Spencer Putnam has been named the new Executive Director of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility. Putnam was formerly the General Manager of Danforth Pewterers and Vice President of Operations at Vermont Teddy Bear Company.“Now, more than ever, business people need to think beyond the bottom line. We’ve seen what happens when people focus on the short-term gains of a values-less marketplace. The most successful companies have learned how to integrate profit with concern for their environment, community and workforce,” said Putnam. “Vermont companies have known this for years.”Founded 12 years ago by companies such as Ben & Jerry’s, Seventh Generation and Gardeners Supply Co., VBSR is the oldest and largest regional organization of socially responsible companies in the country. Over 400 business members are committed to the organization’s mission “to set a high standard for protecting the natural, human and economic environments” of Vermont’s citizens.Putnam replaces Jane Campbell, who has served as executive director for 10 years. “ Spence has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to social and economic justice, both professionally and in his personal life. He is a great choice to take VBSR to the next phase of socially responsible business.
Vermont to Receive $337,500 in Securities Settlementwith Deutsche Bank Securities and Thomas Weisel PartnersMontpelier, VT (August 26, 2004) – Under the terms of settlements announced today betweensecurities regulators and Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. and Thomas WeiselPartners LLC, Vermont stands to receive $337,500 in total fine money uponfinal acceptance of the terms of the agreement, said John P. Crowley,Vermont’s Commissioner of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health CareAdministration (BISHCA). The settlements result from allegations ofconflicts of interest at brokerage houses where analysts recommendedstocks due to improper influence from their investment banking colleagues.Deutche Bank Securities, Inc. will pay $287,500 and Thomas Weisel Partners LLC will pay $50,000 in fines.Commissioner Crowley made the announcement following investigations of thetwo firms by the California Department of Corporations, the U.S.Securities and Exchange Commission, NASD, Inc., and the New York StockExchange. The settlements are related to the April 2003 Global Settlementthat ten other investment banks reached with the state, federal andindustry regulators.Deutsche Bank will pay a total of $87.5 million: $25 million indisgorgement, $25 million as a penalty for various conflicts ofinterest, $25 million to fund independent research, $5 million to fund andpromote investor education, and $7.5 million for failing to promptlyproduce e-mail and thereby delaying by over a year the investigation as toDeutsche Bank. Thomas Weisel Partners will pay a total of $12.5 million:$5 million in disgorgement, $5 million as a penalty for various conflictsof interest, and $2.5 million to fund independent research.The investigations of Deutsche Bank and Thomas Weisel Partners,together with the 2003 Global Settlement, are part of a comprehensiveregulatory effort to reform the relationship between investment bankingand research and to manage appropriately conflicts of interest.Commissioner Crowley said, “Today’s settlements represent a significantstep in our continuing efforts to ensure that investors are treated fairlyand provided with objective research.”Under the terms of the settlement, Deutsche Bank is also required todistribute $2.5 million to the Investor Protection Trust (IPT), which willuse the money to fund investor education initiatives on the state andnational levels. The IPT is an established charitable organization withexperience handling settlement funds and a history of investor educationsuccesses. read more
Church, Engle & Associates Inc, Recruitment Specialist and Human Resource Consultants has opened its office in Shelburne. We provide businesses with Professional, Executive and Key Position Recruitment as well as General Human Resource Consulting. Barbara S. Church and Keith J. Engle each bring over 25 years of Human Resource experience with extensive knowledge of the local business community and personalized and in-depth service. Services include: Search, Recruitment Programs, Employee Relations Assistance including Labor and Sexual Harassment, Performance Management, Management Training, Policy and Procedure Development, Compensation and HR Audits. www.churchengle.com(link is external)
23rd Annual Tennis Tournament Scheduled for AugustSouth Burlington — The 23rd Annual Jeff Stone Memorial Tennis Tournament will be held August 17-19, 2007 at the Burlington Tennis Club. The tournament supports the Stern Center for Language and Learning and the Jeff Stone Foundation. This year’s featured players are Bud Schultz, who was recently inducted into the New England Tennis Hall of Fame, Krassi Atanasov, the defending mens singles champion, and Larry Turville, who is currently ranked #2 in the world in men’s 55 an over singles division.The Stern Center, founded in 1983 by Dr. Blanche Podhajski, is a nonprofit educational resource for schools and students of all ages. The Jeff Stone Foundation was established to help deserving youth pursue their tennis dreams. Gene Richards of Spruce Mortgage explains, “To be able to change someones life is powerful, and it doesn’t get any better than to invest in great minds. We are proud to be recognized as a community partner and our sustained sponsorship demonstrates our commitment to two exceptional charitable organizations!”For more information on the 23rd Annual Jeff Stone Tennis Tournament or to become a sponsor, please contact Betty Lord at (802) 229-6108 or email BettyLord@aol.com(link sends e-mail). read more
