July 21, 2019

Hub Happenings

Sock drop nets warm socks, cold cash

NEFCU Senior Marketing Executive Cindy Morgan (third from left) delivered a check for $10,000 to the Community Health Centers of Burlington. 

Through the month of November, New England Federal Credit Union and Community Health Centers of Burlington conducted a “sock drop” to provide warm socks for CHCB’s patients and the homeless during Vermont’s long, cold winters.

On Dec. 12, NEFCU Senior Marketing Executive Cindy Morgan presented 350 pairs of socks to Alison Calderara, CHCB’s community relations and development director. Combined with the socks that CHCB collected, the total came to more than 600 pairs. Morgan also handed over a $10,000 check, presented as part of NEFCU’s ongoing Community Giving Program.

“The Second Annual NEFCU/CHBC Sock Drop is a big success, thanks to the generosity of Vermonters who care about their neighbors. We look forward to many more,” said Calderara.

OpenTempo Helps Vermonters in Need Get a Good Meal

OpenTempo, Inc., a healthcare technology company based in Williston, donated 335 pounds of food and $400 to the Chittenden County Emergency Food Shelf in time for Thanksgiving. On Dec. 12, the company prepared a meal for Meals on Wheels as part of the Cooking for a Cause program at The Essex Resort & Spa.

“As a Vermont company, it’s really important to us to stay connected with the local community,” said OpenTempo CEO, Rich Miller. “And the holiday season is a perfect time to help out.”

Edward Jones Ranked No. 1 in National Survey of Financial Advisors

For the 19th time, the financial services firm Edward Jones ranked number one in WealthManagement.com/REP magazine’s annual survey of the nation’s six largest financial services firms, according to Gregory Lemieux and Christine Kesler Beall, financial advisors in Williston. The magazine randomly selects financial advisors nationwide and asks them to rank their firms in various categories.

Edward Jones’ overall score was 9.5 out of 10 possible points. The firm earned near perfect scores in overall ethics (9.8) and public image (9.7).


Phil Daniels, TD Bank market president for Vermont and Upstate New York, presented a grant to Vicky Smith, executive director of the King Street Center.


Williston’s Phil Daniels delivered a TD Charitable Foundation $12,000 grant to support King Street Center Teen Futures earlier this month.

“We are so grateful to TD Charitable Foundation for this tremendous vote of confidence in our program and for their many years of loyal support,” said King Street Center Executive Director Vicky Smith. “This gift allows us to provide critical support and enriching opportunities for youth and families.”

The foundation also recently donated a total of $30,000 to the Vermont Foodbank.

The donation will be used to support the Foodbank’s network distribution program. Last year, the Foodbank distributed nearly 8.2 million pounds of food to 270 food shelves, meal sites, shelters, senior centers and youth programs throughout Vermont.

“With deep cuts to 3SquaresVT, reductions in donated food, and the cold winter months setting in, more and more of our neighbors are seeking charitable food right now,” said John Sayles, Vermont Foodbank CEO. “Our hunger-relief partners are being asked to distribute more food and provide more services during a time when resources are already strapped. This donation couldn’t have come at a better time and will be used to ensure more food for Vermonters in need.”


Elizia Meskill has joined Davis & Hodgdon Associates CPAs as an associate accountant. Meskill has 20 years of bookkeeping and tax preparation experience, as well as four years with a national nonprofit organization. Currently, she is preparing for the exam to earn certification as an enrolled agent.

Danaher receives A+ Certification

DominionTech Inc. announced recently that Jamie Danaher has received his CompTIA A+ certification. Danaher has 11 years of experience in managing information technology.

“Jamie has always been a high achiever here at DominionTech and this certification is validation of many years of hard work,” said Meg Meehan, help desk manager. “We believe his skills go far beyond this certification and that it’s only the tip of the iceberg.”

Danaher joined DominionTech in December 2012 and is front line support on the help desk.

Lenny’s Shoe and Apparel Donates pet supplies


Marc LeBlanc, co-manager, Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel (left) delivers pet supplies to Megan Stearns, director of development and community outreach at the Humane Society of Chittenden County.


Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel donated more than 500 pet supply items to the Humane Society of Chittenden County earlier this week.

Lenny’s customers made the donations possible through a coin-drop game which raised $1,015. That money translated into 151 pounds of Wellness dog food, 39 pounds of Wellness cat food, five cases of wet food for dogs and cats, 55 pounds of peanut butter, 36 dog toys, 92 cat toys, 175 pounds of cat litter and over $100 in cash.

“All of Lenny’s staff at the Williston location are big animal lovers and we enjoy giving to the Humane Society each holiday season,” said Marc LeBlanc, co-manager at Lenny’s.

Federal Unemployment Benefit Cuts to Impact Vermont Claimants

Approximately 650 Vermonters will lose their unemployment benefits when the federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) Program ends on Dec. 28. Unless Congress acts to extend the program before that date, the Vermont Department of Labor will have no authority or funding to continue the benefit program. While Congress has extended the program many times in the past five years, there is no indication at this time that the EUC program will be reauthorized.  The Vermont Department of Labor is currently notifying affected UI claimants.

Due to Vermont’s low unemployment rate, the maximum number of EUC weeks dropped to 26 weeks in June 2012. Congress further reduced the maximum of EUC Tier 1 benefits weeks from 20 to 14 weeks in September of 2012, where it has remained.

Any individual who needs help finding a job should come into one of VDOL’s local offices. For a list of the Department’s Career Resource Centers and other information, visit www.labor.vermont.gov. If you need help with housing, food, medical care or other essentials, dial 211 or visit www.Vermont211.org.

