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Socially Responsible Investing – Investing for a Cause By Tricia Senzel, Financial Advisor Today, nearly one out of every ten dollars under professional management in the United States is involved in socially responsible investing. According to the Social Investment Forum’s most recent biennial report 1, $2.3 trillion out of the $24.4 trillion in total assets under management are in professionally managed portfolios utilizing one or more of the three core strategies that define SRI: Screening, Shareholder Advocacy and Community Investing. Screening Screening is the process of including or excluding securities from a portfolio based on social or environmental criteria. There are two types of screening: positive and negative. Positive screening attempts to identify profitable companies with a history of excellent employee relations, community involvement, and environmentally conscious policies and practices. Respect for human rights and safe, useful products are also often considered. Investors use positive screening to invest in industry leaders, despite the reputation of an industry as a whole, in the hopes that the general standard of business practices will improve. Conversely, negative screening identifies companies with poor records in these areas. These companies are then excluded from an investor’s portfolio. Shareholder Advocacy Shareholder advocacy goes beyond screening. Share-

holder advocates will purposely invest in companies with poor social or environmental records and actively work with the company’s management to improve its practices. These activities may include filing, co-filing and voting on shareholder resolutions that focus on social and corporate-governance issues. They generally intend to improve a company’s policies and practices, encouraging management to exercise good corporate citizenship and promote long-term shareholder value and financial performance. Thanks to the efforts of socially responsible investing advocacy, shareholder resolutions implemented on social and environmental issues increased by more than 16 percent, from 299 proposals in 2003 to 348 in 2005. Additionally, social resolutions reaching a vote rose by more than 22 percent, from 145 in 2003 to 177 in 2005. Community Investing This form of SRI provides investment capital to communities not served, or underserved, by traditional financial institutions. Community investing gives these communities direct access to credit, equity, capital and basic banking products they would otherwise lack. Community investing allows local organizations to provide financial services to low-income residents and supplies capital for small businesses and community services, such as affordable housing, child care and healthcare. According to the Social Investment Forum, assets in community investing institutions rose by 40 percent, from $14 billion in 2003 to $20 billion in 2005. Community investing assets have nearly quintupled from the $4 billion identified a decade ago.2 What’s Behind the Growth? SRI is one of the fastest growing types of asset man-

agement. There are a number of factors potentially contributing to this growth: • Performance. Many people assume that SRI results in underperformance. However, research has shown that, when properly managed, risk-adjusted and controlled for investment style, socially screened portfolios perform comparably to their unscreened peers. In addition, a 2002 study of international SRI mutual funds found little evidence of significant differences in risk-adjusted returns between ethical and conventional funds for the 1990–2001 period. However, past performance is not an indication of future results. • Information. Today, investors can easily access a wealth of information about SRI. Investors are better educated and informed about social and environmental issues. Also, SRI organizations are better able to provide more sophisticated information to a receptive audience. • Corporate scandals. Corporate scandals involving accounting fraud and other issues have eroded trust in company leadership. These scandals have resulted in calls for reforms that require more transparency, stricter corporate governance and accountability, and greater disclosure of information. • Sustainability. As the general public’s concerns about global warming, alternative energy sources, human rights, corporate scandals and other issues grow, new and expanded opportunities will likely be offered to socially-aware investors. For More Information: If you would like to learn more about developing an investment portfolio that reflects your social concerns, please contact me at tricia.senzel@ubs.com or (802) 860-5769.

Fall 2008 Newsletter

How to get Rich in a Recession

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When one economy dips, another inevitably rises. Just because the US dollar is the one sinking, does not mean that US businesses cannot profit. Anyone currently exporting to Europe or Asia will tell you that business has never been better. The key to surviving and thriving in a rough economy is finding alternative markets: if the fish stop biting in your pond, find another.

Fortunately, you don’t have to be a large exporter to take advantage of the current economic dip. You have the geographic advantage of living right next door to Canada, whose economy is still on an even keel, and predicted to be less affected than most countries, thanks to their historically cautious financial habits. With the US dollar at par with the Canadian dollar, Vermont is enjoying a flood of visitors from the north. All you need do is focus your efforts more intently on this new market, and they will come to you. As you may have guessed, day-trippers and overnight visitors from Quebec tend to gravitate to the Burlington Waterfront and Church Street areas, and the outlet malls., while visitors staying 2 nights or more tend to favor the ski resorts and bed and breakfasts.

Here’s the scoop: As shopping is often the primary focus, many will stay 2 or more nights in order to qualify for a much higher personal tax exemption at the border: $400 pp per 48 hours in the US, versus only $50 pp for 24 hrs. If they stay a week, it goes up to $750pp. So in addition to the Canadian dollar finally being worth as much as the US dollar, there is a substantial difference in sales tax –– 6% in Vermont versus 15% in Quebec. Put simply, a $250 Banana Republic outfit costs $287.50 after taxes in downtown Montreal. The same outfit, also priced at $250 in Burlington, only costs $265.00. A savings of $22.50. Not that much in the grand scheme of things, but keep in mind that until very recently, that same outfit cost an additional 20 - 30% more due to the currency difference. No wonder they’re happy shoppers! Imagine the Euro suddenly being equal to the US dollar, and the sales tax being only 2%. So, how do you attract more Quebec visitors this summer?

