Around the Chamber - May, 2023

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AROUND THE CHAMBER MAY, 2023 Connect With Us!! new visitor center opens to rave reviews!! In This Issue 9 - Nancie Dunn (Sweet Cecily) 11 - Visitor Center Opens 16 - Focus on Non-Profits (CSAC) 25 - New Member Closeup (WoW & Sweet Charity)
Around the Chamber ACCOC publishes Around the Chamber monthly and it reaches thousands of business, non profit leaders and their employees in Addison County and beyond. Around the Chamber boasts an average 49% open rate with an average read time of 8:30 Members are encouraged to supply their announcements and events by emailing For ad availability and rate card email Addison County Chamber of Commerce 2023, All Rights Reserved Have something to say or an idea for this publication? Contact us!


Living and working in Vermont we sometimes think we are insulated from situations that can cause injuries and impact our organization’s event liability. Extreme weather, acts of violence, medical emergencies, accidents and missing children are all part of event management. Organizations that ignore preparing for them do so at their peril.

In this seminar we will review EAP’s (Emergency Action Plans) and show how to mitigate and prepare for keeping your attendees and staff safe at your event. Additionally, we will cover liability insurance. No matter how prepared you may be, it is crucial that you have adequate liability coverage.

This seminar will be helpful to organizations who manage any size event including festivals, farmers markets and fundraisers.

Speakers: Ben Fuller, The Richards Group and Phil Summers, ACCoC


Behind the Scenes with NANCIE DUNN

Each month, "Behind the Scenes" features an interview with a leader in our community designed to provide readers a glimpse into his/her interests and passions inside and outside of the workplace

This month, "Behind the Scenes" sat down with Nancie Dunn, owner of Sweet Cecily in Middlebury

Where did you grow up?

My hometown is Roslyn, NY, which is an old town, with a lovely clock tower and park with a duck pond

Where did you go to school?

I attended Philadelphia College of Art and The School of Visual Arts in NYC. I majored in illustration

First ever job?

My first job was at a store called “Port of Call” it was a gift shop, and I recall the owners were often out of town leaving their business to some silly teenagers! We tried to handle it all!

When did you arrive in Vermont?

I moved to Vermont in 1972 and got my first job at Frog Hollow craft center. I was around such creative craftspeople! Weavers, jewelers, woodworkers, metal workers and fiber artists! It was the well-known “back to the land” movement, and the spirit of young people coming to Vermont, and many other rural communities trying to live meaningful and creative lives, and establish community, was magical. Many of those folks are still my closest friends .

Who was your greatest inspiration growing up?

As far as inspirations growing up, my generation was seriously influenced by the music around us in the 60’s and 70’s, the best singer songwriters in my opinion who were writing about important and transformative subjects that were all around us back then, the War in Vietnam, simpler life, etc,

When people say someone like Dylan (and others) was a “spokesperson” for a generation I believe this to be true, he illuminated the world around us which was changing

Favorite Vacation Spot?

Mexico for a month mid February to Mid March it’s the only time I can leave the store for that long and even then it’s asking a lot of my staff! It’s almost always busy there!

Nancie Dunn

Behind the Scenes with NANCIE DUNN

Who do you most admire?

I most admire people who are trying to live an authentic life, a good life with good values and open minds.

I am seriously worried about what I see in this country as some basic and important rights turning backwards.

For women, in education, and for the diverse people we share this country with; we need to fight the slide back to a darker less inclusive and a small minded past.

Favorite movie, music?

I have watched Moonstruck about 25 times; I can quote most everyone’s lines! As far as music, I like bluegrass, folk, country, Latin, fairly diverse, not a big jazz or opera fan.

Typical work week?

I’m at the store about 5-6 days a week we are open 7 days a week I try to not be there Sundays and have that be a home day with partner Bruce Baker.

Janice Stearns has been working for me from the first day I opened, we still enjoy each other and I wanted to mention that!

