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

A special welcome this month to members that will be joining the Board in 2016: Margi Swett, Vermont Trophy and Engraving; Dr. Wesley Balda, Champlain College; and Frank Sadowski, Gallagher, Flynn and Company. Existing Board members that were elected for another term include Russ Bennett, Northland Design and Construction; Yola Carlough, B Lab; Jennifer Chiodo, Cx Associates; Mark Curran, Black River Produce and Chris Miller, Ben & Jerry's. We are so pleased to have such capable and engaged board members that will help to ensure a great year ahead for VBSR. We also wish a warm "thank you" to board members departing the Board at the end of the year: Pat Heffernan, Marketing Partners and Don Mayer, Small Dog Electronics. Thank you for your service to VBSR, you each shared your unique talents and time to help us meet our mission and it is very appreciated.

We'd also like to thank everyone who attended VBSR's Southern Vermont Summit. With more than 100 attendees, a thought-provoking keynote, and countless business cards exchanged, the event was huge success. You can read more below or click here to check out Hall's full presentation. (And while we're thanking folks, huge thank you to Third Generation Media & Design for filming!)

Please plan to join us next month for a Public Policy Breakfast in Burlington. We'll discuss issues facing socially responsible businesses and announce VBSR's 2016 agenda. Seats WILL sell out, so please check out the details and register today.

Finally, Change the Story is a new member focused on improving the economic status of women in Vermont, something near and dear to VBSR's mission and public policy history. While we have made significant progress over the past three decades, women continue to be a disproportionate share of those living in poverty. We can and must do better - for women, for their families, and for Vermont's economic vitality. But in order to change the story, we must be able to TELL the story. CTS is asking for businesses to complete an exceptionally brief survey related to women in leadership for their data project: If you can help, that would be wonderful.

Thanks for all you do for CSR in VT and beyond.

People. Planet. Profit... and Happy Thanksgiving.

Russ Elek
Communication and Membership Manager
VBSR Welcomes and Thanks our Newest Members! 
Individual Members:
Taylor St. Germain (Burlington)
Larissa Del Rosso Rayher (Saratoga Springs)
 *Also joined Local First Vermont! 
Local First Vermont Holds Small Business Saturday Press Event
Keep Your Dollars in Your Community 
On Monday, November 23rd, VBSR, in partnership with the Vermont Retail & Grocers Association, Burlington Business Association and the Vermont U.S. Small Business Administration held a press conference at Phoenix Books in Burlington to kick off a "Shop Vermont This Holiday Season!" campaign. Local First Vermont Manager, Wendy Wilson McArdle, worked with these organizations to plan the event in advance of Small Business Saturday, scheduled for this coming Saturday, November 28.

In addition to the organizers, in attendance for the festive kickoff were Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott and Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger. All parties stressed the importance of shopping locally as a way to support our communities. When you shop at a local business, about 68 cents of every dollar stays in the community, as compared to about 15 cents at big box stores and about 1 cent that remains in the community when purchasing through an online retailer.

"There's a lot we can debate about in Vermont," said McArdle, "but buying local is an issue that unites us."

Lieutenant Gov. Scott echoed the sentiment. "Buy Local. It's not just for hippies anymore."

Thanks to everyone who helped us spread this important message!

Click here to see some photos, and check out these great stories on WCAX-TV and Local 22 & Local 44.   
Public Policy Breakfast December 15
Limited Seating, Register Today 
VBSR members and friends are invited to join us in Burlington for VBSR's Public Policy Breakfast on December 15. Members will discuss the opportunities and challenges facing socially responsible businesses in Vermont and how the 2016 legislative session will impact issues such as climate change, economic development, education, and healthy workplace practices. We'll also unveil VBSR's 2016 Public Policy Agenda.
Thank you to our Site Sponsor, Main Street Landing, as well as our Keynote Sponsor, Cx Associates!
Additional support from, and thank yous to, Johnson Law Group, New Moon Cafe, Three Penny Taproom, and WrightJones
Southern Vermont Summit a Success
100+ Attend an Afternoon of Networking and Education 
VBSR's Southern Vermont Summit is in the books and what a success it was! Thank you to the more than 100 people who joined us in Brattleboro for an afternoon of networking and education. We were thrilled to have Amy Hall, Director of Social Consciousness for EILEEN FISHER, present to an engaged audience on the challenges, opportunities and prospect of sustainability in the clothing industry. Hall began her talk with a sobering reminder of the true cost of clothing, but ended by laying out real steps the company is taking to mitigate and lessen their impact. From buying organic to opening secondhand stores, to storing old clothing until technology makes it easier to repurpose, the company is actively seeking out ways to reach their Vision2020 goal and be better corporate citizens. Thank you National Life Group for serving as our Keynote Underwriter!!!

Following Hall's presentation, attendees learned more about VBSR's efforts over the past year with the presentation of the organization's annual meeting. Suffice it to say the organization's bottom-line is strong and VBSR has accomplished a LOT over the past year: lobbying for H.35, placing 60 interns in paid internships, holding and partnering on more than a dozen events around the state, and welcoming 136 new members to the cause... all while celebrating 25 years of changemaking!!!

