November 2016
Vermont Businesses for  
Social Responsibility
Just Good Business.
Dear VBSR Members and Friends, 

In any organization, the leadership is key. 

We are pleased to welcome members who will be joining the board in 2017: Rachel Carter of the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, and Claudia Marshall of Gardener's Supply Co

Board members who were re-elected for another term are: David Blittersdorf, AllEarth Renewables, Inc.; David Epstein, Truex Cullins Architecture and Interior Design; Bret Hodgdon, Davis & Hodgdon Associates, Inc.; Sara Newmark, New Chapter; Markey Read, Career Networks, Inc. 

We are fortunate to have capable and engaged board members who will lead VBSR into the next years ahead. We also send a warm "thank you" to board members leaving the board at the end of this year: Avram Patt of Down Patt Consulting and Mike Burak of Burak Anderson & Melloni

On behalf of all our members, we thank you for your service to VBSR. We are grateful for the unique talents and time you gave to help VBSR thrive! Thanks, too, to all who voted in the recent election! 

Sincerely ,
Jane Campbell
Executive Director
P.S. Our Legislative Breakfast on December 15th will also serve as VBSR's 2016 Annual Meeting. Registration is open and we hope to see you there! (And if you're interested in sponsoring, please contact Dan today!)
VBSR Welcomes and Thanks our Newest Members!  
Individual Members:
Whitney Feininger (Burlington)
Charlotte Goodrich (Norwich)
Wanda Otero-Weaver, Esq. (Middlebury)
Emily Taylor (South Burlington)
David Weaver (Lincoln)
  *Also joined Local First Vermont! 
Upcoming VBSR Events
We hope to see you soon!

December 15: VBSR's 2016 Legislative Breakfast and Annual Meeting (Burlington) - Sponsorships Available!
January 19: VBSR Networking Get-Together Hosted by Champlain Community Services (Colchester) Sponsorships Available!

February 8: VBSR's 2017 Legislative Reception (Montpelier)

May 17: VBSR's 27th Annual Spring Conference (Burlington) - Save the Date!

Log-on to VBSR's website to post an event. Forgot your password? Send us an email! 
This Edition of E-news Sponsored By:
Let's Grow Kids    

Let's Grow Kids is a proud sponsor of VBSR's Networking Get-Together in Saint Johnsbury. Stop by the event to hear what we're up to across the state, or click here to learn more. 
Last Chance to Register for November Get-Together
DRM and MVZ Holdings Co-Host November 30th, Kingdom Taproom in St. Johnsbury

VBSR members and friends are invited to join us for an evening of networking and education at the Kingdom Taproom in St. Johnsbury!

Join us as we "Get-Together" to talk about CSR, sustainability, and what happens when a community comes together to invest in the local economy.

This event is open to the public and free for anyone interested in the triple-bottom-line approach to business. Hors d'oeuvres and drinks provided by our generous hosts, bring your business cards... and your friends!  
Special thanks to our amazing sponsors! JoyRyde, Let's Grow Kids, Milk Money, OneDigital Health and Benefits, Progressive Asset Management of Vermont, The Foundry, Vermont Employee Ownership Center, Vermont Rural Ventures/Housing Vermont, and VSAC! 
House Chair to Receive Legislator of the Year Award
VBSR to Honor Rep. Helen Head on December 15    

VBSR will honor the chair of a Vermont House committee at the organization's annual Legislative Breakfast on December 15 for her work this year in passing key employment bills.

Rep. Helen Head, (D)-South Burlington, the chair of the House General, Housing, and Military Affairs Committee, will be honored for her role in passing Earned Paid Leave and Ban the Box legislation in 2016, two VBSR legislative priorities.

"These two bills will have a significant, positive impact on the Vermont economy," said Sara Newmark, senior director at
New Chapter in Brattleboro and chair of the VBSR Board of Directors. "Rep. Head has been a leader on these issues and worked closely with VBSR to craft legislation that benefits employers and employees."

As the chair of the House committee of jurisdiction for those two bills, Rep. Head worked closely with the business community and other key constituencies to craft legislation that was fair, balanced, and effective. She led the charge on the House floor to pass both bills.

Read more about Rep. Head's efforts and don't forget to join us on December 15th!
This event is sponsored by Main Street Landing, with Presenting Sponsor Cx Associates. Supporting Sponsors include Three Penny Taproom and WrightJones PLC.
Vermont Conversation Seeking Sponsors 
VBSR's The Vermont Conversation Airs Wednesdays at 1 PM 
VBSR is seeking three sponsors for The Vermont Conversation, our weekly radio program on WDEV. Each Wednesday our host David Goodman explores issues near and dear to our state. Started in January 2013, 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. It is heard in about two-thirds of Vermont, and parts of NY and NH. VBSR is pleased to be part of this remarkable success and we'd love for YOU to be involved too.

