March 2017

Chamber Newsletter

Info and happenings in our Chamber and Town!

Brandon Artist Guild Presents- Dick Kirby: Metal Madness
A one-man show of artist-designed steel works!

Wrought iron and steel accents add a special element of warmth to the Brandon Artists Guild. Lamps, weathervanes, candleholders, and coat racks are just a few of Dick's work that will be shown.
  Dick combines his talent of drawing with metal in creating his gallery work. Dick 's custom work can represent any kind of imagery, such as automobiles, sailboats, and animals. He is also willing to try and help with metal repairs, large and small.
  The community of Brandon and the Brandon Artists Guild is fortunate to have Dick Kirby as a member. He is quick to see what needs to be done and does it, such as coming in daily to give breaks to the gallery attendants and keeping the sidewalks snow free. His cheery personality is always welcome. He is one of the original members of the gallery.
  As a young man, Dick served his country and learned the basic skills of welding. After surviving Korea, he continued his military career and honed his welding skills working on the Redstone Rockets in Alabama. Some of the work involved climbing very high to construct rocket launch gantries which were inspected thoroughly and had to be perfect.
  After serving in the military, Dick accepted a job as a lineman for Central Vermont Public Service, which he did for 37 years. He raised his 4 children in Brandon. He was active in Little League and served on the Pico Mtn. Ski Patrol.
Debbie Kirby, Dick's wife, is known locally for her fiber art business. Together they raised and bred miniature Angora Goats. Dick and Debbie can be seen regularly at the summer Brandon Farmers Market, each selling their own work together.
The opening reception of Metal Madness will be on Friday March 3,
5-7pm, and will be on exhibit through April 30th.
The Brandon Artists Guild is at 7 Center St. Brandon, VT.
Winter hours are, 10am-5pm, Tues-Sun

Americana band Cradle Switch in Brandon March 4
Brandon Music on March 4 at 7:30

Cradle Switch is a five-piece acoustic Americana group, based in Cambridge, New York. Tunes include originals and a range of songs drawing from bluegrass, country, folk and a little blues. With ballads as well as up-tempo rhythms, the group's lyrics can be on the darker side (along the lines of Buddie & Julie Miller or Judith Edelman), but some sweet love songs are in there too. They also cover contemporary songs by writers like Lindi Ortega, Steel Drivers and HoneyHoney as well as classic tunes like 'I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry' and 'Long Journey Home'.
Cradle Switch performs new songs to be released on the group's first album, plus fan-favorites, at Brandon Music on March 4 at 7:30.
This event is a part of Vermont Arts 2017, celebrating arts in Vermont.
Concert tickets are $20.  A pre-concert dinner is available for $25.  Reservations are required for dinner and recommended for the show. Venue is BYOB. Call (802) 247-4295 or e-mail for reservations or for more information. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Rd. Brandon, VT 05733

Explore the Woodland Landscape
Sensing and recognizing the forest community in a relationship with nature
Join Alcott Smith
"Naturalist of the highest caliber"
A Nature Hike - March 5th - Sunday - 9 to 1
Dress warmly - Carry water and lunch/snack
Space is limited - $5 fee
Register - 802 623-7373, email: - Facebook: Miller Hill Farm
Hosted by: Miller Hill Farm, Nursery and Gardens - Nature Series
Meet at 2127 RT 73 East, Sudbury, VT 05733

The Board of the Brandon Free Public Library would love it if you could take a moment and fill out the attached questionaire. You can print the PDF and drop it in the mail to:

4 Franklin St
Brandon, VT 05733 

Or even easier, click on this link to do it online!!


World-class mountain dulcimer star to perform in Brandon
Dan Evans will be performing at Brandon Music on Thursday, March 9 at 7:30pm.

