In This Issue:

Greetings from Executive Director Melissa Sheffer
Leadership Lamoille 2016-2017
April’s Business of the Month: Hickock & Boardman, Inc.
May Mixer: Pall Spera Company Realtors
An Evening of Eggs and Issues with Rich Jacobs, Financial Advisor, Edward Jones Investments
Mark Your Calendar:Community Activities
Chamber Committee News and Notes
The Chamber’s Sustaining Members
Insurance Options
Simpson Sales Unlimited
Vermont Web Marketing

A Word From Melissa

Melissa Sheffer

Melissa Sheffer, Executive Director

Greetings! Words can hardly express my gratitude and enthusiasm with which I am writing this—my first e-newsletter as your new Executive Director.

I would like to thank Max Neal for her tireless efforts. Her passion for this Chamber has laid the foundation for an environment that will allow us to have an extremely strong presence that speaks to our core mission. In her two years, she has already left behind a legacy, and I will put forth every ounce of my energies to honor that work.

My thanks, also, to our stellar board members, committee members, and staff who are engaged and continue to vigorously champion the economic prosperity and quality of life for the Lamoille Region. I look forward to working with all of you.

This unique position will allow me to interact with those who will face challenges and excitement on tap in the next 10 years in every sector. Therefore, when I make a visit to recruit or serve a member, the trepidations they may express about the next year or decade will become the Chamber’s. And unlike almost any other job in the world, we have the opportunity to invest our future helping them better understand those challenges and turn them into successes…for their companies and for our communities in the Lamoille Region. Wow! Does it get any better?

Lastly, thanks to everyone who has reached out with a generous warm welcome. I will be venturing out connecting with each of you beginning next week. Also, please look for an invitation within the next few days regarding an upcoming reception/farewell gathering. I’m eager to meet everyone!

With appreciation,
Melissa Sheffer, Executive Director

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Leadership Lamoille 2016-2017

Applications, requests for projects and other materials were sent snail mail to all Chamber members.
Businesses are encouraged to consider sponsoring a one-day session.*

Now in its 5th year, Leadership Lamoille, a Chamber program, has provided the tools for today’s employees to become tomorrow’s leaders. Since its inception, the program has helped to prepare 50 participants for leadership roles. The purpose of the program is to teach highly valuable leadership skills to future leaders working in Lamoille County … and beyond. Its program content is designed to help employees of local businesses strengthen their knowledge of community issues, facilitate positive problem solving techniques, and encourage participants to take active leadership roles. The series consists of ten classes that run from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. beginning with orientation in September and graduation in June 2017. The class is divided into two groups each of which will study a project submitted by a business (and selected by the Committee). Project findings are presented at a special evening in May.

Here’s what you need to know …
Applications: Due August 1
Requests for Projects: Due August 1
Cost per student (Chamber member): $600
Cost per student (Non-Chamber member): $800
Financial assistance is available: Call the Chamber for details

Call the Chamber at (802) 888-7607 if you have questions. Applications and Request for Projects information can be found at the Chamber’s website; or call the Chamber and we will snail mail or email information to you.

*Sponsorship Options: There are ten sessions, and each session covers a different topic, which are listed below:
Orientation (Team Building);
Education Day;
Communications and Media Day;
Human Services Day;
Health Care Day;
Under the Golden Dome … a day at the State House;
Community Leadership Day;
Law and Justice Day;
Presentation of Projects; and
Graduation Ceremony

The cost to sponsor a session is $300….which, of course, will benefit your business and provide you with all the “rights and privileges appurtenant thereto” (i.e. promotion, publicity, and recognition.)

A corporate sponsorship for the Leadership Lamoille Program is $2,000.

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Lamoille Region Chamber Of Commerce and The Lamoille Economic Development Corporation Announce The Lamoille Economic Development Corporation “Leadership Lamoille Scholarship Fund”

The Lamoille Economic Development Corporation is offering financial assistance (scholarships) to those Chamber member businesses that due to financial constraints may be unable to enroll a student in the 2016-2017 Leadership Lamoille Program…an initiative of the Lamoille Region Chamber of Commerce.

