KeyBank and VBM honor fastest growing companiesOctober 1, 2004BURLINGTON At an awards ceremony last night (Thursday September 30) KeyBank of Vermont and Vermont Business Magazine honored Vermont’s fastest growing businesses at the Wyndham Hotel in Burlington.The annual 5x5x5 Awards recognize the five fastest growing Vermont-based businesses over the last five years in five industrial sectors. The data is gathered from Vermont Business Magazines Vermont 100 list of companies ranked by sales, which runs in its January issue. VBM has run such a list since 1987.President Scott Carpenter of KeyBank and Publisher John Boutin of VBM, along with Lieutenant Governor Brian Dubie, presented the awards to the 25 recipients. David Coates, COO of New England Culinary Institute, was master of ceremonies. Sponsoring the event were Downs Rachlin & Martin PLLC, the Vermont Department of Economic Development, and Business Interiors.The Award Winners are as follows:(with five-year growth 1998-2003)Technology:1) NRG Systems, Hinesburg, 202.2%2) Small Dog Electronics, Waitsfield, 150%3) SoVerNet, Bellows Falls, 132.6%4) Vermed, Bellows Falls, 93.2%5) Chroma Technology, Rockingham, 88.5%Manufacturing:1) PCM/Image-Tek, Springfield, 372.2%2) Hubbardton Forge, Castleton, 182%3) Sonnax, Bellows Falls, 96%4) Acrylic Designs, Springfield, 94.1%5) Autumn Harp, Bristol, 89.8%Service/Retail:1) Pyramid Supply, Barre, 400%2) Seventh Generation, Burlington, 180.9%3) Vermont Teddy Bear, Shelburne, 134.3%4) Gardener’s Supply, Burlington, 83.5%5) Bond Auto Parts, Barre, 78.7%Food:1) Vermont Pure Holdings Inc, Randolph, 329.4%2) ForesTrade, Brattleboro, 328.6%3) C & S Wholesale, Brattleboro, 121.6%4) Burlington Foodservice, Colchester, 114.3%5) Green Mountain Coffee, Waterbury, 109.1%Construction:1) McKernon Group, Brandon, 300%2) Prime Construction, Burlington, 236.8%3) DEW Construction, Williston, 184.3%4) Snyder Companies, Essex Junction, 179%%5) TFM Construction, Colchester, 164.7%The awards ceremony was followed by a panel discussion with a winner from each category. The presenters were: Michael Hathaway, President, PCM/Image-Tek; Don Wells, President, DEW Construction; Don Mayer, President, Small Dog Electronics; Sylvia Blanchett, Co-founder, ForesTrade; and Jeffrey Hollender, President, Seventh Generation.- 30 –
Alice Christian, MPA, of Colchester has been named executive director of the Champlain Valley Area Health Education Center (CVAHEC), announces Patricia Donehower, MSN, RN, chair of the Board of Directors. She succeeds Fran Joseph, who ably led the organization for two years before resigning in August.We feel very fortunate to have Alice taking the leadership role at CVAHEC and carrying on the mission of recruitment, retention and healthcare initiatives to meet the healthcare workforce needs for Vermonters. Alice will lead an experienced team in the St. Albans office and adds her wonderful skill, passion and commitment to our workforce. A graduate of Smith College in Northampton, MA, with a Bachelor of Arts degree, Christian has completed Mediation Training at Woodbury College in Montpelier, VT and earned her Masters in Public Administration from the University of Vermont this year. She is a member of Pi Alpha Alpha, the National Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration.While she earned her masters degree, Christian completed internships at the Vermont Department of Health where she did a workload analysis of the Burlington District Health Office, and at the City of Burlington Community and Economic Development Office where she assisted in developing the Burlington Substance Abuse Coalition, now known as the Burlington Partnership for a Healthy Community. She currently volunteers with the Partnership.The new executive director has also held positions with Mercy Connections in Burlington, Vermont Folk Rocker in Starksboro, Seven Days newspaper, the Peace and Justice Store in Burlington and in Academic Computing at Smith College.She has volunteered as a co-founder of the International Fair Trade Association, as a member of the Burlington Central America Solidarity Association, and is a former president of the Northampton Food Coop Board of Directors.