Local financial planner publishes book

Local financial planner and wealth advisor Philip Spillane recently published his first book, aiming to provide an easy yet effective wealth building process that anyone can follow. In “Starting With the Destination in Mind,” Spillane shares some of his personal experience as principal of Bell Wealth Management in South Burlington, as well as insights from luminaries like Ben Franklin, Steve Jobs and even Yogi Berra.

The book is intended to present financial advice in a non-technical way, for everyone from a recent graduate living at home to a family matriarch or patriarch concerned about leaving a legacy.

“The book is for anyone who is not content with where they are or where they are headed financially, but it also addresses keys to retaining wealth once it is attained,” according to a press release.

Small Dog Electronics Helping the Vermont Foodbank

Small Dog Electronics is helping the Vermont Foodbank to feed as many as 86,000 Vermonters who need food assistance. The company will donate 1 percent of every purchase to the Foodbank in December.

“We are deeply grateful to Small Dog Electronics and their loyal customers for this partnership,” said Vermont Foodbank CEO John Sayles. “Together we are ensuring that our neighbors who struggle to put food on their tables have the food they need.”

Charitable giving is an integral part of Small Dog’s corporate social mission. “We’re thrilled to partner with the Vermont Foodbank,” says Don Mayer, CEO of Small Dog Electronics. “Helping those in need is what the holiday season is really all about.”

CCTA collecting donations

The Chittenden County Transit Authority is participating in several initiatives in December to help collect donations during the holiday season.

On Dec. 7, CCTA brought a bus to Toys R Us in Williston and encouraged shoppers to “stuff the bus.” Shoppers donated 219 toys to Toys for Tots. CCTA is also collecting toys in its administrative offices in Burlington.

New Business Puts Fresh Spin on Year-round Cycling

A new small business has partnered with Burlington locals to make the sport of cycling a year-round activity. The business, IdleFast Events, paired with long-time outdoor sporting goods supplier Skirack and the cycling team 1K2GO Sports to provide daily compu-training classes for anyone seeking more friends, fitness and fun this season.

Cyclists clamp their bikes to the compu-trainer machines, allowing a complex computer program to measure nearly every facet of a rider’s physical exertion. The machines simulate the outdoor experience of cycling in an environment friendly to all levels of ability and interest. Certified USA Cycling coaches guide each participant through 1.5 to 2 hour-long sessions in which riders can race among themselves or compete against the clock.

Carlson joins Green Mountain Power

With the impending retirement of longtime Green Mountain Power communications executive Steve Terry at year’s end, Kristin Carlson will join GMP as director of media Jan. 6. Carlson, co-anchor of “The 30” on WCAX and senior political reporter, will lead the company’s efforts to develop new communications strategies to improve the customer experience.

“Steve Terry brought decades of communications experience to the company when he joined Green Mountain Power in 1985,” President and CEO Mary Powell said.  “While it will be impossible to fill Steve’s shoes, Kristin has similar skills and experience, and shares our commitment to clear, open and transparent communications.”

Terry, 71, started at GMP in 1985, retired from the company in 2006, and served as a consultant to the company for the next six years.  He returned to GMP full time in early 2012, with plans to stay two years.

Renewable NRG Systems hires technical account manager 

Renewable NRG Systems, a designer and manufacturer of resource assessment and turbine optimization equipment for the global renewable energy industry, recently hired Barry Dugan to develop the market and manage the sales of Avent Wind Iris Lidar systems in North America.
Dugan comes to Renewable NRG Systems from Cambridge, Mass. advertising agency Soldier Design, where he served as general manager/business director.

Unemployment at 4.5 percent in October

The Vermont Department of Labor announced that the seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment rate for October was 4.5 percent, a decrease from September’s rate of 4.6 percent. October represented the first reported decrease to the statewide unemployment rate in Vermont in five months.

The comparative national average was 7.3 percent, up a tenth of a percent from September.

new board members at The Stern Center for Language and Learning

The Stern Center for Language and Learning, a nonprofit learning center with a location in Williston, elected the following new members and officers to its Board of Directors during its recent annual meeting. The new board members are Sarah Beal, Jon Pizzagalli, Brian Till and Sara Trimmer.

U.S. News ranks UVM among Top 10 Best National Universities for Veterans

In a recent list by U.S. News ranking the best colleges and universities for veterans, UVM placed 10th among 52 top national universities that offer benefits to men and women returning from service.

The university’s career center, which can help veterans translate their military experience to a civilian resume, and the Veterans Collaboration Organization, a peer support group, were cited as key advantages for this population.
In order to be considered for this inaugural Best Colleges for Veterans list, schools had to have been ranked in the 2014 edition of the U.S. News Best Colleges, as well as be members of the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Consortium, be certified for the GI Bill and participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program.


Nelson Lyford Jr. joins DuBois & King

DuBois & King consulting engineers recently announced that Nelson Lyford Jr. has joined the firm as a project engineer in the Site and Land Development Division and will focus on site development work for wireless telecommunication and land development projects. Nelson lives in Montpelier and works out of the firm’s South Burlington office.


New England Super Lawyers recognizes Karen McAndrew

Dinse, Knapp & McAndrew recently announced that Karen McAndrew has been included by Super Lawyers in the Top 100 Attorneys and the Top 50 Women Attorneys in New England. McAndrews is senior litigation counsel at Dinse focusing on complex litigation, employment and higher education law.

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