The Leadership Lamoille Scholarship Fund will provide up to 50% ($300) in tuition fees to any Chamber member business with demonstrated need. Non Chamber members interested in participating in the program are encouraged to apply. The tuition for non-members is $800.00 ($400 scholarship). This scholarship is being offered to those businesses that would not otherwise be in a position to enroll a participant in the Leadership Lamoille Program due to the cost of the program. The total amount of funding from the LEDC is capped at $2,000 so the scholarships are available on a first come first served basis.

Now in its 5th year, Leadership Lamoille has provided the tools for today’s employees to become tomorrow’s leaders. Since its inception, the program has helped to prepare 50 participants for leadership roles. The purpose of the program is to teach highly valuable leadership skills to future leaders working in Lamoille County … and beyond. Its program content is designed to help employees of local businesses strengthen their knowledge of community issues, facilitate positive problem solving techniques, and encourage participants to take active leadership roles. Many of the program’s graduates have remained in Lamoille County and have advanced in their careers

David Silverman, President of Union Bank and chairman of LEDC Board of Directors, has supported the Leadership Lamoille program since its inception; he speaks highly of the program and its benefits to not only the community but to potential leaders as well. In describing the program Mr. Silverman uses the word “dynamic” and encourages businesses to seriously consider participation in the program. The Lamoille Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors approved this scholarship at its March Board of Directors meeting.

Scholarship applications are included in the program application package which has been mailed to all Chamber members. Max Neal, former executive director, Lamoille Region Chamber of Commerce commented “This is an awesome opportunity for any business to participate in this highly respected Chamber program regardless of financial constraints. We encourage businesses to seriously consider enrolling a student in the program. Not only does participation give participants a unique opportunity to discover the intricacies of Lamoille County, and to work together as a team on team projects, it generates and instills a certain confidence in a participant’s ability, motivation, and passion to become a leader”.

If interested in scholarship details please call the Chamber office at (802) 888-7607; email or visit the Chamber’s website.

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Business of the Month: Hickok & Boardman, Inc.

Name Drawn at April 12 Mixer

Hickok and Boardman LogoEdward Jones, Rich Jacobs Financial Advisor was the business card drawn. Rich, is his generous way, stated that he had won in the past and would like to donate his e-news space to Chamber member, Hickok and Boardman, Inc. Stefanie Eichler, Client Advisor for Hickok and Boardman, Stowe, who was in attendance at the Mixer, graciously accepted the offer.

From the website: “Our Stowe office is in the heart of this tight-knit community. We’re here when you need us, whether you’re here for work or play. The Stowe office was opened in 1988. We specialize in helping clients throughout Vermont with their Personal and Business Insurance. We are a Main Street agency with access to all of the resources of one of Vermont’s largest agencies.

Our agents are all community members. We understand the importance of providing “our neighbors” with the most competitively priced comprehensive insurance program available. Hickok & Boardman works with leading Regional and National Insurance carriers to offer you innovative solutions that fit your insurance needs.”

Richard Smith, Vice President, Hickok and Boardman, Inc., serves on the Chamber’s Board of Directors and on the Chamber’s Finance Committee. The agency, in partnership with the Chamber, offers favorable workers’ compensation rates to Chamber members in good standing, an offer several Chamber members have taken advantage of. A call to their office will result in immediate and professional service.

Hickok & Boardman, Inc.
618 South Main Street
PO Box 1457
Stowe, VT 05672
Phone: 802-253-9707

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May Mixer – May 11 – “Networking Works”

Generously Hosted by Pall Spera Company Realtors – Morrisville Office

Pall Spera

Pall Spera and his professional team of realtors will host the May 11th Mixer at offices located in the Northgate Plaza in Morrisville. The networking will begin at 5:00 with a welcoming reception, followed by a brief program, interesting and perhaps surprising raffle items, a 50/50 drawing, hearty hors d’oeuvres, liquid refreshments and networking. Expect an evening filled with exceptional hospitality and experience an opportunity to interact with business colleagues and friend; make new business contacts; meet new people and potentially new customers; exchange business cards and promote your business.

