THE HUB: Hub Happenings

Williston Hannaford Jiggety Jogs for Vermont Respite House

The 21st Vermont Respite House 5k Fun Run and Jiggety Jog on May 12 once again included Team Hannaford. Williston’s Hannaford store has been a team since 1996 and promotes the Vermont Respite House 5k Fun Run and Jiggety Jog through store donations, in-store events and staff registration.

“We have a team year after year because a lot of us have had personal experiences with the Respite House and we want to be part of helping out where we can,” Store Manager Curt Echo said. Not only is the day fun for people of all ages, but there is a clear link to our companies’ priority of connecting to our community. We have raised over $5,000 over the past few years for the Vermont Respite House and are proud to support this critical need in our community.”

Green Mountain Club honors Rose

The Green Mountain Club recently announced the election of its 41st president, Jean Haigh of Craftsbury.

Haigh is behind much of the club’s work in the Northeast Kingdom, especially on the former Champion Lands, and has helped guide the club in accepting its additional management responsibilities on the Appalachian Trail in Vermont.

The annual meeting also saw the announcement of an honorary life membership for Ben Rose of Williston, who served as executive director for 12 years until 2011.

Jenkins named Realtor of the Year

Nancy Jenkins

The Northwestern Vermont Board of Realtors honored Nancy Jenkins with its 2012 Realtor of the Year award at its annual gala dinner on May 22. The awards recognize realtors and affiliate members for their achievements, community service and professionalism.

Jenkins, a 16-year former resident of Williston and owner of Prudential Realty Mart, has been helping families to buy and sell homes in northwestern Vermont since 1980.

NVBR’s Realtor of the Year award goes to an agent who has given his or her heart to the community through dedicated community service. Jenkins is on the board of the Boys & Girls Club of Burlington and supports many local groups, including Women Helping Battered Women, Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf, Go Red for Women and the United Way of Chittenden County.

MicroStrain wins Air Force contract, expo award

The U.S. Air Force has awarded MicroStrain Inc. a $149,000 research contract to demonstrate an integrated wireless load measurement system for improved monitoring of aircraft landing gear. The system will enable aircraft operators to more accurately measure static and dynamic loads for more effective tracking of the fatigue life of these critical structures.

“Our breakthrough wireless sensor technology will provide the Air Force with fully autonomous landing gear monitoring,” says Steven Arms, President of MicroStrain, which is located in Williston. “Not only will our sensors eliminate costly wiring, they will also use very little energy. Combined with our new miniature energy harvesters, these sensors don’t require battery maintenance. We’re very excited to work with the Air Force to qualify and demonstrate our advanced sensors in this important application.”

MicroStrain also recently earned a silver “Best of Sensors Expo” award for its latest LXRS Lossless Extended-Range Synchronized Wireless Sensor Network at the 2012 Sensors Expo & Conference in Rosemont, Ill.

Local insurance agencies merge

The Allen Agency of Williston and the Roy Insurance Agency of Swanton have announced their recent merger with Rutland-based Kinney Pike Insurance. As part of this merger, Kinney Pike Insurance has relocated its South Burlington office to The Allen Agency building in Williston.

“Kinney Pike Insurance has built a reputation for being very stable, dependable and for conducting business with the utmost integrity,” stated Andy Finelli and John McAuliffe, the two principals of The Allen Agency and Roy Insurance Agency. “We elected to partner with Kinney Pike Insurance because of our shared values and the outstanding reputation they have in the insurance industry.”

Wake Robin Lifecare Community receives environmental award

Wake Robin staff accept the Governors Award.

Wake Robin Lifecare Community in Shelburne has earned the Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence for its project, “Energy Use & Conservation: From Policy to Practice.” The award recognizes Wake Robin’s efforts to conserve and protect natural resources, prevent pollution and promote environmental sustainability.

