Around the Chamber June, 2022

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Around the Chamber Addison County Chamber of Commerce E-Magazine

IN THIS ISSUE 5 - Meet the Board (Meaghan McLaughlin) 7 - Focus on Non-Profits (Rokeby Museum) 12 - Behind the Scenes (Stephanie Skenyon) 22 - New Member Closeup (Sparrow Art Supply) 17 - Support Our Business Members 26 - Support Our Non-Profit Members 31 - Member Spotlights

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JUNE, 2022

Around the Chamber

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ACCOC publishes our e-magazine monthly and reaches thousands of business, non profit leaders and other decision makers in Addison County and beyond. 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

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 Secretary Meaghan McLaughlin, Vice President and Chief Lending Officer at National Bank of Middlebury How long have you lived and/or worked in Addison County? 12 years Tell us about National Bank of Middlebury. National Bank of Middlebury was founded in 1831 and is the oldest bank in Vermont. We are a proudly independent bank that prides itself on high quality comprehensive financial service. How long have you volunteered with the Chamber’s Board? Since 2018 In 2022, what do you see as the most challenging issue(s) facing business in Addison County? Workforce shortages and supply chain issues are challenges that affect nearly every business we work with. Another challenge we face is lack of affordable housing and it is encouraging to see Middlebury College’s efforts to develop more housing in the community. National Bank of Middlebury is committed to partnering with local agencies to help assuage these local challenges.


The Chamber of Commerce’s role in supporting business and non-profits in Addison County is always evolving. In your view, what should be the Chamber’s strategic direction in 2022? The pandemic has trained us to be more flexible and adaptable and the Chamber should follow this same lead. The obstacles for our community continue to shift and I see the role of the Chamber is to help identify those and work with our business, community members and partner organizations to provide the training and resources to help businesses react and thrive.


Focus on Non-Profits A National Landmark in Addison County As a National Historic Landmark, Rokeby Museum shares a nationally significant history of the 19th century antislavery movement in the U.S. Rowland and Rachel Robinson and their friend Ann King were leaders in the abolitionist movement and participants in the Underground Railroad. Their collection of letters makes the Museum one of the best-documented Underground Railroad sites in the county. In addition to this history, the site highlights generational changes in Vermont’s agricultural history from the late eighteenth century to the twentieth century and was home to beloved author Rowland E. Robinson and two generations of talented artists.

Visitors to the Museum are often surprised by Rokeby’s rich history and the vast site they can explore. Situated on 90-acres, the Museum includes 2-miles of walking trails, nine historic buildings, and a modern education center with a permanent exhibit, Free & Safe: The Underground Railroad in Vermont, and rotating seasonal exhibit space. The Museum also offers year-round programming that reflects on the site’s diverse history and explores the interconnectedness of the past with contemporary issues, including social and racial justice.

As the Museum launches into the 2022 season, it is excited to be fully reopened for the first time since 2020. A slate of new and returning programs are scheduled, including Storytime with the Bixby Library, youth summer theater camp, youth curator for the day, Reading Frederick Douglass, and the beloved Pie & Ice Cream Social. Closed in 2020 due to the pandemic and in 2021 for preservation work by PC Construction, the Historic Robinson house is reopened for guided tours with new artifacts from the Museum’s collection on display and an updated history that traces the family’s abolitionist, agricultural, and artistic histories. Rokeby will also open its seasonal exhibit, Dissent! Abolition & Advocacy in Print, at the end of June. This exhibit highlights the published antislavery material in the Museum’s collection.

Focus on Non-Profits A National Landmark in Addison County With the launch of a three-year strategic, the Museum is planning the next chapter of its history and making a commitment to presenting an inclusive history that does not gloss over difficult or uncomfortable themes. Whether you are a returning visitor or new to Rokeby we encourage you to visit and experience all the site has to offer. Rokeby Museum is open 7-days a week, May 28 to October 22 from 10 am to 5 pm. Visit the Museum’s website,, to see a full list of programs and to learn more about visiting.

s e n e c S e h t Behind with nyon e k S e i n a h Step

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 Stephanie Skenyon, Executive Director of the Henry Sheldon Museum Where did you grow up? I am originally from North Kingstown, RI, a town in the southern part of the state. My parents still live there, and I always look forward to opportunities to visit.