Governor Jim Douglas announced today that up to $6 million dollars in lower-rate operating loans will be made available through VEDA for farmers struggling during the economic downturn.The loans, provided through State Fiscal Stabilization Funds in the Recovery Act, will provide working capital to farmers as they enter the busy planting season in the midst of a national credit squeeze. Volatile energy and commodity prices have caused further concern for the agricultural community in recent months.The Governor, joined by legislative leaders, praised the collaborative work of VEDA leadership and members of the House and Senate agricultural committees. Farms and farm suppliers are a vital part of Vermont s economy and heritage, the Governor said, I m pleased that we were able to make these funds available so that we can continue to preserve our working landscape. This money will help with better collaboration between farmers and agricultural lending institutions, especially farmers who can save thousands with this program by consolidating their high interest loans, said Paul Remillard, interim director of the Farm Service Agency. This is a critical time for farmers and getting this money out quickly will make a big difference for those who need support to get their crops in now.These funds are part of the $17.1 million in discretionary funds provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 State Fiscal Stabilization Funds. While agriculture was not part of the focus in the federal recovery bill, I wanted to be sure that we found a way to invest in our farmers during this difficult time, the Governor continued. The VEDA Agricultural Loan program has a track record of success when it comes to providing farmers with support during tough economic times. That is why I am so pleased we were all able to come together to make support possible. I want to extend a special thanks to all the farmers and suppliers that joined us here today. These are difficult times for Vermont s farms, families, businesses and the state itself and we must work together to ensure we all weather the storm and emerge as a stronger, more vibrant state in the future, said Speaker Smith. This investment in Vermont farmers does just that. Vermont’s dairy farmers are facing the most difficult economic challenges in recent memory, said Senator Shumlin. Without strong farms our state is at risk of losing the qualities that make Vermont what it is. We must do everything in our power to give our farmers the help they need in the hope that fair milk prices are not far away.Loans will be available at subsidized rates and used for farm operating needs such as feed, seed, fuel and fertilizer. Additionally, these loans will be eligible to be used to consolidate existing open accounts that farmers may already have for various types of operational inputs.Governor Douglas first announced this effort as part of his comprehensive SmartVermont economic grown plan to invest all $17.1 million in immediate and direct economic support for existing Vermont businesses and companies looking to grow and expand in the Green Mountain State. The Governor s SmartVermont plan will leverage nearly $160 million in seed capital, working capital, investments in tourism and travel promotion for the summer months and support for high tech incubation.For more information about VEDA, contact Jo Bradley at (802) 828-5458.Source: Governor’s Office
Chief Recovery Officer Tom Evslin reported by teleconference to the General Assembly today that $55,966,939 of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds reimbursed to Vermont State government by Washington created or retained 1990.86 “direct” jobs in the state. The preliminary numbers were produced using detailed federal guidelines which state that “jobs” are full time equivalents (FTEs) calculated from payroll data, that is, two half time workers during the reporting period count as one FTE. These numbers are taken from 51 reports submitted by Office of Economic Stimulus and Recovery (ESR) to the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as part of the required “1512” reporting. The reports may be corrected by the state until they are made public on October 30 and Evslin predicted that there will be corrections.Direct jobs created with these funds are the positions counted for today’s reporting purposes. That means that the people working “directly” on a bridge project are counted however “indirect” jobs like the people who made the steel used in the bridge, and “induced” jobs, like the people who work in the stores where the bridge workers and steel makers are able to shop because they have jobs are not counted.Federal projections of ARRA impact do include direct, indirect, and induced jobs which means state reports reflect only a portion of the jobs actually created or retained by ARRA. Neither