September 2018

~Chamber Newsletter~

Info and happenings in our Chamber and Town!

Go to for construction info

Fall 2018 Business Education Series
Brandon Town Hall Downstairs Meeting Room

Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce and Brandon Economic Development Office

Moving Away from Windows 10 - The newest version of Microsoft windows is either loved or hated by those who use it. I hate it. It is difficult to repair, it arbitrarily changes security (and other) settings on your computer, and it spies on you. It does much more for Microsoft than it does for you. If you are tired of the constant upgrade cycle you are forced to endure, we can help. We will show you how to migrate to Linux, a free operating system that is easy to use, can extend the life of your current or older computer, and, by design, can protect your privacy and security. We'll convert a Windows system to a Linux system during this session and show you how easy it is to gain control of your computer
Presented by: Greg Smela, Simple Systems of Vermont, LLC Date/Time: September 11, 2018, 

6-7:30 pm Let's Get Digital - Learn how to market your company and products online. Engage a new demographic and customer base outside your current reach. Learn the tips and tricks to digital marketing. Presented by: Anthony Hylton, Palehorse Body Works Date/Time: September 18, 2018, 6-7:30 pm

Intro to Using Quickbooks Online - Quickbooks can help to keep track of your personal and/or business income and expenses and make your life easier at tax time. Learn about Quickbooks Online including setting up accounts, entering and invoicing customers, entering vendors and paying bills, recurring entries, reconciling your bank statement, recording payroll, and options for sending information to your tax preparer. Presented by: Sharon L Stearns, Sharon L Stearns CPA PLLC Date/Time: September 25, 2018, 6-7:30 p.m.

Make a Powerful Website Using a Content Management System - We'll show you how to create a Joomla! Website that is easy to update, secure, and looks good. This is a much more powerful option than the free webpages many internet service providers offer. Joomla! Can be used for: corporate websites or portals, intranets and extranets, small business websites, online magazines, newspapers and publications, e-commerce and online reservations, government, non-profit and organizational websites, community-based, school and church website or portals, personal or family homepages. We'll build a sample website during this session.
Presented by: Greg Smela, Simple Systems of Vermont, LLC Date/Time: October 2, 2018, 6-7:30 pm

Google Docs - Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides are a word processor, a spreadsheet and a presentation program respectively, all part of a free, web based software office suite offered by Google within its Google Drive service. Learn to how to use this free software and its many uses to share and edit files, etc. In addition, we can briefly discuss Google Forms and its ability to pull multiple user responses into a spreadsheet for you and give you contextual response data right in the form itself.
Presented by: Chris Towle, E-Sports Director/Technology Integration Specialist, College of St. Joseph Date/Time: October 9, 2018, 6-7:30 pm

An Introduction to "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" - "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen R. Covey is arguably the most important book of the past 25 years. With over 25 million copies sold, it is the most widely read book of its kind in history. Jim Collins, author of "Good to Great," among other books, says, "Covey created a standard operating system ("The 7 Habits...") ...for personal effectiveness, and he made it easy to use." In this presentation, Ross presents a brief overview of "The 7 Habits.." so that attendees can appreciate the power and applicability of this incredible program.
Presented by: Ross Gibson, Director, Client Operations & Consulting, The Richards Group Date/Time: October 16, 2018, 6-7:30 pm

