees... more than 325 forward-thinking business professionals came out to rally around the triple-bottom-line approach to doing business!

If you were one of the lucky 325, please take a moment to complete a conference evaluation by clicking here. The survey should only take about 5 minutes to complete and by participating you'll be entered to win a 2014-2015 Buy Local Book!

We also invite you to stay engaged with the conference conversations in a few different ways:
        • Finally, click here to listen to the podcast of "The Mark Johnson Show." Mark was joined by several VBSR members while broadcasting live from the conference! Hear from VBSR's own Andrea Cohen and Dan Barlow, Jed Davis from Cabot Creamery, Jostein Solheim, Rob Miller from the latest VBSR champion member VSECU; David Gurtman of Champion Member Dinse Knapp McAndrew, Chad Farrell of Encore Redevelopment, Liz Schlegel of Institute for Sustainable Communities, and UVM's Sherwood Smith.

Again, thank you everyone who helped make this conference happen... Your dedication to the CSR and the triple-bottom-line approach to business is inspiring!   


Legislature Wraps, VBSR Work Continues  
Now is YOUR Chance to Get Involved 

The Vermont Legislature wrapped up the 2015 session in Montpelier just a few weeks ago. It was a tough session consumed mostly with Vermont's continued budget shortfalls and a struggle between cutting state services and increased taxes and fees. Despite this difficulty, the Legislature passed some key bills dealing with state energy policy, lake and water clean-up, tax reform, and health care. VBSR will have a complete wrap-up of the bills we influenced with our advocacy soon.

Although the session is over, policy work at VBSR continues. The Public Policy Committee is launching two summer study committees that will help shape VBSR's future policy positions and our work at the Vermont State House. Member participation and input is essential to this work and if you are interested in serving on one of these committees (the commitment is low-impact and only consists of 2-3 in-person meetings over the summer and fall), please e-mail Public Policy Manager Daniel Barlow at

- The Clean Water Economy: Clean lakes and rivers are essential to Vermont's brand and quality of life, in addition to being major tourism draws for the state. This work will connect environmental protection with a thriving and sustainable economy. Key questions to be answered include: What causes water pollution, how should the state pay for clean-up, and how to create a regulatory framework to ensure pollution does not continue.

- Quality Public Education as the Foundation of a Good Economy: Quality education leads to a stronger workforce, increased income and employment, and a decreased demands for social services. This committee will look at how Vermont's public education system is structured, how it is funded, and how the state can build and sustain an educational system that allows children to succeed. 
VBSR Marketplace Expands Services
Individuals at VBSR Member Companies Able to Access Service 


The VBSR Marketplace is excited to announce that effective immediately, employees of VBSR member businesses will be able to open their own, personal, accounts in the VBSR Marketplace.

As requests for services has increased, we've seen businesses recommending their talented employees as matches. By creating a fee-free access plan for individual employees to join the Marketplace, we grow our circle of potential exchanges and taken another step towards a truly sustainable form of local economic development. This is especially exciting for those who moonlight as consultants, are looking to save money on attending classes, or love approaches to a new economy!

Ready to get involved? Details on Employee Access (including dos and don'ts) at: 


Questions? Contact Amy! 


Want more great tips like this on how to use the Marketplace? Follow the Marketplace blog! 


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BEA Logo
BEA Welcomes New Manager
Carolyn Grodinsky Joins Business Energy Action 


BEA members, please give a warm welcome to Carolyn Grodinsky! Carolyn will be your contact for Business Energy Action going forward. Some of you may know her... she recently helped VBSR in the creation of the 2015-2016 Local First Vermont coupon book.

Carolyn has also been the manager of the Capital City Farmer's Market in Montpelier for the past five years. Prior to that, Carolyn was a Recycling Analyst with the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources.

Carolyn will be available via email at Please give her a warm welcome and feel free to reach out if you have any program related questions. Special thanks to The Vermont Bioenergy Initiative, a program of the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, for providing funding for BEA through the end of 2015!

Want to learn more about BEA or the 80+ member businesses who have signed onto the challenge? Click here.  