World renowned British dulcimer player, guitarist and composer Dan Evans will be performing at Brandon Music on Thursday, March 9 at 7:30pm.
Over three decades Dan Evans has built a niche career as a world-class exponent on both the mountain (Appalachian) dulcimer and acoustic guitar. In concert he presents a repertoire of traditional folk songs and airs from the British Isles, imaginative and atmospheric original compositions and the occasional timeless classic. Acoustic Magazine affirms that "Dan works through an astonishing variety of tunes and soundscapes ... gifted with seemingly limitless imagination. It's all incredibly pure and all incredibly beautiful."
Evans' compositions are all arranged in his unique, thoughtful style and presented with considerable classical skill and a spoonful of English humor. With five CD albums released to international critical acclaim and fifteen international tours to date, Evans has won the hearts of audiences on both sides of the Atlantic. Within Appalachia, where the mountain dulcimer originates, Jerry Rockwell and the Dulcimer Player's News says Evans produces "some of the most expressive dynamics I've ever heard on a mountain dulcimer--ever!"
This event is a part of Vermont Arts 2017, celebrating arts in Vermont.
Concert tickets are $20.  A pre-concert dinner is available for $25.  Reservations are required for dinner and recommended for the show.Venue is BYOB. Call (802) 247-4295 or e-mail for reservations or for more information. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Rd. Brandon, VT 05733

Brandon Library gala

At the Brandon Inn in downtown Brandon!

Friday, March 17 from 7-10 pm ̶ $10 admission

The bookclubs of Brandon are at it again!!  We are starting a fundraiser to help the library raise funds and show public participation (for grant applications) for an elevator.  This will allow the library to expand into all it's usable space, give the children's area more space and provide access to all floors for all patrons.

Annual Dinner and Presidents Award!!
Great evening, great folks and delicious food with over 90 people attending.

A portion of 2017 President Catherine Wall's speech looking at our year to come.
"This has been a wonderful evening reflecting on what we all have accomplished over the past year and set into motion for the upcoming year
All these many events and activities will continue in 2017, maybe in a little different setting or scope due to the process of the segment 6 project, but as we've seen with the mixers and the concerts, that's not always a bad thing! Expanding, changing, improving or partnering with other groups can bring new energy to all these happenings, and new focus to those of us who've supported and worked on many of the events over these many years.
We as a chamber can be proud of our participation in all that is going on in Brandon. We crossover into many areas that I'm sure are not normal chamber of commerce venues, but I think that is what makes us unique. We go where the work and help is needed, often regardless of self interest, and that is what makes us special. These next couple years will be a challenge, but not a challenge that we can't overcome. If you've ever said, "I want to be more involved with my community"- NOW is the time to jump in and help wherever help is needed. Give your name to Bernie or Dave and tell them you're available. Attend the meetings and Barn Raisings, stay informed, be a cheerleader for Brandon. We need to keep a positive outlook, so spread the word that we embrace this project with a clear focus on the end product- the most beautiful little town in Vermont. We also need to support each other by continuing to buy local and use the services of our fellow Brandon businesses and professionals. This mantra will be severely tested and it's up to us to go the extra mile to keep the downtown vibrant and active during construction, so those outside of Brandon see the value and joy that we all do in our great little town! We're uniquely situated to tackle this project at this exact moment in time. It seems the stars have aligned and brought together the people we need to make it happen in the least intrusive and most efficient way possible. With the town of Brandon, our state representatives, the businesses and all of the supportive community in place......we can do this- Yes we can !"
Outgoing Chamber President Wendy Bizzarro also presented the 2017 President's Award to the Management and Staff of the Town of Brandon!!
"Every year the President gets the honor of choosing a business or an individual to receive the Chamber of Commerce President's Award. As we've all seen the last few years, the management of the town, the select board, town manager, public works director, town clerk & treasurer, economic development officer, police, sewer dept, zoning, road crew and all the hard working staff in every department have brought about a turn around that none of us could have expected 3 or 4 years ago. With Segment 6 looming, along with a laundry list of unfinished projects across the board, this group got to work and started completing and planning to get the jobs done. We're in a much better place and in a much better position to process through the Segment 6 project smoothly and successfully as we all deal with a responsive and involved group of town employees. We all work with these folks throughout the year in some capacity. All their jobs are important and the town literally couldn't run without them."
AND the meal was fantastic!  Thank you to Doug + Shelley and the Lilac Inn staff                          for a wonderful evening! 
Outgoing directors Wendy Bizzarro, Liz Gregorek, Russ McColman and Nancy Leary were also recognized for their six years of service to your Chamber!!
New directors for the Chamber were also introduced at the dinner. Liz Alvarado-NFP Insurance, Jon Asley- DuBois & King, Jeff Guevin- Pratt Vreeland Kennelly Martin & White and Brian Coolidge- Coolidge Painting. Welcome aboard and thanks for being willing to serve.
Officers for 2017 are-
President-Catherine Wall- National Bank of Middlebury
Vice President-Del Cook- Individual member
Secretary-Jeff Guevin- Pratt Vreeland Kennelly Martin & White
Treasurer-Seth Hopkins- Inn To Inn
This organization continues to thrive and do good works thanks to all our supportive and dedicated Chamber members- thank you so very much!