We're seeking three new underwriters to help us share the cost of this show. Each underwriting spot is $1,500 and runs from January to August (payment plans and Marketplace credits accepted). In return for your support, your organization will be prominently announced as a program underwriter at the beginning, middle and end of the show on the air. Your logo also appears on the podcast page, on (where we also have a webpage dedicated to the show), and in several editions of VBSR's enews (like this one!) throughout the year.

Want to learn more? Contact Russ today or check out one of our recent shows, including:

Chuck Collins: How the Oscar Mayer heir gave away his fortune to fight for economic justice
Listen to all of our shows here, and be sure to check back soon for the ability to download as a podcast.

We are grateful to our show underwriters for helping us continue this great community resource!  

Rep. Welch Joins VBSR to Encourage Vermont to Buy Local
Business Leaders Tout Benefits of Supporting VT Businesses    

Tuesday, November 22, VBSR teamed up with Congressman Peter Welch, Montpelier Mayor John Hollar, Montpelier Alive and other business leaders to emphasize the importance of shopping locally.

In his remarks given at The Shoe Horn in downtown Montpelier, Welch said "We're lucky to live in Vermont where small businesses all over the state sell original and extraordinary products. And, the owners of these small businesses are our neighbors, our kids' soccer coaches, and our friends - and most importantly they reinvest their profits right back into our communities. It's important to support these Vermont businesses with by shopping locally, especially during the busy holiday season." After the press conference, Rep. Welch was true to his word and did some of his own holiday shopping - locally, of course. ( He also participated in a #mannequinchallenge with us!)

"Each dollar you spend shopping online only returns about one cent to the local economy," said Jane Campbell, executive director of VBSR. "However, each dollar you spend at a locally-owned store puts 45 cents in the local economy, which then gets multiplied each time that money is spent locally."

Wendy Wilson, VBSR's Local First Vermont manager, talked about the new Buy Local Book App and ended the event by asking Vermonters to think "Local First" when they are shopping, noting that "every time you spend a dollar, you can choose to make a difference in your local community."

Read the full story here
Making it Work in Windham Offers Workplace Ideas/Resources
80 Attend Summit Focused on Early Childhood & Vermont Workforce
Check out Brattleboro Community TV's coverage of the recent "Making it Work in Windham" event which brought together about 80 business leaders, policy makers and community members to focus on how to support a family-centered economy so families with young children can afford to live and work in Vermont.  

VBSR was proud to co-present the event on November 15th, which included a great panel discussion moderated by Senator Rebecca Balint with business leaders from Chroma Technology, New Ground Creative, Whetstone Station Restaurant and Brewery and Mount Snow. Steve Voight of ReThink Health: UCRV (former CEO of King Arthur Flour and former VBSR Board Member) gave a keynote address and Brandie Starr of Brattleboro Savings & Loan spoke about her experience with child care challenges as a parent and as an employee.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the event! If you missed it or are looking for resources, check out these key take aways:

Local First Offers Bulk Rates for Corporate Gifts
The One-Size-Fits-All Gift That Keeps Giving!
Looking for the perfect holiday gift for everyone in your office? The Buy Local Book is it! Each book includes 230+ coupons worth more than $3,000 and supports VBSR, our members, and other locally owned businesses across Vermont. The coupons are good for a full year at restaurants, book stores, co-ops, retailers and more.

Bulk rates start as low as $10 per book for VBSR members interested in giving the book as a holiday gift. For questions on the bulk rates or to place an order,  contact Local First Manager Wendy Wilson today.

And don't forget... VBSR recently launched a Mobile App version of the book! Never lose your coupons again... download the app today!  
Top 10 Ways Members Use the VBSR Marketplace
Let the Countdown Begin!
"What can I buy with VBSR Trade Dollars?" is the most frequent question we get. Here are some recent purchases made by VBSR and your fellow members:

1) Printing Services- (VBSR recently bought services from Copy Word)  
2) Restaurant Gift Certificates - (VBSR recently bought from Magnolia)  
3) Event Photography - (VBSR bought services from Mike Reilly Photography)  
4) Advertising -  (VBSR bought advertising from Big Heavy World)  
5) Event Catering - (VBSR bought services from The Skinny Pancake)  
6) Meeting Space Rental 
7) Museum Passes as a Gift 
8) Social Media Headshots 
9) Workshop Attendance - (VBSR recently bought from CommonGood Vermont)
10) Event Sponsorship 
11) (Just for good measure!) Hats & Shirts embroidered with company logos. Sound familiar?

If these look like familiar expenses to you - would you consider relocalizing your expenditures and working with a VBSR member? We'll even bring you new customers to pay for it. Contact Amy to get started or visit our website.

