In This Issue:

Executive Director’s Report
Two new members join the Chamber family
Help Wanted: Great Big Graphics, Trapp Family Lodge, Piecasso
Member News from Image Outfitters and The Loft at Hobble Inn
Chamber News and Notes
For Your Calendar: Chamber, Member & Community Events, Workshops and Classes

Food For Thought

Last week, I stumbled upon an interesting article with an equally interesting title: “11 Secrets of Irresistible People.” While all eleven “secrets” are food for thought, this is the one I wanted to share with you. (And I would highly recommend the article found here.)

“The Golden Rule—treat others as you want to be treated—has a fatal flaw: it assumes that all people want to be treated the same way. It ignores that people are motivated by vastly different things. One person loves public recognition, while another loathes being the center of attention. The Platinum Rule—treat others as they want to be treated—corrects that flaw. Irresistible people are great at reading other people, and they adjust their behavior and style to make others feel comfortable.” Couldn’t agree more. Successful leaders are abundantly aware that knowing your audience is paramount, especially in business and interpersonal relationships.

It’s been another exhilarating couple of weeks! Read on to learn more…

Out and About:

As I mentioned in our last e-news, I was the guest speaker for Stowe Rotary on July 7th. In addition to the honor of having been asked to speak, I was introduced by Max Neal! When she first heard that the topic was, “The State of the Region,” her first reaction was, “What were you thinking, Melissa?!” My response was that perhaps I’m going with Richard Branson’s quote: “If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!” Seriously, it was a wonderful night, and I received a warm welcome. And, in case you’re wondering, I started off with a very broad stroke…Vermont stats. Drilled down to Lamoille County, then finally narrowed it down to a challenge many businesses are facing: a small and shallow labor pool. It encouraged a lively discussion afterward, and some creative approaches to answer the warning signs of what’s ahead.

Here are some highlights from that speech that might be of interest to you:

VERMONT stats according to Forbes:

  • Median Household Income:$53,810
  • Job Growth (2015): 1.6 percent
  • Cost of Doing Business: 13.3 percent above national average
  • College Attainment: 34.9 percent
  • USA Today ranks VT as the second healthiest state…just behind Hawaii.
  • According to The American Legislative Exchange Council, Vermont ranks #1 in Education, in front of Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
  • Wallethub has us ranked as the Safest State, and yes…you guessed it…in front of Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

LAMOILLE COUNTY stats provided by the Vermont State Data Center:

  • We are experiencing one of the highest population growth rates in Vermont, surpassed only by Chittenden County from 2000-2013, at 5.3 percent.
  • Median household income is $52,686
  • Educational attainment: Lamoille tracks very close to Vermont’s. Lamoille has slightly more Associates and Bachelors degree holders than VT overall.
  • Graduate degree: 12.4 percent
  • Bachelors: 24 percent
  • Associates: 9.3 percent
  • High School Graduates: 31.1 percent

And the summary that spurred the subsequent discussion:

  • Vermont’s unemployment is below the US average of 4.9, at 3.1 (May, 2016) pointing to a challenging labor market for employers.
  • Vermont’s workforce is highly skilled but rapidly aging; workforce participation beats US rates but has declined steadily since 2005.
  • The size of VT’s workforce has not grown for a decade; employers increasingly import the talent they need.
  • The declining population of 25-44 year-olds (22.8 percent, down from 28.9 percent in 2000) may produce a shortage of the young people needed to replace retiring workers.
  • Population trends indicate this will worsen; low birthrates, out-migration of young adults.

We talked about employee retention concepts, and how to keep Vermont college grads in Vermont. It’s a conversation that must continue. What are your ideas?

A very special thank you to Mary Collins of Shine Communications for opening her home to everyone who attended our July 12th mixer. Fire Tower Pizza catered the event, and we were entertained with live music by Al and Pete of The Church Restoration Project. This occasion was a unique take on our traditional mixer. Mary invited some local home-based businesses to join us, which gave us a glimpse into their distinct business needs, thereby providing us the opportunity to engage in conversation regarding the chamber and how their businesses could benefit from becoming members. Thanks again, Mary! (Photos courtesy of Modaja Communications.)

On Sunday, July 17th, Union Bank VT celebrated 125 years at Oxbow Park in Morrisville. The weather was perfect, and the activities were fun filled. I enjoyed some delicious fare offered by Blue Donkey and Pizza on Main. Love live music: Rick and the All Star Ramblers started things off, followed by the Eames brother. My favorite touch was the pre-filled Union Bank water bottles! What a thoughtful gesture, and such a very nice gathering for the community. Thanks, Union Bank, for truly showing us what it is to “Stay Local. Go Far.”

