Vermont Technical College team tapped as finalist in Cornell Cup

first_imgVermont Technical College,A team of four Vermont Tech students has been chosen as finalists for the inaugural Cornell Cup, USA, a college-level systems engineering competition, created to empower students to become inventors of the newest innovative applications of embedded technology. The Vermont Tech team, which calls itself the ‘Knights of the Workbench’ ‘ in a nod to the college’s athletic mascot ‘ is made up of: Team Leader and Electromechanical Engineering Technology major Ben Holleran, a sophomore from Chester, Vermont. Computer Engineering majors sophomore Charles Hathaway of Pawlett, Vermont; sophomore Mike Collins of Portsmouth, Rhode Island; and senior Forest Immel of Castleton, Vermont round out the team. Instead of competing on the playing field, however, these Knights will be vying with 24 teams from 19 colleges across the country, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Georgia Tech, University of California, Berkley, and Penn State, name a few. Assisting the team in the competition are Advisor Lauri Sybel of Randolph, Vermont Tech’s director of career services and Technical Lead Sam Colwell also of Randolph, a part-time Computer Engineering faculty member and a full-time employee of LED Dynamics in Randolph.  The ProjectThe Knights of the Workbench’s concept is a sophisticated device to help combat binge drinking and drunk driving. The team is constructing a combination robot drink-mixer/ computer that will use an RFID card reader to scan the magnetic strip on the back of a patron’s license. Comparing a customer’s height and weight to a relational database, the computer will automatically enter limits on how many alcoholic beverages the patron can legally consume. Once that limit is reached, the computer will automatically switch to a soft-drink only menu. In being selected as a Cornell Cup finalist, the Knights of the Workbench received a $2,500 cash stipend to help cover supplies and travel to the two-day competition. Sponsors such as Intel and Tektronix also donated $10,000 in hardware and software to each team to assist in building its invention.  The CompetitionThis academic year-long project will culminate in a two-day event at Walt Disney World in Florida, held in early May. Student teams will attend talks, network with leading engineering company sponsors, and ultimately showcase their original creations. The selected top three entries will win grand prizes set at $10,000, $5,000, and $2,500.  Additionally, approximately half of the final entrants will receive either a first, second, or third place award as a formal recognition of the significant work achieved. Sponsors may also potentially offer special awards to various teams. According to Sybel, the Knights are excited to be among this elite group of finalists and are already hard at work. ‘The Cornell Cup is an outstanding opportunity ‘ both for these students and for Vermont Tech ‘ to compete in engineering on a national level,’ says Sybel. ‘As finalists, these students are spreading the word about Vermont Tech while also enhancing their resumes and demonstrating their professional design skills, which are highly sought by today’s companies.’About Vermont Technical College ‘ Vermont Technical College is the only public institution of higher learning in Vermont whose mission is applied education. One of the five Vermont State Colleges, Vermont Tech serves students from throughout Vermont, New England, and beyond at its two primary campuses in Williston and Randolph Center, and at 11 nursing campuses located throughout the state. Our academic programs encompass a wide range of engineering, agricultural, health, and business fields that are vital to producing the knowledge workers need most by employers in the state and in the region. is external) PHOTO: Forest Immel, Mike Collins, Charles Hathaway, Ben Holleran with advisor Lauri SybelRandolph, VT, January 31, 2012 ‘last_img read more

Energy Co-op of Vermont to offer solar hot water technology

first_imgOn Thursday, March 15 at 11 am, the Energy Co-op of Vermont will launch its Co-op Solar program from its headquarters in Colchester. The program is a partnership with Sunward Systems, Vermont’s leading brand of solar hot water system.Special financing has been arranged through VSECU, a credit union serving Vermonters across the Green Mountain state.WHAT: Innovative solar program announcement from a progressive fuel oil companyWHERE: 73 Prim Road, Colchester, Vermont (This will be an outdoor event.)WHO: John Quinney, General Manager — Energy Co-op of VermontThomas Hughes, CEO — Sunward SystemsAlicia Gant, Solar Loan Program ‘ VSECUThomas Longstreth, Executive Director — ReSOURCEMatt Cota (invited) — Vermont Fuel Dealers AssociationWHEN: 11 am, Thursday, March 15, 2012WHY: Find out why a fuel oil company is offering solar hot water systems and how the program can save Vermonter’s thousands of dollars and help the environment.Installers and customers will be on-hand to discuss their experience and savings with solar hot water. A Sunward solar hot water system will also be on display.The Energy Co-op of Vermont is a member-owned cooperative based in Colchester, delivering heating oil, kerosene and wood pellets, and offering the installation and servicing of efficient heating equipment to a membership of over 2,200 Vermonters.last_img read more

