Around the Chamber, January, 2022

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Around the Chamber Addison County Chamber of Commerce E-Magazine


IN THIS ISSUE 3 - Director's Cut - Virtual Meeting Tips 5 - New Member Closeup - little seed Roasters 8 - Behind the Scenes - with Susan Evans McClure

12 - Focus on Non-Profits - Northland Job Corps. 14 - Community/Member Updates 16 - Legislative Updates 17 - Member Spotlights

Connect With Us!!

Table of Contents




Director's Cut

New Member Closeup

12 14 16


Behind the Focus on Community Legislative Member Scenes Non-Profits Member Updates Spotlights Updates

New Member Closeup - Page 5 Focus on Non-Profits - Page 12

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 e-mailing For ad availability and rate card email Addison County Chamber of Commerce. 2022, All Rights Reserved

Director's Cut Phil Summers - ACCOC Executive Director

Non-Profit & Small Business Leaders: Your Virtual Meetings are Lacking... Some Tips for Improved Engagement Meetings are meant to be productive but despite a significant increase in virtual meetings during the on-going COVID crisis, your participants may be finding them unproductive and inefficient. Here are four reasons your meetings may be nonproductive and how to turn them around:

-NO SET AGENDA: It may seem obvious but many administrators overlook this simple step. With the added element of more and more meetings being held virtually, an agenda is even more important to ensure that participants call in prepared and ready to contribute.

-YOU DON'T BEGIN AND FINISH THE MEETING ON-TIME: You have seen it happen a million times, some participants are on time while you or others are 10 minutes late. The meeting begins late and as the discussion derails with late comers requiring updates, it ends later than the scheduled end time. With so many meetings being held virtually, it is even more imperative to stick to the schedule so ensure everyone is on the call when they need to be.

-YOU DON'T KEEP ALL PARTICIPANTS ENGAGED DURING THE MEETING: There are plenty of reasons your participants do not engage but here are a few ways to increase interest and participation: Visual Support: There is nothing quite as dry as a meeting where a topic is not supported by visuals. Certainly, not all meetings call for visuals, however, when appropriate, quality visual support can help drive interest and engagement. Encourage Participation: Via questions, comments, POV's and pointing our an attendee's area of expertise for input i.e., "Sarah, you're the marketer in the meeting, what is your advice for the media spend"?

W.W.D.W.B.W (Who Will Do What By When?): Before ending the meeting, when appropriate, recap who is responsible for what and emphasize the deadlines that were agreed upon. Distribute a W.W.D.W.B.W plan via e-mail so that everyone on the call has a clear understanding of what their "action item" requires.

Phil Summers is the Executive Director of the Addison County Chamber of Commerce. Prior to ACCOC, Phil was the Executive Director of the Virginia Youth Soccer Association and earlier held senior marketing positions at the National Football League, Sirius Satellite Radio and MSG Varsity where he was a two time Emmy Award winner (2011 & 2012) and two time Silver Addy Award winner (2013). Phil has also taught undergraduate courses in advertising and marketing at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia.

New Member Closeup little seed Coffee Roasters Launches Wholesale Program!! Located at 24 Merchants Row in Middlebury Chamber member little seed COFFEE ROASTERS set out to roast high-quality, flavor-forward coffee for the Addison County area and beyond. Now in its fourth month of business, co-roasters and owners Maggie Keith Gerakos and Anthony Gerakos have begun rolling out their wholesale program. Any business that sells coffee and is looking to serve specialty coffee from a locally owned and operated roaster would make a great partnership consideration. In addition to working together with local businesses on a coffee program that works best for them, little seed is also able to source green coffee for a business’ specific needs, provide guidance on brewing equipment and methods, as well as offering design consultations (both space planning and branding) for new and existing cafes. If you’re interested in having a conversation or learning more about partnering with little seed, contact Maggie and Anthony at or visit the wholesale section on their site to submit an inquiry.