Where did you go to college? I attended the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA as an undergraduate. There, I studied both English Literature and History, and I enjoyed both subjects very much. I decided, however, to pursue my education further in the subject of History, and I attended the University of York in the United Kingdom to study for an M.A. in History. In 2013, I was accepted as doctoral candidate in History at the University of Miami, and I defended my dissertation, and earned my PhD, in the summer of 2021.

First ever job? My first job was actually in a local McDonald’s restaurant in my hometown when I was in high school. My first job in museum/nonprofit work was at Plymouth Plantation in Plymouth, MA. There, I became one of the museum’s famous pilgrim role-players. I really enjoyed that job a great deal; it instilled in me a profound respect for the role that museums can play teaching history to audiences of all ages. And, it was a lot of fun!

Stephanie Skenyon

Who do you most admire? I have certainly always admired my father and grandmother, but I also have profound admiration for my mother and for my husband, Stephen. In many ways, my mother and my husband are alike: they are selfless people who spare no expense or effort helping friends and family. My mother is a talented administrator who has served as a volunteer in several nonprofit organizations. My husband is an officer in the United States Merchant Marine who works countless hours tirelessly when he is out at sea six months each year. Both of them are remarkable people who have provided invaluable models for me in so many ways.

s e n e c S e h t Behind with yon n e k S e i n a Steph

Greatest inspiration growing up? My two greatest inspirations were my father and my grandmother. Both of them put education first in their lives in different ways. My father took a risk and gave up a career to pursue a degree in the law, and my grandmother is a lifelong learner who pursued a CAGS (Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study) later in her life. She also opened a store to provide teachers with classroom supplies in her retirement, and she is an accomplished painter as well. Both my father and grandmother have demonstrated to me the value of education, and they have always encouraged me to pursue my dreams and goals. Favorite vacation spot?? Definitely the city of York in the United Kingdom. I really enjoyed living there when I pursued my MA in History years ago, and I have returned many times since. Typical work week? When I was a graduate student, the “work week” was, quite literally, every day, all the time. Now, I work a more typical Monday through Friday work week, and I enjoy being able to set aside more time to pursue my hobbies and interests. Favorite TV Show/Movie? That is definitely a difficult question— I have always been a fan of the various Star Trek tv series and movies. And, I like rewatching the old episodes of the Muppet Show now that I know more about who the “very special guest stars” were.

Favorite type of music? I tend to listen to a lot of folk and classical music, but I am very open to new artists and styles. Biggest career challenge? Probably making the transition from management to graduate student. I had a lot to learn at that point, and I had to change my perspective about how I could make the most out of the learning process in new ways as an adult student coming out of a professional setting. Greatest risk taken in your career? About ten years ago, I was at a professional crossroads. I really wanted to pursue a PhD in History, but I knew that I would have to step away from directly pursuing my career in nonprofit management to accomplish this goal. I considered both educational and professional opportunities, and I chose to become a PhD candidate. This was a very challenging degree program for me, but it was extraordinarily rewarding, and I think that I can bring much more experience, and many more skills, to the table as a result. What's the one thing you would change about your industry/mission? In many cases, people tend to view museums as stuffy institutions or as shining temples of history or art. These perceptions emphasize inaccessibility, and I would like very much to directly challenge them. Museums are fun. They offer a window into the past in exciting ways and they preserve and interpret many aspects of our history and culture which are underrepresented in the modern history curriculum. They offer visitors opportunities to learn on their own terms. And, they can introduce people to both old and new ideas and values.

Support Our Business Members! Each month we select a new group of members for recognition and encourage our readers to support Chamber members

Thank you!

Thank you!

ACCOC would like to thank the following organizations who renewed their 2022 memberships this month.