Champlain Bridge engineer win’s highest award

first_imgThe engineer behind the building of the new Champlain Bridge, connecting Vermont with New York, has won his industry’s highest award. Theodore (Ted) P Zoli, PE, national bridge chief engineer for HNTB Corporation, has received the construction industry’s most prestigious honor:Engineering News-Record’s Award of Excellence for 2012. The award was presented April 12, 2012, atENR’s annual black-tie gala in New York City. More than 1,500 guests attended the event.ENR selected Zoli from a list of what the magazine dubbed the Top 25 Newsmakers of 2011. He will be featured in a cover story in the April 16 issue.As HNTB’s national bridge chief engineer, Zoli brings international acclaim as the innovator behind numerous bridges ‘long span, movable, pedestrian and rail. Among his most notable projects are the cable-stayed Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge in Boston; the curved cable-stayed Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge in Omaha, Neb.; the Mary Avenue Bicycle Footbridge in Cupertino, Calif.; and the network tied arch Blennerhassett Island Bridge in West Virginia.Most recently, Zoli is noted for designing the Lake Champlain Bridge between New York and Vermont. He led a team that delivered the modified network tied arch in only two years, using a float-in and heavy-lift scheme to raise the center span. The previous bridge was demolished (STORY) just after Christmas 2009. It was new bridge was opened (STORY) last fall.A 2009 MacArthur Fellow, Zoli is described by the foundation as “a structural engineer who is leading the design of elegant and enduring bridges around the world and making major technical advances to protect transportation infrastructure in the event of natural and man-made disasters.”Zoli, who also has been featured in Esquire magazine’s Best and Brightest of 2010 and NBC Nightly News, has consistently used the media attention to spread the word about the nation’s infrastructure needs. He is an advocate of moving away from a design approach dominated by material efficiency to one focused more on constructability and structural safety. He has been at the forefront of the bridge community in developing protective measures for the main cables and hangars of suspension bridges, incorporating advanced composite material. He also has researched fire effects on bridge components.”Ted is the embodiment of HNTB’s commitment to technical excellence,” said Ken Graham, CEO, HNTB Infrastructure.  “He consistently provides valuable leadership for HNTB’s award-wining projects and serves as a mentor for technical/design staff across the firm.”  With nearly 100 years of bridge design history, HNTB is a leader in long-span, moveable and complex bridges. The firm consistently delivers cost-effective, unique design solutions for its clients with an eye toward incorporating the latest advances in technology and sustainability.About HNTB HNTB Corporation is an employee-owned infrastructure firm serving public and private owners and contractors. With nearly a century of service, HNTB understands the life cycle of infrastructure and solves clients’ most complex technical, financial and operational challenges. Professionals nationwide deliver a full range of infrastructure-related services, including award-winning planning, design, program delivery and construction management. For more information, visit is external).SOURCE HNTB Corporation  KANSAS CITY, Mo., April 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/last_img read more