Intro to Using Quickbooks Desktop - Quickbooks can help to keep track of your personal and/or business income and expenses and make your life easier at tax time. Learn about Quickbooks desktop software including setting up accounts, entering and invoicing customers, entering vendors and paying bills, recurring entries, reconciling your bank statement, recording payroll, and options for sending information to your tax preparer. Presented by: Sharon L Stearns, Sharon L Stearns CPA PLLC Date/Time: October 23, 2018, 6-7:30 p.m
Cost per session: Free for Brandon Area Chamber Members, $10 for Non-Chamber members ****Pre- Registration is Requested**** Location: Brandon Town Hall (1 Conant Square) - Downstairs Meeting Room
Light Refreshments Provided by: National Bank of Middlebury and Village Spa and Wellness Studio
Registration is online at Town of Brandon Recreation Department website Go to: Click on Departments, Recreation, Click on link for online signup (an link). On the Recreation online page, create an account, (on right) if you do not already have an account, or login, (it will ask for date of birth, residency and emergency contact because these are fields for the recreation department), select family member the registration applies to or add another family member, click on 'Register,' then 'programs or activities,' click 'Business Education Chamber Series,' click 'Business Education Chamber series' again, Classes will appear, click 'sign up' for the class you want to register for, scroll down and answer if you are a chamber member, read and agree to terms and conditions, click 'add to cart,' click 'register' to add more classes, when finished click on 'cart,' and review order, click 'check out' to complete order, enter your name in 'Name on Credit card field' (even if balance due is zero) and you should receive a message that "Registration is complete' with a receipt. You should receive a registration confirmation email. Questions: Email: or contact BACC Education Committee Sharon Stearns or call Bernie at Brandon Area Chamber at 247-6401

Brandon Vermont's Hawk Hill
Sunday, September 9, 2018 at 1 pm

The Pittsford, Vermont Historical Society presents a historical and narrative tour of Brandon Vermont's Hawk Hill. The tour will view the settlements of Brandon's first 
pre-Revolutionary War families, the Cutlers, Amblers, and Junes. Original home sites, wells, and the June Cemetery will be visited; as well as some geological and nature curiosities. The walk will last approximately 2-3 hours. Bill Powers of the Pittsford Historical Society will be the guide.
            When: Sunday, September 9, 2018 at 1 pm
            Where: Parking will be available at the south end of Old Brandon Road in
                        Brandon, Vermont.

 Construction free zone every weekend!!
Saturday & Sunday!
Come on down and poke 
around, enjoy our town!

Even though access is always available to all of Brandon's businesses throughout the week and through all of the construction, it's a little easier and a little calmer on Saturday and Sunday. Pop in and meet your friends and help support our businesses.

"That was So Easy"
A very cute  tale 
of a grandma and granddaughter 
on a little adventure through our 
Segment 6 construction zone!!
Many thanks to Carolyn Whittaker and Callie!

Friday, September 14th


Although school is out for the year, studies show that the summer months can be a critical time to build on the foundation of the previous school year-and prepare for the year ahead. From summer reading to trips to the museum, there are tons of ways to inspire your child. View summer activities list here.

John Funkhouser's quartet of 'Brothers' 
CD release concert at Brandon Music
September 29

The John Funkhouser Quartet returns to Brandon Music on Saturday, September 29 for its annual concert at the popular music barn venue. The performance will be a CD release concert for the group's 5th CD, 'Brothers', the band's first CD in five years. In typical Funkhouser form, the album is eclectic, with influences from South Africa, the Great American Songbook, Appalachia, India, New Orleans, '70s prog rock, modern jazz, and much more.
As ever, the Quartet's new music is full of empathy, fire, staggering technical displays, profound intimacy, joy and playfulness - all qualities that undoubtedly make a superb album, but also reasons why this group is best experienced live. Along with Funkhouser on keys, is Phil Sargent (guitar), Greg Loughman (bass), and Mike Connors (drums) - a quartet of forward-thinking jazz musicians who are "often wildly inventive and great fun to watch and listen to" but "can also play with grace and sweetness," according to Middletown Eye. 
The title of the new album, as Funkhouser explains, comes from the relationship with his fellow band mates: "Improvised music has a curious and beautiful quality whereby you can get on stage with a musician you have never met before, play a set or two of music, and instantly develop a deep, lasting and even intimate friendship." Funkhouser has played with Sargent, Loughman, and Connors for over 20 years, so the musical friendship has grown exponentially with time. 'Brothers' is the title "because that's what we are at this point," he says. "I think the bond that has formed between us, in all humility, shows in our spontaneity, spirit of exploration, freedom to take musical chances and say something controversial or to reveal feelings and thoughts that would remain guarded in less familiar company."

