Table of Contents:
Max’s Memo: Your Chamber in Action
Chamber Mixers
Legislative Breakfast
Public Forum: Vermont Futures Project
Eggs and Issues
Sponsorship Opportunities
Chamber Committee News and Notes
Community and Chamber Member Events
Become a Sustaining Member
Insurance Options

Max’s Memo: Your Chamber in Action

Max Neal, Executive Director

Max Neal
Executive Director

Alcohol and Drug Addiction… Did you know that 23 million Americans over the age of 12 suffer from drug and alcohol addiction or that on any given day 700,000 Americans seek treatment for drug and alcohol addiction? Did you know that 25-34 % of 11th graders in the Lamoille Valley used marijuana in the last 30 days compared to the Vermont average of 27%? Did you know that 29% -36% of 10th graders in Lamoille Valley used alcohol in the last 30 days versus the Vermont average of 28%.

This information just touches the surface on what we learned at the March 8th Eggs and Issues Program held at the Tegu Building with guest speaker Stefani Capizzi, Executive Director of the North Central Vermont Recover Center in Morrisville. These statistics are staggering and could at some level have a direct and negative impact on your business.

Although the attendance was small (15) the dialog was robust. Stefani and volunteer, Les, addressed the services provided by North Central Vermont Recovery Center noting that its mission is “dedicated to providing an upbeat, welcoming, safe, and substance-fee environment for individuals and families on their paths to lasting recovery.

Stefani tells us that in 2016 the agency will be reaching out to community leadership and businesses and to communicate face-to-face with individuals and/or business owners to achieve the following:

  • Create better awareness of what the agency does;
  • Provide program information in detail, and
  • Learn in what ways the agency may better serve the business community.

The Center is located at 275 Brooklyn Street in Morrisville, telephone 802-851-8120; email: Recovery@ncvrc.com. The Center is one of 13 such Recovery Centers in Vermont (Vermont Recovery Network). It reports that during State FY 2914, recovery center hosted 179,234 visits from people seeking recovery and providing recovery support … the average monthly visits total 1,358. Alcohol and drug addiction is a serious problem in Vermont and at some level significantly affects the workplace.

Out and about this week: Meetings this week found me engaged in great conversation with Michael Furst, former Chamber Executive of the Association of Chambers of Commerce of China. Michael Furst, Ph.D. is Chairman and Founder of the New Garden Group (education) in Beijing, China as well as President of New Garden International, Inc. with offices located in Stowe, Vermont. In addition to joining the Chamber, Michael has offered to be active on the Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee as well as being a featured speaker at one of our Eggs and Issues programs.

Jay Cooke, Vice Chair at Copley Country Club and Golf School, spent a couple of hours with me here at the Chamber office sharing the initiatives the Club’s Board of Directors is considering for future growth and expansion. It is my understanding the Board approved Jay’s recommendation that it join the Chamber; thus we expect to welcome Jay, et al, to the Chamber team next week.. A ribbon cutting ceremony is being planned to formally announce the Club’s expansion and upgrade plans … perhaps followed by a round of golf. Ribbon cutting tentatively set for May 10th at 4:30 p.m. at the Club. Stay tuned.

The Brownfields Committee (of which I am a member) met on Tuesday. Chaired by John Mandeville, the committee heard a presentation by Richard Amore and Caitlin Corkins relative to State Designation Programs. A quick overview of the program: The Department of Housing and Community Development manages the state designation programs. These programs work together to provide incentives, align policies and give communities the technical assistance needed to encourage new development and redevelopment in our compact, designated areas. The program’s incentives are for both the public and private sector within the designated area, including tax credits for historic building rehabilitations and code improvements, permitting benefits for new housing, funding for transportation-related public improvements and priority consideration for other State grant programs. Detailed information is available by contacting John Mandeville, Lamoille Economic Development Corporation; Caitlin Corkins or Richard Amore .

Leadership Lamoille Steering Committee met this week and finalized the 2016-2017 programs. More details later on in this week’s E-news. Please consider enrolling one, or more, of your employees in this dynamic program designed to give participants the tools they need to become effective leaders in Lamoille County. In its 5th year, the program has graduated 50 future leaders.