About little seed COFFEE ROASTERS: little seed COFFEE ROASTERS is a welcoming and present approach to specialty coffee. Coffee culture, and the spaces where it is consumed, should provide an enjoyable respite in our community. An inclusive, and above-all, joyful coffee-drinking experience is key to who we are. We are proud to keep these values at the heart of all we do, in our shop, in our customers’ homes, and in our partners’ businesses. We meticulously select and roast our coffees to bring out the best in each offering. Each roast is meant to be approachable - to the most experienced coffee drinker to the novice who wants to expand their palette. We firmly believe that complex, eyeopening, flavor-forward coffee that is ethicallysourced, thoughtfully roasted, and acts as a vehicle for change should be enjoyed by all. At the end of the day, we hope our coffee brings you joy and keeps you going - and that you feel good about choosing us, too. Additionally, through our ‘you sip, we give’ initiative, little seed COFFEE ROASTERS donates 5% of our profits to non-profit organizations that improve our coffee producers’ communities, with a focus on children’s causes, education, and women’s empowerment

New Member Closeup little seed Coffee Roasters (cont.) We are fortunate to have the opportunity to roast and share the coffee that is skillfully grown and nurtured many miles from our Vermont home base. This quarter, our ‘you sip, we give’ initiative supports the Chicuchas Wasi School for Gils in Cusco, Peru, the community from where our Arturo Altamirano offering is sourced. Our commitment to supporting the communities of our coffee farmers includes ensuring we only purchase our green coffee from buyers who are committed to paying better-than the typical fair trade wages. This is a non-negotiable cornerstone of our ethos. We also feel strongly about supporting causes close to home whenever possible through financial and product donations.

Maggie and Anthony Gerakos About the roasters: After pursuing careers in non-profit development and architecture, respectively, Maggie and Anthony recognized their desire to turn their two year long passion project of roasting coffee for themselves, co-workers, family, and friends, into a full-time effort. They left Brooklyn, NY in July 2021 to begin setting up shop in Middlebury. The move to Vermont felt inevitable - from years of skipping out of the city during long weekends to enjoy a few days in the green mountains, to getting married in Waitsfield, it wasn’t an ‘if’ but a ‘when’. Living and working through the height of the pandemic in NYC helped to speed up the progression. The two bring unique perspectives to roasting coffee, how it is enjoyed, and how thoughtfulness and intentionality is key - from seed to cup, from farmer to consumer.

Friday, January 14 Sophie Shao, Cello Anna Polonsky, Piano 7:30 PM ET, Stream from home only Streaming tickets: $15/5; 48-hour playback available Performing a tribute to cellist Pablo Casals

Friday, January 21 Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center: Musical Heritage: Pablo Casals 7:30 PM, Stream from home only Tickets: Free; 48-hour playback available A virtual event exploring of the world's most revered cellist. Friday, January 28 Zoë Keating, Cello 7:30 PM ET, Stream from home only Streaming tickets: $15/5; 48-hour playback available A visionary evening of contemporary cello

Friday, February 18 Nobuntu The sensational all-female a cappella ensemble from Zimbabwe Friday & Saturday, March 4 & 5 Actors from the London Stage: Much Ado About Nothing Five British Actors, one unforgettable week Thursday, March 10 Danú

Ancient Irish music and new repertoire from the star Celtic ensemble Friday & Saturday, March 11 &12 Anikaya Dance: Conference of the Birds International contemporary dance exploring themes of migration. Free!

Open to campus and community audiences. Vaccinations (or valid medical or religious exemptions) and masks required. Tickets go on sale January 4. For tickets, go HERE

s e n e c S e h t Behind with Clure c M s n a v E Susan

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 Susan Evans McClure, Executive Director of the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum What is your hometown? Stanfordville, NY

Where did you go to school? McGill University

First ever job? Working at a bakery in my hometown, both baking and counter-service.

Susan Evans McClure

Who do you most admire? Diane Nash- an incredible, inspirational leader of the Civil Rights Movement Favorite vacation spot? I lived in Washington, DC, for almost 8 years and my favorite vacation spot was always coming home to Vermont! Now that I’m here, I love going to coastal Maine- it’s all the good parts of Vermont plus ocean.

Greatest inspiration growing up? My high school drama teacher. She had worked in NYC and then moved to upstate NY and started the drama program at my school and a summer stock theater in my town. She was (and still is!) creative, thoughtful, inclusive, warm, and created a comfortable environment where students could be there true selves. She demonstrated the power of arts education for me that inspired me to make it my career.

s e n e c S e h t Behind with Clure c M s n a v E Susan

Favorite movie/tv show? I’m not sure it’s my year-round favorite, but it’s the season of Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas, so that one is top of mind!

