Vermont Businesses for   
Social Responsibility    
 
P e o p l e .   P l a n e t .   P r o s p e r i t y .

Dear Members and Other Friends, 

As we prepare for another Annual Spring Conference, I am again reminded of the incredible potential of our community. Our members are leaders, innovators and changemakers. I am inspired every day by their work, and I am so excited for this year's presenters and keynoter to share what they have learned with you.  I am always amazed at our members' willingness to share their experiences, failures and successes from their own journey to becoming a better organization. 

Education is core to our mission. The Spring Conference is our biggest event of the year, and it is our best opportunity to leverage the VBSR network to accelerate our learning as a community. If you haven't registered to attend this year's event -- do!

Our new staff has been working hard for the Spring Conference and beyond. We are looking forward to an action-packed summer full of get-togethers, policy forums, and growing our network. In fact, April was a banner month for new members. Please help in welcoming our newest members and celebrating all of the good work they are doing and will continue to do with your support in the realm of social responsibility

Sincerely,
   
Jane Campbell
Executive Director

Register for the 28th Annual VBSR Spring Conference! 


Join more than 300 forward-thinking business professionals from around the state in a full day of  workshops designed to help professionals find new opportunities through values-led work. Attendees will enjoy a Localvore Lunch, sponsred by UVM Medial Center, 40+ exhibitors and a Networking Cocktail Reception featuring brews and spirits from new VBSR member businesses. 

We are thrilled to welcome Robert Craven, CEO of MegaFood, as our Keynote Speaker, underwritten by Efficiency Vermont.

Voted the Best Business Networking Event by readers of Vermont Business Magazine two years in a row, this is the "don't miss" event of the year! Register Today! 

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This Newsletter is Sponsored By:
Let's Grow Kids 
  
Let's Grow Kids is a statewide campaign about the need for more high-quality, affordable child care in Vermont to better support our children, families, women, communities and economy.

Paid Family Leave Makes Progress 


"People have difficulty in taking leave when they're sick because they can't afford to take the time off and in some cases they don't have job protection to come back, and I think it's a real working-class issue." 

     - Sen. Michael Sirotkin,  Economic 
Development Committee chairman


The Senate Committee on Finance voted to pass H.196, an act relating to paid family leave. Currently, many employees are unable to take the time they need to care for relatives, children, or handle unexpected life events without worrying about missing a paycheck or putting their jobs at risk. 

H.196 would provide employees with up to 12 weeks of leave for employees who work at least 30 hours in businesses of 10 or more employees. H.196 will establish the Parental and Family Le ave Insurance Program, consisting of tax contributions from employees' covered wages, to provide funding for those taking paid family leave. During this leave, the employee would be able to use accrued sick or vacation leave or Parental and Family Leave Insurance.  Women and low-income workers are most at risk of losing pay or employment while taking unpaid leave, and H.196 attempts to provide stability for all employees in Vermont. 

We are proud to support this legislation, which is a critical support for working Vermonters and for Vermonter-owned businesses. We'd like to thank the Senators who voted "yes" on H.196:

Senator Ann Cummings 
Senator Mark A. MacDonald
Senator Virginia "Ginny" Lyons
Senator Anthony Pollina
Senator Michael Sirotkin
Senator Brian Campion


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Beth Pearce: The financial case to protect Vermont's water

"Clean water is the backbone to Vermont's economy and is vital to the health and wellbeing of all our citizens. Not only is clean water an essential natural resource -- it is also an integral part of our character as a state.

Despite common ground and a consensus from policymakers and citizens that we need to protect and preserve our most precious natural resources, the quality of our waterways has degraded as phosphorus and other pollutants have damaged the long-term health of our lakes and rivers. Lake Champlain and Lake Carmi are painful examples of the status of our waterways. It is time to recognize our current situation as a crisis.

...

As reflected in the Act 64 Report, to the extent that existing resources, built into the base budget, are not available, I have been an advocate of an impervious surface or user fee because of their proven nexus with respect to water quality. That said, I recognize that other fees have been included in the current proposed legislation that will only go into effect should the General Assembly fail to come up with and implement an alternate solution. I view these efforts as a demonstration by the House of their commitment to clean water. They recognize the urgency of the situation that we face, and I look forward to the General Assembly moving forward with a comprehensive funding solution with a clear nexus to water quality.

The time to act is now. Like an unpaid credit card bill - the longer we defer action, the more expensive the solution will become.

Our lakes, rivers and waterways are assets that support our way of life, our property values, our health and safety, and our economy. We need to invest in these assets. Like any investment, early, proactive and disciplined practices are the key to success. As stated before, we have two options, defer action or take action - we must not miss this opportunity to take action now."