# # # Senate and House negotiators have agreed to provide $350 million for hard-pressed dairy farmers, Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced today. The funding was first included in a Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) amendment to the Department of Agriculture appropriations bill.Sanders welcomed the agreement that he said “came at a time when Vermont’s dairy farmers are struggling hard to stay in business with record-low milk prices.” He added that “this is a good step forward but we need to do much more if we are to preserve family based dairy agriculture in Vermont and America.” Leahy, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee which handled the Senate’s work on the bill, said he hopes the aid will “offer relief to Vermont’s dairy farmers and small businesses that are struggling to stay afloat,” and also pledged to seek additional relief.Congressional conferees agreed to retain the $350 million figure first included in Sanders’ amendment that the Senate passed on August 6 by a vote of 60 to 37. An earlier House version of the Department of Agriculture appropriations bill did not include any extra dairy funds.Under the language that Congress still must approve, $290 million would be provided in direct support to dairy farmers using guidelines to be determined by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack under an expedited process. Another $60 million would be used to purchase cheese and other dairy products for food banks and nutrition programs, spurring prices for raw dairy products by drawing down supplies of the commodity.“Vermont’s dairy farms are an integral part of our economy and our way of life. We’ve got to do everything we can to preserve them. While this funding will provide some much needed emergency relief, we must also develop some long-term policies which will provide fair and stable prices for dairy farmers,” Sanders said.Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said, “I have talked with hundreds of Vermont farmers, from one end of the state to the other, who are faced with a crisis of epic proportions. We have a dairy industry on the brink of total collapse and this could not come at a better time. I welcome this announcement today and thank the Senate and House negotiators for retaining this important funding.” The average price farmers received for their milk fell in the past year to $11.30 per hundredweight, down from $19.30 in July 2008. It costs farmers at least $18 per hundredweight to produce milk. As prices plunged, family dairy farms in Vermont and around the country went out of business.In addition to securing the funds in the Agriculture Department spending bill, Leahy and Sanders also have put a spotlight on the record profits of Dean Foods Co. and other giant dairy processors that dominate the milk market in New England and the rest of the country.The Justice Department’s top antitrust enforcer at a September 20 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in St. Albans, Vt., told a packed hall of dairy farmers that increased concentration in the dairy industry merited a closer look by the department. Assistant Attorney General Christine Varney said the department launched a comprehensive review of market concentration, the relationship between dairy co-ops and milk processors, “and how we’ve evolved to the point where the co-ops are basically captive of one distributor. I want to understand how we got there and what kind of competition exists.”Dairy farmers got a temporary boost from the Agriculture Department last July 31 when Secretary Vilsack – after meeting with the senators from Vermont and other dairy states – approved a three-month price hike that was expected to increase farmers’ revenue nationwide by $243 million.Vermont Congressman Peter Welch and leaders of the Congressional Dairy Farmers Caucus on Wednesday also hailed the agreement. Welch and the bipartisan, 87-member caucus have been urging House conferees to retain funding included in the Senate version of the Department of Agriculture appropriations bill.Caucus co-chair Peter Welch (D-Vt.) said, “This funding could not have come at a more critical time for Vermont’s hardworking dairy farmers. The price crisis they have weathered during the past year has been staggering. While this emergency assistance will not solve the long-term problems the industry faces, it will provide much-needed temporary support to these dedicated stewards of our land.”The Congressional Dairy Farmers Caucus, which was founded this summer, includes members from both parties and every region of the country.Source: Vermont Congressional delegation. WASHINGTON, September 30, 2009. read more
The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) is now accepting applications for the new Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) Capital Improvement Grant Program. This