CVPS reports positive results for first quarter 2012

first_imgForward-Looking StatementsStatements contained in this press release that are not historical fact are forward-looking statements intended to qualify for the safe-harbors from the liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Statements made that are not historical facts are forward-looking and, accordingly, involve estimates, assumptions, risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements. Actual results will depend, among other things, upon the actions of regulators, effects of and changes in weather and economic conditions, volatility in wholesale electric markets, volatility in the financial markets, and our ability to maintain our current credit ratings. These and other risk factors are detailed in CV’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings. CV cannot predict the outcome of any of these matters; accordingly, there can be no assurance that such indicated results will be realized. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements that speak only as of the date of this press release. CV does not undertake any obligation to publicly release any revision to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this press release. 2012 —————————- Earnings Per Net Income Diluted Share (in millions)Net earnings excluding merger-related expenses $ 9.2 $ 0.67Merger-related expenses, after-tax (0.3) (0.02) ————- ————-Net earnings $ 8.9 $ 0.65 ============= ============= Central Vermont Public Service (NYSE: CV) reported consolidated first-quarter earnings of $9.2 million or $0.67 per diluted share, excluding merger-related costs after-tax of $0.3 million, or $0.02 per diluted share. Including merger-related costs, earnings were $8.9 million, or 65 cents per diluted share of common stock, for 2012 compared to $8.4 million, or $0.62 per diluted share of common stock, for 2011.The $0.5 million increase in earnings in 2012 was primarily due to lower service restoration costs in the first three months of 2012 and higher income from variable life insurance policies, partially offset by lower sales due to warmer weather. First-quarter earnings of $9.2 million, or 67 cents per diluted share, 5 cents higher than 2011, excluding merger-related costs of $0.3 million after-tax, or 2 cents per diluted share$5.3 million increase in retail revenues (4.78% rate increase effective Jan. 1, 2012 and higher sales due to new customers, partially offset by lower volume due to warmer weather)$1.0 million decrease in service restoration (No major storms in 2012)$0.5 million increase in merger-related costs (None in 2011)Due to pending merger, earnings guidance has been discontinued”Our first quarter results show that we are off to a solid start for the year in spite of the extraordinary mild winter we experienced,” CVPS President and CEO Larry Reilly said. “Our first quarter earnings were only modestly affected by merger-related costs, and those costs had no impact on our dividend. Our agreement with Gaz Métro allows us to pay a quarterly dividend of 23 cents per share until the sale is consummated.”Reilly said the company remains focused on high-quality customer service and reliability. “In March, we received the Edison Electric Institute’s award for emergency response for the company’s outstanding efforts in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene last year,” Reilly said. “This is the fourth time CVPS has received that award in five years. Emergency response and customer service will continue to be central to our efforts as the closing and merger draw nearer.”2012 results compared to 2011The following is a reconciliation of 2012 net earnings, excluding merger-related costs: Central Vermont Public Service Corporation – Consolidated Earnings Release (dollars in thousands, except per share amounts) Three months ended March 31Condensed Income statement 2012 2011 ————- ————-Operating revenues: Retail sales $ 88,575 $ 83,258 Resale sales 5,743 7,695 Provision for rate refund (1,047) 3,391 Other 2,971 2,741 ————- ————-Total operating revenues 96,242 97,085 ————- ————-Operating expenses: Purchased power – affiliates and other 40,488 41,352 Other operating expenses 44,871 45,948 Income tax expense 3,138 2,857 ————- ————- Total operating expense 88,497 90,157 ————- ————-Utility operating income 7,745 6,928 ————- ————-Other income: Equity in earnings of affiliates 6,800 6,941 Other, net 372 105 Merger-related expenses (242) 0 Income tax expense (2,220) (2,302) ————- ————- Total other income 4,710 4,744 ————- ————-Interest expense 3,580 3,247 ————- ————-Net income 8,875 8,425Dividends declared on preferred stock 92 92 ————- ————-Earnings available for common stock $ 8,783 $ 8,333 ============= =============Per common share dataEarnings per share of common stock – basic $ 0.65 $ 0.62Earnings per share of common stock – diluted $ 0.65 $ 0.62Average shares of common stock outstanding – basic 13,491,377 13,353,973Average shares of common stock outstanding – diluted 13,570,720 13,406,926Dividends declared per share of common stock $ 0.23 $ 0.46Dividends paid per share of common stock $ 0.23 $ 0.23Supplemental financial statement dataBalance sheet Investments in affiliates $ 181,832 $ 174,893 Total assets $ 774,630 $ 700,016 Common stock equity $ 276,259 $ 275,248 Long-term debt (excluding current portions) $ 228,448 $ 188,300Cash