Following these presentations, attendees enjoyed a wonderful networking get-together in the River Garden atrium. We met new friends, re-engaged with past partners, and exchanged plenty of business cards with eye towards the triple-bottom-line approach to business. We're proud to announce that thanks to services of The Green Up Girl, and the help from our dedicated members The Works Bakery Cafe, Strolling of the Heifers, Duo Restaurant and Recycle Away, this event generated less than a pound of trash! You can go green and The Greenup Girl can help!

Finally, thank you so much to each of the evenings underwriters. Thank you B Lab, Brattleboro Savings & Loan, Downs Rachlin Martin, Let's Grow Kids, Merritt & Merritt & Moulton, Vermont Community Loan Fund, Vermont Kitchen Supply, and Vermont Public Radio!

Click here to check out the photos.  
A Half-century of Reporting
Mike Donoghue Sits Down with David Goodman 
Mike Donoghue is a veteran reporter who's covered just about every story big and small in the state of Vermont - and lots of sports games in between. He has just retired after nearly a half century of reporting for the Burlington Free Press, and earlier this month he sat down with our host to reflect on the stories he's done that have changed policy, his thoughts on the state of journalism today, and some of the highlights of a storied career.

Click here to hear this story and other recent shows, including:  

November 5: The Next Frontier of Backcounty Skiing
November 5: What's Keeping Vermonter's Out of College
October 28: Women & Families in the Workplace in Vermont
October 23: The Unsung Holocaust Heroine who Saved Thousands
October 23: Bill McKibben: How Exxon Covered up Climate Change 

Thank you to our sponsors!

Carbon Tax Generates a Buzz
VBSR a Member of Energy Independent Vermont 
VT Statehouse Did you see Spencer Putnam's op-ed on VtDigger earlier this month?

Putnam, a past VBSR executive director and current VBSR member, made a powerful case for a carbon pollution tax as a tool to grow a stronger and more sustainable economy, keep Vermonters warm in the winter, and address the growing problem of climate change.
"When I hear that Vermont spends $2 billion annually on fossil fuels to meet its energy needs, I see a business opportunity," Putnam writes. "Currently 80 percent of our energy dollars are sent out of the state. Keeping those dollars in our state will strengthen our economy and create jobs right here in Vermont."
VBSR is proud to be a member of Energy Independent Vermont, a coalition of businesses, environmental groups, and low-income advocates, who support a carefully structured tax on carbon in the state. But this plan also calls for tax reform and nearly all the funds raised by placing a fair price on carbon will go lower the taxes that businesses and Vermonters pay. The remaining money will be used to invest in energy-efficiency and clean energy measures and helping Vermonters get off of fossil fuels.
You can read more about the carbon pollution plan here:

If your business is interested in joining the campaign in support of a carbon pollution tax, contact VBSR Public Policy Manager Daniel Barlow at  
Marketplace Helps Bolster VBSR's Bottom Line
Organization One of Many Users 
If you attended VBSR's Annual Meeting earlier this month, than you heard that the VBSR Marketplace has seen its most activity ever over the past year.

Part of that is marketing and transparency... VBSR Marketplace Manager Amy Kirschner has worked tirelessly to make it easier and easier for people to understand what the Marketplace IS and what it offers. (Hint: It's an online system that allows you to use excess products and services to fulfill your business goals.) She has also been sending twice weekly updates on Marketplace offers and requests, has bolstered the program's social media status, and even recently began tabling and "live-brokering" deals at VBSR events.

VBSR has been grateful for the ability to save money and be better able to serve our members. We've offered several sponsorships and many seats to ticketed events through the Marketplace over the past year, and we've been able to use our credits to offset our expenses. Most recently, we were able to use Trade Credits to help put on the Southern Vermont Summit; with Amy's help, we were able to purchase catering from The Works Bakery and speaker gifts from Sweet Basil Cards and Lunaroma.

Ready to learn more about how the VBSR Marketplace can bolster your bottom line? Click here
New Member-to-Member Offers!
70+ Member Businesses Want to Work with Fellow Members 
Did you know VBSR has a list with more than 70 member-to-member offers???

Here is the newest offer that has come across the wires.

30% off to members off anything at our store (
Contact: Jeremy Lesniak Web:
Please contact Jeremy directly by email for a code.

BONUS! Staff Pick 
LineSync Architecture
50% off initial consultation for architecture projects and/or planning. If this results in our continued working together, LineSync Architecture will also donate $100 to VBSR in your name.
Contact:  Julie Lineberger Web: 
Upcoming VBSR Events
Join us at an event near you - Click the links to learn more

December 9: Southern Vermont Chapter Meeting (Brattleboro)

December 15: VBSR's 2015 Legislative Breakfast (Burlington)
Member Events
Upcoming Member Events

December 10: Crucial Connections: Listening, Learning & Leadership (Vermont Technical College)

December 11: Building Trust & Building Teams (Vermont Technical College)

December 12: Embodying Leadership (The Presence Point)

January 12: Professional Leadership Certificate (Vermont Technical College)

January 14: More Than Words: Presenting Yourself Interpreting Others (Vermont Technical College)

January 19: Women in Management (Vermont Technical College)

February 11: Leveraging Technology: Your Vision, Your Voice (Vermont Technical College)
February 16: UVM's Business of Craft Beer Professional Certificate (UVM)

ALSO, check out this series of state-sponsored public hearings designed to engage the public in a conversation about public transportation and highway safety. Topics include bus service, the future or passenger rail, the proliferation of car sharing, bicycle and pedestrian safety, and how the legalization of marijuana could affect highway safety. Click here to find an event near you.
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.