1233 Shelburne Road, Suite 201 S. Burlington, Vermont 05403

Thanks to our underwriter:

Thanks to our silver sponsors:

Do as they do in Montreal, when they want to attract American shoppers. Start by adding a blue and white Quebec flag (not the red Canadian flag) or a blue fleur-de-lis symbol to your awning, window, chalkboard menu, sandwich board sign, etc. This will only get you so far though, as Montrealers are sophisticated shoppers, and are fully aware of their appeal to American businesses these days. To increase your credibility, you might also add a small sign to the front door, “Bienvenue Québecois!” (Welcome Quebecers), “Rabais offerts aux résidents du Québec “ (Special discount for residents of Québec), or simply “On parle français” (we speak French). Even if they speak English, it’s tiring to do so all day when it’s not your native tongue. If you make the effort to meet them part of the way, this is a huge relief for them, and very much appreciated. If no-one on staff speaks French competently, consider having your product sales materials (spec sheets, menus) translated into French, along with any Quebec-customer oriented flyers or signs. The investment is minimal (less than $750 for most businesses), and the results immediate and obvious. Finally, remember to smile broadly the next time you hear French being spoken and simply say, “Bonjour.” Then continue (slowly) in English. You’ll be smiling all the way to the bank.

Special Offer: RECESSION RATES

Our “recession rates” for English-to-French, plain text translation: $0.30¢ - $0.35¢ per word, depending on complexity. 1000 word minimum. Fast turnaround. For WBON members only: no set up fee (normally $50).

Belinda Darcey is the owner of Dolce Design, with offices in Montreal and Colchester, VT. Contact: darcey@dolcedesign.com, 413-241-7343

WBON’s Fall Conference

Ensuring Business Success in an Uncertain Economy Thursday, November 6 & Friday, November 7, 2008

Topnotch Resort & Spa Stowe, VT

Plan to join us at this conference! Learn how business owners financially navigate uncertain times. You will hear from women offering tools and techniques for managing both business and personal finances. Make peace with money and gain tips for financial wellness. Understand the numbers to watch and learn how to use key business metrics. Gain retirement strategies specifically for small business owners.

Peace of Mind, for yourself and your loved ones Peace of mind is one of the most tangible benefits of reviewing (or creating!) your estate plan. A thoughtful plan will insure that your assets pass to your intended heirs smoothly, provide guardians for any minor children you may have, and account for the uniqueness of your financial and family status. The failure to create a plan will lead to the distribution of your assets via the probate court, under state law. Guardianship of your children, should this be an issue, likewise will be determined by the probate court. If your competency is questioned, the determination as to whether you require guardianship during your life-time would be determined by the probate court as well. Further unintended illconsequences of the failure to plan may include the loss of government benefits to an heir, the distribution of your assets in a way you would not have chosen, and (avoidable) adverse tax consequences. There is a cost associated with the failure to plan. Creating an estate plan does require some work on your part. In order to create the best plan for you, your attorney will need to have a solid understanding of the value of your estate, the nature of your assets, and the legal ownership of each of your assets. In addition, it is important to give thought to where you want your assets to go—and where you do not want your assets to go. Possible beneficiaries should be considered, and not necessarily limited to the following: family members, former family members, friends, and charities. It is also important to consider the legal and social ramifications of any gifts you may choose to make. The time and effort you invest now in your estate planning should inure to the long-term benefit of your loved ones. And you can enjoy the comfort that brings, immediately. Margaret M. Strouse, Esq. is a new WBON member, a 2001 graduate of Georgetown Law School, and a native Vermonter who opened her Burlington practice in collaboration with Andrew H. Montroll, Esq., this spring. Together they provide a full array of legal service, including estate planning.


Announcements Pilates Space BURLINGTON, VT

Pilates Space, the Burlington exercise and physical therapy studio, has three new owners. The trio of local women is creating a new focus for the business: holistic wellness for all ages and fitness levels, with a special emphasis on ‘baby boomer’ clients. In addition to Pilates Space’s long-standing offerings, Pilates body conditioning and physical therapy, the studio is adding nutritional and lifestyle counseling, Anusara-inspired yoga, and craniosacral therapy—all under one roof. Ownership of the studio, which is located at 208 Flynn Avenue, was transferred from founder/owner Pamela Stone Turner, MSPT, to long-time staff members Lena M. Cannizzaro, PT; Laura M. Savard, HHC; and Arica H. Bronz, on April 30. The group purchased the business as ALL Wellness, LLC, dba Pilates Space. Cannizzaro, Bronz and Savard plan to market their services not only to fitness minded young people—many of whom faithfully attend Pilates classes—but particularly to “baby boomers” that are eager to attain or maintain overall health. The Pilates method is known for its rapid, effective results; middle-aged men and women experience improved posture and balance, core strength, and stamina. Nutritional counseling is a helpful addon. Eating for improved bone health, lower cholesterol, and nutritional issues related to diabetes are some of the concerns Savard is trained to address. Turner is relieved that, after deciding to return to her native Colorado, she did not have to close the studio she launched in early 2005. “I cannot think of a more appropriate group of women to whom to hand down a growing business. I have no doubt that they will make every client feel like a part of this holistic family,” she says. Cannizzaro has taught Pilates classes and provided Pilates-based physical therapy at Pilates Space for two years; Bronz has instructed clients at the studio for three years. Savard joined the studio in January 2007 part-time, quickly becoming Office Manager. According to Savard, speaking for herself and her partners, “We know these aren’t the most certain of times, economically, but we also feel there is a solid core of long-term clients as well as new-comers, who continue to commit to something they consider a necessity: wellbeing.” The new owners will co-manage the business and its development, with Cannizzaro and Bronz also continuing in their respective