the states nor the federal government distinguish between jobs created and jobs retained.The State of Vermont reported 510.8 jobs in a program run by the Department of Labor for dislocated and disadvantaged workers including youth. Highway construction accounted for 474.61 jobs. State Fiscal Stabilization Funds (SFSF), a part of ARRA given to states to shore up their budgets in a time of declining revenue, paid for 421.4 jobs in public safety and 375.12 in local school districts.However, Evslin cautioned that it is highly unlikely that all the teachers and public safety officials whose positions were paid with SFSF funds would have been terminated if the ARRA funds were not available. “The State would almost certainly have funded these positions even if the ARRA money wasn’t available or had been used elsewhere,” he said.Evslin continued “without SFSF and Medicaid funding to help Vermont fill massive deficits caused by the recession, there would likely have been more layoffs throughout state government and perhaps even higher taxes. Even with these funds, we still face the challenge of how we are going to fund these positions a year from now when the ARRA funds dry up and revenues still have not rebounded to previous levels.”The State has received an additional $120,974,211 in other stimulus funding which is not subject to 1512 reporting and for which job estimates are not prepared by the states; almost $105 million of this was reimbursement for Medicaid expenses. Moreover, organizations which receive ARRA grants and loans directly from the federal government are required to report directly to OMB; information they filed will also become public on October 30 but is not available to State officials until then. No reports are required from individuals who received ARRA tax cuts or credit or from other individual beneficiaries.Some of this funding indubitably produced indirect and induced jobs as did the money allocated by the State for Economic Development. For example, Vermont Economic Development Authority estimated that 563 jobs have been impacted by the ARRA-funded interest rate buydown which is part of Governor Jim Douglas’ SmartVermont program. These jobs are not reportable under federal 1512 guidelines.Although reports from other states are not yet available, Evslin predicted that Vermont will compare favorably in how quickly it put stimulus money to work creating jobs. “We know, for example, that VTRANs has gotten projects out and going faster than most other states – even other cold weather states. We deliberately used federal money before state money to pay salaries and for other expenses to reduce the amount the state needs to borrow to save interest dollars as well as to meet the intent of ARRA that this money be put to work quickly. Our agencies overall have done a good job of establishing or expanding programs quickly.”Quarterly ARRA job counts from all states will eventually decline as the money is spent. They may also decline from quarter to quarter due to seasonal factors like the end of the construction season and the termination of summer jobs.The legislative teleconference was arranged by Senator Jane Kitchel and Representative Janet Ancel and the Joint Fiscal Office. Kitchel and Ancel are the legislative liaisons to the Office of Economic Stimulus and Recover; they meet biweekly with ESR when the legislature is not in session and weekly during the session to ensure close coordination between the Administration and the Legislature on the implementation and use of ARRA funds.Source: Agency of Administration. 10.15.2009###
The color pink stood mighty amongst the crystal clear sky above. The pink shirts, pink hats, pink ribbons and everything in between, truly prove that strength is best shown in numbers. Stratton’s role in the Romp to Stomp dates back to the very first event in 2003 and the event continues to grow thanks to the numerous sponsors, volunteers and participants. In the event’s eight year history, over 2,500 have taken part, raising over $300,000 in the fight against breast cancer. Today, the army of pink raised over $47,000 for research, education, treatment and screening programs, which will be distributed locally.Rachel Rodney of Wilmington, Vermont brought together a team of 13, but only a fellow cousin would brave the elements with her dressed as a banana, a tribute to her grandmother Anna, a breast cancer survivor for over three decades.