“This award recognizes that environmental consciousness is woven into our community—from a Board of Directors’ policy on energy saving and conservation to a myriad of specific activities including residents’ bee-keeping operation, supporting local farmers, replacing roofs and installing new windows and siding. We’re proud to provide a lifecare community where residents can continue to live their green ideals,” President and CEO Allie Stickney said.

Williston FedEx drivers place in championship

Two drivers for FedEx Express, based in Williston, placed among the top finishers at the 2012 Vermont State Truck Driving Championship in Pembroke, N.H. on June 2.

Christopher Novak captured his fifth state title with a win in the Flatbed class.

David Fountain posted second-place in the three-axle class.

Novak will go on to compete at the American Trucking Associations’ 2012 National Truck Driving Championships, known as the “Super Bowl of Safety,” set for Aug. 7 to 11 in Minneapolis, Minn.

Gunn joins VFN board

Laurie Gunn

Vermont Family Network welcomed Laurie Gunn as its newest member of the Board of Directors during the organization’s Annual Meeting in May. Gunn, a resident of Williston, is the vice president of human resources at Fletcher Allen Health Care.

“We are very excited to have Laurie on our Board,” said Pam McCarthy, President and CEO of Vermont Family Network. “Laurie brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in human resources and operations that will be extremely beneficial to Vermont Family Network as we continue to enhance the quality and infrastructure of our organization.”

Gunn will also serve on the organization’s Operations Committee. Vermont Family Network is a statewide non-profit organization that promotes better health, education, and well-being for all children and families, with a focus on children and young adults with special needs.

NBT Bank promotes Quintin

Christopher Quintin

NBT Bank Regional President Matt Durkee announced that Christopher Quintin has been promoted to vice president.

Quintin is market manager for NBT Financial Group, a division of NBT Bank, that provides services related to trust, investments, insurance and retirement. Quintin, who has 15 years of financial experience, is based in the bank’s regional office in Burlington.

“Christopher Quintin has made a significant contribution to the success of our company through consistently exceptional performance,” Durkee said. “He has emerged as a leader within his division by keeping the success of our clients and the company at the forefront. I want to congratulate him on his promotion and wish him continued success.”

NBT also has branches in Williston and Essex Junction.

Unemployment rate remains at 4.6 percent in May

The Vermont Department of Labor announced that the seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment rate for May 2012 was 4.6 percent. The comparable national unemployment rate was 8.2 percent, an increase of .1 percent from the previous month. While the national number had an uptick, the Vermont data for May reflects no change from the prior month’s revised estimate of the statewide unemployment rate. At this level, Vermont’s seasonall adjusted unemployment rate continues to rank as fourth lowest in the United States.

“The May jobs numbers confirmed the volatility seen in April’s data was related to seasonal fluctuations,” said Department of Labor Commissioner Annie Noonan. “As we move into the summer months and away from this period of transition, the data will produce clearer indications about the economic direction of the state.”

Champlain Initiative wraps up

Martha Maksym, executive director of United Way of Chittenden County, recently announced that the Champlain Initiative has wrapped up its activities after 16 years of working to solve community problems. Created in 1996, the Champlain Initiative strove to demonstrate how economic security, environmental soundness, health and wellbeing all contribute to a healthy, sustainable community.

“Throughout its history, the Champlain Initiative examined the causes that shaped our challenges, connected people who created innovative solutions and explored how our community could become stronger for the coming changes,” said Maksym.  “The community is indeed stronger and better prepared to meet our challenges.”

Some highlights of the Champlain Initiative include developing the Vermont 2-1-1 informational and referral service, the Get Moving Vermont fitness initiative, the mentoring program Mobius and the Working Bridges program, an employer collaborative dedicated to improving workplace productivity, retention, advancement and financial stability.

Land Air Express joins partnership

Land Air Express of New England recently announced that it joined the SmartWay Transport Partnership, a collaboration between the Environmental Protection Agency and industry which provides a framework to assess the environmental and energy efficiency of goods movement supply chains.

