In This Issue:

From Main Street to You…Melissa’s Weekly Message
The Chamber welcomes FOUR new members
On the Calendar for May
Community and Member Events, Programs
Leadership Lamoille 2016-2017
Invitation to Join a Committee
Chamber Committee News and Notes
Request for E-News Feedback
The Chamber’s Sustaining Members
Insurance Options
Simpson Sales Unlimited: For all your garage door needs
Vermont Web Marketing: Maximize your online potential
VocRehab: Free, flexible services to any Vermonter or employer dealing with a disability that affect employment

From Main Street to You: Melissa’s Weekly Message

Melissa Sheffer

Melissa Sheffer, Executive Director

Feliz Cinco de Mayo! This date is observed to commemorate the Mexican’s army unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin. In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is sometimes mistaken to be Mexico’s Independence Day, which is celebrated on September 16th. Check out River Arts for “A Unique Cinco de Mayo Celebration.”

The excitement continues. Another adventurous week!

Last Thursday, I popped into Haymaker Card & Gift for their Ladies’ Night. They were introducing their new spring and summer line of clothes and accessories. Orah has so much to offer in her store. She recently told me that Haymaker is known as the place to stop for last minute gift shopping, and I completely understand the notion. It’s a great shopping experience, a lot from which to choose, and not a burden on the wallet.

That same night, I attended my first Development Review Board meeting for the Town of Morristown. It was well attended, and yet another indication of the continued growth in our communities. The residents are very engaged for myriad reasons, and the Board itself is comprised of a group of individuals who demonstrate the willingness to listen, learn and compromise.

On Wednesday, I met with Jay Cooke with Copley Country Club to finalize plans for the ribbon cutting ceremony for their new Golf School to take place at 5pm on Wednesday, May 18th. Jay took me on a tour of the Golf School, and to say “impressive” would be an understatement. There are going to be two swing simulators, as well as an indoor putting green. Their philosophy—and the way they will be going about teaching the sport—is not only well thought out, but progressive. Copley Country Club is well on its way to making its mark on the local golf scene.

Most of my week was spent recruiting, and I’m happy to report that we are welcoming FOUR new members! Read about them here.

Coming up:

The countdown has begun leading up to our welcome reception/farewell on May 10th at Piecasso from 5:00 to 6:30pm. If you haven’t already, please do RSVP.Click here to register online. It is guaranteed to be a memorable occasion!

The steering committee for Leadership Lamoille meets this Friday. Stay tuned for updates regarding this dynamic, signature program of the LRCC.

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New Member Spotlight

Stowe Eye Care
Stowe Eye CareStowe Eye Care offers specialized eye exams for all types of vision needs. Optometrist Dr. Dorothy Brodmann specializes in diagnosis and treatment of ocular pathologies and refractive conditions, keeping current with the latest advances and trends in vision care to ensure that patients benefit from the best technology on the market.

If your vision needs correction, Stowe Eye Care will thoroughly explain your options to help choose what’s best for you. They also provide a large selection of contact lenses and solutions, including: multifocals and bifocals, silicone hydro-gels, Keratoconic lenses, sport-related specialty lenses, cosmetic color lenses, rigid gas permeable, and conventional soft contact lenses.

It is such a welcoming place, and the staff truly makes it an enjoyable experience. Stop in and say hello to Dr. Broadmann, Carolyn, Terrill, and Jessie…you’ll be glad you did!

Vermont Artistry
Vermont ArtistryCatherine Aranda-Learned, owner of Vermont Artistry, says that throughout her professional life, in all she has done as a photographer, artist and designer, has been with the awareness of composition, lighting, balance, and beauty; framing everything into the camera frame in order to tell the story artistically and poignantly.

Since 2008, Catherine has focused only on professionally developing her photography and perfecting her artistic aesthetic to her love of photojournalism style and digital fine-art.

Catherine noted that her experience has been varied with folks from all walks and traditions of life; and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

When you meet Catherine, you will immediately sense her genuine spirit and love for what she does and it shows in her work. She says she is honored by and privileged in being a part of capturing her clients journeys.

Visit her website to read testimonials and to see a sampling of her breathtaking work, and keep her in mind for your next event.

Sultan Strategies
Sultan StrategiesIn addition to her bookkeeping services which include accounts receivable and payable; income and expense reports; payroll; bank statement reconciliation and more, Christina Sultan offers private investigation services catering exclusively to attorneys. These include asset searches; background checks, public record searches, financial reconstruction, forensic accounting and subject locates.

One of her clients writes: “Christina Sultan is professional in every sense of the word. With patience and kindness she explains the ins and outs of bookkeeping during our meetings and is diligent in keeping our records in order. We are fortunate and proud to have her on our team!”

Christina’s friendliness and gentle manner is certainly valuable, especially when having to pore over records, numbers and the like. With her guidance, you can absolutely get through what can sometimes feel like a maze of paperwork.”

For more information, visit SultanStrategies.com.

New Garden International
New Garden International is a diversified private investment company currently active in the following industries: education, food processing, international trade, fisheries and fish byproducts.

We are sure that we’ll be hearing more and learning from Michael Furst, owner, about his venture in this exciting global industry.

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On the Calendar

May Events and Programs
May 10th: Piecasso Pizzeria & Lounge, 5pm: Reception/Farewell
May 17th: The Charlmont Pub, 5pm: More “Eggs and Issues, Evening Edition” (Rich Jacobs, Financial Advisor and a 401K Program)
May 18th: Ribbon cutting ceremony; Copley Golf School, 5 pm at Copley Country Club

Save the Date:Eggs and Issues
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: TBD

Save the Date: Mixers and More
June 8: Pall Spera Mixer
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

Reservations are coming in for 2017 – Let us know if you are interested in hosting a 2017 Mixer – October is reserved: Laraway Youth and Family Services; September is pending for Sandiwood Farm.