Thank You! RENEWING MEMBERS! Addison County Real Estate Blueberry Hill Inn Dever Accounting Services GOGO Charters New York Hedgehog + Fox Collaborative, LLC Mr. Mike's Cleaning Service, Inc. Nedde Real Estate Waybury Inn Vermont Department of Labor 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.



New Member Closeup Every month, New Member Closeup features a recent addition to the Addison County Chamber of Commerce

SPARROW ART SUPPLY Sparrow Art Supply is a new art supply store and gallery at 52 Main Street. The shop is right in the heart of Middlebury, next to the waterfall and down the stairs. It’s a resource for artists of all ages and backgrounds, from hobbyists to aspiring amateurs to professional artists. Sparrow Art Supply offers a wide range of supplies, from oil paints to markers to woodcut tools. And the shop is more than just a store, it’s a community for local artists. With a gallery space and workshop offerings, the shop is a place for creatives to meet, learn, and share work.

The Shop: Come down the stairs to check out Sparrow’s extensive collection of materials! Sparrow has paints, brushes, canvas, sketchbooks, colored pencils, pens, linoleum blocks, air dry clay, and more. Across all categories Sparrow carries both student and professional grade options, and has a Young Artists section, so there is something for everyone. For someone just looking to explore their creative side, Sparrow carries a number of kits with everything you need to create a project, from embroidery to paint by numbers to tie dye. Sparrow is slowly building out its inventory based on customer feedback to ensure it can best serve the community. And very soon Sparrow will have an online shop to place curbside pick up orders, especially for those who can’t make it down the stairs.

Workshops: Sparrow Art Supply is also a place for learning and making. It has started offering Open Studio Sessions, a series of open-format drawing sessions, providing a mid-week creative respite to draw solo or with friends. These are open to any skill level, and the inspiration has ranged from a still life to a live figure model. And Sparrow is just about ready to offer instructed workshops ranging from sip and paint nights to technique-specific classes. So stay tuned!


The Gallery: Say hello to Middlebury’s newest gallery! Sparrow Art Supply’s gallery exhibits opencall group shows featuring local artists. The group shows strive to be inclusive and entry is open to any work that fits the upcoming show theme. These shows rotate roughly every 6-8 weeks. The most exciting part of the gallery is that it welcomes work from professional as well as artists exhibiting for the first time. The current show, “Sense of Relief,” is a medium-specific celebration of the art of Relief Printing and is on view until July 10. Soon the shop will open up more wall space for smaller solo capsule shows, which are considered through a formal artist inquiry process.

About the founder: Beth Svenningsen recently moved to Middlebury from New York City and is loving every minute in the Green Mountain State. She has a background in fine art as well as in set design and construction for theater, dance, and film. She is an avid watercolor artist and a proud member of the Brandon Artists Guild where she exhibits her original watercolor paintings. When she moved to Middlebury, she realized the nearest specialized art store was at least 50 miles away. This realization planted a desire to fill a clear need here in Middlebury. Her idea to create this creative community hub came to fruition through the generous Kickstart Middlebury program. As a lifelong artist, she is passionate about helping others find their creative voice and is eager to help customers find the perfect materials for their upcoming projects. Beth is thrilled to be part of the downtown Middlebury scene!

11 Center St. Brandon, VT. 802-247-9997

Support Our Non-Profit Members! Each month we select a new group of non profit members for recognition and encourage our readers to support them

Elderly Services Inc.

Middlebury Farmers Market

enjoy a meal out!! 22 Merchant's Row Middlebury 802-989-7376

161 Main St. Vergennes 802-877-9962



Member Spotlights

Member Since 2017 Member Since 2010

Member Since 2021 Member Since 2019

Member Since 2012 Member Since 2010 Every month "Around the Chamber" features six ACCOC members for recognition. Members who would like to be considered for future issues should contact Executive Director Phil Summers at

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 Gretchen Cotell, Hannaford Career Center 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 Kate Bentley, Bristol Core Renny Perry, Addison County Economic Development Corp. Renny Perry, Vergennes Partnership Bill Sayre, Addison County Regional Planning Commission

Coming Next Month

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