Lake Dunmore-Fern Lake Milfoil Control Project
  Lord Dunmore is back on his soap box.

He is trying to inform everyone about our Milfoil Control Project.  Reward his efforts with your entries to the Dunmore Dip.  
       This winter's temperatures may go up and down but the need to control milfoil in our lakes only goes up.  Each guess  is $1.00 each.  Go to  and print  the entry form (under Events) and send multiple guesses to:
                                                  Dunmore Dip
                                                    PO Box 14
                                            Salisbury, VT 05769
               Pass this message to friends and family.  Winner gets 50% and LDFLA Milfoil Control Project gets 50% of proceeds.    
               The more entries the bigger the reward.
         Lord Dunmore may be on the move soon.  Look for him in another local location.  (He prefers local eateries in Brandon and Middlebury.)
  Entries must be postmarked no later than March 15, 2017,  or before the ice goes out.

          Creative Fiber Designs announces 2017
          VERMONT SHOP HOP- Details below!!


Friday Night is Back at Neshobe Golf Club
Food, Folks & Fun! 
All are welcome!!

We want to let everyone know that Friday Night is Back at Neshobe Golf Club. Every Friday until further notice. We'll be fixing up a scrumptious dinner menu along with lighter fare that will vary from week to week. Grab your friends and neighbors and come in out of the cold for good times at the Nesh!

C'mon down!                              
 Rodney Bicknell
PGA Professional and 
Neshobe General Manager  

Compass Treasure Chest
Open every day!!

We're delighted to announce the Compass Treasure Chest! Run by a group of local residents, the store is a unique co-op consignment shop. They sell and consign collectables, antiques, dishes, tools, furniture, jewelry, stamps, puzzles, books, toys, art items and much more! They will always be looking for more items and of course, always receiving new items, so stop in frequently to see what is new.

For more information or to inquire about consigning with them, contact Annie at 802-558-2663 or email and follow them on Facebook.

Celebrate the good life with Brandon's own award-winning beer and wine.
Brandon's home grown beers and wines!

Foley Brothers Brewing and Neshobe River Winery's tasting barn is open Wednesday through Saturday 11 to 5. Tasting flights, growler fills, bottles, and a country setting await you. Bring your friends or make some new ones here!

Others drive hundreds of miles to enjoy the beer that's right in your back yard! Come visit us today.
And don't forget, you can rent our tasting barn for private parties and special events.
 Follow us on Facebook and don't miss our latest release.
 Now open Sundays 11-4:00 !!
  Foley Brothers Brewing
Neshobe River Winery
Inn At Neshobe River
79 Stone Mill Dam Rd.   247-8002

Do you need more
space to create your art? Do you need a reasonably priced office to start your small business?
Consider The GRANARY at 29 Union Street in Brandon, Vermont!

This beautifully renovated, historic building contains 14  artist  studios. The spacious studios have lots of natural light, great lighting, handicapped ramp, and parking. The creative community includes milliners, jeweler, graphic designer, painters, sculptors, photographer, medium and briar tobacco pipe maker . The GRANARY is located in the village of Brandon, walking distance to shops, restaurants and galleries. 

Available studios include:
Extra-Large Downstairs Studio
Upstairs Corner Studio with two rooms 
Upstairs Corner Studio with northern exposure

Rents range from $325 - $600 per month ( all utilities included, except A/C).

Please forward to anyone who may be looking for space in Brandon. I look forward to discussing the available options and showing you the spaces. 
Please contact me at or 247-3214 or 683-8209.

Mae's Place Restaurant
Simply Ahh-MAE-zing!!