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Community and Member Events, Programs

Copley Country Club Opening Ceremonies Tournament
Join Copley Country Club for their 18 hole, 4 person scramble on Saturday, May 7th. Here’s the registration form and more information, click here.

United Way Food Drive on May 14th
No one should go hungry in Lamoille County!

We hope you will pick up an extra item or two when you do your shopping this weekend. This year’s Community Food Drive will be held on Saturday, May 14th. The United Way of Lamoille County and the U.S. Postal Service coordinate this event which typically collects two tons of food annually for our local food shelves.

If you have rural mail delivery, you may hang your food donation from your mailbox. Your postal carrier will pick up your donation during their regular Saturday morning delivery. A drop box will be placed in the lobby of your local post office for the convenience of those who pick up their mail.

Please do not donate expired food! Check the labels and only donate items you would eat yourself. Only non-perishable items will be accepted. Items most requested at food shelves are: peanut butter, jelly, tuna, toilet paper, cereals, canned fruits and vegetables, spaghetti sauces, cake and baking mixes and hamburger helper, but any non-perishables will be greatly appreciated.

Please help those with food insecurities in our community by supporting this event. For more information, contact Brett at the United Way office at 888-3252.

LEDC Workshop: How To Select The Right Bookkeeping System For You And Your Business
“Nobody but nobody ever decided to go into business for themselves because they could hardly wait to keep their books!” – John Mandeville

Keeping accurate and up-to-date financial records for your business is without a doubt one of the most important aspects of starting and running a successful business. Unfortunately, many new and even seasoned business owners spend little time in selecting, setting up and utilizing a bookkeeping system that suits their business and their personal abilities and requirements. Many also decide to leave all this to someone else. Some do so because they suffer from “math anxiety” and some simply underestimate the importance of tracking and understanding the numbers their businesses generate.

This workshop will introduce you to some of the options open to all businesses from the most common computer-based system, Quick Books, to Peachtree, a simple Excel spreadsheet, and what is usually called a manual One-Write system. Also covered will be some explanation of what you are looking at when using the most common system and the one preferred by most accountants, Quick Books. Using any system to its greatest value to you and your business entails much more than just data entry, producing invoices, accounting for deposits, etc. Some of the things that Quick Books can do for you including producing monthly Profit & Loss statements, Balance Sheets, Aged Receivables and more will also be covered in this workshop. An extended question and answer section will allow all attendees to find out even more directly from the experts.

The presenters, accountants Julie Marckres, CPA and Deb Verzilli, CPA from Marckres Norder & Company, Inc. in Morrisville, each have over 20 years’ experience in the field. Come listen, watch and learn. Your business will thank you!

The workshop will take place on May 17th from 9 am to noon in the Community Room at Green Mountain Technology and Career Center in Hyde Park. 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 on line or email or call Vicki Blanchard at dblanchard@vtsbdc.org , 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.

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. Details below.

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
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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WAYS TO ENGAGE … PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS … REALIZE CHAMBER VALUE

Serve on a Committee
Donate Raffle Items to Mixers
Sponsor an Event, the Chamber’s website, the E-News

Details on www.LamoilleChamber.com.

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2016 Sponsorship Responses

Legislative Breakfast Series: SOLD! for $1,000

2016 SPONSORSHIP RESPONSES
Legislative Breakfast Series: SOLD! $1,000

Community Health Services of Lamoille Valley, led by Kevin Kelley, has committed to sponsoring the Chamber’s Legislative Breakfast Series! Many thanks to that organization.

We invite you to consider sponsoring one of the many options available to Chamber members…your commitment and sponsorship participation helps support the Chamber’s budget allowing the Chamber to increase its efforts in working on behalf of the Lamoille County business community. Check out your options by visiting our website www.LamoilleChamber.com.

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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)

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2016 Committee Work is Underway

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
Next Meeting: May 23 – noon – Chamber Office
Open Meeting … Please Join Us

Events Committee
Tracy Baker, Chair
Next Meeting – May 17 – 12:00 noon – Chamber Office
Open Meeting … Please Join Us – Wack-a-Doo Planning!

Membership Committee
Next Meeting – May 17 – 8:00 a.m. – Chamber Office

Finance Committee
Appointed Committee
Next Meeting: May 18 – Noon – Chamber Office

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 May 19 at the Tegu Building, Morrisville.

Government Affairs Committee
Stay tuned…

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

Let us know if you plan to attend any of the meetings listed above.

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A respectful request for e-newsletter feedback:

As you have probably noticed, this week’s newsletter is considerably shorter than what has been issued in the past. Jen and I are trying to pare down the amount of content while still bringing you pertinent and valuable material. I want to be respectful of your time, yet offer an exemplary source of Chamber information.

With that, would you consider sending me any feedback you might have? For example, is there any content you would like to see more of, and conversely, anything that you do not find particularly relevant? What do you think of the format and the readability of our newsletter?
Thanks. We really appreciate your input. Please send your comments to Melissa via email.

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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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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

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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 UnlimitedWelcome 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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VocRehab

Voc RehabWork is central to adult life. Work defines us, giving us purpose, independence, and community.

Disability affects all of us eventually – whether we’re born with it; experience disability through illness, accident, or aging; or have a loved one or colleague with a disabling condition.

When disability gets in the way of productive work, that’s when VocRehab Vermont steps in. We provide a wide range of services and supports to help you get to work, and to help your employer keep you there. For more information, call (802)888-5976 or visit VocReb.Vermont.gov.