Sponsorships Options: More on this topic further on in this E-news.. We will be snail-mailing information on the sponsorship options and respectfully request that you give consideration to becoming a sponsor(s) at some level. Sponsorship not only benefits you through extensive promotion and visibility but provides a necessary non-dues income source to support the Chamber’s budget.

Executive Director: The search continues with application deadline of March 15. The position is widely posted including a detailed job description posted on the Chamber’s website.

And, of course, we were present at the calling hours and the Celebration of Life Service held for Mickey Smith… friend, colleague, husband, father, and community leader. Rest in Peace!

Onward!
Max Neal, Executive Director

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2016-2017 Sponsorship Opportunities

Market/Promote Your Business – Be Involved! Be Engaged!

Your participation in sponsorship options offered by the Chamber not only brings an increased visibility to your business, it helps to support the Chamber’s annual budget which allows the organization (Chamber) to continue to bring members interesting and meaningful programs throughout the year.

Click here for sponsorship details.

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2016 Mixers Begin March 15 with Pizza on Main

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Mike and Marisa will open their doors for an exciting kick-off to the 2016 Mixer Program. Plan to attend and congratulate these folks on one year of being in business in “historic” Morrisville. Registration begins at 5:00; program around 6:00 and adjournment somewhere between 6:30 and 7:00.

What to expect:
A hearty welcome!
A brief business overview from Mike and Marissa!
Awesome pizza!
A few surprises!
A chance to win fabulous door prizes!
A chance at winning the big bucks (50-50 raffle)!
A chance for your business to be drawn as the featured Business of the Month
An evening of exceptional networking!

Bring a friend …. Introduce that friend to the wonderful world of Chamber networking!

Walk-ins are welcome, but online registration is encouraged for planning and food prepration purposes. To register online: click here. If you are unable to RSVP online, please call (802) 888-7607 or email Jen.

Upcoming Mixers for you Calendar
April 12: 10 Railroad Street Restaurant
May 11: Pall Spera Company Realtors
June 23: Wack-a-Doo – Golf Event
July 12: Shine Communications – Mary Collins
August 16: Just In: Sandiwood Farms
September 23: Amazin’ Grazin’
October 11: The Manor
November 16: Pre-Holiday Reception – Chamber Office
December 13: McMahon Chevrolet Holiday Party

(Reservations are coming for 2017. Let us know if you are interested in hosting a 2017 Mixer.)

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Legislative Breakfast – March 21

Town and Country Resort at Stowe, 876 Mountain Rd, Stowe, VT 05672
Town and Country logoThe third in the four-part series of Legislative Breakfasts will be hosted by Town and Country Resort, Mountain Road, Stowe, Vermont on March 21, 2016 beginning with registration and buffet breakfast at 7:30 followed by the program beginning at 8:00 a.m. Owners, Dick, Millie, and Rich Marron together with the staff at Town and Country Resort look forward to welcoming guests to the property.

Following brief comments from the Legislators, the floor will be open to questions and answers.” Guests are encouraged to email their questions/comments to Max by March 21st. Questions received before March 21st will be answered prior to questions from the floor.

Here’s a suggestion to consider when framing one’s question “As you head back to Montpelier, it would be in the best interest of my organization if you would consider (fill in your question/comment).” All questions submitted will be answered during the breakfast or forwarded to Legislators following the program for individual follow-up.”

The morning program will adjourn at 9:00 a.m. The public is encouraged to attend. No fee for Chamber members; $10.00 donation from non-Chamber members. Reservations are appreciated and can be made by online by clicking here. If you are unable to RSVP online, please email Jen or call (802) 888-7607.

The series will conclude with a breakfast buffet hosted by 158 Main Street Restaurant and Bakery in Jeffersonville on April 11th. A summer session tentatively scheduled for July 18.