How about a quick glimpse into one of our committees? Let’s talk about the Leadership Lamoille Steering Committee. Members are Sharon Green, Fawn Lanpher, Jeff Coslett, Leah Hollenberger, Billi Dunham, Jim Black, and DJ Masi. For those of you who may not be aware, “Leadership Lamoille is a dynamic program designed for the purpose of providing an educational forum that will inspire participants to strengthen their knowledge of community issues, facilitate positive problem-solving techniques, and encourage them to take active leadership roles.” While that statement is short and concise, the actual planning that takes place to launch this signature program of the Chamber each year is everything but. The commitment of the afore-mentioned members is inspiring, and the results are tremendous. Orientation is scheduled for September, and the program runs until June when the Graduation Mixer takes place. I’ll keep you up to date…

Finally, we are thrilled to announce that we have two new members to welcome to the Chamber: The StoweHof and Stowe Cinema 3Plex! Please scroll down to learn more.

With appreciation,
Melissa Sheffer
Executive Director

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New Member Spotlight: Stowe Cinema 3Plex, The Stowehof

Stowe Cinema 3Plex

Stowe Cinema 3Plex

If you’re looking for an affordable relaxing night out, you’re at the right place. At Stowe Cinema 3Plex, first run movies are shown…along with a full concession and a full cocktail bar. They offer the best popcorn in town, made with canola oil and served with real butter.

Vincent and Nancy Buonanno opened the theater in Stowe back in 1972. Their son, Michael, recently returned to Vermont and is lending his exceptional hospitality in running this very special cinema.

I highly recommend and encourage you to allow the Buonanno family to entertain you for a night. It’s movie watching the way it was meant to be!

The StoweHof

StowehofThe StoweHof is situated on 26 acres high upon a hill with spectacular views of Mt. Mansfield and the Green Mountains. It began life as a grand estate and is a Vermont landmark.

In May of this year, the Stowehof (formerly named The StoweHof Inn and Resort) was purchased by Saltaire Management, a Massachusetts-based property management company with a passion for breathing new life into inns and hotels without losing their sense of place and time. I have had the pleasure of meeting Kendra Young, the new General Manager, and I can honestly tell you that great things have already begun transpiring. In addition, the Chamber will be hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony for their grand re-opening in early December. Please stay tuned for more. We would love to see you there!

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Help Wanted: Great Big Graphics, Trapp Family Lodge, Piecasso seeking employees

Please see below and help spread the word for Great Big Graphics, Trapp Family Lodge and Piecasso Pizzeria & Lounge. They all have job opportunities available. Also, please let us know if we can assist you and your business with your staffing needs, and we will be sure to make those announcements!

Great Big Graphics
GBG seeks a part-time Assistant Signs and Graphics Guru. Position averages 24 hours per week and offers flexible days. Please contact for a full position description. Preferred start date: Monday August 15, 2016.

Trapp Family Lodge
There are 25 openings listed on the Trapp website, and many are multiples within a job title.

Click here to apply online.

Hospitality, Culinary, and all of the departments are ready to gear up for the summer – and the setting and benefits (free recreation center, pool and lunch) are terrific, too!

Piecasso Pizzeria & Lounge

Piecasso is seeking applicants for full time and part time positions. Please send resume to or apply in person at 1899 Mountain Road Stowe, Vermont (no phone calls please.)

LINE COOK: Experienced line cooks for 25-30 hours a week. Must be hardworking and able to work our sandwich, salad, grill & garde manger stations. Lunch and dinner hours available. Part/full time positions, flexible hours.

EXPERIENCED BAKER: Experienced baker to work roughly 15-25 hours a week. Duties include, but not limited to: baking sub rolls, burger buns, focaccia and homemade desserts from scratch. Must be organized. Creativity is a must. Ability to work independently while maintaining a safe, sanitary work environment and fulfill job requirements is a must.

PIZZA MAKER: Pizza maker must enjoy a fast-paced positive working environment. This position requires a hands-on-dedicated approach and the willingness to take responsibility for outcomes. Must be able to communicate clearly with employees & guests.

PM PREP PERSON: Are you highly organized, quick with a knife …? Can you work independently…? We are looking for a hard working person to join our team to prep our menus. While most of this shift includes prep, position also requires the person to clean their own dishes & clean up the kitchen after they are done. Hours are 9am-1pm. 3-5 days a week. We are in the process of tailoring a shift that works for the employer & employee.

COUNTER STAFF: Must be an enthusiastic team player and able to multi-task. Requirements include knowledge of our menus, exceptional customer service, basic math skills, taking orders over the phone for take-out and delivery. Interacting with guests in a professional manner is a must.

AM/PM DISHWASHER: Hardworking dishwasher from 9am-4pm, weekends a must. Primary job responsibilities will be washing and restocking dishes, keeping station clean and orderly. Some janitorial work. Sanitizing, assisting in cleaning food prep areas, some food preparation and overall assistance in helping kitchen operations functioning smoothly. We are also seeking PM dishwashers for the summer season and beyond. 5pm-11pm or later when busy.

