Hub Happenings

Vt. Custom Closets adds sales staffer

Cathy Irahet

Vermont Custom Closets of Williston recently announced the addition of Cathy Iraheta to its design and sales team.

Iraheta is from New Hampshire and comes to Vermont Custom Closets from Tetra Tech, where she was a senior contract staffing specialist.

An avid boater, Iraheta is a graduate of Champlain College and resides in South Burlington with her two children and two dogs.

Vermont Custom Closets is located on South Brownell Road.

Hannaford launches new reward program

Hannaford Supermarkets launched the “My Hannaford Rewards” program in January, which provides a 2 percent payback on store-brand items. About 5,200 products qualify for the reward, including all Taste of Inspirations, Nature’s Place, Home 360, Cha-Ching, Etos, Companion, CareOne and Healthy Accents products.

Users earn rewards every time they shop by scanning their app or entering their phone number at the register. Rewards can be redeemed quarterly, with the total earned being deducted from the customer’s bill during their next shopping trip.

Enrolled customers will also receive personalized coupon offers for national- and regional-brand products.

Shoppers can sign up in stores, at or by downloading the Hannaford mobile app from iTunes or the Android App Store.

‘Sasquatch’ sock strikes fundraising gold

Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel teamed up with Darn Tough Vermont to create a limited-edition “Sasquatch” sock this holiday season to raise money for local non-profits serving the area’s homeless.

The sock sold out, and Lenny’s donated $2 from every pair sold. A total of $3,000 was donated to the Community Health Centers of Burlington, Good Samaritan Haven in Barre, Martha’s Kitchen in St. Albans and JCEO Community Outreach in Plattsburgh.

Lenny’s has stores in Williston, Barre, St. Albans and Plattsburgh, N.Y.

Kinney Pike agent receives certification

Niki Hayes of Williston, an employee of Kinney Pike Insurance, was recently awarded the designation of Certified Professional Insurance Agent by the American Insurance Marketing and Sales Society.

Hayes has worked in the personal lines department of Kinney Pike’s Williston office (previously the Allen Agency) since 2008.

Gov. Scott rallies business owners on NAFTA

Gov. Phil Scott recently sent a letter to Vermont businesses and local economic development leaders encouraging them to ask the Trump Administration to renew America’s commitment to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Business owners can make their voices heard by contacting the Office of the United States Trade Representative by email at Or contact the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development at (802) 828-3211 for more information.

“I have long advocated, along with fellow governors and Canadian premiers, that we should focus on modernizing and strengthening NAFTA, not withdrawing from it,” Gov. Scott wrote in the letter. “… Withdrawing from NAFTA would result in the elimination of over 4,200 Vermont jobs. Additionally, termination of the trade agreement would cause Vermont’s economic output to fall by over $200 million. Our communities and employers simply cannot afford these impacts.”

Worksite wellness conference upcoming

The Vermont Department of Health and the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports will host their annual Worksite Wellness Conference on March 21 at the Doubletree by Hilton in South Burlington.

Early bird registration ends March 1, and the final registration deadline is March 10.

The event will showcase worksite wellness awards for about 80 Vermont employers and feature exhibits and workshops. Speakers include Gov. Phil Scott and Health Commissioner Mark Levine.

Visit for more information.

Marie Thresher

NEFCU lands former Merchant’s Bank COO

Marie Thresher has joined Williston-based New England Federal Credit Union as enterprise risk program manager. She is the former chief operating officer for Merchant’s Bank and senior vice president and chief auditor for People’s United Bank. She is a member of the Green Mountain Chapter of the Institute of Internal Auditors and serves on the board of Vermont CARES.

Business growth program open to entrepreneurs

The Small Business Administration is seeking 20 entrepreneurs throughout Vermont to participate in a free business course starting in April at Vermont Technical College’s Williston campus.

Emerging Leaders is an executive-level training program for established business owners poised for growth. It will guide participating entrepreneurs to create a three-year strategic growth plan to build a sustainable business of size and scale.

To be considered, firms must be for-profit enterprises, been in business for at least three years, have at least one full-time employee and have annual revenues between $400,000 and $10 million.

Go to to fill out an application by the March 1 deadline. More information is available by emailing or calling (802) 828-4422 ext. 203.

Habitat board adds financial advisor, Realtor

Steve Gruber, Financial Advisor for Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith, Inc., in Burlington and Elise Polli, Realtor at Polli Properties at KW VT in South Burlington, have joined the board of directors at Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity, the Williston-based non-profit announced earlier this month.

Based in Williston, Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity builds homes for low-income working families who are living in substandard rental housing in Chittenden County. The families purchase the perpetually affordable and energy efficient homes at cost and pay an affordable mortgage payment.

Visit for more information.