Land Air Express of New England will contribute to the Partnership’s savings of 1.5 billion gallons of fuel, $3.6 billion in fuel costs, 14.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, 215,000 tons of nitrogen oxides and 8,000 tons of particulate matter, according to a company press release. Carbon dioxide is the most common greenhouse gas, and nitrogen oxide is an air pollutant that contributes to smog.

“Land Air Express is very excited to participate in the SmartWay Transport Partnership. It is important to our employees and our customers to ensure that we are doing our part to protect the environment,” Vice President Thomas Spencer said.

ECHO welcomes new marketing coordinator

ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center at the Leahy Center for Lake Champlain recently announced Abbe Malcolm as the new marketing coordinator.

“ECHO has embarked on a major expansion which has increased the amount of marketing, advertising and public relations efforts for the institution,” said Gerianne Smart, ECHO’s Director of Marketing and Communications. “Abbe brings with her a talent in web design, general marketing and print ad creation as well as a great team spirit.

Malcom was born and raised in Middlebury, Vt. and returned to her home state recently after living in Colorado for ten years. While there, she received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Colorado. After graduation she lived and worked in Denver for High Noon Entertainment and Giant Interactive in television graphics.

KeyCorp holds annual community service day

KeyCorp employees.

More than 8,000 KeyCorp employees nationwide participated in the company’s 22nd annual day of volunteer community service, Neighbors Making a Difference Day, on May 24.

Employees from locations in Burlington, South Burlington, Essex, Winooski, Williston, St. Albans and central and southern Vermont spent the afternoon volunteering for various organizations. In Williston, Key employees baked cookies and brownies and assisted with outdoor projects at the Vermont Respite House.

Vermont College of Fine Arts welcomes Diane Moser

Vermont College of Fine Arts recently announced the appointment of Diane Moser as a new faculty member for the MFA in Music Composition program.

Moser has been a featured performer and composer throughout the country with jazz ensembles, big bands, orchestras, chamber music, dance and theater companies since 1975.

Her music varies from straight-ahead to experimental, using free and structured improvisation, graphic scores and the environment as source material.

Vermont companies recognized for workplace safety

Several Vermont companies were recently recognized for their commitment to effective workplace safety at the annual Vermont Workplace Safety Conference. The Governor’s Award for Outstanding Workplace Safety went to Ben and Jerry’s in St. Albans and HP Hood of Barre in the large business category, and to Chroma Technology Corp. of Bellows Falls in the small business category.

The Governor’s Award for Outstanding Workplace Safety is the highest honor given by the State of Vermont to recognize an employer’s commitment to excellence in workplace safety and health.

South End Arts and Business Association board adds new members

The Board of the South End Arts and Business Association is pleased to announce the appointment of six new members to the Board of Directors: Rick Levinson from RL Photo; Alex Halpern from Freeman French Freeman; Chris Ashby from Champlain Valley Exposition; Chris Webster from Select Design; Dennis Healy from Burton Snowboards; and Natalie Miller from Spark Arts.

“Our Board of Directors (is) a dynamic, creative and energetic group all around. We are very pleased to have these great new additions to our Board of Directors, that will propel SEABA to provide more opportunities for businesses and artists in the South End of Burlington,” said Adam Brooks, SEABA Executive Director.

Merchants Bank recognized for performance

Mike Tuttle, President and CEO of Merchants Bank, announced that “American Banker Magazine” and the “ABA Banking Journal” have both recently recognized Merchants Bank as one of the top performing banks in the country.

“…These two most recent accolades are a reflection of our entire organization. Every employee of Merchants Bank should take tremendous pride in knowing that their company is one of the finest banks in America. That’s no small accomplishment,” said Tuttle.

“American Banker Magazine” ranked banks across the country with less than $2 billion in assets, ranking Merchants Bank at number 10. The “ABA Banking Journal” ranked banks across the country with assets between $1 billion and $10 billion, naming Merchants Bank at number 14, according to a company press release.