Pall Spera Company Realtors is a long-time member of the Chamber and has sponsored several of our Chamber events. Plan to attend … shake a few hands … listen to an overview of where the organization is now and what its vision is for the future and simply enjoy an evening of camaraderie with friends and colleagues.

There is no fee for members in good standing; $10.00 donation from non-members is appreciated. Walk-ins are welcome, but pre-registration is encouraged for planning purposes. To RSVP online, click here. If you are unable to RSVP online or did not receive a confirmation email, please email Jen or call the Chamber at 802-888-7607.

We look forward to welcoming you – bring a friend (or two).

Upcoming Mixers and Fundraisers for 2016

  • June date TBD: Copley Hospital
  • June 23: Wack-a-Doo – Golf Event – Ryder Brook Golf Club
  • July 12: Shine Communications – Mary Collins – At Her Home
  • August 16: Sandiwood Farms – at the beautiful farm property
  • September 23: Amazin’ Grazin’ – Hope Grows Community Farm (Ray and Carolyn Chauvin)
  • October 11: The Manor – Washington Highway, Morrisville
  • November 16: Pre-Holiday Reception – Chamber Office
  • December 13: McMahon Chevrolet Holiday Party – Morrisville

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May Eggs And Issues Program

An Evening of Eggs and Issues – May 17 – Charlmont Restaurant & Pub

edwardjonesAs a business owner, you probably have your hands full minding day-to-day activities. Are you taking advantage of the financial strategies and tools available to help you run your business more effectively?

Join us for our presentation The Entrepreneurial Equation(TM) to learn strategies to help you:

  • Save time
  • Attract and retain employees
  • Preserve your business for yourself and your heirs

You will also have the opportunity to network with other business owners in our community at this event.

It’s your business. Only you can make the most of it.

Hors d’oeuvres will be served.

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016 – 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

The Charlmont Pub, 116 VT Rte 15A, Morrisville, VT

We hope you and a guest will join us. Please call Imelda Turner at 802-888-4207 or email by Thursday, May 12, 2016.

Click here to download the flyer.

More Eggs and Issues… Mark your calendar!

  • June 15: Betsy Bishop, Vermont State Chamber of Commerce
  • July 12: Legislative Summer Session
  • August 22: Phil Scott – Gubernatorial Candidate
  • September 13: Michael Mosher–Part 1 – Accessing Demographic Data for Business Intelligence
  • October 12: Betsy Bishop, Vermont State Chamber of Commerce
  • November 14: Michael Mosher–Part 2 – The Date Process: A Step-by-Step Guide
  • December 13 Open .. or Merry Christmas!

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Mark Your Calendar: Member Events

Clarina Howard Nichols Center

Business Appreciation Night – April 25th

The staff at Clarina Howard Nichols invites all to its Business Appreciation Night to be held on Monday, April 25th at its Community Center in Morrisville.

Business Appreciation Night is an opportunity for the Clarina Howard Nichols staff to thank its partners for supporting the work it does with survivors of sexual and domestic violence.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The time is 5:30 to 7:30 (food and community appreciation! ) Where: 31 Lower Main Street, Morrisville, Vermont. RSVP appreciated: … by April 20th
Call (802) 888-2584 with any questions.

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Community College Of Vermont

Spring Fling Event and Career Fair (to be followed by a Lip Sync contest!)
Submitted by Billi Dunham, Community College of Vermont

The Spring Fling event will be held Friday, April 29th form 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at a location to be announced at a later date.

Who should attend: Community Families!

Why: To build community among our students and our community. The idea is to have Community College of Vermont classes invite professionals from the community to “show off” their careers so that other community members can learn from that sharing. (an example … the Introduction to Human Services class may ask Lamoille County Mental Health to come. This is for children and adults so ideally those professionals that come will bring some kind of activity for those attending. The dimensions class is also hoping that some classes may use this event as an opportunity to create their own activity to show off their discipline.

The Gist: Please participate by inviting professionals from your field and perhaps crafting and running an activity.

The dimensions of Work class and the Center are very excited for this event and would welcome any questions, suggestions or comments. For details or if you have questions, please contact Billi Dunham, Community College of Vermont at (802) 888-4258.