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Public Forum on Vermont Futures Project

March 31, 2016 – 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. – Stearns Student Center, Johnson State College
Sponsored by: Lamoille Economic Development Corporation; the Lamoille Region Chamber of Commerce, Lamoille County Planning Commission and Johnson State College

Our Vermont economy is one of our most crucial and the least understood systems. The Vermont Future Project was founded to conduct research and provide knowledge about the Vermont economy aimed at enhancing and sustaining a robust and growing economy. The Future Project believes that Vermonters need a shared vision about the economy we want – one that is as strong as the vision we share for our environment.

To help build this vision, the Vermont Future Project is sponsoring, in collaboration with regional entities, a series of discussions around the State. Johnson State College will host a meeting on March 31 for Lamoille Region businesses and residents. The forum will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Stearns Student Center at Johnsons College. The event will build off the economic indicators in the Vermont Future Project website focusing in three broad areas: economic performance, workforce and quality of place. The unique Vermont challenge is balancing our commitment to environmental responsibility, fairness to our people, and growth of opportunity.

The Vermont Futures Project, created by the Vermont Chamber Foundations, has already published a website of economic indicators at www.vtfuturesproject.org based on research funded by the foundation and performed by the UMass Center for Economic Development. The indicators provide a profile of the economy which the Foundation is committed to update annually for at least the next ten years.

The forum will be led by Jeffrey Lewis, one of the principal organizers of the Vermont Futures Project. Attendance is free; but we do encourage you to let us know you’re coming by contacting John Mandeville at (802) 888-5640 or john@lamoilleeconomy.org (or max@lamoillechamber.com). Both John and I have heard the presentation…it is awesome, timely, important, and meaningful … we hope you will plan to join in the conversation.

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Eggs and Issues Series – April 12 Program

Anne Galloway Executive Director VTDigger.org

Anne Galloway
Executive Director
VTDigger.org

Medicaid Expansion – Legalization of Marijuana – Gubernatorial Race
Anne Galloway, Executive Dirctor, VTDigger.org
7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m., Location to be determined

Anne Galloway is the founder and editor of VTDigger and the executive director of the nonprofit Vermont Journalism Trust. She has worked as a reporter and editor for 20 years. She holds a BA from the University of Kentucky and moved to Vermont in 1988. For many years, Galloway was a contributing writer for Seven Days Newspaper and a visual arts reviewer for the Times Argus. She was the editor of the Sunday Rutland Herald and Barre Times Argus from 2004 to 2009. Her reporting has appeared in The New York Times (the Vows column), the New York Daily News, Vermont Life and City Pages (Minneapolis). She is a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors.

VTDigger.org is a statewide news website that publishes watchdog reports on state government, politics, consumer affairs, business and public policy.
Anne presentation will focus on Medicaid Expansion, Legalization of Marijuana and the Gubernatorial Race.

Do plan to join us! Bring your questions! No charge for Chamber members; $8.00 donation from non-Chamber members is appreciated. Hearty breakfast buffet. 7:30 a.m. registration, networking, breakfast with program beginning at 8:00 a.m. and adjournment at 9:00.

Walk-ins are welcome, but online registration is preferred. To register online: click here. If you are unable to RSVP online, please call (802) 888-7607 or email Jen.

MORE EGGS AND ISSUES … FOR YOUR CALENDAR

May 17 Eggs: Edward Jones Investments, Rich Jacobs, Financial Advisor
June 15 Eggs: Betsy Bishop, Vermont State Chamber of Commerce
July 12 Eggs Michael Mosher (first in 3-part series) To be confirmed “Get to Know Lamoille County” – Key Demographics
August 22 Phil Scott – Gubernatorial Candidate
September 13 Michael Mosher–Part 2 – Accessing Demographic Data for Business Intelligence
October 12 Betsy Bishop, Vermont State Chamber of Commerce
November 14 Michael Mosher–Part 3 – The Date Process: A Step-by-Step Guide
December 13 Open .. or Merry Christmas!

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Chamber Member Committee News and Notes

Invitation to Join a Committee
WE NEED YOUR HELP – YOUR ENERGY – YOUR COMMITMENT – YOUR INSIGHT!