Flows Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period $ 1,734 $ 2,676 Cash provided by operating activities 18,164 32,382 Cash used for investing activities (4,978) (2,824) Cash used for financing activities (13,196) (17,105) ————- ————- Cash and cash equivalents at end of period $ 1,724 $ 15,129 ============= ============= Refer to our 2012 Form 10-Q for additional informationRUTLAND, VT — (Marketwire) — 05/09/12 — Central Vermont Public Service (NYSE: CV)center_img Reconciliation of Earnings Per Diluted Share Three Months 2012 vs. 2011 ————-2011 Earnings per diluted share $0.62Major Year-over-Year Effects on Earnings: Lower service restoration due to no major storms in 2012 0.02 Lower salaries expense 0.02 Variable life insurance 0.02 Lower retail revenue sales volume due to weather (0.03) Merger-related fees (0.02) Other (includes income tax adjustments, and various items) 0.02 ————-2012 Earnings per diluted share $0.65 ============= Operating revenues in 2012 decreased $0.8 million, including a $4.4 million decrease in the provision for rate refund and a $2 million decrease in resale revenue, partially offset by a $5.3 million increase in retail revenues and a $0.2 million increase in other operating revenues.The provision for rate refund is the net impact during the year of collections and refunds of amounts previously deferred, as required by the power cost adjustment component of our alternative regulation plan. In 2011, $4.1 million of revenues included in the provision for rate refund were offset by higher regulatory amortizations, included in Other operating expenses, as described below. Resale revenues decreased due to lower volume available for resale due to higher retail load, and lower market rates for power. The increase in retail revenues primarily resulted from a 4.78 percent base rate increase, effective January 1, 2012, which contributed $3.9 million, and the acquisition of the Vermont Marble service territory on September 1, 2011, which contributed $3.7 million, partially offset by a $2.2 million decrease from weaker customer demand in 2012, due to warmer weather. Other operating revenues increased $0.2 million, primarily due to higher sales of renewable energy credits in 2012 versus 2011.Purchased power expense decreased $0.9 million, comprised of a decrease of $1.8 million from lower output at the Vermont Yankee plant in 2012 due to the end of the contract on March 21, 2012, partially offset by $0.4 million of higher volumes from ISO-NE purchases, a $0.3 million increase due to higher deliveries from Hydro-Québec, and various items.Other operating expenses decreased $1.1 million. This included a $3.9 million decrease in net regulatory amortizations, largely due to 2011 exogenous costs of $4.1 million, related to major storms and tax law changes, a $1 million decrease in service restoration costs due to no major storms in 2012, and lower salary expense due to fewer employees in 2012 versus 2011. These decreases were partially offset by an increase of $2 million in transmission expenses driven by higher rates from ISO-NE; higher Vermont Transmission Agreement billings and lower NEPOOL Open Access Transmission Tariff reimbursements due to lower retail loads; an $0.8 million increase in tree trimming; a $0.3 million increase in property taxes, principally due to general increases and more property, related to the acquisition of Vermont Marble; and various items. We also had a $0.3 million increase in operating income tax expense as a result of a higher level of earnings in 2012.Other, net increased $0.3 million, primarily due to $0.2 million of higher income from variable life insurance policies.Merger-related expenses included in Other Income were $0.2 million in 2012 versus none in 2011.Interest expense increased $0.3 million, primarily due to long-term debt issued in June 2011, partially offset by bond redemptions in June 2011.Earnings Guidance Due to the pending merger, the company has discontinued earnings guidance.Webcast CV will host an earnings teleconference and webcast on May 10, 2012, beginning at 11 a.m. Eastern Time. At that time, CV President and CEO Larry Reilly and Acting Chief Financial Officer Edmund Ryan will discuss the company’s financial results and recent developments in the company’s planned sale and merger.Interested parties may listen to the conference call live on the Internet by selecting the “CVPS 2012 1st Quarter Earnings Conference Call” link on the “Investor Relations” section of the company’s website at is external). An audio archive of the call will be available later that day at the same location or by dialing 1-877-660-6853 within the U.S. or internationally by dialing 1-201-612-7415 and entering Account 286 and Conference ID 392463.About CVCV is Vermont’s largest electric utility, serving more than 160,000 customers statewide. CV’s non-regulated subsidiary, Catamount Resources Corporation, sells and rents electric water heaters through a subsidiary, SmartEnergy Water Heating Services.Form 10-QOn Wednesday, May 9, 2012, the company filed its quarterly Form 10-Q with the Securities and Exchange Commission. A copy of that report is available on our web site, is external), under the “Investor Relations” section. Please refer to it for additional information regarding our condensed consolidated financial statements, results of operations, capital resources and liquidity.last_img read more