Biggest career challenge?

The challenge for me is keeping Sweet Cecily relevant, fun, changing, and on trend. My customer base is so varied so it’s a lot to consider! Tourists, College kids, locals, kids, young parents, older folks!

What's the greatest career risk you have taken?

The biggest risk I’ve ever taken was leaving my job as Manager of the Gallery, at The Vermont State Craft Center at Frog Hollow, which was a job I loved, and opening my own store, Bruce encouraged me and made it happen by supporting the idea and shutting down all my reasons why I couldn’t do it. Now 35 years later, its one of the oldest and most successful stores in town for which I am grateful, to my customers, and to him!

My store is one of the most important things in my life, its where I go everyday it’s the creative outlet and the social interaction, its part of my identity which I think is true for most small business owners,

What's the one thing you would like to see change in your business/industry?

In the gift business, it would be nice for me to be able to buy more things made in this country that are affordable

My customers love my store because of the selection and the affordability of the things I carry. At Christmas, people literally can do all their shopping at my store for newborns to grannies!




On April 20th, members and friends of the Chamber were treated to a "Preview Mixer" for the new Addison County Visitor Center and Chamber Offices located at the historic Ferrisburgh/Vergennes Train Depot. Over 80 members attended and all raved about the new modernized, interactive Visitor Center.

To learn how you can advertise in the Visitor Center, see page 11 or visit


Focus on Non-Profits

Greetings from Counseling Service of Addison County (CSAC)! I am grateful to share the work of CSAC in this month’s Chamber magazine. May is Mental Health Awareness Month and a chance to pause and reflect on how vital mental health is to our overall health. CSAC strives for a connected, resilient community—where individuals and families are valued, supported and thrive—leading emotionally healthy and satisfying lives.

CSAC offers a variety of services including adult mental health, emergency and crisis, developmental services, employment services and youth and family services to support maximum well-being for individuals and a thriving community. We provided over 1.1 million service hours to Addison County individuals and families in Fiscal Year 2022. We certainly could not do this work alone; we collaborate with community partners, and are grateful for support from local businesses and organizations, service clubs, and individuals who help us in this vital work. I am excited to announce a new service offering: Interlude – a mental health urgent care service located in the Marble Works Complex.

Please read on about Interlude, and I also hope you will join us for these upcoming events so we can stay connected and work together to build a connected community:

• CSAC hosts the Chamber mixer Thursday, June 22 at 109 Catamount Park (hopefully outdoors)

• CSAC’s September 30 Bocce tournament (sponsor, play, cheer—we’d love to see you there)

CSAC announces new service: Interlude

The Interlude project is a mental health urgent care service that is part of a pilot program by a Congressional earmark from Senator Sanders and the Department of Mental Health (DMH). The space (behind Vt. Adult Learning on the south side of the Marble Works Complex) is a daytime and evening space for adults staffed by a mix of peers and clinical staff.

Interlude offers:

• another option for mental health crisis support,

• person-centered support planning, opportunities for engagement, peer support, and collaborative network consultation in a calming environment,

• hours into the evening.

Interlude staff are guided by the frameworks of Intentional Peer Support (IPS) and Open Dialogue/Collaborative Network Approach (CNA). These are trauma-informed ways of relating: instead of “what’s wrong,” we thing about “what’s happened.”

This serves as a powerful reminder that people are the experts of their own experience. Both these approaches aim to look beyond the notion of individuals needing to change. Instead, they see our lives in the context of our relationships and communities, and provide the message that recovery does happen and there is space for us.

Interlude welcomes you to come as you are and experience what you are going through. We are a nonresidential community crisis center that offers individuals an alternative to hospitalization.