“It’s not keeping us warm, but once we got going, our bodies started to warm up,” Rodney said.The 625 people who gathered at the Stratton Sun Bowl for the 2010 Tubbs Romp to Stomp Out Breast Cancer opened their hearts and pushed their bodies through the bitter cold because it wasn’t their race, but everybody’s race.Take Alyson Ruby of Sunderland, who along with Team P-Ruby has been a Stratton Romp tradition since her mother succumbed to the disease five years ago. With the help of family and friends, the team led the way in raising over $7,000 for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure ®. Team Janet, a group based out of New York, had the next highest total raising over $3,000. “There are a lot of reasons to donate and a lot of people who gave,” said Swanna Macair, who came up from New York City to run for Team Janet, “We’re amazed especially given the numerous other charities and causes out there.”“It’s great that we could be here today, showing our support as a resort and as a community,” said Sara Colgan, who heads up Stratton’s Health and Wellness Committee, which had a team in the event. “It doesn’t take a lot to really make a difference and fund essentials like mammograms.” A full 100 percent of the funds raised in the Romp benefits the Vermont-New Hampshire affiliate Vermont-New Hampshire Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The Susan G. Komen for the Cure was established in 1982 by Nancy Brinker to honor the memory of her sister, Susan G. Komen, who died from breast cancer at the age of 36. The Foundation runs one of the most innovative, responsive grant programs in breast cancer today. In addition to funding research, the Foundation and its Affiliates fund community-based breast health education and breast cancer screening and treatment projects for the medically underserved.“This event brings people together that are committed to the cause,” said Wendy Miller, director of the Tubbs Romp to Stomp Out Breast Cancer series. “And because they love it so much, they bring back their friends. People that have maybe never snowshoed before, or people who have never been to a breast cancer event before.”“It’s an incredible mix of newbies and people who are committed to the sport and the cause.”A maximum of 75 percent of the net funds will be dedicated to support screening, education and treatment programs serving Vermont and New Hampshire residents. A minimum of 25 percent (net) of funds support the Komen Foundation Award and Research Grant Program.Source: Stratton: 1.31.2010
Rock of Ages Corporation,BARRE, Vermont — (BUSINESS WIRE)–Rock of Ages Corporation (NASDAQ:ROAC) today announced that a purported shareholder of Rock of Ages has commenced a purported class action lawsuit against Rock of Ages, all of the members of its Board of Directors and certain officers, and Swenson Granite Company, LLC (“Swenson”), in connection with the previously announced acquisition proposal submitted by Swenson on May 6, 2010 to Rock of Ages’ Board of Directors. The plaintiff alleges, among other things, that the directors and named officer defendants of Rock of Ages breached their fiduciary duties in connection with the Swenson proposal, that Swenson’s proposed offer is inadequate, and that the persons constituting a group with Swenson with respect to the Swenson proposal, including Rock of Ages’ controlling shareholders, would benefit from the proposed transaction to the detriment of Rock of Ages’ other shareholders. The plaintiff seeks, among other things, damages and injunctive relief against the consummation of the transaction proposed by Swenson. Rock of Ages believes the complaint is without merit and plans a vigorous defense.As previously reported, a Special Committee of independent directors has determined to commence a process to explore possible strategic alternatives for Rock of Ages while it continues to evaluate the Swenson proposal. The Special Committee has retained legal counsel and Covington Associates LLC as its financial advisor to assist and advise the Special Committee in connection with these matters. There can be no assurance that the Swenson proposal will lead to a definitive acquisition agreement, or that a transaction contemplated by the Swenson proposal or any other transaction will be approved or completed.About Rock of AgesRock of Ages (www.RockofAges.com(link is external)) is the largest integrated granite quarrier and manufacturer of finished granite memorials and granite blocks for memorial use in North America.Forward-Looking StatementsThis press release contains statements that are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on current expectations about future events. These statements are not guarantees of future events and involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict. Therefore, actual events may differ materially from what is expressed in such forward-looking statements due to numerous factors. These include the uncertainties which are attendant with litigation. Although Rock of Ages plans to vigorously defend against the allegations asserted by the plaintiff, there can be no assurances that it will be successful. Litigation is often expensive and distracting to management. A ruling adverse to Rock of Ages in this litigation