Charlie Moore named president of AllEarth Rail

first_imgVermont Business Magazine Charlie Moore, a railroad executive with more than 40 years of experience in the railroad industry, has been named president of AllEarth Rail, LLC. This is the next step for the firm that has acquired self-propelled passenger rail cars from Texas in order bring commuter rail back to Vermont. The commuter line is still in the planning stages, but the concept is to provide commuter rail in the northwestern part of the state initially. A demonstration of the service could happen before the end of this year.“We are very excited to welcome Charlie Moore as president of this new company. His knowledge, experience, and love for Vermont’s railways makes him the perfect choice for AllEarth Rail,” said David Blittersdorf, founder of AllEarth Rail.Moore previously worked as the Vice President of Business Development at RailComm, a global leader in the design and implementation of rail automation systems and software for the freight, transit and industrial markets. Prior to that he served as the Regional Vice President for RailAmerica’s Atlantic Region. Under Charlie’s leadership, the region delivered year over year improvements in customer satisfaction, growth and operating income. During his tenure the region also delivered year over year reductions in the total number of Federal Rail Association (FRA) reportable injuries and FRA reportable derailments.Moore is a member of the Vermont Rail Advisory Council, a board member of the Vermont Rail Action Network (VRAN), and is the past president of Vermont Railroad Association.As VBM was the first to report, Blittersdorf, via his new company AllEarth Rail, an affiliate of Williston-based solar manufacturer AllEarth Renewables, in April won a bid to purchase 12 vintage rail coaches for $4 million, from Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART). Each of the Budd coaches has two diesel engines. The trains, therefore, would not require a separate locomotive, as the Amtrak Vermonter does.STORY: AllEarth pays $4 million for commuter rail carsAbout AllEarth RailAllEarth Rail, LLC is a regional passenger railroad holding company seeking to provide essential services to rural Vermont that reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with vehicle miles traveled and provide an alternative to owning cars for people of all ages seeking Vermont’s quality of life. AllEarth Rail will acquire and operate commuter and regional passenger railroad assets that enable it to work with existing public and private transportation services to provide safe, reliable and cost-effective passenger service between Vermont’s cities and towns, resorts, hospitals, colleges and universities. VBM vermontbiz.comSource: AllEarth Rail 7.5.2017. is external)last_img read more

Governor Scott announces Vermont Clean Water Week, August 20-26

first_imgVermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott is issuing a proclamation to declare the week of August 20th “Clean Water Week” for the State of Vermont. Vermont businesses, organizations, communities and individuals across the state are taking part in the celebration of Vermont’s waters, and joining the call for action to restore and protect this vital resource.Emily Boedecker, Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, explains, “This proclamation gives Vermont the opportunity to take stock of the intrinsic value of our rivers, streams, lakes, ponds and wetlands to our economy, our communities and our way of life. While we face difficult challenges to restore clean water in some parts of the state, we are also celebrating this declaration, which demonstrates our resolve to work together for clean water.”Over 90 businesses and organizations have signed up thus far as sponsors of Clean Water Week, offering close to 60 public Clean Water events to celebrate, educate and engage. Events include farm visits, paddling and ecology walks, wastewater and water supply plant tours, rain garden tours and workshops for homeowners, tours by bicycle, and even a few art and cultural heritage events. Check out the exciting events happening in your area at: is external).Boedecker adds, “I am thrilled that so many businesses, agencies, organizations and State Parks have signaled their recognition of the value of Clean Water and their support for our shared goals by participating in Clean Water Week. Events are happening across the state, from Castleton to Craftsbury, Springfield to Waitsfield, Burlington to Barre and Londonderry to Waterbury. Check out the events at our State Parks, including Brighton in Island Pond, Silver Lake in Barnard and Jamaica. These events provide opportunities for everyone to take part in activities that are going on near where they live.”Source: Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation 8.15.2017last_img read more

CCV faculty overwhelmingly vote to join union

first_imgCommunity College of Vermont,Vermont Business Magazine Ballots from 435 Community College of Vermont (CCV) faculty were counted Thursday at the Vermont Labor Relations Board. CCV faculty voted by mail on the question of whether to join the AFT Vermont union. 300 CCV faculty voted yes to join AFT Vermont (70% of ballots cast) in order to negotiate for an improved CCV for faculty and students. The final tally was 300 voting for the union, 131 opposed, and 4 spoiled ballots.”This is a very exciting moment for faculty,” said Emily Casey a CCV Faculty member from the Winooski Campus. “We have been organizing our union for many years, and this vote validates what we already know: CCV faculty want a seat at the table in decisions that affect students and teachers. We look forward to working in a collaborative relationship with CCV administration to make the institution an even better place for faculty and students.”CCV Faculty and VSC Faculty Federation members, left to Right: Jenn Turchi, Lisa Clein, Howard Kaplan, Claude Lehman, Emily Casey, Linda Olson, Kathleen Moore.”This is a huge step forward for the 539 adjunct faculty, who are seeking fairness and higher quality working conditions so that they can provide the best educational experience they can for their students,” said Deb Snell, president, AFT Vermont.CCV President Joyce Judy issued this statement following the vote: “One of CCV’s goals in this election was for the majority of our faculty to participate, and we are pleased that 81% of eligible faculty voted. We respect their decision to unionize. Throughout the College’s 47-year history, we have valued and appreciated our working relationship with faculty. We will remain committed to this relationship while continuing to focus on student access and success. We look forward to negotiating a contract that is effective for both parties and that enhances opportunities for our students.”AFT Vermont represents all of the other public faculty in Vermont including the faculty at UVM and the Vermont State Colleges.On June 30, 2017, CCV Faculty filed a petition, signed by a majority of faculty, with the Vermont Labor Relations Board to request a union election. CCV Faculty have chosen to join the Vermont State Colleges Faculty Federation, AFT Local 3180, AFT Vermont. The election was held over a three-week period, September 15th – October 6th, conducted by mail ballot to accommodate the faculty who work at 13 campuses throughout the state of Vermont and online.CCV is Vermont’s second largest college, serving over 7,000 students each semester. With 12 locations and extensive online learning options, students don’t have to travel far from their communities to access degree and certificate programs, workforce, secondary and continuing education opportunities, and academic and veterans support services. is external)The American Federation of Teachers is a union of professionals that champions fairness; democracy; economic opportunity; and high-quality public education, healthcare and public services for our students, their families and our communities. We are committed to advancing these principles through community engagement, organizing, collective bargaining and political activism, and especially through the work our members do. In Vermont, American Federation of Teachers represents professionals in health care and higher education. is external)Source: MONTPELIER, VT — American Federation of Teachers 10.12.2017last_img read more

