September 21, 2019

Hub Happenings

Vt. builder in Better Homes & Gardens

Silver Maple Construction was featured in this month’s Better Homes & Gardens Magazine, according to a release by the company. The eight-page article, titled, “Christmas in the Country,” features a Lincoln home built by Silver Maple, with architecture by MB Architecture and Design. Located in New Haven, Silver Maple Construction is celebrating 10 years.

Green Mountain Power seeks ‘rate freeze’

Green Mountain Power filed its intention to change to a new rates regulation model on Monday, and is seeking to freeze base rates for customers until 2018, when the new rates would go into effect. Base rates for customers are lower now than they were in 2013, according to a company release, and GMP has delivered three bill decreases in that time. The net result of the base rate freeze will mean that customers will see more than four years of reduced rates, the company says. Under the company’s proposed plan, costshare reviewed and adjusted each year rather than every three to 10 years, as is the case with the traditional rate model (which they have operated under since 2007.)

“There is no better way to express our commitment to customers and transparency than to have a traditional rate case,” said Mary Powell, president and CEO of GMP. “What’s most important to us is that our customers have confidence in the process and believe their rates are fair and represent a good value for the service we provide. For GMP, no matter the regulatory model, we are committed to keeping costs down and continuing to offer great service and the most reliable power we can.”

Phoenix Books begins year-long Vt. Foodbank partnership

Phoenix Books is matching customer donations — up to $5,000 — to the Vermont Foodbank made between Nov. 24 and Christmas Eve. The company, which has locations in Essex, Burlington, Rutland and Chester, has embarked on a year-long partnership with the Vermont Foodbank to raise at least $25,000 through a series of fundraisers. This matching program for December is the first of multiple events planned in partnership with Phoenix Books and Vermont Foodbank. “Food is personal for me,” Phoenix Books co-owner Mike DeSanto said. “As a small boy, my family watched what we ate, and it wasn’t about calories and fats – but whether there was enough to go around… I realized that I could commit my business and the stores in four communities to doing something significant to help with feeding our neighbors in Vermont.” Customers at all locations are invited to donate to the Vermont Foodbank by purchasing giving tree coupons in denominations of $1, $3, $5, $10 or $25.

State on lookout for new Secretary of Education

Governor-Elect Philip Scott has requested that the State Board of Education commence a search for Secretary of Education. Under the law (3 V.S.A. 2702), the State Board of Education recommends three nominees to the Governor. The position will begin on March 1, 2017. Stephan Morse, Chairman of the State Board of Education, said that he hoped to complete this search by the Board’s regular meeting on January 17, 2017. Interested parties should contact Allison Keating at the Agency of Education, at or 479-1855.


UVM’s ‘Catamount Commitment’ assists low-income students

The University of Vermont has launched a new program called the Catamount Commitment, guaranteeing that all Vermonters receiving federal Pell grants will pay no tuition and no comprehensive fee to attend the university, beginning with the class entering UVM in the fall of 2017. The program will also provide a range of support services for Pell-eligible Vermont students, many of whom are first-generation college students, designed to help them succeed. To be eligible for a Pell grant, students must have demonstrated financial need. In the fall of 2016, 26 percent of all Vermont undergraduates attending the university were Pell-eligible. Pell-eligible Vermonters currently pay no tuition to attend UVM, but do pay a comprehensive fee, estimated to be $2,259 in the coming year, and an acceptance fee of $495 — both fees that will be paid by the university in the plan. In addition, a $500 study abroad fee will be waived for Pell-eligible students who want to pursue their education internationally. The university’s total estimated in-state tuition and fees for the 2017/18 academic year are $17,732. The new program fully fills the gap between that figure and the maximum Pell grant award of $5,920.

VSECU is first credit union admitted into global network

VSECU, a member-owned cooperative and credit union for Vermonter announced it has been accepted as a member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), an independent network of values-based banks, banking cooperatives, credit unions, microfinance institutions, and community development banks from across the world.

VSECU is the first credit union in the U.S. to earn membership in the global organization, joining 35 other financial institutions in a joint commitment to use finance to promote sustainable social, environmental, and economic development. “We are excited to welcome VSECU, as we grow our network of like-minded, values-based financial institutions,” said Dr. Marcos Eguiguren, Executive Director of GABV.

New England Subaru helps Humane Society

In the month of October, Subaru of New England challenged its social media followers to share the love of pets by posting a photo of their pet with #SNELovesPets as the hashtag, agreeing to donate $5 per post shared to six sehlters around New England. On Monday, Dec. 5, the dealer presented a check for $10,000 to help support the Humane Society of Chittenden County. “Today’s donation will go to support animal health, safety and happiness,” stated Ernie Boch Jr, President & CEO of Subaru of New England.

KSE Partners rebrands itself

Montpelier public relations firm KSE Partners, now Leonine Public Affairs, launched its new brand earlier this month. For nearly 30 years, KSE Partners has been Vermont’s premier government and public relations firm. In retiring its original identity the firm is also launching its new look, office space and name, as Leonine Public Affairs. Founded by Steve Kimbell and Bob Sherman, both former officials of the Kunin Administration, KSE Partners began the practice as a government relations firm in 1987.

Maple company picked as ‘Oprah’s Favorite’ PIX

Cambridge-based Runamok Maple, a maker of all-natural, organic maple syrup, including a collection of barrel-aged, smoked, and infused maple syrups, was named on the much-anticipated list of Oprah’s Favorite Things 2016, a company release stated.

The certified organic line of maple syrup, produced from maple trees located along the northwest slopes of Vermont’s Mount Mansfield, is now available for online purchase at, and can be shipped nationwide as well as to a variety of international locations. As the brainchild of co-founders and husband and wife duo, Eric and Laura Sorkin, the accolades shows their move to leave jobs in Washington D.C. 17 years ago and become farmers has paid off. Together, along with the Runamok crew, the team manages taps on 81,000 maple trees and monitors over 600 miles of tubing in order to bring pure maple syrup, one of Mother Nature’s most exquisite pleasures, to consumers near and far.

Keller Williams agents revel in random kindness

As part of the “season of giving,” Keller Williams Vermont agents and associates banded together to give back to the communities they serve. The KWVT organization donated 30 turkeys (totaling 475 pounds of turkey) to the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf, collected donations to feed 10,000 families through the Vermont Foodbank. Following Thanksgiving, a team of 20 agents stormed Church Street giving away 125 gift cards as a random act of giving. Agents and associates engaged with community members, shared holiday cheer, and encouraged others to pay it forward to make a difference in others’ lives.

All this weeks News Articles