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National Walk at Lunch Day – April 27th

Submitted by Vermont Department of Health/Burlington
Help spread the word in your schools, worksites, and communities!

Regular exercise is one of the most effective ways to manage our health, but it can sometimes be difficult to find time to participate in the recommended 30 minutes per day. That’s why Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Vermont is encouraging everyone to take a walk during the lunchtime hour as part of National Walk @ Lunch Day on Wednesday, April 27th, 2016.

Walking during the day can give you the opportunity to enjoy beautiful Vermont in springtime, catch up with co-workers, or simply take a break from your normal work routine to refresh your mind and body. What a great opportunity to use this event as a kick-off to regularly walking during lunch breaks too!

National Walk at Lunch Day is an initiative of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, encouraging people to use their lunch break to get the recommended 30 minutes each day.
Did you know that by fitting a brisk walk into your day on a regular basis, you can:

  • Improve you productivity at work
  • Decrease your risk of a heart attack and type-2 diabetes.
  • Control your weight and improve your muscle tone.
  • Reduce your stress.

This year, both a participating worksite and a school will be entered into a drawing for a smoothie bike!

Check out all the details and sign up today!

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Jam Session to benefit Laraway Youth and Family Services Crisis Fund

Submitted by Katherine Stamper

A family’s furnace hovers near empty as temperatures outside dip into the teens. A youth reaches out for help, needing a safe place to spend the night. A child needs winter clothing. A family faces a near-empty refrigerator. A former student and his mother are stranded in a domestically violent relationship several states away and require emergency assistance to return to Vermont where they have family supports. There is an immediacy to the need—to tide someone over until more concrete solutions can be enacted.

This is not Norman Rockwell’s America. These real-life circumstances are emblematic of life in America today for youth and families struggling under the weight of socioeconomic disparity, exacerbated by mental health, learning and/or behavioral issues.

Laraway operates a small and carefully managed Crisis Fund which is parceled out to address the day-to-day emergencies our clients face—when they’ve exhausted resources and have no where else to turn.

“Laraway’s Crisis Fund is there to provide immediate assistance,” said Jim Heath, Laraway’s Finance Director.

Members of the 2nd Congregational Church of Hyde Park are stepping up to help Laraway grow its Crisis Fund. The church is hosting a Jam Session on Friday, April 29th at 7:00 p.m. at 28 Prospect Street, Hyde Park.

The family friendly event, hosted by Ted Lambert, features a slate of local performers including Jeremy Sicely; Shaun Booher; Nate, Madison & Ruby Perham; Joe Ciccolo; Mark Faith; Melissa Senesac; Liz Fox; Ann Marie Bahr & Gerry Falkenberg; Beth Carrier and Debbie Yacovone.

Refreshments will be served. Suggested Donation: $10.

We hope you can turn out for what promises to be a wonderful community event. For more information, please contact John Clark at 888-4864 or Katherine Stamper at 635-2805 x 106.

River Arts Winter/Spring Workshops
74 Pleasant Streets – Morrisville, – 802.888.1261

The workshops offered by River Arts are numerous and we suggest you contact the organization directly for a complete schedule of upcoming workshops. Following is a sampling:

Galen Cheney Exhibit – To China and Back
March 3 – May 2, 1016
The Gallery at River Arts, 74 Pleasant Street, Morrisville, VT

The Gallery at River Arts unveils brand new work from Galen Cheney in To China and Back, featuring paper constructions and paintings. The opening will be held at River Arts on Thursday, March 3, 2016 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m with an artist talk at 6 p.m. The exhibit will run March 3 through May 2, 2016.

River Arts Paint and Sip Evenings
Thursday, February 23, March 15, April 26, and May 17, 6 – 8 p.m. – $35/session
A fun, relaxing evening of painting with Liz Kaufman. Create a featured work of art, step-by-step, while you enjoy a glass of wine or seltzer. Perfect for beginners and aficionados alike … get creative!