Vermont Ag Hall of Fame names 2018 inductees

first_imgVermont Business Magazine The Vermont Agricultural Hall of Fame is pleased to announce the 2018 inductees. Now in its 16th year, the Hall has inducted 75 Vermonters to date. To reflect the evolving face of Vermont agriculture, for the first time this year, the Hall will induct outstanding individuals in three categories: Emerging Leader, Ag Innovator, and Lifetime Achievement.Emerging Leader: Stepping Up to Become the Next Generation of Leaders (age 40 and under)Clara Ayer, East MontpelierClara is a third-generation dairy farmer and family farm advocate. She works alongside her family at Fairmount Farm, where she wears many hats – from overseeing human resources for their staff of fifty employees, to bookkeeping, to marketing, and events management. She plays an active role in shaping agricultural policy through her advocacy at the Vermont Statehouse, and in Washington D.C. as part of her work as an Agri-Mark Young Cooperator and member of the National Milk Producers’ Federation. She currently serves as the secretary of the Vermont Holstein Association, and is a delegate of both Vermont and New England Dairy Promotion. Clara also created and manages a “Life on the Farm” summer camp for youth, which offers kids the opportunity to experience agriculture through fun, educational on-farm activities. Clara graduated from Cornell University in 2010 with a B.A. in Dairy Science. She and her husband Dana are excited to be raising their two-year-old son, Carson, on the family farm.Ag Innovator: Bringing New Energy, Ideas, and Opportunity to Vermont’s Working LandscapeBeth Kennett, RochesterBeth is a dairy farmer and innkeeper who helped forge the path for Vermont’s agritourism industry.  For more than 30 years, she has helped educate Vermont farmers, government officials, and the public about the economic, social, and educational benefits of agritourism. As the former president of Vermont Farms!, she has traveled and spoken both nationally and internationally to build awareness for agritourism and create new opportunities for Vermont farmers. Her tireless outreach and desire to educate has enabled many farms to diversify and realize the economic advantages of connecting directly with the public.  Since 1984, Beth, her husband Bob, and three generations of her family have opened their home for farm stays, providing educational, hands-on vacations for thousands of domestic and international guests. Lifetime Achievement: 30+ Years of Outstanding Service to Vermont AgricultureRobert Foster, MiddleburyRobert is a partner in Foster Brothers Farm, a fifth-generation dairy, who served on the Agrimark Board of Directors for 37 consecutive years, before retiring in 2015. He also chairs the University of Vermont, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Board of Advisors. Sustainability has always been one of Robert’s passions. Foster Brothers Farm was the first in the state to install and operate a methane digester. Robert is also co-owner and operator of Vermont Natural Ag Products, a sustainable business which supplies wholesale products, formulated from cow, horse and poultry compost, to the horticultural, agricultural, and turf industries. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for The Soil Health Institute. Within the Agrimark Co-op, Robert has been a champion for renewable energy and sustainability, helping to pioneer the Vital Capital Index, which helps member farms measure and manage their impact on their community, the environment and their bottom line. He has been a tireless advocate for Vermont agriculture, and a mentor and leader to young farmers, over the course of his prestigious career. Together with his wife, Nancy, he has three grown daughters; Robin Cole, Jennifer Foster, and Heather Foster-Provencher, and six grandchildren.Lifetime Achievement: 30+ Years of Outstanding Service to Vermont AgricultureEnid Wonnacott, HuntingtonEnid has served as the Executive Director of The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) since 1987. Over the course of her tenure, thanks to her leadership, Vermont’s organic industry has grown immensely, from just 57 certified farms in 1990, to more than 700, today. Enid has worked tirelessly to help ensure all Vermonters have access to local, organic foods, and began a pioneering farm share program more than 20 ago to provide subsidized farm shares for low-income Vermonters. As the National Organic Program was developed, Enid worked to implement a national certification program that kept the needs of Vermont’s family farms at the forefront. Over the past three decades, she has nurtured and guided more than 70 staff and 20 interns, secured consistent grant and donor funding, and led NOFA-VT to become a national leader in organic advocacy, food access, and farm to school education. She has made an indelible mark on both the local, and national, organic movement. Enid grew up in Weybridge, and has lived on a small farmstead in Huntington with her husband, Harry, and children, Lila and Eli, for the past thirty years. Winners were selected by a panel of judges from more than forty nominations. They will be honored at a luncheon at noon on Wednesday, August 29th at the Champlain Valley Exposition (CVE). Anson Tebbetts, Vermont’s Secretary of Agriculture, and Chuck Ross, Director of UVM Extension, will emcee. To purchase tickets or to sponsor the luncheon, please contact CVE at (802) 878-5545 or [email protected](link sends e-mail)The Ag Hall of Fame, located inside the Miller Building at CVE, can be viewed during the Champlain Valley Fair, and other Expo events throughout the year. Nominations for next year’s Hall of Fame class will be accepted beginning in January of 2019.Essex Junction, VT –  The Vermont Agricultural Hall of Fame  7.26.2018last_img read more