teaching and therapeutic roles. Savard will provide health counseling and manage operations. Savard, 26, lives in Richmond; Cannizarro, 28, and Bronz, 35, both live in Winooski. For more information: Laura Savard, (802) 863-9900, or visit www.pilatesspace.net

Off the Page Creations Selected as One of The Most Dependable™ Web Designers of The Northeast ESSEX JUNTION, VT

Off the Page Creations has been selected by Goldline Research as one of The Most Dependable™ Web Designers of The Northeast for 2008. The list of The Most Dependable™ Web Designers of The Northeast is scheduled to be published in the June 1st issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. Off the Page Creations was chosen in this region to receive this prestigious award. In honor of this National Recognition, Off the Page Creations will hold an open house on Tuesday, August 19th, from 4:00-7:00 p.m. “We’re very excited to be chosen as one of The Most Dependable™ Web Designers of the Northeast,” said Stephanie Raccine, Owner of Off the Page Creations. “Being a boutique web design firm, it’s an honor to be recognized alongside the larger companies. Customer service has always been our priority, and it’s nice to be recognized for it.” “Off the Page Creations truly distinguished itself during our evaluation of the industry,” said Allen Scott, Research Director, Goldline Research. “The firm met or exceeded every expectation we have for holistic, client-centric firms.” Off the Page Creations is a boutique web design firm specializing in custom-designed websites that can be located by search engines. They offer many big agency features that most small design firms don’t offer. Every website they build is unique and is created by the synergy between designer, coder, and customer. They are located on Susie Wilson Rd. in Essex Jct., Vermont, and also on the web at www.offthepagecreations.com.

Finding Your Balance Julie Cubino, CPO®, CPO-CD®

Goldline Research is a third-party, independent research firm specializing in evaluating professional services firms. Goldline Research undertakes an extensive, in-depth research process to review all qualified companies in a respective area. Its proprietary research process includes individual company interviews and quantitative analysis of key company data, as well as customer reference checks to confirm high levels of customer service. Those companies that ultimately earn Goldline Research’s Most Dependable™ designation demonstrate a commitment to service unparalleled in their industry.

Off the Page Creations’ Open House Tuesday, August 19th from 4:00pm-7:00pm

SBA Launches Tax Savings Resource Center

Kate Herrington, Business Development Specialist / U.S. Small Business Administration SBA has created an online tax savings resource center to help small businesses understand how they can benefit from the 2008 economic stimulus package signed into law earlier this year. The package includes the following tax incentives for businesses: a 50% bonus depreciation allowance on equipment purchased and placed in service in calendar 2008 and an almost 100% increase in the amount (from $128,000 to $250,000) that a business can expense for equipment purchased and placed in the tax year beginning in 2008. The center, located on www.sba.gov/ stimulus, contains 3 resources: a Fact Sheet, Depreciation Calculator and an Online Seminar. These resources should help small businesses take advantage of the stimulus package. However, because there are exceptions and additional requirements, small businesses are encouraged to contact their tax advisor to determine exactly how the provisions apply to their business.

Paris by Design has moved

Karen Kane is now planning fantastic trips to Paris at 200 Hammett Hill Road, East Montpelier, VT 05651. Coincidentally, Montpelier is home to the best espresso and croissants in Vermont. For more information about cafés, croissants, or other French goodies, call our new number, (802) 456-8770, or toll free at (800) 430-5436.