The John Funkhouser Quartet has headlined the Jazz In June festival in Oklahoma City and played at major music festivals nationwide, including the Riverbend Festival in Chattanooga, TN, the Mellon Jazz Festival in Pittsburgh, PA, and Jazz In The Sangres in Westcliffe, CO. The band has played in such New York clubs as the Knitting Factory, Small's, ShapeShifter and Cornelia St. Café.
Funkhouser and his quartet play at 7:30pm, or come early for a delicious three-course meal prepared by Chef Vicky Regia. Concert tickets are $20. The 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
This event is a part of Vermont Arts 2018, celebrating arts in Vermont.

Tecari Shuman-
Compass Music and Arts Center
through September 29 2018
Opening Reception: Friday, August 31, 4-7 PM

Brandon artist, Tecari Shuman will present an exhibition of 42 paintings of abstract and modern art that he has developed over the past year and a half. Shuman's work explores the depth of his personal trials and life experiences creatively and imaginatively expressed through his art.
Surviving and recovering from polio as a child in Flushing, Queens, Shuman became a landscape designer, nature photographer, furniture craftsman and the director of a California Health Center. But, as fate would have it, Shuman's life took a serious turn, when, as an adult, he developed post-polio syndrome, compounded by a hydrocephalous condition and the onset of Parkinson's Disease.
Undaunted by the depression that any human being might feel under these circumstances, Shuman turned to painting as a solace and inspiration to find deeper meaning in his life. His rich connections with Nature were inspirational and flowed into the richness of color and forms that enliven and inspire his works.  Shuman began to trust and be informed by his "inner nature", even as his outer world diminished around him.
As Shuman explains it, "new images dance before my mind's eye, and each painting finds its own spirit. My fingers on the brush, unfold the rich, wet colors until I arrive at a point where there is no more to do and the painting is done."
Shuman's "inner artist" will be on display at The Compass Music and Arts Center's main exhibition space, located at 333 Jones Drive, Brandon, VT. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 AM - 5 PM. Call 802-247-4295 or visit  

Announcing  Reinventing the View , 
new work  by Ashley Wolff !!

Free and open to all. Reinventing the View will be at the gallery through November 5.

In this show Ashley brings her dynamic energy and lush color palette to a full range of subjects, from exuberant florals to new explorations in landscape and abstraction.
Artist and illustrator Ashley Wolff has built a devoted following with her colorful watercolors, gouache paintings and children's book illustrations. The vibrant, celebratory pieces she has selected for Reinventing the View stem from a more personal source.   read more
B R A N D O N  A R T I S T S   G U I L D
7 Center St,  Brandon VT,  05738  |  802.247.4956   

Max & Mim- Exhibit
Compass Center in Park Village
  The Brandon Museum at Stephen A Douglas House is sponsoring an exhibit of the art of Max and Mim Welton.   It opened on Saturday August 4th and the exhibit will run through September.  It will feature  Max's folk art and the iconic Dateline photos by Mim.  Please plan to attend and share stories and memories. With special thanks to The Brandon Reporter, Warren Kimble, Bill & Kathy Mathis, the staff at Compass Mary Ann Sullivan who has worked tirelessly and from a great distance to put the show together.  Open during regular Compass hours.  
For more info go to Compass Music's website  or call 802-247-4295

Events and activities at the Brandon Town Hall

Enjoy summer and fall entertainment at our little jewel in the middle of our town. 