Saxtons River Distillery receives $350,000 loan

first_imgSaxtons River Distillery,Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) has provided $350,000 in financing through the Windham County Economic Development Program (WCEDP) to Saxtons River Distillery. The loan will provide for a portion of the funding to purchase real estate at 155 Chickering Drive(link is external) in Brattleboro. This acquisition will allow the owners of Saxtons River Distillery to move production out of a leased location and into space four times bigger than they currently occupy. The larger location will allow the business to expand capacity and provide for a more welcoming tasting/retail facility, including accommodating indoor and outdoor events.“We have been looking for the right opportunity to expand for three years,” said Founder and Head Distiller Chris Stromberg. “This location will provide us with both space for our production expansion and a much broader visitor experience. We are grateful the WCEDP loan helped make this possible.”Saxtons River Distillery began 11 years ago in a barn in Cambridgeport; subsequently, all operations moved to Brattleboro. The distillery boasts of a heritage born from Lithuania traditions and spirits that feature the flavors of Vermont.“Distillers across the State are experiencing a healthy growth trajectory and Saxtons River Distillery is a prime example of the growth and success,” said Commissioner of Economic Development Joan Goldstein. “This expansion will increase capacity and allow development of new products which means bringing on additional staff; a beautiful alignment with the purpose of the Windham County Economic Development Program.”WCEDP is administered by the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development in cooperation with the WCEDP Advisory Council. The funds were secured through a memorandum of understanding governing the closure of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, for the purpose of mitigating the impacts of closure on the region’s economy including the loss of over 600 jobs. WCEDP investment promotes economic development in Windham County by stimulating job creation through business start-up, expansion, or relocation, by encouraging entrepreneurial activity, and by strengthening the economic development infrastructure to ensure a strong foundation for transformational economic activity.  For more information on WCEDP, visit is external).About the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development The ACCD’s mission is to help Vermonters improve their quality of life and build strong communities. The ACCD is comprised of four Departments: the Department of Economic Development (DED), the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), the Department of Administration, and the Department of Tourism and Marketing (VDTM). The Agency reports annually to the Legislature on activities and outcomes. For more information on the Vermont ACCD, visit: is external).For more information on Saxtons River Distillery, visit is external).Source: ACCD.last_img read more