Ahhh… work/life balance… if there was a perfect recipe for it that could provide a one-size-fits-all solution, the person who created it would be very rich. It tends to be a topic discussed by everyone from business owners to stayat-home parents. There are 66,700,000 references to it when you do a search in google. Just finding time to read all of those links would be exhausting! The solution to creating an ideal work/life balance doesn’t have to be elusive. Start with the seven golden nuggets below to begin crafting this for your situation. (1) Celebrate diversity of each person’s work/life balance. If you feel in balance, than you are. It doesn’t matter if the amount of focus you give work, exercise, sleep, and family is different than what someone else might choose. It just has to be right for you. Looking at this from the opposite view, the appropriateness of someone else’s balance is only for that person to decide. (2) Create your ideal balance from your power of choice. Sometimes people continue to do things out of habit, because they have always done them this way. Now is the time to evaluate how you spend your time. Are you working too much, leaving no time for family, friends, and self-nurturing? Are you spending so much time on hobbies that you’re not able to take care of the basic maintenance of your home? If you don’t like the work/life balance you have, you can change it. The work/life balance pendulum shifts based on your priorities and the choices you make. (3) Let your work/life balance evolve over time. It may change from weekto-week or month-to-month as well. In times that you have less family responsibilities, you may choose to focus on growing your career or traveling around the world. If an elderly parent needs your support, you may choose to reduce your hours at work. If a big project needs your attention, you may choose to put more hours towards that and spend less time on other hobbies. Balance does not have to mean spending equal time on all areas of your life—unless you want it to. (4) Do something that nurtures you every single day. If you feel that this is impossible, start with doing something for simply five minutes. The secret is to really commit to this and not let anything get in the way of those precious moments of self-nurturing. When flying on an airplane, you are told to put your own oxygen mask on before providing assistance to others. This is thoughtful advice! If you are concerned that you can’t even find five minutes, recognize that you cannot help others when you haven’t addressed your needs. (5) Allow a bit of open time in your day. When your calendar is packed so tightly that one minor blip can throw off the whole day, it’s time for a change. Keep in mind that mastering time management is more than simply about scheduling each minute of your day. It’s about leaving time to pause so that the creative inspirations can come through and so that you can handle the unexpected during the day. (6) Create a weekly blueprint of your schedule. This is intended to be a flexible guide for your week. You may choose to include commitments such as work hours, childcare drop-off/pick-up times, how you will fit in exercise, or date night with your significant other. The better you have covered the basics, the better opportunity you will give yourself to focus on more challenging pursuits.

Christine Fraioli, Nancy Hart, and Christine du Mond of North Orchard Consulting present

The Worth Collection

A unique, exclusive, stylish collection of clothing and accessories designed by women for women. You are invited to view, try on, and place orders at the

National Country Club Spear Street, South Burlington September 5 -12, 2008

Look for our announcement in the mail and save the date! 5% of all proceeds will be donated to the Vermont Food Shelf. We are currently seeking three sales associates who (love beautiful clothes and) would be interested in joining our sales team for the week of fall show. Call Christine Fraioli for details at 802-453-6416.

(7) Be fully present and find a place of peace within each moment. Now is the only time that anyone truly has. You may find yourself thinking about work when you are at home and thinking about home when you are at work; never fully in the moment as a result. Many times these thoughts are tied with a frazzled feeling about what has been left undone or what is still left to do. Too much time feeling frantic and frazzled has an impact on you and those you connect with. What happens to your ability to lead, make significant business decisions, and build relationships? Picture the ideal balance for yourself as a boat smoothly sailing in the water. The breeze is comfortable, the boat is steady, making meaningful progress, and enjoying each moment of the day. The term “smooth sailing” really fits when the balance is ideal. Now think of that same boat sailing in a storm. It’s teetering in every direction and taking on water. You are focused on keeping the boat from capsizing. The term “rough waters” now applies—your overbooked, overwhelmed, overtired, and you are certainly not in harmony with each moment. Complaining about this situation is not enough! When you sense that you are in the “rough waters” place, take a step back to assess what needs to be changed to find your balance. Then start to put the pieces in place to live it. You deserve nothing less. Enjoy! © 2008 Harmony At Last Julie Cubino, CPO®, CPO-CD®, is a professional organizer and coach as well as the co-founder of Harmony At Last, LLC. If you are ready to say goodbye to chaos and hello to calm in your work, home, and life, get your FREE tips now from Harmony At Last at: www.harmonyatlast.com/blog

Chapter Meetings Brattleboro, VT

Montpelier, VT

Stowe, VT

Williston, VT

Burlington, VT

Rutland, VT

Upper Valley, Lebanon, NH

Middlebury, VT

Coodinator: Lindsay Crossman Email: brattemt@gmail.com 3rd Wednesday of the month 12:30-2:30pm at Pan Asia, Putney Road Coordinator: Audry Rini Email: audryr@comcast.net 3rd Wednesday of the month 11:30am-1:30pm at the Windjammer

Coordinator: Kitty Werner Email: kwerner@wcvt.com 4th Tuesday of the month 5:30-7:30pm at The Black Door

Coordinator: Kathy Williams Email: vemmavt@comcast.net 4th Wednesday of the month 6:00pm - 7:30pm at the Rutland Country Club

Coordinator: Candy Thibault Email: candy@fauxinspirations.com 3rd Tuesday of the month 5:30pm - 7:30pm at the Stowe Inn

Co-coordinators: Lynn Sudlow & Kathy Valdes Email: lynn.sudlow@completeerrand. com or artfulthings1@aol.com 3rd Thursday of the month 11:30am - 1:00pm

Coordinator: Jill Meyers Email: Jillmeyers@marykay.com 1st Wednesday of the month 8:30am - 10:30am Location: TBD Coordinator: Kelli Crapo Email: vivalvnv@msn.com 2nd Tuesday of the month 12:00am - 2:00pm at Middlebury Inn