Win a Party Platter for your Business!!
We are currently running a promotion for local businesses that may interest you. If you order two or more breakfasts/lunches from us Monday-Friday, your name will be entered into a drawing to win a party platter for up to 10 people at your office! Each time you order, the business name is entered and there is no maximum on entries!
Please note that our hours have changed:
Monday- Wednesday 7am-2pm (serving breakfast all day and lunch beginning at 11am)
Thurs-Sun 7am-8pm (serving breakfast until 2pm and lunch and dinner beginning 11am-8pm)
               (The bar will stay open later on these nights and will offer appetizers all night)
     Friday & Saturday- Unbeatable prime rib dinner- $19.99
"LIKE" us on Facebook to stay up to date with our exciting information, specials and new goings-on!!
We are committed to "staying local", so if there's anything we can do to work together with your business to promote a vibrant downtown Brandon, please let us know.
Also keep us in mind for hosting your events and/or meetings and catering those events as well.
I am available most days at the restaurant and anytime by text or email, or meeting by appointment!
Thank you for your continued patronage!
Erynn (and Andrew) Doaner
802-779-4278 cell     802-465-8013 restaurant                           click here for our menu

43 Center Street- Highly visible on route 7, prime downtown Brandon retail space. 1,500 sq. ft. restored historical storefront with maple floors, high tin ceiling and windows over the Neshobe River. A couple of storage spaces and plenty of parking. Located next to Gourmet Provence Bakery.
Available immediately. Call Jim Leary @ 802-247-9595 or Nancy Leary @ 802-558-1444.

Is beneficiary money being held for you?
At a recent chamber meeting, Dan Boyce, Insurance agent with Bankers Life, chamber member, and long time resident of Brandon, shared the following:

Industry wide there is over $7 Billion in life insurance or annuity beneficiary checks waiting for the beneficiary to claim the money left for them.
To find out if a deceased person (mom, dad, wife, husband, an ex-wife or husband, or a long lost relative, etc...) made you a beneficiary on a life insurance policy or an annuity, go to this web site created by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC):
To read the press release announcing the policy locator service, go to this link:
Here are some suggestion about how to avoid this problem for the beneficiaries of life and annuity policies that you own:
1) Call your insurance agent (soon) and ask to review the beneficiaries on your policy or policies. Be prepared to provide current and complete contact information for each of the people you wish to have identified as beneficiaries (name, physical address, mailing address, email addresses, phone numbers). Follow the instructions to update the contact information.
2) Make sure you are sent a written statement identifying your updated beneficiaries.
3) Make it a habit to conduct an annual review with your agent to ensure the coverage you own remains relevant to your goals; talk about how changes in your life make changes in your coverage a good idea, necessary, or provide you with a financial opportunity. At this review, make sure the contact information for your beneficiaries is complete and accurate.
If you have questions about this or would like to meet with me, please contact me:
Dan Boyce
Insurance agent
Bankers Life
271 North Main Street, Suite 204
Rutland, VT 05701
Direct: 802-392-4771
Office: 802-775-4950

Chelsea Berry live at
Brandon Music
Brandon Music March 25 at 7:30pm

See Chelsea Berry, a singer-songwriter with the edge, power, and finesse of legends, live at Brandon Music March 25 at 7:30pm. Her vocals are smooth and lyrics reminiscent of the folk music of the sixties. Singer-songwriter Livingston Taylor, and brother of James Taylor, calls her vocals "world class" and her presence has been described by listeners as "compelling... she draws the entire house into her world like moths to a flame." As a vocalist and performer, she evokes the style of artists such as Cheryl Crow, Janis Joplin, and Paula Cole.

This event is a part of Vermont Arts 2017, celebrating arts in Vermont.
Concert tickets are $20.  A pre-concert dinner is available for $25.  Reservations are required for dinner and recommended for the show. Venue is BYOB. Call (802) 247-4295 or e-mail for reservations or for more information. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Rd. Brandon, VT 05733

Daymark performs Irish music at Brandon Music
Brandon Music on Friday, March 31 at 7:30pm

Daymark is an international trio performing traditional Irish music infused with infectious energy, raw power, and Northern swagger. The group performs at Brandon Music on Friday, March 31 at 7:30pm. Fusing the talents of Will Woodson (flute, border pipes), Dan Foster (fiddle) and Eric McDonald (guitar, vocals), the group presents a classic blend of wind and string as driving flute meets virtuosic fiddle, underpinned by well-considered and expertly delivered guitar.