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Member News from Image Outfitters and The Loft at Hobble Inn

Image Outfitters in Stowe recently published the following press release. Congratulations!

Image Outfitters is happy to announce they have hired Dawn Archbold as their first Goodwill Ambassador to grow the charitable donation program of their company, iShare. Archbold recently left her position as Executive Director of the United Way of Lamoille County in Morrisville, Vermont, a post she held for more than 17 years.

Image Outfitters sells promotional products and gives back 10 percent of their sales to the charity of their customers’ choice (iShare). Because they meet or beat any competitors’ pricing, purchasing promotional items through them makes great sense. It allows businesses to stretch their marketing dollars to support the causes that are important to them. Image Outfitters is the only advertising specialties company in the U.S. that is a socially responsible, certified ‘B’ Corp.

Esbert Cardenas, Jr., owner of Image Outfitters, said “having Dawn on board is a natural extension of her work with United Way. She has relationships with non-profits and businesses around the state and country, and will work to help them take advantage of the iShare program.”

If you would like to learn more about iShare and the many possibilities it has for both businesses and charities, contact Dawn at (802) 888-2426 or You can check out the company at Follow the duck on the bottom right to get information on the iShare program.

Mary Skelton of Hobble Inn

Mary Skelton of the Hobble Inn

And Congratulations to Mary Skelton and The Loft at Hobble Inn for being recognized as a Vermont non-profit organization!

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Chamber News and Notes

Facebook Promotion for Chamber Members: Chamber Members are being recognized on a weekly basis. Jump on over to see what’s going on. Brace yourselves for a pleasant Facebook experience as we continue to grow our social and digital media presence. Our hard work is paying off as activity on our posts has increased tremendously. Check us at

And we’re on Instagram! So be sure to follow us there, too. There isn’t much happening right now, but we have a few ideas in mind so stay tuned! We promise no selfies of Jen and me Pokémon Go-ing though Lamoille County. Find us as LamoilleChamber.

Speaking of Pokémon Go… Are you playing? Has your business participated in the craze? Was it a positive or negative experience? We’re very curious about how our members are using it. If you’d like to share your experience with utilizing the app, please send Jen and me an email.

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For Your Calendar: Chamber, Member and Community Events, Workshops and Classes

Chamber Events and Programs
Save The Date: Mixers and More
August 16: Sandiwood Farms – at the beautiful farm property located 1665 Town Hill Road, Wolcott. Details and invites will be emailed soon so keep an eye on your inbox.
September 23 Fall Harvest Celebration: Amazin’ Grazin’ at Hope Grows Community Farm with Ray and Carolyn Chauvin.
October 11: The Manor – Washington Highway, Morrisville
November 16: Stowe Bowl—Pre holiday mixer
December 14: Sushi Yoshi Stowe

Save The Date: Eggs and Issues
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: TBD – Please contact Melissa if your business would be interested in hosting an Eggs and Issue

Community Events and Programs

Morristown Events:
Wednesday Night Live Music Series
July 27, 5:00 – 7:30, Oxbow Riverfront Park, Morristown
Opening Act: Lamoille Valley Dance Academy
Musical Guest: Patrick Fitzzimmons

August 3, 5:00 – 7:30 p.m., Oxbow Riverfront Park, Morristown
Opening Act: Ballet Wolcott
Musical Guest: Abby Sherman

Feast on local food, participate in free yoga and Qi Gong and make some cool art at the River Arts tent.

Johnson Events:

July 26:
Tuesday Night Live presents DOJO!The fun kicks off at 6 p.m. at Legion Field, School Street, Johnson.

DOJO is a bluegrass band, featuring Clint Bierman, Peter Day, Jeff Vallone, and Matt Schrag. You will hear your favorite 1980s bluegrass tunes.

August 2:
Tuesday Night Live presents Beg Steal or Borrow!The fun kicks off at 6 p.m. at Legion Field, School Street, Johnson.

Beg Steal or Borrow is a tribute band honoring the 1970s super bluegrass musicians, Old and In the Way. Members include Jeremy Sicely, Geoff Goodue, Roland Clark, Luke Auriemmo and Fran Forim.

Tuesday Night Live is free, just bring a blanket or chair. Summer showers may dampen the enthusiasm for a few minutes; but it is lightning and thunder that cancels the event. Refreshments will be available from a variety of vendors.

Parking is along School Street, in the Elementary School Parking lot, and at the McClelland Building lot on College Hill.

The nine week music schedule is available on the town’s webpage and Tuesday Night Live’s Facebook Page. For more information: (802) 635-7826.