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Chamber Committee News and Notes

Invitation to Join a Committee

The Committees that support the Chamber and its programs are:
Events Committee * Membership Committee * Marketing and Branding Committee * Government Affairs Committee * Leadership Lamoille Steering Committee * Nominating Committee * Finance and Budget Committee (appointed) * Executive Committee (Officers and Member at Large)

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Leadership Lamoille Steering Committee
Next Meeting: May 6 -8:00 a.m. – Chamber Office
Open Meeting … Please Join Us

Marketing And Branding Committee
Mary Collins – Dawn Archbold
Rescheduled to a to-be-determined May date
Open Meeting … Please Join Us

Events Committee
Tracy Baker, Chair
Next Meeting – April 26 – 12:00 noon – Chamber Office
Open Meeting … Please Join Us – Wack-a-Doo Planning!

Membership Committee
Next Meeting – April 19 – 8:00 a.m. – Chamber Office

Finance Committee
Appointed Committee
Next Meeting: April 20

Board of Directors
All Board meetings are open to any and all members of the Chamber who are in good standing (dues paid). Next meeting is April 21 at the Tegu Building, Morrisville. Let us know if you plan to attend.

Government Affairs Committee
Stay tuned…

Nominating Committee
No meetings until October and it is an appointed Committee.

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Become a Sustaining Member

Olson and Associatesstackpoleedwardjones

Becky Olson, Ed French and Rich Jacobs are all Chamber sustaining members.  This level of membership was adopted by the Board of Directors in May 2015. To date we have three participating Chamber members and the goal is ten. Level of participation begins at $500 and goes up from there. One of our sustaining members is in at $1,000. Contact Melissa for details.

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Insurance Options

2016 VACEPlus Insurance Program: A Chamber Member Benefit


VACEPlus insurance programs are offered to all Chamber members in good standing (dues paid). Life Insurance, AD&D coverage, vision and dental are all options offered at favorable rates through the VACEPlus program. For additional information, call Melissa at the Chamber 802 888 7607; or email Melissa . We are having some activity from Chamber members interested in participating in this program. Please consider it as an option for your employees and your families.

Vermont Health Connect

Vermont Health Connect

The open enrollment for health insurance benefits ended January 31. Contact Melissa for information on special enrollment period or coverage under Medicaid or Dr. Dynasaur. These options for coverage are not affected by the “Open Enrollment” period. If you, or your employees, do not have health insurance coverage, we encourage you to give Melissa, the Navigator, a call at (802) 888-7607 or send her an email to schedule an appointment to enroll and avoid year-end penalties. On average, an appointment takes about 1 ½ hours.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance


A Chamber benefit offered by Hickok and Boardman. Some Chamber members are participating in this option. Call Melissa at (802) 888-7607 or drop her an email for more information.


Simpson Sales Unlimited

Simpson Sales Unlimited

Welcome to Simpson Sales . We are a family owned and operated business serving Lamoille County and beyond since 1991. Our longevity is due to the quality products we supply and the prompt, superior service we provide.

We have proven expertise in every phase of garage door selection, installation, maintenance, service and repair. We can guide you in finding exactly the right garage door to meet your needs. Getting the proper advice when buying a door is essential; after all, we buy one or at most two, garage doors throughout our lifetime.

Contact us today, our team will be happy to talk to you and assist you in evaluating your needs with the goal of finding the right solution for you. Or if you prefer, we also provide a free at-home estimates.

Simpson Sales Unlimited Inc. is a member of the Lamoille Regional Chamber of Commerce. Founding member of the International Door Association, and founding member of the Professional Door Association of New England.

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Vermont Web Marketing

VT Web Marketing LogoVermont Web Marketing helps small to medium-size businesses improve their online visibility through natural search. Along with strategic advertising on popular search engines and a solid social media plan, the VWM team believes in optimizing a site properly so that it comes up naturally when someone searches for a product or service.

Unfortunately, there’s often a disconnect between web design and SEO. A lot of business owners pay good money for websites that look great but aren’t optimized for search engines.

VWM designs websites that are beautiful, functional, and optimized. Even before that site is up and running, we help our clients develop marketing strategies that will put their website to good use.

Online marketing doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, but you do need a plan. VWM can help you come up with a strategy and then prioritize your to-do list based upon your budget and objectives.
Get started!

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