We prioritize creating a healing environment that opens up space for reconnection to our natural state of wellbeing. We are so pleased for this new offering to the community. Sandy Smith, CSAC’s Director of Adult Mental Health Services, shares “Interlude was created out of over two years of work by a committee of clients and family members who brought direct experience of navigating mental health crises, and worked together with CSAC staff to search for additional support options. We’re very hopeful that having a welcoming comfortable space, offering support from staff who listen to, understand, and who have been through similar experiencestogether with the chance to slow down crisis decision making and to involve members of personal support networks where possible, will make a big difference for many people coping with mental health crises.”

Interlude will be open weekday afternoons and evenings. Please stay tuned for an upcoming open house and official opening announcement!

Questions about Interlude? Contact Sandy Smith, CSAC’s Director of Adult Mental Health Services:

Focus on Non-Profits
Pictured here is the Interlude staff team The Interlude Team: Interlude is staffed by a mix of peers and clinical staff.

Focus on Non-Profits

Join us for Bocce 2023-Saturday September 30!

Bocce is back for a return engagement. No experience necessary! Please save the date and join us—this is a chance to come together and have fun!

Where: Middlebury Recreation Parkthe Court Street location (near Mary Hogan School)

When: Saturday September 30—9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Who: Up to 32 teams of four players each. Members from area businesses, service groups, community members, and CSAC friends and families will all play enjoy friendly competition! Registration details to follow at

Questions or interested in sponsoring the tournament?

Contact: Beth Tarallo, Development and Outreach Director:

Join our team. CSAC is hiring! Visit to find opportunities. | 802.388.6751 24/7 Emergency Services 802.388.7641


Women of Wisdom and Sweet Charity: A Charitable Giving Circle

Vergennes, VT

Women of Wisdom

In the summer of 2006, Lizbeth Ryan felt a strong desire to do something to encourage kindness and generosity within our community – “something good needs to rise up.” In September of that year, Lizbeth gathered a few women to discuss the idea of forming a group to do “good works of service.” Together they formed a charitable giving circle named Women of Wisdom (WoW). Out of a heartfelt desire to expand the potential impact of the WoW giving circle, Liz Markowski, an experienced retailer, posed the concept of a resale shop. Following months of research, negotiation, education, and construction, Sweet Charity opened its doors for business in August of 2007, accepting generous donations of homegoods and welcoming eager shoppers!

Women of Wisdom Board of Directors

Based on the model of a charitable giving circle, the WoW Board of Directors pools personal resources, profits from Sweet Charity, and generous monetary donations from our community to provide confidential, personalized support to individuals, families, and organizations in many areas, including the arts, education, health, social services, women’s issues, and the environment.

Today, the WoW Board of Directors includes the founders Lizbeth Ryan, Liz Markowski, and Patty Paul, as well as Amanda Bodell, Janice Bosworth, Meg Brash, Anne Cohn, Jennifer Hatch, Bo Price, and Cindy Schultz. We care deeply about the well-being of individuals and families in our community. It’s an honor to work with the thoughtful and talented Sweet Charity staff and dedicated volunteers to help meet our goals of service and giving back.


Q. What does a shopper see when they enter the doors of Sweet Charity?

Sweet Charity

The following is an interview with the fabulously-talented Sweet Charity Store Manager, Lauren Laberge Taddeo.

Q. Where is Sweet Charity, and when can I come in and shop?

Sweet Charity is located at 141A Main Street in Vergennes, VT, right next to 3 Squares Cafe. We’re open Mon 11 am–3 pm, Tu-Fri 9:30 am–4 pm, and Sat. 10 am–2 pm.

Q. Who works at Sweet Charity?

We are an almost completely volunteer operation. Most of our volunteers are retirees from successful careers, and we even have two "30-somethings" that find it fun to come in and help out! Our volunteers are essential to our success. Their enthusiasm and creativity spark the energy felt when entering the store!

