Around the Chamber - October, 2022

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IN THIS ISSUE 7 - What's New at the Chamber 9 - New Member Closeup ( LV Learning) 12 - Chamber Events (Bristol Harvest Festival) 16 - Meet the Board (Megan Mandigo) 18 - Focus on Non-Profits (Charter House Coalition) 24 - Behind the Scenes (Sarah Audet)

Ferrisburgh-Vergennes Station

Connect With Us!!

27 - September Mixer at Hope

Keynote Speaker Lindsay H. Kurrle Secretary The Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development

Register Here

Annual Award Recipients Named The Addison County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the recipients of our 2022 Annual Awards and Hall of Fame. These community leaders where choosen from a record number of nominations this year and will be honored at the 2022 Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner on October 27th

Please join us in honoring our annual awardees: Business of the Year National Bank of Middlebury Community Achievement Organization of the Year United Way of Addison County Buster Brush Citizen of the Year Lisa Phelps, Parlour Young Professional of the Year Adam Rainville, Maple Landmark Inaugural Hall of Fame Class Sarah Cowan, National Bank of Middlebury Sue Hoxie, Moosalamoo & Maple Run Marketing

Win a Media Package Worth Over $5,000!!

Vermont Public has once again graciously provided a tremendous media package for a raffle to support the Addison County Chamber of Commerce. The package will be raffled off at the 2022 Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner on October 27th. The media package has a value of $5,152 and contains the following: A total of 96 messages on Vermont Public News and Vermont Public Classical radio stations to reach an audience of more than 200,000* listeners per week. Vermont Public News Rotators 8 messages per week airing Monday – Friday 6am-9pm, Saturday – Sunday 7am – 9pm Vermont Public Classical Spots 4 messages per week airing Monday – Friday 7am – 7pm, Saturday 8 – 10am

ORDER YOUR RAFFLE TICKETS HERE Note: This prize cannot be used to replace current contract or value deducted from current balance. *Nielson Audio, person 12+ custom survey area, Mon – Sun, 24 hours, Spring – Fall 2021

Around the Chamber

Have something to say or an idea for this publication? Contact us!

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 46% open rate with an average read time of 7:30 Members are encouraged to supply their announcements and events by emailing For ad availability and rate card email Addison County Chamber of Commerce. 2022, All Rights Reserved

What's New at the Chamber County Visitor Center/Chamber Offices Moving to Ferrisburgh-Vergennes Station The Addison County Chamber of Commerce has entered into a long term agreement with the Vermont Transportation Dept. to relocate the Addison County Visitors Center and Chamber offices to the newly renovated Ferrisburgh-Vergennes Station. The new visitor center will be designed by Shadows & Light Design of Monkton and will be situated on the ground floor of the station. The Chamber offices and meeting space will be housed on the second floor. The new location will better serve visitors to the county allowing ample parking, room for RV's, a modernized, interactive visitor center showcasing Addison County, meeting space and of course access to all of the visitors utilizing Amtrak. ACCoC Executive Director Phil Summers commented "While we have enjoyed our many years in Middlebury, this location will provide increased exposure to the local businesses in Addison County that rely on tourism. Most Chamber member benefits originate from our offices which can be located anywhere in the county and member benefits will remain the same and even be expanded because of the benefits of this location". The Chamber will begin transitioning to the new space in November and expect the new visitor center to open 1Q 2023


New Member Closeup

By Laura Vantine Instilling the love of learning is at the heart of LV Learning, where I provide coaching for students, guidance for families, and consultation for educators to improve the educational experience for everyone involved. This mission is important because when people love to learn, they are willing to try new things. They are more likely to find a way to solve problems when they are challenged. They are open to new ideas and to people who are different from them. People who love learning don't give up. The idea behind LV Learning grew over the course of my 30 years as a learning specialist in independent schools in Massachusetts, where I talked with hundreds of parents who were worried about their child’s academic progress in school.

Not every student who struggles has a cognitive disorder or needs special education services. Some students are still developing the executive function skills they need to manage their time and materials. They struggle to get started on an assignment, focus on one task at a time, or stick with a project long enough to complete it and turn it in by the due date. All of the love and encouragement, (never mind all the nagging, bribing, and begging) doesn’t seem to work. I help families to understand, advocate and collaborate with available resources to ensure their children do not fall through the cracks.