Announcements Pilates Space BURLINGTON, VT

Pilates Space, the Burlington exercise and physical therapy studio, has three new owners. The trio of local women is creating a new focus for the business: holistic wellness for all ages and fitness levels, with a special emphasis on ‘baby boomer’ clients. In addition to Pilates Space’s long-standing offerings, Pilates body conditioning and physical therapy, the studio is adding nutritional and lifestyle counseling, Anusara-inspired yoga, and craniosacral therapy—all under one roof. Ownership of the studio, which is located at 208 Flynn Avenue, was transferred from founder/owner Pamela Stone Turner, MSPT, to long-time staff members Lena M. Cannizzaro, PT; Laura M. Savard, HHC; and Arica H. Bronz, on April 30. The group purchased the business as ALL Wellness, LLC, dba Pilates Space. Cannizzaro, Bronz and Savard plan to market their services not only to fitness minded young people—many of whom faithfully attend Pilates classes—but particularly to “baby boomers” that are eager to attain or maintain overall health. The Pilates method is known for its rapid, effective results; middle-aged men and women experience improved posture and balance, core strength, and stamina. Nutritional counseling is a helpful addon. Eating for improved bone health, lower cholesterol, and nutritional issues related to diabetes are some of the concerns Savard is trained to address. Turner is relieved that, after deciding to return to her native Colorado, she did not have to close the studio she launched in early 2005. “I cannot think of a more appropriate group of women to whom to hand down a growing business. I have no doubt that they will make every client feel like a part of this holistic family,” she says. Cannizzaro has taught Pilates classes and provided Pilates-based physical therapy at Pilates Space for two years; Bronz has instructed clients at the studio for three years. Savard joined the studio in January 2007 part-time, quickly becoming Office Manager. According to Savard, speaking for herself and her partners, “We know these aren’t the most certain of times, economically, but we also feel there is a solid core of long-term clients as well as new-comers, who continue to commit to something they consider a necessity: wellbeing.” The new owners will co-manage the business and its development, with Cannizzaro and Bronz also continuing in their respective

teaching and therapeutic roles. Savard will provide health counseling and manage operations. Savard, 26, lives in Richmond; Cannizarro, 28, and Bronz, 35, both live in Winooski. For more information: Laura Savard, (802) 863-9900, or visit www.pilatesspace.net

Off the Page Creations Selected as One of The Most Dependable™ Web Designers of The Northeast ESSEX JUNTION, VT

Off the Page Creations has been selected by Goldline Research as one of The Most Dependable™ Web Designers of The Northeast for 2008. The list of The Most Dependable™ Web Designers of The Northeast is scheduled to be published in the June 1st issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. Off the Page Creations was chosen in this region to receive this prestigious award. In honor of this National Recognition, Off the Page Creations will hold an open house on Tuesday, August 19th, from 4:00-7:00 p.m. “We’re very excited to be chosen as one of The Most Dependable™ Web Designers of the Northeast,” said Stephanie Raccine, Owner of Off the Page Creations. “Being a boutique web design firm, it’s an honor to be recognized alongside the larger companies. Customer service has always been our priority, and it’s nice to be recognized for it.” “Off the Page Creations truly distinguished itself during our evaluation of the industry,” said Allen Scott, Research Director, Goldline Research. “The firm met or exceeded every expectation we have for holistic, client-centric firms.” Off the Page Creations is a boutique web design firm specializing in custom-designed websites that can be located by search engines. They offer many big agency features that most small design firms don’t offer. Every website they build is unique and is created by the synergy between designer, coder, and customer. They are located on Susie Wilson Rd. in Essex Jct., Vermont, and also on the web at www.offthepagecreations.com.

Finding Your Balance Julie Cubino, CPO®, CPO-CD®

Goldline Research is a third-party, independent research firm specializing in evaluating professional services firms. Goldline Research undertakes an extensive, in-depth research process to review all qualified companies in a respective area. Its proprietary research process includes individual company interviews and quantitative analysis of key company data, as well as customer reference checks to confirm high levels of customer service. Those companies that ultimately earn Goldline Research’s Most Dependable™ designation demonstrate a commitment to service unparalleled in their industry.

Off the Page Creations’ Open House Tuesday, August 19th from 4:00pm-7:00pm

SBA Launches Tax Savings Resource Center

Kate Herrington, Business Development Specialist / U.S. Small Business Administration SBA has created an online tax savings resource center to help small businesses understand how they can benefit from the 2008 economic stimulus package signed into law earlier this year. The package includes the following tax incentives for businesses: a 50% bonus depreciation allowance on equipment purchased and placed in service in calendar 2008 and an almost 100% increase in the amount (from $128,000 to $250,000) that a business can expense for equipment purchased and placed in the tax year beginning in 2008. The center, located on www.sba.gov/ stimulus, contains 3 resources: a Fact Sheet, Depreciation Calculator and an Online Seminar. These resources should help small businesses take advantage of the stimulus package. However, because there are exceptions and additional requirements, small businesses are encouraged to contact their tax advisor to determine exactly how the provisions apply to their business.