Sweet Charity’s merchandise consists primarily of furniture, art, dishes, pottery, glassware, jewelry, kitchen goods, linens, home decor, and seasonal ware. We strive to present our everevolving inventory artfully and creatively –come in and see! Every time, it’s like a treasure hunt – there’s always something new and pretty. And if you see something you like, be sure to grab it, because it will be gone next week! We also have the East Street garage and Annex, both brimming with fabulous treasures that we can’t manage to fit in the store itself, so it’s always good to ask if you’re looking for something!

Q. How do you receive donations?

We receive donations Tuesday through Friday, 10 am–3 pm, in the store. We appreciate all household items, as long as they are clean, gently used, and not broken or chipped. For larger items, an enthusiastic team of volunteers is available to coordinate and pick up donations from your home.

Q. What are some of the most interesting/unusual things that have been donated?

We have received donations from local artists such as Woody Jackson and Danforth Pewterers, which always capture our shoppers' interest. We recently received a donation of a rare silver flask set, which is now being offered at auction in Chicago.

Sweet Charity Storefront


Q. What kinds of things sell the best?

Fabric, yarn, cookbooks, vintage linens, anything lace, Pyrex and other vintage kitchenware, sets of glassware, seasonal decor, jewelry, small tables, and outdoor furniture.

Q. Do you host any special events?

Yes! We are always coming up with enticing promotions to make the store a more interesting experience. For example, "fill a bag for $10" events, a holiday open house, tea party kits for families, gladiolus bulbs and plants in the never ends!

Q. What are three unique things about Sweet Charity?

I would say the wonderful dedicated volunteers whose enthusiasm and creativity keep the store looking fresh; the generosity of spirit that is nurtured by the donation of interesting treasures that get a second (or third) chance at life (people save their best stuff for us!); and the reuse and recycle mindset we have, keeping things out of the landfill.

Q. What are you looking forward to in the future for Sweet Charity?

We want to continuously reach a larger audience to keep us current, thereby fulfilling more funding requests to help preserve the health, welfare, and dignity of the wonderful members of our community!

General information about Women of Wisdom and Sweet Charity, as well funding-request forms, can be found at Please follow us on Instagram @sweetcharityvt and like us on Facebook @sweetcharity. Feel free to give us a call at 802-877-6200.

Sweet Charity’s Interior Sweet Charity’s Volunteers
Thank you! Thank you! Each month in "Around the Chamber" we will recognize new and renewing members for their support in helping ACCOC enhance and improve the business and non-profit communities in Addison County. Welcome New Members Thank you! Thank you! TNT Pressure and Window Washing LLC Blue Cross & Blue Shield Renewing Members Addison Wellness Blueberry Hill Inn Cafe' Provence Champlain Valley Properties Classic Stitching Collins Aerospace Glen Peck Electric Inc. Hillside Precision LLC Kennedy Brothers Little Seed Coffee Roasters Marble Trail Financial Middlebury Jazzercise Sabai Sabai Thai Cuisine Restaurant Sylvano TaeKwon Do KICKS Vermont Brew Arena Football Vermont Water Vermont Own Gifts and Goods Waybury Inn


Robert Feuerstein, Kennedy Brothers (Chair)

Megan Mandigo, Marble Trail Financial (Treasurer)

Nancy Foster, Champlain Valley Properties (Secretary)

Adam Rainville, Maple Landmark (Past Chair)

Phil Summers, ACCOC (Executive Director)


Dickie Austin, Black Sheep Bistro

Amy Carlin: Middlebury College

Doug Dewitt, Bristol Financial Services

Meaghan McLaughlin, National Bank of Middlebury

Ned Horton, Otter Creek Bakery and Deli

Marty Kulczyk, Robert Frost Mountain Cabins

Bethany Dever, Dever Accounting Services

Article IV, Section D Designate Directors

Karen Duguay, Better Middlebury Partnership

Renny Perry, Addison County Economic Development Corp.

Renny Perry, Vergennes Partnership

Bill Sayre, Addison County Regional Planning Commission

Alicia Standridge - Bristol Core