Favorite type of music? This is an almost impossible question! I’m a huge music fan, and depending on the day and the mood it can be anything from classical to hip hop to jazz and beyond. Although, and maybe I’m showing my age, I will always tie a flannel shirt around my waist and listen to grunge music any day of the week. Typical work week? Because our museum is open to the public MayOctober, a summer season work week may look very different than in the winter! In the summer season, I am lucky enough to get to spend time showcasing our museum and the work of my very talented colleagues to guests and visitors. In the winter season, my focus is on planning for the season ahead, including exhibit development, which is one of my favorite parts of my job. Biggest career challenge? Juggling childcare and work, especially during a pandemic. Vermont’s childcare system is in a true crisis, and it is having a huge impact of working families cross the state. Our daycare continues to be on reduced hours due to staffing issues, so my typical day now means picking up my son earlier in the afternoon, doing dinner with my family, and then going back to work after bedtime.

One thing you would change about your industry/mission? I love working in museums! I get to work in the place where people visit in their free time. Museums, and all nonprofits, are in a challenging cycle of uncertain funding. It would be amazing to provide funding stability to all museums. Biggest risk taken in your career? Moving to Vermont in 2006! I moved to Vermont to take a role in a musical and anticipated that I would stay here for 3 months.

But Vermont and the people and the environment hooked me, and it has been my home ever since. Even during the times when I moved away, Vermont always called me back and I am so happy to be here now!

Thank you!

Thank you!

ACCOC would like to thank the following organizations who renewed their 2022 memberships in December. Addison County Solid Waste Management District MacIntyre Services, LLC Addison County Sugar Makers Assn. Mark Favreau Graphic Design Addison Independent Marsh & Wagner, PC Addison Northwest School District Matthew's Trucking, LLC Ark Preschool-Kindergarten McKernon Group, Inc. Bixby Memorial Free Library Middlebury Area Land Trust, Inc. Bristol Electronics Middlebury Eye Associates Bristol Family Center Middlebury Floral & Gifts Business Telephone Systems Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op Café Provence Monument Farms Dairy Carpenter & Costin Murray & Masterson Environmental Services, LLC Carroll, Boe, Pell & Kite, P.C. National Bank of Middlebury Casella Waste Management New Moon Physical Therapy and Wellness, PLLC Champlain Precision, Inc. Open Approach Champlain Valley Apiaries Otter Creek Child Center Charter House Coalition Otter Creek Engineering, Inc. Cole's Flowers Paige & Campbell Inc. Commercial Construction Endeavors, Inc Phoenix Feeds & Nutrition Community College of Vermont PP&D Brochure Distribution Countryside Carpet and Paint RE/MAX North Professionals - The Gridley Group County Tire Center, Inc. DBA Middlebury Hybrid/EV Rosie's Restaurant Cyclewise, Inc. Rotary Club of Middlebury Demic Cottage Sanderson Funeral Service Dream House Country Inn Stark Mountain Woodworking East View Electrical Services Sweet Cecily Elderly Services, Inc. Swift House Inn Emilo Real Estate The A. Johnson Co., LLC Fyles Bros., Inc. The Image Farm Gaines Insurance Agency, Inc. The Richards Group Good Point Recycling The Vermont Book Shop Good Steward Tax & Finance Town Hall Theater, Inc. Goodro Lumber Company, Inc. Town of Middlebury Green Haven Gardens & Nursery Travel by Heidi Cunningham, LLC Green Mountain Power Corporation Tri-Valley Transit Hannaford Career Center UVM Morgan Horse Farm Harry Curth Vermont Association of Business Industry & Rehabilitation Homeward Bound: Addison County's Humane Society Vermont Coffee Company IPJ Real Estate Vermont Division for Historic Preservation J.W. & D.E. Ryan, Inc. Vermont Federal Credit Union Jackman Fuels, Inc. Vermont HoneyLights James H. Douglas Vermont Soap Jennifer Sullivan Vermont Sun Fitness Center Kent Ridge Orchards Vermont Water Kittell, Branagan & Sargent Village Health Laberge Insurance Agency, Inc. VocRehab Vermont Lake Champlain Maritime Museum Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom Linda's Apparel & Gifts WowToyz Long Trail Physical Therapy

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.