program was created by the Vermont Legislature to provide matching grants for capital investments that will support Vermont agricultural producers in obtaining GAP certification. The goals of the GAP Capital Improvement Grant Program are to increase sales of Vermont fruits and vegetables and create or maintain jobs by enhancing market access and promoting food safety. Both GAPs-certified producers, as well as those who are looking towards GAPs certification are eligible to apply. There is a maximum cap among all GAPs Capital Improvements Program grants of $10,000 per farm, and farms must contribute a minimum of 50% of the total project costs. To be eligible for funding, the participant must be in good standing with the Agency of Agriculture regarding regulatory requirements and resulting penalties. A total of $100,000 is available. Funding will be disbursed in two grant rounds, with the first grant round open from July 1 to September 30, 2011. A total of $50,000 is available in the first grant round, and will be made available to producers for eligible expenses in the order that applications are received. Applications received after first round grant funds are fully expended will be automatically considered in the second round of funding. The second round will open on November 1, 2011. Please contact Chelsea Bardot Lewis, Agricultural Development Coordinator, at 802-828-3360 or email@example.com(link sends e-mail) for the full application packet or more information. Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, 7.21.2011 read more
Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) officials are advising motorists that there will be traffic delays in the southbound lane of Interstate 89 between exits 16 and 14 until at least Friday August 5th. VTrans officials said contractors are installing an access road to allow work on a pipe. This has required the closure of the southbound driving lane starting just north of exit 15. Some traffic stoppages have been reported as of this morning. Work on the project is set to begin at 9 am to accommodate morning ‘drive time traffic.’ However, state officials will be monitoring the situation to see if further adjustments will have to be made.
Governor Peter Shumlin today announced that a new manufacturing company will be locating in Manchester and will initially employ just over 100 people. The company, WCW, Inc, is a family-owned manufacturer of premier bedding used in the medical and hospitality sectors, with plans to expand to retail customers.WCW’s decision to relocate to Manchester from its Hoosick Falls, NY, facilities was based on a combination of incentives, location and support from the governor’s office and Vermont economic development officials. It was approved for more than half-a-million dollars in state incentives.”Vermont did an excellent job of presenting a competitive incentive package and providing assistance to us from the Shumlin administration – including the governor himself ‘ as well as from the Bennington County Industrial Corporation and local representatives,” said WCW chairman John Wilkinson. “My family and I very much look forward to our future in Vermont.” “This is a great day for Bennington County. I am delighted that WCW selected Vermont as its new home,” said Governor Shumlin. “Creating jobs has been a priority of mine, and today’s announcement is further proof that Vermont is a great place to do business.” “It has been a pleasure working with John Wilkinson and his family over the last several months,” said Peter Odierna, Executive Director of Bennington County Industrial Corporation. “We look forward to this dynamic addition to our local economy.” Although there are still details to be worked out, WCW will purchase the former Moore-Wallace building in Manchester and begin the transition from Hoosick Falls immediately. The company received initial approval of $522,484 from the Vermont Employment Growth Incentive Program and will submit a final application later this year. Source: Governor’s office. 8.16.2011 read more
Reebok-CCM Hockey US, Inc (formerly known as Maska US, Inc) and Reebok-CCM Hockey, Inc, have settled a claim by the Vermont Attorney General that they failed to conduct required groundwater testing in 2008 at a property they own in Bradford. They will pay $40,000 to resolve the matter.The Reebok-CCM companies were required under a 1996 agreement with the Attorney General to conduct quarterly groundwater testing at a property in Bradford that was formerly used to manufacture hockey equipment. The manufacturing process involved perchloroethylene, commonly known as ‘perc’ and regulated as a hazardous waste under Vermont law. While Maska owned the site, perc was released there, and when Reebok purchased Maska it succeeded to Maska’s obligations to monitor the groundwater at the Bradford site for perc.‘The owners of property where hazardous materials have been released must comply with their ongoing monitoring obligations to protect public health and the environment,’ said Attorney General William H. Sorrell.The Pleadings By Agreement and Stipulation for Entry of Consent Order were filed with the Superior Court in Washington County in early August 2011. Judge Geoffrey W. Crawford approved the settlement by entering a Consent Order on August 15, 2011. August 19, 2011 Vermont Attorney General read more