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)

2016 Committee Work Begins

Leadership Lamoille Steering Committee
Program Will Roll Out on April 1 – Enroll One, or More, Employee(s)

On or about April 1, we will formally roll out the Leadership Lamoille Program. It is awesome.
Orientation will be held on September 14 with graduation in June 2017. Topics will include: Education; Communications and Media; Human Services; Health Care; Under the Dome (Government Day); Community Leadership; Law and Justice and presentation of student projects. The full schedule and details will be posted on the Chamber website soon.

On or about April 1, Requests for Project Proposals will be mailed to local not-for-profits requesting projects that have been placed on the “back burner” due, perhaps to limited time and resources, to be submitted to the Committee for consideration as a project for student teams to undertake and present at a special presentation evening being hosted by Johnson State College.

And, on or about, April 1, applications will be mailed to Chamber member businesses. The cost is $600.00 per participant (Chamber members) and $800.00 per participant (non-Chamber members). Watch for details in your snail mail box as well as on the Chamber’s website.

We have 5 participants committed to date … we need a minimum of 8 to go forward … 12 participants would be ideal!

Marketing and Branding Committee
Mary Collins – Dawn Archbold – March 28

The Committee meets March 28th at the Chamber office at 12:00 noon (bring your own lunch). All Chamber members are welcome to attend and participate in this exciting initiative.

The Chamber’s Monthly Marketing Tip to Help Your Business Grow
Submitted by Mary Collins, Committee Member

Show us your expertise. You’re the expert at what you do. As a Chamber member, we encourage you to share that expertise with all our Chamber members; some of whom will be eager to take advantage of your generosity by utilizing your guidance and, perhaps, do business with you. How to do it? Here’ how:

  • Write a short article for us. We’ll post it in an upcoming e-news. Keep it short, bullet important points for readers who like to scan before they read the entire post.
  • Share a helpful tip about your business product or industry. Identify how it can be helpful to fellow Chamber members and the community.
  • Say something nice about a colleague, co-worker, employee, or other Chamber business that you do business with.
  • Post a picture of your business “in act”. Tell us something good, remarkable, and notable that your business was involved in and show it in pictures. We’ll share it with our membership and on our Facebook page, gladly, as a benefit to you for your membership in the Lamoille Region Chamber of Commerce”.
  • Each month the Chamber will bring you another marketing tip to help you grow your business. Have a marketing tip or business success story that you want to share with us? Send it to our Chamber Marketing Committee via: Mary.

DID YOU KNOW? That the Chamber is posting each Chamber member on its Facebook Page? We’ve started with A in the alphabet; jumped to Z and will work toward the middle.

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Events Committee
Tracy Baker, Chair

Coming off a highly successful and energized Annual Membership Meeting/Dinner/Celebration, the Events Committee is now focusing on organizing the Annual Chamber Wack-a-Doo Golf Event to be held on June 23, 2016 at the Ryder Brook Golf Club. Tracy will be calling the Committee together within the next few weeks. Interested in joining this Committee? We’d love to have a few extra hands to help with this fun-filled event. This event is then followed by organization of “Amazin’ Grazin’” to be held at Hope Grows Community Farm in Hyde Park on September 23rd. Contact max@lamoillechamber.com if interested.

Membership Committee
With Chamber Ambassadors

Tuesday, March 15 beginning at 8:00 a.m. will see this Committee re-grouping and planning for 2016. We look at membership recruitment, retention, Chamber benefits, how better to serve our members, what businesses have come on board and what businesses have left the Chamber. Those coming on board exceed those who are leaving. We’ve welcomed 12 new members since January 1, 2016…with many “hot” prospects on the on-deck circle. Join us … your expertise, knowledge of the community and input as a current Chamber member would be most welcome. Give Max a call or email and you’ll be on the list to receive meeting notices.

Finance Committee
This is an appointed Committee and will begin its work on March 16th which, of course, is to monitor the budget and give guidance relative to the Chamber’s financial status/sustainability.

Board of Directors
All Board meetings are open to any and all members of the Chamber who are in good standing (dues paid). The next meeting is March 17 at the Tegu Building, Morrisville. Let us know if you plan to attend.