Focus on Non-Profits

Northland Job Corps Northlands Job Corps Center (NJCC) has operated in Vergennes, VT since 1979 and is the only Job Corps program operating in Vermont. Job Corps is the largest nationwide residential career training program in the country. The fully-funded program helps eligible young people ages 16 through 24 complete their high school education, trains them for meaningful careers, and assists them with obtaining employment. Job Corps has trained and educated over two million individuals since 1964 (

Northlands is a residential trade and academic program that before COVID-19 could house 220 fulltime students. The breakdown was 137 males and 83 females, but now due to COVID restrictions, the full capacity is a total of 126 residential students.

Approximately 45% of enrolled students at Northlands are from Vermont. The remaining 55% are referred to Northlands of have applied through the Job Corps Portal are from New England, Upstate New York, and the NYC/NJ Metro area. Northlands has a diverse student body in terms of color, ethnicity, gender orientation, and gender identity. A high percentage of Job Corps students have accommodations for some type of disability.

Most students entering the program have already obtained their High School Diploma or GED. If they do not already have their HSD or GED, they received this at Northlands. Students can choose from the following trades: Office Administration, Certified Medical Assistant, Culinary Arts, Auto Technology, Urban Forestry, Building Construction Technology, and Basic Welding. Northlands offers one advanced program where completing basic welding is the prerequisite, Advanced Welding.

Focus on Non-Profits

Northland Job Corps Since it’s an open-entry, open-exit program, students can enter, usually at two-week intervals, and exit at any time. The program is self-paced so students can remain at Northlands for up to two years to complete. Once completed, there are five pathways a student can choose that is regarded by the US Department of Labor as a positive outcome: secure a position in a field that matches their training, pursue advanced training either at Northlands or another Job Corps Center, enroll in college and graduate with an Associate’s Degree for free, secure a paid apprenticeship or enlist in the military.

Northlands instructor's goal is to instill in students what all employers require of good employees, “Soft Skills”. In every academic and trade class; one-to-one interaction with Career Counselors, Residential Counselors. Supervisors, Managers up to the Center Director a student is expected to meet the 8 Career Success Standards. The student is expected to demonstrate the career success standards every 60 days they meet with their career counselor, trade and academic instructors, and residential counselors for a session called the Evaluation of Student Progress (ESP).

When students attain the halfway mark in their academic classes and trade Training Achievement Record (TAR) and achieve at least a satisfactory rating in all CSS categories during their ESP they become eligible for Work-Based Learning (WBL). In essence, WBL is equivalent to a paid internship. An employer is required to sign a Dept. of Labor mandated Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which explains employer expectations, what Northlands provides, that Northlands will transport and pick-up the student from the work-site within a 30-mile radius from Vergennes and that the student in the event of an injury is covered under the Federal Government’s Workers Compensation program.

Any employer, large, small, profit, or non-profit that’s interested in becoming a WBL site should contact the Career Services Manager, Anthony Severo (802) 877-0150, and the Career Technical Training Supervisor, Sue Magill (802) 877-0111. Only fully vaccinated 18 years old and up can participate in WBL. We look forward to hearing from you to begin a mutually beneficial relationship.

Community/Member Updates



Located in historic downtown Vergennes across from the city green

Rusty DeWees - Jan 29


Winter Redecorating Plans? Middlebury's source for interior/exterior paint & decorating needs

Community/Member Updates

Can't eat in? Order online

Virtual Annual Meeting of the Middlebury Summer Festival on-the-Green Wednesday, January 12, 2022 7:00 p.m Virtual on Zoom Wanted: Enthusiastic volunteers to help plan the 43rd Annual Middlebury Summer Festival on-the-Green. For further information and to request the meeting link, email

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Working with small business owners, sole proprietors and non-profits who need help managing their numbers.

A 501(c)3 non-profit growing curious minds since 1990.

Save the Dates for Free Member Webinars!!


Updates from Montpelier A LOOK AT THE SESSION AHEAD (Courtesy of LCCOC) CONTINUED PANDEMIC RELIEF This global pandemic is taking its toll on everything. It will require the legislature to be supportive where they can while also causing no undue friction in the Vermont economy, which is already burdened. The pandemic will be approaching its second year as they begin legislating, and we’re on our second variant. Who knows what can happen… The Vermont Bridge Grant program designed to provide relief to businesses has a great deal of funding still available that has not been allocated due to stringent and burdensome criteria. In addition, some $25 million was promised for the second tranche of funds in that program this session. PER-PUPIL WEIGHTING STUDY A legislative task force was established at the end of the last session to unravel, understand, and provide suggestions on how to improve Vermont’s incredibly complex school funding formulas. It’s an issue so needlessly complex it can bore you to tears if it doesn’t put you to sleep first. Still, it will have massive implications on the future of Vermont schools. It is becoming more and more apparent that the more urban schools, particularly those in the Chittenden County region, have the most at stake. These towns have the most diverse populations and the highest tax rates in the state. The Agency of Education published a calculator to evaluate the impact on your town.