-Sunday, September 9, Auditions for the 5th Annual "Brandon Has Talent Show"...4:00 - 6:00 PM and Monday, September 10...6:00 - 8:00 PM. If you like to sing, dance, play an instrument or have a special talent don't miss this opportunity to perform on our new town hall stage. You must schedule a day and time to audition by calling 247-5420.
  -Sunday, September 16, "Aikido Demo and Open Class"...3:00 PM. Free Will Donation Event with proceeds going to FOTH and Aikido Yoshokai Vermont towards sponsorships of Aikido students.
Join 3rd degree black belt Wade Davis-sensei and his students for a demonstration and stay for a half hour open class afterward.. Participation in the open class for all ages is completely voluntary; spectators are welcome to watch or participate in the class portion. Sponsored by Friends Of The Brandon Town Hall.
 - Saturday, September 22, "Brandon Has Talent Show"...7:00 PM. Tickets, Adults...$8. Seniors &
Students...$6. Children 5 & under, accompanied by an adult...FREE.   Our 5th Annual Talent Show promises to be our best yet!. This fund raiser for the Town Hall will showcase the multi-talented community members of Brandon and the surrounding area. A fun event for participants as well as the audience.
Sponsored by, Virginia Wolf, Rowe Real Estate, Hayes Recycled Pallets, Inc., Pat Hanson, Omya, Inc.
  -Saturday, September 29, "The Doughboys Dance Band"...7:30 PM. Tickets, Adults...$8. Seniors &
Students...$6. Couples...$14. The Doughboys are back! Their upbeat original pop-rock tunes remain the foundation of their repertoire. They cover the waterfront in terms of styles and influences. Dance the night away, or just sit back and enjoy this toe-tapping group. Sponsored by, Debbie & Kevin Jennings, Annoymous Donor, Fyles Bro., Inc., Jan Coolidge, Vermont Country Store, Del & Sally Cook

Don't forget our friends at the Farmer's market!!

This year they are holding the market at Estabrook Park from 8:00am - 2:00pm every Friday!

OPERA at-a-glance: the latest exhibit at the Compass Music and Arts Center
  Did you know that opera singers are basically Olympic athletes?

An opera singer has to be able to sustain high notes over a long period of time while using their body to amplify a sound so that it can be heard over a full orchestra and do so without any microphones. Opera singers show us the loudest sounds and the highest pitches the human body can produce. It takes many years before someone can audition to be cast in a professional company. This is one of the facts you can discover by visiting the 'Opera at-a-glance' exhibit in the Compass Music and Arts Center.
The Center is also providing a listening room where visitors can relax and sample different operas and hear the astounding voices of such great opera singers as Luciano Pavarotti and Renée Fleming.
The history of recorded sound is a further strength of the Compass Center as it hosts the Phonograph Rooms. Part of the exhibit will be devoted to how recording helped to popularize opera for all to enjoy.
The Compass Center is celebrating the world of opera with this exhibit to launch the collaboration between the Compass Music and Arts Foundation and BARN OPERA and its founder and artistic director Josh Collier who is an internationally acclaimed opera singer. The Foundation, through the new BARN OPERA venture, is organizing performances of loved operas through 2018 and beyond.
The Compass Music and Arts Center is located in Park Village at 333 Jones Dr. Brandon VT, 05733 (Park Village used to be the Brandon Training School, located 1.5 miles north of downtown Brandon off Arnold District Rd.). |

Pick up your hard hat!!
Great gifts !!!
Join in the fun, support the Downtown Brandon Alliance and Chamber as they help the businesses prosper through the construction AND win some money and great prizes!!
Stop in the town office and pick up your bright orange hard hat for only $5.00 and be eligible for our monthly $50.00 drawing in Brandon Green!! The drawings will be done throughout the Even BETTER Brandon construction project. We're working on lots of other ideas and functions to make use of your stylish hard hat!
Watch for more info on the super End-of Project prizes!


Month #12 Russ McColman-  Russ bought his hard hat at the Great Brandon Auction on July 18th
and won the July drawing on July 23rd!   It's that easy!!

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.

Free online tech support!

This is why we love the Brandon area, and the folks who make up our Chamber of Commerce!
Many thanks to Greg Smela of "
Simple Systems of Vermont", a locally owned tech company. Greg will provide free online tech support for BACC members via an online support forum.