    Urban Moonshine Announces "RAILYARD", Launches Kickstarter
    Urban Moonshine is excited to announce a new project called RAILYARD. It will be an herbal apothecary, classroom, and community herbal clinic located in Burlington--and it will be attached to Urban Moonshine's new headquarters.

    The inspiration behind RAILYARD is to make herbal medicine more accessible to our local community through our clinic, educational offerings, and bulk herb shop. It will also be a national platform for herbalists organizing and responding to recent major changes in the herbal industry. They just launched a Kickstarter campaign and are looking for supporters, as well as help in spreading the word about the project. Learn more here, or check out the Kickstarter here 

    Third Generation Media and Design Opens Second Location
    Steve Giroux, Owner & Creative Director for Third Generation Media & Design, LLC has announced the opening a second studio location at 22 Church Street, Burlington VT. Based in Windsor, Vermont, the business produces video content for website and social media applications, corporate events, live streaming, and broadcast. Click here to learn more.

    Vermont College-Going Trends have Both Bright Spots and Concerns
    Vermont has one of the highest high school graduation rates in the nation, but it lags both regionally and nationally in the percentage of students who enroll in a postsecondary institution. While nationally 66 percent of recent high school graduates enroll immediately, only 60 percent do in Vermont. 
    Yet, when it comes to "persistence," or the number of students who return for a second year, Vermonters far outshine their national counterparts: 86 percent of Vermont students continued to a second year as compared to only 69 percent nationally. And, of these students, 75 percent of Vermonters returned to the same school as compared to 58 percent nationally. Eleven percent of Vermont students transferred to a different school, about the same as the national average.

     "Until recently, most research and attention was devoted to enrollment rates, but increasingly the focus has turned to how many students actually continue and graduate - an obvious issue with higher education costs, student debt, aging demographics and a struggling economy over the past eight years," said Scott Giles, president and CEO of VSAC. Read more here.

    City Market Declares Patronage Refund
    City Market, a Member-owned cooperative, has declared their annual Patronage Refund to Members, one of the tangible benefits of Co-op Membership. Member purchases totaled almost 68% of Co-op sales in fiscal year 2015, and the City Market Board of Directors has voted to return over $926,000 in cash to Members as this
    year's Patronage Refund. On November 6, the Co-op mailed checks to 11,280 Members, with an average check of $82. Almost four cents of every dollar eligible Members spent is being refunded. Learn more here.

    Skinny Pancake Announces First Location Outside of Vermont
    The Skinny Pancake will be opening a new 4,000 sq ft location in the heart of downtown Hanover, NH in the Spring of 2016. With a mission of building a healthier, safer and more delicious foodshed while creating everyday enjoyment that is fun and affordable, the Skinny Pancake will return hundreds of thousands of dollars back into the Upper Valley economy in the form of purchases from local farms and food producers. Read more about the new location here.

    Soil Regeneration & Clean Water Touted as Foundation for Healthy Food at VT Farm to Plate Gathering
    "Farm in nature's image" was the takeaway message shared by Ray Archuleta, Conservation Agronomist at the USDA Natural Resources and Conservation Service (NRCS) and keynote speaker at the fifth annual Farm to Plate Annual Gathering. Held annually at the end of October, the Gathering is the one time each year when the entire Farm to Plate Network comes together to reflect on what has been accomplished and plan for the challenges that lie ahead implementing Vermont's food system plan. Read more about the gathering here.
    Member Working with Members - People's United Teams up with Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity
    In recognition of World Habitat Day on October 5, People's United Bank partnered with Habitat for Humanity chapters across its footprint in Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine throughout the month of October.
    The United Nations designated the first Monday of October as World Habitat Day in 1985 to raise awareness of the ongoing need for affordable housing and to inspire others to reflect on the basic right of all people to have adequate shelter. It is also intended to remind the world that we all have the power and the responsibility to shape the future of our cities and towns. Learn more here.

    CCS Receives Grant from the Vermont Community Foundation to Construct Intentional Garden
    Champlain Community Services (CCS) recently received a $1,500 grant from the Vermont Community Foundation's Small and Inspiring grant program. The grant will help further CCS' mission of serving individuals with disabilities, their families, and the community by establishing an intentional garden on its property at Ft. Ethan Allen in Colchester to be shared with neighbors at the Fort and beyond. Read more here. 
    Thank you VBSR Champion Members for your ongoing support!


       Ben and Jerry'sGardener's Supply
    as of 12/17/12
    Marketing Partners New Chapter newRenewable NRG 8/2013

    S      VSECU
    At VBSR,
    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