Paris by Design has moved

Karen Kane is now planning fantastic trips to Paris at 200 Hammett Hill Road, East Montpelier, VT 05651. Coincidentally, Montpelier is home to the best espresso and croissants in Vermont. For more information about cafés, croissants, or other French goodies, call our new number, (802) 456-8770, or toll free at (800) 430-5436.

Ahhh… work/life balance… if there was a perfect recipe for it that could provide a one-size-fits-all solution, the person who created it would be very rich. It tends to be a topic discussed by everyone from business owners to stayat-home parents. There are 66,700,000 references to it when you do a search in google. Just finding time to read all of those links would be exhausting! The solution to creating an ideal work/life balance doesn’t have to be elusive. Start with the seven golden nuggets below to begin crafting this for your situation. (1) Celebrate diversity of each person’s work/life balance. If you feel in balance, than you are. It doesn’t matter if the amount of focus you give work, exercise, sleep, and family is different than what someone else might choose. It just has to be right for you. Looking at this from the opposite view, the appropriateness of someone else’s balance is only for that person to decide. (2) Create your ideal balance from your power of choice. Sometimes people continue to do things out of habit, because they have always done them this way. Now is the time to evaluate how you spend your time. Are you working too much, leaving no time for family, friends, and self-nurturing? Are you spending so much time on hobbies that you’re not able to take care of the basic maintenance of your home? If you don’t like the work/life balance you have, you can change it. The work/life balance pendulum shifts based on your priorities and the choices you make. (3) Let your work/life balance evolve over time. It may change from weekto-week or month-to-month as well. In times that you have less family responsibilities, you may choose to focus on growing your career or traveling around the world. If an elderly parent needs your support, you may choose to reduce your hours at work. If a big project needs your attention, you may choose to put more hours towards that and spend less time on other hobbies. Balance does not have to mean spending equal time on all areas of your life—unless you want it to. (4) Do something that nurtures you every single day. If you feel that this is impossible, start with doing something for simply five minutes. The secret is to really commit to this and not let anything get in the way of those precious moments of self-nurturing. When flying on an airplane, you are told to put your own oxygen mask on before providing assistance to others. This is thoughtful advice! If you are concerned that you can’t even find five minutes, recognize that you cannot help others when you haven’t addressed your needs. (5) Allow a bit of open time in your day. When your calendar is packed so tightly that one minor blip can throw off the whole day, it’s time for a change. Keep in mind that mastering time management is more than simply about scheduling each minute of your day. It’s about leaving time to pause so that the creative inspirations can come through and so that you can handle the unexpected during the day. (6) Create a weekly blueprint of your schedule. This is intended to be a flexible guide for your week. You may choose to include commitments such as work hours, childcare drop-off/pick-up times, how you will fit in exercise, or date night with your significant other. The better you have covered the basics, the better opportunity you will give yourself to focus on more challenging pursuits.

Christine Fraioli, Nancy Hart, and Christine du Mond of North Orchard Consulting present

The Worth Collection

A unique, exclusive, stylish collection of clothing and accessories designed by women for women. You are invited to view, try on, and place orders at the

National Country Club Spear Street, South Burlington September 5 -12, 2008

Look for our announcement in the mail and save the date! 5% of all proceeds will be donated to the Vermont Food Shelf. We are currently seeking three sales associates who (love beautiful clothes and) would be interested in joining our sales team for the week of fall show. Call Christine Fraioli for details at 802-453-6416.

(7) Be fully present and find a place of peace within each moment. Now is the only time that anyone truly has. You may find yourself thinking about work when you are at home and thinking about home when you are at work; never fully in the moment as a result. Many times these thoughts are tied with a frazzled feeling about what has been left undone or what is still left to do. Too much time feeling frantic and frazzled has an impact on you and those you connect with. What happens to your ability to lead, make significant business decisions, and build relationships? Picture the ideal balance for yourself as a boat smoothly sailing in the water. The breeze is comfortable, the boat is steady, making meaningful progress, and enjoying each moment of the day. The term “smooth sailing” really fits when the balance is ideal. Now think of that same boat sailing in a storm. It’s teetering in every direction and taking on water. You are focused on keeping the boat from capsizing. The term “rough waters” now applies—your overbooked, overwhelmed, overtired, and you are certainly not in harmony with each moment. Complaining about this situation is not enough! When you sense that you are in the “rough waters” place, take a step back to assess what needs to be changed to find your balance. Then start to put the pieces in place to live it. You deserve nothing less. Enjoy! © 2008 Harmony At Last Julie Cubino, CPO®, CPO-CD®, is a professional organizer and coach as well as the co-founder of Harmony At Last, LLC. If you are ready to say goodbye to chaos and hello to calm in your work, home, and life, get your FREE tips now from Harmony At Last at: www.harmonyatlast.com/blog

Chapter Meetings Brattleboro, VT

Montpelier, VT

Stowe, VT

Williston, VT

Burlington, VT

Rutland, VT

Upper Valley, Lebanon, NH

Middlebury, VT

Coodinator: Lindsay Crossman Email: brattemt@gmail.com 3rd Wednesday of the month 12:30-2:30pm at Pan Asia, Putney Road Coordinator: Audry Rini Email: audryr@comcast.net 3rd Wednesday of the month 11:30am-1:30pm at the Windjammer