(If you already use the Marketplace: it's not too late for Holiday Gift Giving. We have gift certificates to VBSR members in stock or can connect you to a new vendor!)
New Member-to-Member Offers
VBSR Members Working Together!
Did you know that more than 70 VBSR members offer discounts specifically for other members? Each offer is listed on our website, and the newest ones are listed below. Work with a VBSR member today!

JoyRyde, LLC:  
25% discount on our Wellness Platform. Contact Terry Goguen or visit
Natural Mattress Company: 
10% off. Contact: Mike Hassenberg or visit  

Clearbold, LLC: 
10% off. Contact: Mark Reeves or visit 
This Edition of E-news Sponsored By:
University of Vermont Continuing and Distance Education     

Change the Story Logo A "New" Economic Development Tool

One economic development tool is right here in our own backyard: women-owned businesses.
  • If the percent of women-owned businesses that are employers matched that of male-owned businesses, and those firms had the same average receipts, it would add $3.8 billion to Vermont's economy.
  • If Vermont women chose business ownership at the same rate as men, it would result in more than 10,500 new businesses.
Just think what we could achieve if we supported the formation of more women-owned businesses! 

Interested in reading more?  Read Change the Story's newest report, Womens Business Ownership and the Vermont Economy.
Member Events
Upcoming Member Events

January 1: FirstRun 5K Run/Walk (RunVermont)

January 19: Appreciative Project Management ( The David L Cooperrider Center for Appreciative Inquiry and Desai Management Consulting)

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.
    VSECU Unveils Solar Array and Introduces Plan to Offset Electric Usage

    On Tuesday, October 25, 2016, we flipped the switch on an innovative project to invest in clean, renewable energy that offsets the credit union's electricity consumption with solar net metering credits. This, our latest renewable energy project, includes a new 500kW solar array located in Guilford that is designed to generate enough power to offset our organization's electricity consumption.

    The project is the result of an innovative partnership we entered into with Soveren Solar, a solar installation and development company. Through our agreement with Soveren Solar, we are purchasing the solar net metering credits produced by the array to offset our power bill. In addition, we are purchasing and retiring the renewable energy credits (RECs) here in Vermont, which means that the electricity we use at VSECU will truly be 100% renewable.* Learn More. 

    Local Solar Movement Spurs Company Expansion and Innovation
    SunCommon builds executive team ahead of product launch

    SunCommon, Vermont's largest solar company, has expanded by hiring new staff, including an executive leadership team. Tom Berry joins SunCommon as the new VP of Marketing and Sales and Jim Merriam as VP of Operations. The duo, with strong backgrounds in high-growth industries, is leading the energy company through the launch of several innovative products and programs to help thousands more Vermonters go solar.

    "I want to ride the wave. Businesses that are at the forefront of a particular service or product present great opportunity for higher impact. SunCommon is focused on solving tomorrow's energy issues and that mission fosters innovation," said Jim Merriam, formerly of the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC). Learn More.

    Renewable Energy Vermont Recognize Legislative, Citizen, and Industry Champions at REV2016
    More than 460 Attend Clean Energy Conference

    More than 460 business, community, environmental, and government leaders gathered over 2-days at the 16th Annual Renewable Energy Vermont Conference & Expo held October 13 & 14 in S. Burlington.  Recognizing legislative, citizen, and industry champions and innovators for their outstanding contributions toward securing our sustainable energy future, Renewable Energy Vermont (REV) presented the following 2016 Renewable Energy Awards.

    "In today's climate, it's even more important to recognize our fellow Vermonters who quietly work every day to deliver renewable energy and efficiency value in their communities.  These awards show the breadth and scope of who makes energy work here in Vermont - from local companies, towns, large and small utilities, to legislators.  Truly, our clean energy transformation needs and takes all of us collaborating together", said Jeff Forward, Chair of the Renewable Energy Vermont board. Learn More.

    New initiative launches to create jobs, expand Vermont forest products industry
    Christine McGowan named director of Forest Products Value Chain Investment Program at the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund

    The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund has launched a new initiative to assist the forest products industry in creating and retaining quality jobs and opening additional markets for locally produced wood products. A collaboration between the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, the Northern Forest Center, and the Vermont Working Lands Enterprise Board, the new Forest Products Value Chain Investment Program will include business assistance to wood products manufacturers, market research and development, the creation of an industry-wide network, and a comprehensive communications strategy designed to raise the profile of the industry in Vermont and the region. Learn More.
    This Edition of E-news Sponsored By:
    The VBSR Marketplace 
    Thank you VBSR Champion Members for your ongoing support!


        Ben and Jerry's Gardener's Supply
    as of 12/17/12
      New Chapter new Renewable NRG 8/2013 S

    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