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This Newsletter is Sponsored by:
Norwich Solar Technologies 

Norwhich Solar Technologies

Norwich Solar Technologies provides turnkey services including Solar System Development, Design, Engineering, Procurement, and Construction, Financing, and Long-Term Operations and Maintenance.
 


Represent Your Locally Owned Business in the 9th Edition Buy Local Coupon Book & Mobile App

Every year VBSR distributes thousands of Buy Local Books & Mobile Apps to consumers around the state. Last year over 250 locally owned and independent Vermont businesses advertised through the Local First Vermont Program (LFVT). Make sure that your business is included in our next edition by contacting our Local First Vermont Program Manager Melissa Kosmaczewski at MelissaK@vbsr.org. The team behind LFVT works year-round to promote Vermonter owned businesses and educate Vermonters on the importance of shopping locally. 

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VBSR Celebrates Small Business Week with Gordon's Window Decor

We kicked off National Small Business Week last Monday  with a tour of Gordon's Window Décor's manufacturing facility and showroom in Williston, along with  representatives from the Small Business Administration, Attorney General T.J. Donovan, and Congressman
Peter Welch. Gordon's Window Décor, a VBSR member, was founded in Vermont in 1985, and one of their first  orders was repairing blinds for another VBSR member, the University of Vermont. 

Today, Gordon's products  are made to last. "These shades don't ever end up in landfills" says Kelly Conklin, President, holding a blind  which was originally manufactured by the company in 1998 and recently sent in for repair.

"We are so proud of the work that our members do in their industries, communities, and workplaces, supporting
a triple-bottom-line business ethic in the state" said VBSR's Local First Vermont Program Manager Melissa
Kosmaczewski, "Local businesses like these are vital to our state economy." 

According to the company  founder Gordon Clements, Gordon's Window Decor has installed over 15,000 energy efficient blinds at Cornell University alone.  The team at Gordon's has been innovating new sustainable product lines, such as solar-powered mechanized  blinds and shades, which they recently installed at a school in Berlin, VT. "Think about the lifetime impact of  these energy efficient products that are made to last and are being manufactured and sold on an institutional  scale" said VBSR Communications Manager Samantha Sheehan.

Each year since 1963, there has been a celebration of National Small Business Week. This year National
Small Business Week was recognized April 29 - May 5 with events across the country. Sascha Mayer and
Christine Dodson of VBSR member business Mamava are the 2018 Vermont Small Business Person of the
Year and were celebrated during a ceremony in Washington, D.C April 30th.


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To learn more, contact our Membership Manager Toby Aronson 


Take the 2018 Nonprofit 
Salary Survey

Hiring and retaining great workers is one of the biggest challenges we face as nonprofits. That's why  CommonGoodVT.org has teamed up with NH Center for Nonprofits and Maine Association of Nonprofits to collect the latest data on wages and benefits from our tri-state area.

Your contribution to this data is vital. So many of our Vermont nonprofit colleagues regularly contact us for this information as they set benefits and wages for new and current employees. The 2018 edition of the Report on Nonprofit Wages & Benefits in Northern New England will be published this fall. Survey participants will receive the report for FREE and be entered to win a $150 cash prize!


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Member Events

Some of Vermont's local experts are coming together to educate attendees on some essential HR topics. Kerin Stackpole, SPHR, Director, Paul Frank + Collins, will be presenting. This day-long workshop is designed to target entry-level HR professionals to give them a thorough introduction into the world of HR. Seasoned HR professionals are also encouraged to attend, everyone could use a refresher, right?

 
Are you a Windham County employer/business owner seeking local management training? The United@Work program of the United Way of Windham County invites you to share your experiences and learn with your colleagues on May 22, from 8:30am-3pm, at the "How to Manage an Evolving Workforce" training sponsored and hosted by Mount Snow in West Dover, VT. Additional sponsors include The Richards Group and Thrive, LLC. Participants in the training will leave with new ideas and practical tools they can use to improve employee retention, effectiveness and advancement. The interactive day will consist of six facilitated workshops, self-care practices, and a keynote address by Shannon Prescott of The Richards Group and Chair of the United Way of Windham County board.


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Welcome Our Newest Members!

Business Members
We've Grown! Learn How We Can Help You:

Since January we have been busy undergoing a reorganization and on-boarding new staff members. We're very excited to introduce you to our new team and we are confident that with the restructure we will be better able to serve you - our members! - and generate greater impact. Here is how we can help you:

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THANK YOU VBSR CHAMPION MEMBERS
          Ben and Jerry's
                Gardener's Supply       

             Paul Frank _ Collins Attorneys Logo             New Chapter new      S
   VSECU
Our Mission
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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