Cerf Community Fund awards $77,740 in grants to 25 organizations

first_imgVermont Business Magazine The Walter Cerf Community Fund, a component fund of the Vermont Community Foundation, has announced $77,740 in grants to twenty-five organizations, which build on over $60,000 in Cerf Fund grants already at work in the community in 2020 as part of multi-year commitments.This year’s awards represent a combination of competitive grants to organizations supporting basic needs, historic preservation, arts, and education, as well as a number of proactive grants to longstanding grantee partners that experienced significant disruption as a result of COVID-19 or served on the frontlines of pandemic response. Most grant recipients are based in Addison County or northern Rutland County.Since its establishment in 2001, the Walter Cerf Community Fund has continued the charitable legacy of a remarkable man who cared deeply about the vitality of the communities of Addison County, northern Rutland County, and beyond. The son of a successful businessman, Walter Cerf immigrated to the United States as a refugee of Nazi Germany in 1937, going on to serve in the military and then work as a Professor of Philosophy at Brooklyn College for twenty-five years.He retired to his summer home in Leicester, Vermont, in 1972. At his death in 2001, the Walter Cerf Community Fund was established at the Vermont Community Foundation as a permanent endowment, making grants annually in his name. The Vermont Community Foundation is proud to have the Walter Cerf Community Fund as a partner in its work to close the opportunity gap for Vermonters.2020 GrantsAddison Central Teens received $5,000 to support a portion of the fees related to hosting AmeriCorps VISTA and AmeriCorps State members.Addison County Community Action Group (HOPE) received $5,000 in general operating support.Addison County Relocalization Network (ACORN) received $5,000 to support the Farmacy Food as Medicine program, which connects families with local fruit and vegetable shares, as well as educational information.Charlotte Grange #398 received $750 to restore eight large schoolhouse windows in the Charlotte Grange Hall.Corner School Resource Center of Granville received $4,240 to support the construction of an ADA entry at Granville’s historic 1871 Corner School, which is currently being renovated into a community center.Davies Memorial Library received $2,500 to continue to offer and manage up-to-date services and varied literature that support lifelong learning and diversity—a critical support after the library was forced to cancel all local fundraising events in 2020.Fort Ticonderoga Association received $2,000 to support the delivery of 10-20 virtual or in-classroom outreach programs on life during the Revolutionary War to schools and libraries within Addison County.Helen Day Art Center received $2,000 to support its arts education scholarships, which help more than 60 community members access arts education programs for free or reduced cost each year.Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont History received $3,500 in general operating support.Hospice Volunteer Services/End of Life Services received $5,000 in general operating support.Lake Champlain Maritime Museum received $2,500 to support the boat building portion of its Champlain Longboats program, a five-month project that will engage up to 20 Addison County high school students.Middlebury Area Land Trust received $1,500 to improve public access to seven Addison County properties, including expanding and repairing parking, creating signage, and map creation.Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival received $1,000 to support an online Festival instead of a live event, which they were forced to cancel due to the pandemic.Opera Company of Middlebury received $1,500 to support the creation of a video production of Completing the Picture by composer Michael Ching, its fall 2020 production.Preservation Trust of Vermont received $5,000 in general operating support.Chaffee Art Center received $5,000 to support restoration of building porch railings and balusters.Shelburne Museum received $2,500 in general operating support.Starksboro Public Library received $1,000 to support the development of a collection of culturally relevant works by and about women, BIPOC, and LGBTQIA people for library patrons of all ages, with a focus on the tween/teen collection.Town Hall Theater received $4,000 in general operating support.Vermont Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired received $2,000 to support its SMART Device Technology Program, which supports visually impaired Vermonters to gain proficiency and independence with assistive devices, tablets, and smartphone technology.Vermont Curators Group received $2,000 to restart a state-wide collaborative exhibition between its members, which will pivot to reflect the extraordinary events of 2020.Vermont Elks Charities received $5,000 to support the replacement of building ramps at its Silver Towers Camp, which hosts over 500 campers for eight weeks each summer.Vermont Family Network received $5,000 to support its Anxiety Program for Brandon and Addison county students in grades PK-4, which provides virtual classroom presentations to help students create strategies for managing worry.Vermont Historical Society received $4,000 to support the Annual Meeting of the League of Historical Societies and Museums, which will provide necessary professional development and training focused on COVID-19 recovery this year.Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom received $750 to bring Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner to make presentations at three universities and five high schools as part of the Centennial of Women’s Suffrage.The Vermont Community Foundation inspires giving and brings people and resources together to make a difference in Vermont. This includes helping to coordinate philanthropic response in times of crisis and challenge. The Foundation is committed to helping Vermont communities that are impacted by COVID-19 by responding to immediate needs and long-term recovery efforts. Visit to learn more.Source: Vermont Community Foundation 8.31.2020last_img read more