Sharing a love for the music of generations past, the trio's sound echoes that of Irish-American dance halls from the 1920s and 30s, alongside the lonesome tones of Donegal country fiddlers and the rollicking smoky pubs of Northern England's immigrant neighborhoods. Taken together, these influences merge into a sound that's very much part of the present; a sound that's urgent and wild, held together by camaraderie that's quite audible. This is the foundation of their music. What emerges is intimate enough to feel at home down at the local pub, big enough to fill a festival stage or a concert hall.

This event is a part of Vermont Arts 2017, celebrating arts in Vermont.
Concert tickets are $20.  A pre-concert dinner is available for $25.  Reservations are required for dinner and recommended for the show. Venue is BYOB. Call (802) 247-4295 or e-mail for reservations or for more information. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Rd. Brandon, VT 05733

Davydov-Fanning Duo celebrate 40 years with a concert at Brandon Music
Brandon Music on April 1

Pianist Diana Fanning and cellist Dieuwke Davydov formed a strong musical connection 40 years ago which developed into an international duo that, as the Times-Argus' Jim Lowe says, is "one of Vermont's state treasures". The duo celebrates this milestone with an international tour, including a stop at Brandon Music on April 1.
Fanning and Davydov have been acclaimed for their virtuosic brilliance, musical insight, and remarkable rapport as a duo. The Haarlems Dagblad inHolland said "The Duo offered instrumental virtuosity, noble lyricism, and dancing rhythm. Both musicians played with flair, emotional power, and total understanding." Their program includes Beethoven's Cello Sonata in G Minor; Hindemith's Phantasiestück; Saint-Saëns' Allegro Appassionato; Vermont composer Kathy Wonson Eddy's Peace on Earth: A thrush singing; and Brahms' Cello Sonata in E Minor. Fanning will also perform solo pieces by Debussy and Chopin.

    This event is a part of Vermont Arts 2017, celebrating arts in Vermont.
The concert begins at 7:30pm. Concert tickets are $20. A pre-concert dinner is available for $25.  Reservations are required for dinner and recommended for the show. Venue is BYOB. Call (802) 247-4295 or e-mail for reservations or for more information. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Rd. Brandon, VT 05733
Get on board the successful Gateways
to Adventure promotion!
You can sponsor a page at any time,
for one full year, for only $25.00
Sponsor ALL eleven pages
for only $200.00  
Gateways to Adventure        Click here for a printable PDF   Sponsorship form

Chamber "dollars"- a refresher course!

Every now and then I think it's important to
remind those of us who have been taking Brandon Green for years, and new businesses that have joined the Chamber, about the process for handling the certificates.
The $5.00 and $25.00 certificates are legal tender and handled just like a check. You take the Brandon Green and give your customer change back, just like cash or a check. Then you deposit the Brandon Green into your account, just like a check. Simple and supportive of all our members.
Click here for more info on our popular Brandon Green

Vermont Association of Chamber Executives
Insurance program offerings for Chamber members.
We are happy to share that for the fifth year in a row, VACE was able to negotiate a rate hold on all of our product offerings fo 2017!! 
Although the VACE health insurance program, that many of took advantage of for years, is no longer available, other products still offered through VACE include, Dental and Vision packages.
M ore information on all of these products can be found at
Or contact Holden Financial Services (802) 775-2503 
Welcome !!
2017 New Members- go to for more info on our newest members

-New 2 You Consignment Shop & Boutique- 47 Center St- Stacey Coburn-  247-9255
- James Coburn & Sons Roofing & Carpentry- 251 Frasier Road- Jamie Coburn- 247-6908
-G.S. Painting & Maintenance Services-  900 Pearl St- Gordon Stearns- 247-8300
-Shields Construction- 8 Walnut St- Tim & Mary Shields- 247-5778
Own a business?? Join us and connect with other dynamic businesses in the Brandon area and gain great exposure for your business!
Just click here for an application and rates.  
We also have many Individual Members who participate in many Chamber activities and projects- what a great way to support a local non-profit and all the great things we do in our town. (Individual/couples memberships are only $50/year)

-Margaret "Peg" Donahue- Brandon
-Kim Faber- Brandon

Next Chamber Meeting
 March 20th, 2017 will be our next meeting!   

The Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors will meet at 6:30pm in the Cliver Room at the Stephen A Douglas Birthplace. Chamber membership and the general public are invited to attend.