Laura Vantine

While many parents expressed concern about homework and grades, almost all of them shared a common lament: “She used to love going to school.” “I just want them to love learning again.” At LV Learning, I help struggling students reconnect with their inherent love of learning by providing the individual attention and personalized support they need for success. All students run into bumps in the road at some point during their time in school. Sometimes these are just minor speed bumps and sometimes they are craggy and intimidating. My superpower is to identify the nature of the bumps and help students, families, and teachers navigate them. Through informal assessment, review of evaluations, and ongoing conversations with families and teachers, my goal as a coach is to empower young people to identify the strategies and resources they need to take ownership of their learning experience.

Collaborating with schools and educators is critical for student success. LV Learning is committed to supporting teachers on behalf of their students. As an allied professional, I place a high value on teachers' observations and insights to understand the nature of a student’s difficulties. I work closely with teachers to identify the variables that are impacting a student's learning experience. Understanding the demands of a classroom teacher, my goal is to complement and reinforce the support offered in school.

New Member Closeup

My approach to learning support is grounded in Human Centered Design. Beginning with the premise that we all learn differently, I lead with empathy to understand my client’s needs, questions, and motivation for seeking support. In the next phase, we generate as many creative options as we can think of to solve the challenges we identified. Then, we focus on actionable strategies to put into practice. Incorporating SMART goals, we test out these strategies and monitor their effectiveness. The problem-solving process is interactive, iterative, and fluid. The beauty of a humancentered design approach to learning support is that it puts the learners in the driver’s seat as they practice new approaches and learn what works and what adjustments they need to make. Rather than disabling and enabling students who struggle, learning by design follows a collaborative, innovative process to empower students to take ownership of their learning experience.

I was drawn to the Green Mountain State specifically by the educational frameworks designed to support personalized learning for all students. After honing my skills as a learning specialist in independent institutions, I wanted to be a part of a public school system that recognizes that one size does not fit all. The leap from the big city to rural Vermont might have been a bigger culture shock except for a year of transition during the pandemic, which I spent in my hometown in rural central New York to care for my aging parents. While I was there, I felt my entire being reorienting itself to a way of life that I had forgotten and was ready to embrace. People say that Vermont is not for the faint of heart. If this is true, I was meant to be here. Access to the great outdoors and my gut instinct to return to a rural way of life, combined with my passion for education, led me here and I am grateful that I was wise enough to pay attention.



Chamber Events

On Saturday, September 24th the ACCOC and Bristol Park and Rec welcomed thousands of attendees to the 24th Annual Bristol Harvest Festival celebration. Over 70 craft and food vendors, music, pony rides, sack races and more were enjoyed . Special thanks to the Mt. Abe field hockey team and Northland Job Corp for their assistance. The event could not have been made possible without the generous support of our sponsors.

Meet the Board Every month "Around the Chamber" will introduce our readers to a member of the Addison County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors In this issue, we introduce you to ACCOC Board Member Megan Mandigo How long have you lived and/or worked in Addison County? I attended Middlebury College for four years, and after leaving Vermont for a stint Megan Mandigo after graduation, have lived in Addison In 2022, what do you see as the most County for the last eleven years. challenging issue(s) facing business in Tell us about your career? Addison County?

Currently, I work for Marble Trail Financial, helping clients plan for their financial futures. We offer financial planning, investment management, tax planning, tax preparation, and small business bookkeeping services. Before joining Marble Trail, I was a small business owner in Middlebury, and worked for the Addison Central School District, the Counseling Service of Addison County, and the Addison County Parent Child Center.

Most business owners in Addison County are struggling with workforce shortages, which is limiting the hours in which businesses are open and their capacity to provide services. Although the Covid pandemic caused some hardships, it also pushed us to be more adaptable. Being patient and understanding these obstacles is crucial to creating a stronger community

How long have you volunteered with the Chamber’s Board?

Shopping local makes a huge impact on our community. Every dollar spent locally helps employ Addison County residents and in turn, allows businesses to give back to community organizations.

I am finishing my first one-year term and am hoping to be approved for a subsequent three-year term.

Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

Nominate Your Fellow Member HERE

Focus on Non-Profits

The Charter House Coalition Story Come to the Open House Saturday October 29 from 1:00 – 3:00 PM at 27 North Pleasant St, Middlebury Charter House Coalition was chartered as a 501c3 in June of 2006 when concerned community members realized there were a lot of people in Addison County in search of shelter or a good meal. A committed group of volunteers from the Middlebury Congregational Church launched the Community Suppers and Pleasant Street Community Housing programs a few months later. Community Suppers served free warm and nutritious meals each Friday evening year-round, often serving 250 meals. The housing program began small, providing shelter for homeless people on an emergency basis. In 2009, in response to increasing need within our community, Charter House Coalition responded again with two new programs: Community Lunches, and the Charter House Winter Shelter. Community Lunches grew to serve upwards of 50 nutritious lunches each day in our friendly dining room and provided vital human connections for many at-risk community members. The Charter House Warming Shelter began by providing a warm, safe place to sleep from October to April for up to 24 adults. In the early days, we also operated a separate shelter space for up to five families with children.

From the beginning volunteers from civic and faithbased groups, Middlebury College and individual citizens did the lion’s share of the day-to-day work.

Growth to meet increasing demand Support programs steadily grew and we were designated by the State to be the Lead Agency for Coordinated Entry in Addison County – that means we are responsible for coordinating with all of the other social service agencies and affordable housing organizations to make sure that everyone that is homeless or at risk of being unhoused gets the support and referrals necessary to assist them reach their permanent housing goals.

Focus on Non-Profits Along the way, with emergency relief funding, we made significant upgrades to our shelter facility – making our “home” safer and more comfortable for life during and after Covid – including a fresh air ventilation system, an outdoor pavilion, an elevator, new easy to maintain flooring and shower and bath upgrades.

Why we do this work In 2019, we provided 40,000 meals and 4,500 “bed nights” for people in need (a bed night is one person spending one night in the shelter). We were getting better and better at what we do, and doing more and more of it. That included keeping the shelter open even during the warm months, because people deserve to have a safe place to sleep and a dignified connection to the community…even when it’s warm outside.

Rising to the challenge of Covid Then Covid struck. Hundreds of people in distress were sent our way from all around the state, and from beyond Vermont’s borders. Initially, we emptied the shelter to avoid a potential outbreak from the close quartered congregate living, moving people to local hotels with State assistance. The community meals program converted to take-out only. We eventually moved adults back to the shelter under strict Covid protocols, while also caring for upwards of 100 people still in the hotels. Our kitchen cranked out between 200 – 300 meals a day and our staff and volunteers delivered those meals to hotel guests’ doors, also making daily health and wellbeing check-ups. In 2020 our meals count shot up to over 90,000 and our “bed nights” went up to over 24,000. In 2021, bed nights were 35,000 and meals shot up to 106,000.

It’s about doing right by others. Everyone deserves a roof over their head. Everyone has the right to not be hungry. Everyone deserves a chance to thrive in a community of genuine human connections. Everyone has these basic human rights. Including our neighbors with mental illness, abusive family backgrounds, substance use disorder or just plain bad luck. We don’t do this work alone. We work closely with other social service agencies to make sure that everyone in distress gets the kind of support they need. And we depend on you, the people who share in the belief of a mission based on doing right by all others. You volunteer, cheer us on and provide the financial support we need to keep the doors open, the heat on, the meals cooking and the love and encouragement to keep improving lives.

We are ready for what may come – Come with us So our story is unfolding day to day. Our volunteers are still doing an enormous amount of joyful work. Our amazing staff has advanced their caseworker and care giving skills to a whole new level of professionalism – guiding people toward better health, work and stable housing. The kitchen and foodservice team are a miracle to behold. If your organization wants to get involved - it is great team building work that really helps our mission - contact us at (802) 989-8621 or email Our web address is

s e n e c S e h t Behind with t Sarah Aude

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 Sarah Audet of Hedgehog + Fox Collaborative, a local business helping nonprofits thrive. Where did you grow up? I grew up in Windham, a small town in the Sebago Lakes Region of Maine, about 20 minutes northwest of Portland.

