November 20, 2017

Hub Happenings

Doug Fisher

Doug Fisher

FCU brings on new CFO

Doug Fisher has joined Vermont Federal Credit Union as chief financial officer, Chief Executive Officer Jean Giard announced earlier this month.

Fisher was most recently the director of administrative services at the Town of Essex and formerly was a managing partner at the accounting firm of R.F. Lavigne & Company.

A graduate of Bentley College with a degree in accounting, Fisher is a member of the Government Finance Officers Association and has been involved in the credit union for several years as a member of the board of directors and supervisory committee.

“Doug brings with him a wealth of leadership experience and a deep passion for the credit union,” Giard said. “We are very excited for him to join our team.”

Visit vermontfederal.org for more information.

Michael S. Pieciak

Michael S. Pieciak

DFR commissioner to head international securities organization

Michael S. Pieciak, commissioner of the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation, has been named president-elect of the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA). Pieciak will serve as president-elect for one year and begin his term as president in September 2018.

NASAA is an international organization dedicated to investor protection. Its membership includes all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada and Mexico. Pieciak will be the first Vermonter to serve as NASAA president since commissioner R.C. Clark in 1930.

As DFR commissioner, Pieciak serves as the chief regulator of Vermont’s financial services sector, including the insurance, captive insurance, banking and securities industries.

“I look forward to bringing Vermont’s regulatory approach to my role as NASAA president,” said Pieciak, a native of Brattleboro with a political science degree from Union College and a law degree from the University of Miami.

Pieciak is a member of the Securities and Exchange Commission Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and serves on the Vermont State Colleges Board of Trustees.

“This is a very well-deserved achievement,” Gov. Phil Scott said. “Mike’s hard work and leadership has contributed to the success of our Department of Financial Regulation, has supported Vermont’s economy and contributes to our efforts to protect our citizens.”

GMP opens
co-working space
to companies, public

Green Mountain Power seeks applications from entrepreneurial energy companies to receive a year of working space at the company’s open concept “InspireSpace” in Colchester.

Applications are due Nov. 17. Up to five businesses will win use of the space. Companies must be in the electrical energy sector and focused on new energy technology or clean energy solutions that benefit Vermonters.

Winners will receive a relocation stipend, free working space, parking, internet and support from GMP staff.

GMP is also opening the space to businesses for daily or as-needed rentals.

Five companies were awarded space last year in the first year of the contest, including Greenbanc, Packetized Energy, Virtual Peaker, Idenergie and Green Peak Solar

“We want to welcome new ideas about how sustainability and the latest innovations can benefit customers, the environment and the economy here and beyond,” Green Mountain Power CEO Mary Powell said. “At the same time, we want our neighbors to be able to use the space to further their endeavors; that is why we’re opening the space for anyone in need of a place to be inspired.”

For more information on GMP’s Inspire Space co-working space, or to sign up for space, visit gmpinspire.com.

Walmart remodel improves pharmacy, electronics

The Williston location of Walmart unveiled its remodeled interior during a grand re-opening event earlier this month. Improvements at the 863 Harvest Lane store include:

New interactive displays in the electronics department.

Remodeled pharmacy with new consultation room

New tool department with a larger variety of tools

Wider aisles

New layout and larger selection of apparel

“This remodel represents our continued investment in Williston,” store manager Scott Huddleston said. “Listening to customers and incorporating the products they want is what it means to be a store of the community.”

Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith

Candace Conti-Lemery

Candace Conti-Lemery

New hires at Vermont Custom Closets

Vermont Custom Closets of Williston has hired Jessica Smith of Richmond as its ordering and receiving administrator. Smith is a graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology and a native of Connecticut.

The company also recently hired Candace Conti-Lemery to its design and sales team. Conti-Lemery is a graduate of UVM with a degree in business and resides in Essex with her husband and three children.

Gardener’s Supply named employee-owned company of the year

Gardener’s Supply Company of Burlington was named Employee Owned Company of the Year by the Employee Stock Ownership Plan Association’s New England chapter.

The company was selected from about 12 applications across New England and will now compete for the association’s national award.

“Not only do they talk about employee ownership, they walk the walk,” said Maria Prado, president of the New England Chapter of the ESOP Association. “We saw the commitment to the employee-owners. It’s a model that most companies would like to follow.”

Gardener’s Supply has garden centers in Burlington and Williston and plans to open a third in Lebanon, N.H., next year. It became a 100-percent employee-owned company in 2009.

Bread & Butter Farm beef recalled

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has announced a recall of ground beef packages sold by Bread & Butter Farm of Shelburne that may have been contaminated with E. coli.

The recalled ground beef was produced by Vermont Livestock Slaughter and Processing, LLC, of Ferrisburgh, which is voluntarily recalling the product.

The one-pound packages of ground beef were produced on July 24-25. The packages are branded “Bread & Butter Farm Ground Beef.” The ground beef should not be eaten. Anyone who has this product should throw it out or return it to the place of purchase.

The Vermont Department of Health investigated reports of two children who became ill after eating cooked beef burgers at Bread & Butter Farm on Sept. 15. One of the children was hospitalized, and both have since recovered. The Health Department determined the burgers that were served at a Bread & Butter Farm event were the probable source of the reported illnesses.

E. coli is a potentially deadly bacterium, especially for children.

Businesses recognized for workplace safety

Vermont Department of Labor Commissioner Lindsay Kurrle presented four businesses with the Vermont Governor’s Awards for Outstanding Workplace Safety during the Vermont Safety and Health Council’s annual meeting last week in South Burlington.

The awarded companies are Champlain Cable Corporation of Colchester; GlobalFoundries of Essex Junction; Washington Electric Cooperative of East Montpelier; and HP Cummings Construction Company, a New Hampshire-based company that manages projects in Vermont.

The award recognizes the companies for their commitment to excellence in workplace safety, health policy and reducing and eliminating workplace injury and illness.

“By investing in safety and education, these exemplary businesses are protecting and investing in their most valuable assets — their hardworking employees. I am honored to have recognized these businesses today for their commitment to keeping Vermonters safe,” Kurrle said.

Vermont businesses generate over $1.8m in total sales at the Big E

The Vermont building earned $1.8 million in gross sales at the recent Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Mass., according to the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets.

The event broke a single-day attendance record on Vermont Day, Sept. 23, attracting 171,897 fairgoers. Over the course of 17 days, the event exposed over 1.5 million people to the Vermont brand.

“The (event) represents an opportunity for us to share why Vermont is a great place to live, visit, work and do business,” Gov. Phil Scott said after visiting the Vermont Building. “It’s also a chance for growing Vermont entrepreneurs to build relationships and strengthen the Vermont brand with out-of-state consumers.”

The Vermont building was upgraded this year with a new rear patio and performing stage, additional vendors and improved landscaping.

Tech Jam begins Friday in Essex

The 11th annul Vermont Tech Jam is scheduled for this Friday and Saturday at the Champlain Valley Exposition in Essex Junction.

The event is free and will host about 50 companies, colleges and tech organizations in a job fair and educational/networking opportunity.

The schedule includes a dozen presentations organized into three tracks: one for small business owners and decision-makers, one for job-seekers and another for anyone curious about emerging opportunities in the local tech scene. Speakers include representatives from Tesla, Facebook, IBM, Burton Snowboards and the Burlington Code Academy.

For a full schedule, visit techjamvt.com.

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