SIGNIFICANT, SYSTEMIC ISSUES; HOUSING, CHILDCARE, & WORKFORCE The third is caused by the first two, and any conversation to remedy the third inevitably becomes a discussion over the first two. Housing will be contingent upon legislators not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. There are good, ubiquitously agreed-upon changes that can be made in policy, such as Act 250, which would drive more development to downtowns. This was recently called for the Climate Action Plan due to the Global Warming Solutions Act. However, it has failed to move the past three sessions due to the instance of some environmental groups that what is needed is a “balanced bill,” meaning that it would need to do things to make development harder outside of downtowns. We need a win for affordable housing and a win for the environment where we can get it, and there is no reason we see to stall these downtown provisions any longer by holding them hostage for the other conditions. Childcare may see some movement around the margins to assist in workforce issues; however, the hefty price ticket item (hundreds of millions of dollars in funding) will be in the next legislative session in the next legislative biennium. Much of this will also likely be dependent on what happens in Washington D.C. as the Build Back Better would make massive federal investments in childcare and early childhood education. Workforce development is a complicated topic, as we alluded to above because it is other structural deficits in Vermont that have created our workforce issues. It’s clear that the cavalry is not coming; we just don’t have enough people in the state to meet our workforce demands, we can’t easily recruit them to come here because of housing issues, we can’t pull some people back in due to childcare issues, and we do not have enough young people even coming out of school to meet our needs. Simply put, a conversation about workforce development really needs to be about how to best assist employers with the workers they do have, automate where possible, and deal with other deficits in the Vermont landscape. That said, this year may see changes in the CTE system LCC has long advocated for, and the State College’s were the subject of a summer study committee that has sought to restructure the system to meet Vermont needs.

Member Spotlights

Member Since 1989

Member Since 2013

Member Since 1983

Member Since 1982

Member Since 2013

Member Since 2019

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

Member Benefit Updates ACCOC has been upgrading all of our digital platforms to provide more promotional opportunities for our members!

With over 6,000 monthly visitors, is a dynamic way for our members to reach their target audiences

New "Top of the Fold" banner positions are available to members as well as enhanced social media promotional opportunities and paid and free positions in our monthly magazine

For information on how to take advantage of your member benefits within our digital platforms, contact:

Welcome to Addison County Experience all that Vermont has to offer.

Highlights of Membership in the Addison County Chamber


Employee Education – we host monthly seminars on topics including social media, Google Analytics, SEO, employee benefits plans, ownership succession, worker’s comp, cybersecurity and much more. All member employees attend at no charge.

Access to Insurance – through our partnership with other Vermont Chambers and VACEplus, we offer excellent dental and vision insurance at discounted prices. Events – we help draw customers to our area through downtown festivals, athletic events, specialty events and sponsorship of other organization’s events. Tourism – we run the Visitor’s Center which houses maps, brochures and information to direct tourists and locals to our businesses, nonprofits, historical sites, and the vast natural resources of our county. We also refer our members extensively.

Business Advocacy – we provide legislative updates for our members during the session, sponsor the Addison County legislative breakfasts, host legislative and gubernatorial candidate forums, and speak up for businesses. Marketing – with more than 60,000 visitors to our website annually, we provide members with a strong presence in search, plus a place to post events, member discounts and job openings. We also promote our members through our monthly E-magazine which reaches thousands of business leaders and others in the community. We provide our members discounted advertising opportunities in the Addison County Guide and through paid advertising in our E-magazine and website. Networking – we help organizations connect through our monthly mixers, seminars, referrals, and introductions.

Coming Next Month

- Behind the Scenes - Focus on Non-Profits - New Member Closeup - Community/Member Highlights - Updates from Montpelier - 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 Gretchen Cotell, Hannaford Career Center Nancy Foster, Champlain Valley Properties Justin 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 Robert Feuerstein, Addison County Economic Development Corp. Renny Perry, Vergennes Partnership Bill Sayre, Addison County Regional Planning Commission