Coordinator: Kitty Werner Email: kwerner@wcvt.com 4th Tuesday of the month 5:30-7:30pm at The Black Door

Coordinator: Kathy Williams Email: vemmavt@comcast.net 4th Wednesday of the month 6:00pm - 7:30pm at the Rutland Country Club

Coordinator: Candy Thibault Email: candy@fauxinspirations.com 3rd Tuesday of the month 5:30pm - 7:30pm at the Stowe Inn

Co-coordinators: Lynn Sudlow & Kathy Valdes Email: lynn.sudlow@completeerrand. com or artfulthings1@aol.com 3rd Thursday of the month 11:30am - 1:00pm

Coordinator: Jill Meyers Email: Jillmeyers@marykay.com 1st Wednesday of the month 8:30am - 10:30am Location: TBD Coordinator: Kelli Crapo Email: vivalvnv@msn.com 2nd Tuesday of the month 12:00am - 2:00pm at Middlebury Inn


Socially Responsible Investing – Investing for a Cause By Tricia Senzel, Financial Advisor Today, nearly one out of every ten dollars under professional management in the United States is involved in socially responsible investing. According to the Social Investment Forum’s most recent biennial report 1, $2.3 trillion out of the $24.4 trillion in total assets under management are in professionally managed portfolios utilizing one or more of the three core strategies that define SRI: Screening, Shareholder Advocacy and Community Investing. Screening Screening is the process of including or excluding securities from a portfolio based on social or environmental criteria. There are two types of screening: positive and negative. Positive screening attempts to identify profitable companies with a history of excellent employee relations, community involvement, and environmentally conscious policies and practices. Respect for human rights and safe, useful products are also often considered. Investors use positive screening to invest in industry leaders, despite the reputation of an industry as a whole, in the hopes that the general standard of business practices will improve. Conversely, negative screening identifies companies with poor records in these areas. These companies are then excluded from an investor’s portfolio. Shareholder Advocacy Shareholder advocacy goes beyond screening. Share-

holder advocates will purposely invest in companies with poor social or environmental records and actively work with the company’s management to improve its practices. These activities may include filing, co-filing and voting on shareholder resolutions that focus on social and corporate-governance issues. They generally intend to improve a company’s policies and practices, encouraging management to exercise good corporate citizenship and promote long-term shareholder value and financial performance. Thanks to the efforts of socially responsible investing advocacy, shareholder resolutions implemented on social and environmental issues increased by more than 16 percent, from 299 proposals in 2003 to 348 in 2005. Additionally, social resolutions reaching a vote rose by more than 22 percent, from 145 in 2003 to 177 in 2005. Community Investing This form of SRI provides investment capital to communities not served, or underserved, by traditional financial institutions. Community investing gives these communities direct access to credit, equity, capital and basic banking products they would otherwise lack. Community investing allows local organizations to provide financial services to low-income residents and supplies capital for small businesses and community services, such as affordable housing, child care and healthcare. According to the Social Investment Forum, assets in community investing institutions rose by 40 percent, from $14 billion in 2003 to $20 billion in 2005. Community investing assets have nearly quintupled from the $4 billion identified a decade ago.2 What’s Behind the Growth? SRI is one of the fastest growing types of asset man-

agement. There are a number of factors potentially contributing to this growth: • Performance. Many people assume that SRI results in underperformance. However, research has shown that, when properly managed, risk-adjusted and controlled for investment style, socially screened portfolios perform comparably to their unscreened peers. In addition, a 2002 study of international SRI mutual funds found little evidence of significant differences in risk-adjusted returns between ethical and conventional funds for the 1990–2001 period. However, past performance is not an indication of future results. • Information. Today, investors can easily access a wealth of information about SRI. Investors are better educated and informed about social and environmental issues. Also, SRI organizations are better able to provide more sophisticated information to a receptive audience. • Corporate scandals. Corporate scandals involving accounting fraud and other issues have eroded trust in company leadership. These scandals have resulted in calls for reforms that require more transparency, stricter corporate governance and accountability, and greater disclosure of information. • Sustainability. As the general public’s concerns about global warming, alternative energy sources, human rights, corporate scandals and other issues grow, new and expanded opportunities will likely be offered to socially-aware investors. For More Information: If you would like to learn more about developing an investment portfolio that reflects your social concerns, please contact me at tricia.senzel@ubs.com or (802) 860-5769.

Fall 2008 Newsletter

How to get Rich in a Recession

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When one economy dips, another inevitably rises. Just because the US dollar is the one sinking, does not mean that US businesses cannot profit. Anyone currently exporting to Europe or Asia will tell you that business has never been better. The key to surviving and thriving in a rough economy is finding alternative markets: if the fish stop biting in your pond, find another.