Government Affairs Committee
Although nothing official, there has been some interest from Chamber members regarding serving on this Committee…stay tuned. We will continue to advocate for and work toward organizing a Government Affairs Committee. Part of its responsibility would be organization of Legislative Breakfasts, MC’ing the breakfasts; organization of the Vermont State Chamber programs (2 annually); organizing appearances/presentations by our political leaders, i.e., Governor of the State, Congressman Welch and Senator Leahy, etc. I would expect that this Committee would also work closely with the Vermont State Chamber and its lobbying efforts as well as survey Chamber membership seeking input on legislative issues that “keep our businesses awake at night”.

Nominating Committee
No meetings until October and it is an appointed Committee.
For additional information, call Max at 888 7607…or email Max and dates of Committee meetings which will begin in March 2016.

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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 Max for details.

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Community and Chamber Events

LEDC presents workshop on three secrets to successful conflict Management
Green Mountain Tech Center … Hyde Park – March 17 – 9:00 a.m. to noon. Registration Required.

“Differences can be the source of creativity, or they can serve to divide.” – Craig Runde

Conflicts happen. Wherever there are people, there is the potential for conflict. When priorities, perceptions, goals, needs, values, and interests collide with another person, conflict occurs. Is conflict a bad thing? Not necessarily. Often a conflict presents the opportunities for growth and improvement. Effective conflict management skills give us the ability to identify and handle conflicts wisely, objectively, and powerfully. How we handle the conflict can increase our own personal success and the professional success of others.

This interactive workshop will explore and identify conflict management techniques that can be put to use right away, whether at work or at home. They will include problem solving, dealing with different personality types, giving and receiving feedback, mediation and communicating effectively. Also explored will be how we may need to relearn that conflict may be good and a catalyst for positive change.

The presenter, Carrie Gendreau, is a recognized expert in this area. She was born and raised in Littleton, NH where she still lives with her husband. She is a certified Dale Carnegie Course Instructor and is the owner of The Training Connection as well as Emma & Co. Consignment Boutique and has been an Adjunct Professor for 20 years at Granite State College. The workshop will take place on March 17th from 9 am to noon in the Community Room at GMTCC. The cost to attend is $49 and pre-registration is required. Please visit www.vtsbdc.org and click on TRAINING to register and pre-pay online or email Vicki Blanchard or call 802-728-9101. For more information call John Mandeville at 888-5640.

Vermont Small Business Development Center is a partnership program with the U.S. Small Business Administration. The support given by the U.S. Small Business Administration through its funding does not constitute an expressed or implied endorsement of any of the co-sponsors’ or participants’ opinions, products or services.

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Long Term Care and Medicare Seminar
Sponsored by Edward Jones Investments, Rich Jacobs, Financial Advisor
March 22, 2016 – Morristown Centennial Library

Click here to learn more about this seminar.

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Jewelry and Sip Event at The Space
March 25; 5 – 7 p.m. Reservations Required

Enjoy a night with the girls modeling jewelry! We are featuring Silver Stars, Sterling Silver jewelry, check them out here. Pick out something to suit your style! Catalogs will be provided along with live jewelry. Tickets to this event are $10 . The Event entitles you to 30% off your jewelry order for the event, one free beverage, a selection of finger foods, one entry for the door prize and a free gift! Click here to sign up now for a fun night!

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River Arts Winter/Spring Workshops
74 Pleasant Streets – Morrisville – RiverArtsVT.org – (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 at 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 6p.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!

iPhone Photography – Seriously
Wednesday – March 16 through April 13 – 6 8 p.m. – $85.
Discover the strengths and limitations of iPhone photography in this interactive workshop with Nan Carle Beauregard. All levels of skill and experience welcome.

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Insurance Options

2016 VACEPlus Insurance Program: A Chamber Member Benefit

Vace

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 Max at the Chamber 802 888 7607; or email Max . 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 Max 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 Max, 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

HBIG-Logo-HBDRB-Locations-Tag

A Chamber benefit offered by Hickok and Boardman. Some Chamber members are participating in this option. Call Max 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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