Where did you go to college? I attended Middlebury College, majored in Religion, minored in Hebrew (though I might have forgotten to officially “declare” that), and wrote my thesis on Jewish environmental ethics. I also earned my Master of Education from Northeastern University.

First ever job? My first job was at Aimhi Lodge, a resort in Maine with knotty pine cabins tucked into the trees along the shores of Little Sebago Lake. I started when I was 14, and worked there for six summers. In that time, I wore many hats: receptionist, waitress, dish washer, housekeeper, ice cream scooper, and folder of so, so many towels. I learned a lot about customer service and the importance of tipping with wild abandon.

Sarah Audet

Who do you most admire/greatest inspiration? These kinds of questions are always a challenge for me. I’ve been very fortunate in this life to cross paths with some pretty amazing humans, and I admire and am inspired by a good many of them. They do tend to have a few things in common, however. They’re curious. They’re tenacious. They think and love beyond themselves.

Favorite vacation spot? California! I feel right at home. I love the glorious range of things to see and do¬: national parks, beaches, cities, museums, hiking, wine tasting, dining, and more. My family and I are heading there before the year is out.

s e n e c S e h t Behind with t Sarah Aude

Favorite TV Show/Movie? My favorite movie is the satirical parody Hot Fuzz. The dialogue is quick and witty, but what really sets this film apart is director Edgar Wright’s use of visuals to amplify and finesse the humor. Whenever friends come over and I find out they haven’t seen it, we stop what we’re doing and we watch it. So far, nobody has been mad about that.

Favorite type of music? I have yet to meet a music I didn’t like. Artists currently and heavily in my listening rotation are JOHNNYSWIM, Brandi Carlile, Adele, Lizzo, Duke Ellington, and Mumford & Sons. I’m also digging Noah Kahan’s latest Vermonty singles.

Typical work week? There’s a running joke: “I didn’t want to work a 9-to-5 job, so I started my own business. Now I work 24/7.”

Biggest career challenge? My biggest career challenge is balancing working in my business with working on my business. It’s easy to get deeply immersed in working on my clients’ exciting projects. Then I remember I need to focus on creating opportunities and building the systems to support a growing business, too. This dynamic keeps me on my toes–which is exactly the kind of challenge I relish.

What's the one thing you would change about your industry/mission? If I could change one thing about the nonprofit sector, it would be our collective shame around spending money on administrative costs a.k.a. “overhead.” Much of this squeamishness is driven by public perception and opinion that nonprofit organizations must operate with bare bones and pay our staff poverty-level wages. Otherwise we’re depriving the people we’re serving, right? To the contrary! These expenses are necessary– and sometimes legally mandated–for running a thriving and effective nonprofit. In order to serve people and planet well, we must have the infrastructure and resources necessary to support us in combatting the enormous challenges we’re up against. This includes paying our employees a livable wage, at minimum, lest we perpetuate the very systems of oppression we’re trying to dismantle.

Greatest risk taken in your career? My biggest risk was turning my part-time side hustle into a business–what is now known as Hedgehog + Fox Collaborative. It’s all on me now, which is equal parts terrifying, humbling, and exhilarating.

Addison County

CHAMBER of Commerce

After Hours


September Mixer Sponsored by -

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Ignite Nutrition

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.

enjoy a meal out!!

457 East Main Street East Middlebury, VT 05740

802-388-4015 or 800-348-1810



Coming Next Month

- Behind the Scenes - Meet the Board - Focus on Non-Profits - New Member Closeup - Member Buzz - Community/Member Highlights - and more!!

Officers Robert Feuerstein, Kennedy Brothers (Chair) Bethany Dever, Dever Accounting Services (Treasurer) Meaghan McLaughlin, National Bank of Middlebury (Secretary) Adam Rainville, Maple Landmark (Past Chair) Phil Summers, ACCOC (Executive Director) Directors Dickie Austin, Black Sheep Bistro Amy Carlin: Middlebury College Nancy Foster, Champlain Valley Properties Judson Hescock, Putnam & Menard, PLC Ned Horton, Otter Creek Bakery and Deli Marty Kulczyk, Robert Frost Mountain Cabins Megan Mandigo, Marble Trail Financial 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