may prevent Rock of Ages from further considering, pursuing, entering into or consummating any transaction contemplated by the Swenson Granite Company, LLC (“Swenson”) proposal or similar transactions even if the Special Committee and the Board believe such a transaction would be in the best interests of Rock of Ages’ shareholders. Additional uncertainties include whether the acquisition price proposed by Swenson will be reduced, whether financing for the acquisition can be obtained and whether an acquisition of Rock of Ages will be consummated upon the terms proposed by Swenson, or at all. In addition, the Special Committee’s determination to commence a process to explore and consider possible strategic alternatives may not lead to any other proposals being pursued, agreed to or consummated, and the Special Committee may determine to cease that process at any time. Rock of Ages will be responsible for payment of the fees and expenses of the Special Committee’s financial advisor and counsel, as well as of its own counsel; such fees and expenses could be significant and adversely impact Rock of Ages’ results of operations. In addition, to the extent Rock of Ages incurs expenses or liabilities in connection with the purported shareholder litigation that are not reimbursed by its insurance carriers, such amounts could significantly impact Rock of Ages’ results of operations and cash flows from operations. Further information and risks regarding factors that could affect Rock of Ages’ business, operations, financial results or financial positions are discussed from time to time in Rock of Ages’ Securities and Exchange Commission filings and reports. Such forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and Rock of Ages does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this release, except as may be required under the federal securities laws.Source: Rock of Ages 5.25.2010. BARRE, Vt.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–
Vermont Public Interest Research Group has partnered with AllEarth Renewables to help streamline the process of installing solar generation in communities across Vermont. With pilot projects launching in Williston and Waterbury, the Solar Communities campaign will be using VPIRG’s proven organizing and outreach abilities to reach residents and help them navigate the process of installing solar capacity in their towns. “We at AllEarth Renewables are really excited for the VPIRG Solar Communities campaign,” said Regina McCarthy Farrell, Director of Sales and Marketing for AER. “There is a positive buzz that comes when you install an AllSun Tracker in your backyard. We’ve seen first-hand how contagious going solar can be, and VPIRG has found a proven and efficient way to leverage that local, grassroots enthusiasm to make a meaningful contribution to the renewable energy economy in Vermont.”Source: AllEarth Renewables: Williston, VT—October 6, 2010—AllEarth Renewables, Inc.,Vermont’s only manufacturer of residential wind turbines and the AllSun Tracker dual-axis solar system, designs and installs grid-connected renewable energy systems that lessen dependence on nuclear and fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The company’s goal is to provide turnkey products that harness the power of the wind and sun for homes and businesses. www.allearthrenewables.com(link is external). www. allsuntrackers.com.
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) Wednesday announced that Vermont’s Boys and Girls Clubs have been awarded more than $1 million by the US Department of Justice to help fund activities and programs administered by the Clubs.Leahy announced the award during a tour of the Boys and Girls Club in Rutland. The Rutland Boys and Girls Club is one of six active Clubs in Vermont, and it has been awarded a $200,000 grant from the Justice Department. In March, the Club received a merit award for best overall programming among Boys and Girls Clubs across the country with budgets under $500,000. Since 1997, the Rutland Club has received over $1.5 million in grant funding.‘It has been a privilege to support the Boys and Girls Clubs in Vermont,’ said Leahy. ‘I see the very real difference these clubs make in the lives of young people. They deliver results, creating safe spaces for young people to grow up free of drugs and crime. We all know that our nation’s success lies with our children, and the Boys and Girls Clubs are crucial to that success.’As well as being a former prosecutor, Leahy is a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and of its subcommittee that handles the Senate’s work in writing the annual budget bill for the Department of Justice, which runs the program that grants funding to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Since 1997, Leahy has helped secure $10.7 million for Vermont’s Boys and Girls