The Vermont Convo #1 in Timeslot
Show Offers Great Listenership, Visibility, Bang for Buck  


VBSR's The Vermont Conversation on WDEV Radio Vermont continues to exceed our expectations! Now in its third year, this thought provoking, weekly one-hour show that focuses on sustainable business and current issues has become the most listened-to talk show on commercial radio in its time slot (Wednesdays at 1), according to Nielson ratings.    


Heard in about two-thirds of Vermont, and parts of NY and NH, The Vermont Conversation is high quality journalism on issues that matter. Our Host David Goodman has reeled in remarkable local, national, and international guests. The Vermont Conversation has featured fascinating interviews with sustainable business leaders including Patagonia CEO Casey Sheahan, Tom's of Maine founder Tom Chappell, Seventh Generation founder Jeffrey Hollender and CEO John Replogle, Ben & Jerry's CEO Jostein Solheim, Green Mountain Power CEO Mary Powell, Burton Snowboards CEO Donna Carpenter, John & Jen Kimmich of The Alchemist, Jan Blomstrom of Renewable NRG Systems, and many others. He has also had hour-long conversations with former Vermont governors Phil Hoff, Madeleine Kunin, and Howard Dean, as well as in-depth interviews with public figures such as Tom Hayden, Daniel Ellsberg, Bill McKibben, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jody Williams. 


As we gear up for the next season (beginning August 1st), we're actively seeking sponsors for the show! For only $2,500, The Vermont Conversation underwriters are

prominently announced on air as a program underwriter at the beginning, middle and end of the show. Additionally, sponsors are thanked with a logo and link on The Vermont Conversation podcast webpage and on a program-dedicated page on the VBSR website


Interested in this great opportunity? Contact Russ today for more information or to sign up today! (Quarterly payments available!!!) 


Member Events
Upcoming Member Events

May 29: The 4th Annual Water Quality Conference: Learning from Other Successes (VEC)

June 2: Southern Vermont VBSR Chapter Meeting: Resilient Design (Hosted by LineSync Architecture)

June 2:
Vermont Employee Ownership Conference

June 18: 21st Century Leadership For Sustainable Success (Conscious Leadership)

June 26: SEVCA "Chipping Away At Poverty" Benefit Golf Tournament (Southeastern Vermont Community Action)

July 18: Goshen Gallop: "The toughest 10K in New England" (Blueberry Hill Inn) 


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.

Wholeshare Partners with Vermont Foodbank to Provide Meals for Vermonters in Need of Help
Wholeshare, an online marketplace that grants consumers access to healthy, sustainable food at wholesale prices through collective purchasing, announced its partnership with fellow member The Vermont Food Bank. Wholeshare will be donating 150 meals to The Vermont Food Bank, as well as community network partners, for every new group that places an order by July 31, 2015. Click here to learn more. 

Green Mountain Power, based in Colchester, Vermont, announced Friday that it will be one of the first energy companies in the country to offer Tesla's new home battery, the Powerwall, to customers. Tesla, best known for its groundbreaking, fully electric cars, is taking its electric energy storage expertise to the next level with this energy storage solution for the home. Read more about this amazing innovation here. 


Experts to Speak at Data Security Workshops for Vermont Small Businesses

In June, the Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) is bringing in experts to present two free workshops for regional businesses on improving their data security. Click here to learn when you can hear from representatives from VBSR members NPI and PFC! 
SunCommon Celebrates Innovative Solar Partnership with Northeast Kingdom

Celebrating St. Johnsbury's commitment to innovation, SunCommon recently announced its arrival in the Northeast Kingdom by bringing clean, affordable and accessible solar energy options to local residents. Business leaders, local officials, SunCommon staff, and friends gathered at the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium, which enjoys a 24% share of a SunCommon Community Solar Array. Learn more here.  



Danforth Pewter Celebrates 40 Years 

Danforth Pewter is celebrating 40 years of designing and handcrafting functional art in Vermont, founded and led by two Vermont artists, Fred and Judi Danforth.


Danforth Pewter creates beautiful, functional pieces for modern life that are steeped in the tradition that goes back to the 1700s when Fred Danforth's ancestors were pewter smiths. Today, Danforth Pewter starts with a design idea, and each original model and all of its tooling are made in the Middlebury workshop. Then Danforth artisans carefully produce each piece with the utmost attention to detail, bringing the same passion for beauty and quality that have been Danforth hallmarks since 1975. Join them for a celebration of success on June 6!  

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