How does it work?

Easy! Current BACC members can sign up at You'll be prompted to create an account by entering your name, email address, company/organization name and phone number. Your account will be activated within a few hours and you'll receive instructions at the email address you provide. 

What do you get? Simple... free support. That means, if you have a computer or other tech-related question you can post it in the forum and expect to receive an answer generally within 24 hours (but most likely much sooner). What kind of support is provided? We'll assist with hardware and software support and advice. Are you having a problem deciding on what hardware might work for your business or what software application will do the job? Post away and we'll help you.
What isn't covered: Telephone or email support. We can't answer your individual questions by email or phone as we are a business too and need to earn our keep! We also can't help your Aunt Ida or your friends, kids, pets, etc., but we hope this free service will help you deal with the small problems you may face from day to day.

We ask that you limit participation to one account per BACC membership. We are providing this for current BACC members as a way to help support our wonderful Brandon community.
                    Many thanks Greg!!
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 !!
Read a great little review from a Woodstock B&B blog here!
  Foley Brothers Brewing
Neshobe River Winery
Inn At Neshobe River
79 Stone Mill Dam Rd.   247-8002

Neshobe Golf Club
Course is in superb condition!

Stop in and enjoy the Neshobe's own Long Iron Restaurant & Pub, continuing its Friday Night sit-down dining affair offering a varying menu to the delight of appetites both big and small. Check our Facebook page on Wednesday afternoons to see the Friday menu or subscribe to our email notifications on our homepage, All are welcome! We hope to see you soon.                     

Check out Little Pressroom                           

Call for Exhibit Proposals at the Compass Music and Arts Center
Compass is seeking innovative work for solo and/or group exhibits from artists working in a variety of media.

Curators and both emerging and established artists are encouraged to apply. Site-specific work/installations will also be considered. This is a rolling open call for exhibits.
  A variety of exhibit spaces are available, giving flexibility to artists for the scope of their vision and needs.
  Further information, including a sample exhibit contract and submission guidelines, can be found at
  Compass is a multi-faceted arts center with many components drawing visitors through its doors, including artist studios, gift shops, a consignment shop, music, a café, and a variety of events. Located in Brandon, Vermont it is also in the heart of a pulsing arts community.
  The Compass Music and Arts Center is located in Park Village at 333 Jones Drive, Brandon VT, 05733 (Park Village used to be the Brandon Training School, located 1.5 miles north of downtown Brandon off Arnold District Rd.).

Studio and Gallery Spaces available to rent now at the Compass Center


Calling all artists in all disciplines! Have you ever dreamed of creating and working in a supportive environment with other artists? A place where there is space for artists to create, display and sell their work, provide classes, meet with colleagues and have access to a café and other amenities.  Compass Music and Arts Center is such a place. For more information and to schedule a visit, call Edna Sutton at 802-247-4295.  Very reasonable rates starting from $170 per month inclusive of all utilities.  Short leases available.
Compass Music and Arts Center 333 Jones Drive, Park Village, Brandon, VT.

Casella Construction is Hiring- 
for many professional and craft positions for the 2018 and 2019 construction seasons.
Positions include a surveyor, construction foreman, heavy equipment mechanic, heavy equipment operators, pipe layers, skilled construction laborers, and general laborers. Casella Construction employees are hard-working, focused on safety, and driven to deliver excellent results. We are motivated by the strength and dedication of our team and by the intrinsic value of spending our days building for the next generation -  we get to see the results of what we do 
every day.
We reward the hard work of our employees with a benefits package that includes competitive pay, health insurance, dental insurance, access to four supplement insurance options, six paid holidays each year, sick pay, and a 401k retirement investment with company match.
To learn more about our open positions and apply, visit or call 802-773-0052. 
Casella Construction, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer.

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.
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 a division of the Richards Group (802) 775-2503 

Next Chamber Meeting-
Monday, September 17th, 2018 will be our next meeting!  
The third Monday of the month.

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.