Clubs. In 2008, Leahy successfully appealed to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America to restore crucial funding that was set to be slashed for clubs in Brattleboro, Burlington, Washington County, White River Valley, Rutland City and Vergennes. Leahy has been a longtime champion of efforts to strengthen and expand Boys and Girls Clubs across the country, especially in rural areas like Vermont. In 2001, after the Bush administration recommended the elimination of funding for the Boys and Girls Clubs, Leahy organized and led a strong, bipartisan coalition in Congress to restore funding for the Clubs. He is the author of the bipartisan Boys & Girls Clubs Centennial Reauthorization Act, which will authorize appropriations for the Boys & Girls Clubs through 2015.The Clubs are represented in all 50 states and reach millions of youths each year, providing after-school, evening, weekend and summer programs. The Boys and Girls Clubs have demonstrated their effectiveness in keeping children and young adults off the streets and away from the influences of drugs, crime and gangs.Source: RUTLAND, Vt. (WEDNESDAY, Oct. 13, 2010) ‘ Leahy’s office.# # # # #
A better quality of light, an increased ability to accomplish tasks, and a reduction in energy use are just some of the benefits resulting from energy-efficiency improvements made by Kaytec, a Richford-based manufacturer that produces insulated vinyl siding.Following an energy audit, Kaytec decided to replace more than 250 high-bay and T12 fluorescent lights with energy-efficient high-performance T8 (HPT8) lamps. Compared to older T12 lighting, HPT8 light fixtures save up to 50% percent in energy, last up to twice as long, and provide better quality light. The company also installed motion detectors that automatically turn off lights in unoccupied areas of the building.Kaytec hired a full-time electrician to make all of its energy-efficiency upgrades, and called in Efficiency Vermont to provide technical assistance.‘We used to climb ladders with flashlights when we were doing inventory,’ said Shayne Whittemore, plant manager and human resources manager at Kaytec. ‘Now, the inventory process is much safer, faster, and more accurate. Plus, when the team goes into the break room, the manufacturing floor goes dark thanks to the motion detectors. The darkness reminds me that we’re saving energy and money every day.’‘The older metal halide fixtures used to take 10 minutes just to warm up, and the quality of light doesn’t compare to what Kaytec has now,’ noted Matt Dooley, a key account manager at Efficiency Vermont. ‘Efficiency Vermont saves energy for Vermont businesses, but it’s always satisfying when our work contributes to creating a better work environment.’Kaytec expects to save more than 290,000 kWh per year, which translates to an annual cost savings of almost $32,000. The company is projected to reduce its energy use by approximately 10 percent.Kaytec employs 60 people at its Richford plant. A subsidiary of Montreal-based Kaycan, the insulated vinyl siding manufacturer has four other facilities in the United States and more in Canada.‘Based on the positive experience we’ve had in Vermont, saving energy and money, we’re excited to look into energy-efficiency improvements at our other plants around the country,’ said Whittemore.For a limited time, Efficiency Vermont is offering businesses significantly enhanced rebates for upgrading their old T12 fluorescent and HID high-bay lighting systems to more efficient equipment through its newLIGHT program. The rebates can cover up to 50% of the equipment cost or more. The newLIGHT program was created to help Vermont businesses prepare for new federal legislation that will phase out manufacturing of most T12 fluorescent lamps for sale in the U.S. after July 14, 2012.T12 fluorescent lamps are common in many businesses throughout Vermont. They are usually four- or eight-foot long tubes mounted horizontally in a ceiling fixture and are always 1.5 inches in diameter.Business owners interested in newLIGHT can work with a contractor, distributor, or other lighting professional to determine if their proposed efficiency upgrades qualify for the increased rebates. Visit www.efficiencyvermont.com/newLIGHT(link is external) for more information. Projects must be completed by December 1, 2011.Efficiency Vermont was created by the Vermont Legislature and the Vermont Public Service Board to help all Vermonters reduce energy costs, strengthen the economy, and protect Vermont’s environment. Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC) operates Efficiency Vermont under an appointment by the Vermont Public Service Board. VEIC is a Vermont-based nonprofit organization founded in 1986. For more information, contact Efficiency Vermont at 888-921-5990 or visit www.efficiencyvermont.com(link is external).