Fortunately, you don’t have to be a large exporter to take advantage of the current economic dip. You have the geographic advantage of living right next door to Canada, whose economy is still on an even keel, and predicted to be less affected than most countries, thanks to their historically cautious financial habits. With the US dollar at par with the Canadian dollar, Vermont is enjoying a flood of visitors from the north. All you need do is focus your efforts more intently on this new market, and they will come to you. As you may have guessed, day-trippers and overnight visitors from Quebec tend to gravitate to the Burlington Waterfront and Church Street areas, and the outlet malls., while visitors staying 2 nights or more tend to favor the ski resorts and bed and breakfasts.

Here’s the scoop: As shopping is often the primary focus, many will stay 2 or more nights in order to qualify for a much higher personal tax exemption at the border: $400 pp per 48 hours in the US, versus only $50 pp for 24 hrs. If they stay a week, it goes up to $750pp. So in addition to the Canadian dollar finally being worth as much as the US dollar, there is a substantial difference in sales tax –– 6% in Vermont versus 15% in Quebec. Put simply, a $250 Banana Republic outfit costs $287.50 after taxes in downtown Montreal. The same outfit, also priced at $250 in Burlington, only costs $265.00. A savings of $22.50. Not that much in the grand scheme of things, but keep in mind that until very recently, that same outfit cost an additional 20 - 30% more due to the currency difference. No wonder they’re happy shoppers! Imagine the Euro suddenly being equal to the US dollar, and the sales tax being only 2%. So, how do you attract more Quebec visitors this summer?

1233 Shelburne Road, Suite 201 S. Burlington, Vermont 05403

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Do as they do in Montreal, when they want to attract American shoppers. Start by adding a blue and white Quebec flag (not the red Canadian flag) or a blue fleur-de-lis symbol to your awning, window, chalkboard menu, sandwich board sign, etc. This will only get you so far though, as Montrealers are sophisticated shoppers, and are fully aware of their appeal to American businesses these days. To increase your credibility, you might also add a small sign to the front door, “Bienvenue Québecois!” (Welcome Quebecers), “Rabais offerts aux résidents du Québec “ (Special discount for residents of Québec), or simply “On parle français” (we speak French). Even if they speak English, it’s tiring to do so all day when it’s not your native tongue. If you make the effort to meet them part of the way, this is a huge relief for them, and very much appreciated. If no-one on staff speaks French competently, consider having your product sales materials (spec sheets, menus) translated into French, along with any Quebec-customer oriented flyers or signs. The investment is minimal (less than $750 for most businesses), and the results immediate and obvious. Finally, remember to smile broadly the next time you hear French being spoken and simply say, “Bonjour.” Then continue (slowly) in English. You’ll be smiling all the way to the bank.

Special Offer: RECESSION RATES

Our “recession rates” for English-to-French, plain text translation: $0.30¢ - $0.35¢ per word, depending on complexity. 1000 word minimum. Fast turnaround. For WBON members only: no set up fee (normally $50).

Belinda Darcey is the owner of Dolce Design, with offices in Montreal and Colchester, VT. Contact: darcey@dolcedesign.com, 413-241-7343

WBON’s Fall Conference

Ensuring Business Success in an Uncertain Economy Thursday, November 6 & Friday, November 7, 2008

Topnotch Resort & Spa Stowe, VT

Plan to join us at this conference! Learn how business owners financially navigate uncertain times. You will hear from women offering tools and techniques for managing both business and personal finances. Make peace with money and gain tips for financial wellness. Understand the numbers to watch and learn how to use key business metrics. Gain retirement strategies specifically for small business owners.

Peace of Mind, for yourself and your loved ones Peace of mind is one of the most tangible benefits of reviewing (or creating!) your estate plan. A thoughtful plan will insure that your assets pass to your intended heirs smoothly, provide guardians for any minor children you may have, and account for the uniqueness of your financial and family status. The failure to create a plan will lead to the distribution of your assets via the probate court, under state law. Guardianship of your children, should this be an issue, likewise will be determined by the probate court. If your competency is questioned, the determination as to whether you require guardianship during your life-time would be determined by the probate court as well. Further unintended illconsequences of the failure to plan may include the loss of government benefits to an heir, the distribution of your assets in a way you would not have chosen, and (avoidable) adverse tax consequences. There is a cost associated with the failure to plan. Creating an estate plan does require some work on your part. In order to create the best plan for you, your attorney will need to have a solid understanding of the value of your estate, the nature of your assets, and the legal ownership of each of your assets. In addition, it is important to give thought to where you want your assets to go—and where you do not want your assets to go. Possible beneficiaries should be considered, and not necessarily limited to the following: family members, former family members, friends, and charities. It is also important to consider the legal and social ramifications of any gifts you may choose to make. The time and effort you invest now in your estate planning should inure to the long-term benefit of your loved ones. And you can enjoy the comfort that brings, immediately. Margaret M. Strouse, Esq. is a new WBON member, a 2001 graduate of Georgetown Law School, and a native Vermonter who opened her Burlington practice in collaboration with Andrew H. Montroll, Esq., this spring. Together they provide a full array of legal service, including estate planning.


WBON Newsletter Fall 2008