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VBSR 2012 Fall Conference

Date: Wednesday Nov 14th, 2012

Time: 6:30 AM - 5:00PM

Location: Grand Summit Hotel at Mount Snow, West Dover, VT

Address: 89 Grand Summit Way, West Dover, VT 05356

Cost: VBSR Members - $90, Non-Members - $100

To Register: Online registration is open! Go to

For More Info: Contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Event Description

VBSR's 20th Annual Fall Conference20th Annual Fall Conference

Engagement: Moving Social Responsibility Forward

Our annual Fall Conference draws 175-200 people and gives members in southern Vermont a chance to come together and exchange knowledge and ideas. Spread the word among your business colleagues. The event is open to the public.

Download the Brochure

If you would like to view the following information in brochure format, download the PDF version: 2012 Fall Conference brochure (800K)

Become an Exhibitor

You can also gain visibility for your business by being an exhibitor at the conference. We have a limited number of exhibit tables and they are reserved on a first come basis. If you're interested in being an exhibitor download the Exhibitor form HERE. Exhibit tables cost $225 and include a 6' table, chair and one conference pass.

Registration Online

Visit our online registration site to register today!

Conference Agenda



Andrea Cohen, Executive Director, VBSR
Brian Dunkiel, Dunkiel Saunders Elliott Raubvogel & Hand; Chair of the Board, VBSR

Coming Changes to the Healthcare System: What you need to know in 2013

Get your questions answered! State (GreenMountain Care) and Federal (“Obamacare”) healthcare reform has left many wondering how the changes will affect their business and their employees. Understanding if, how, and when key decisions about health care benefits need to be made is critical for Vermont businesses. An expert panel provides the most current information available, identifies resources available to businesses, and answers your questions about transitioning to the Vermont Health Benefit Exchange marketplace. Not to be missed, particularly for businesses with fewer than 50 employees!

Kevin Goddard, Vice President, External Affairs & Sales, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont
Julie Lineberger, Owner, LineSync Architecture, Committee Member, Green Mountain Advisory Board, Medicaid and Exchange Advisory Board
Robin Lunge, Director, Health Care Reform, State of Vermont Agency of Administration

Moderator: Bram Kleppner, CEO, Danforth Pewter, Co-Chair, Medicaid and Exchange Advisory Board

Check out these supporting documents:
Healthcare Panel Materials
Possible Cost of Insurance on Exchange


Workshop 1
Ideas Worth Exploring:Green Energy, Agriculture and the Working Landscape

Join a panel of entrepreneurs, innovative thinkers, and policy makers exploring new ways to develop green energy that benefits small to mid-size farms while also preserving Vermont’s treasured working landscape and natural resources.

Can we as Vermonters create a new and better industry out of one of its most treasured existing industries, Vermont farms? Is it possible for Vermont to advance renewable energy development and create jobs while also preserving Vermont’s treasured working landscape and natural resources? This panel will consider a new paradigm of human and natural wealth sustainability by exploring possible new interfaces between energy development, land use, and farming. We will identify the lever points, look at potential new funding mechanisms, consider new tax benefits for public purposes, and highlight the benefits of working together. We have assembled a panel of experts and the organizations they represent to talk about what is now happening and examine opportunities for the future.

Richard Berkfield, Post Oil Solutions
Andrea Colnes, Energy Action Network
David Dunn, Green Mountain Power

Moderator: Paul Craven, Paul Craven Associates

Workshop 2
Measuring What Matters: Vermont Initiatives to Measure Sustainable Well-Being

Learn about four Vermont-based initiatives designed to track and improve Vermont’s well-being. Panel members discuss the Genuine Progress Indicator, Gross National Happiness Indicators, Results-Based Accountability, and the Vermont Data Collaborative.

Socially responsible businesses value multiple bottom lines and gauge success by more than just profit, but are often challenged by ways to measure and monitor broader impacts. There needs to be new indicators and new ways of measuring. Join this panel and group discussion to learn about alternative indicators and ways of measuring well being, including how the Genuine Progress Indicator, Gross National Happiness USA, Results-Based Accountability™(RBA), and the Vermont Data Collaborative can help your organization fulfill its mission and demonstrate its effectiveness. The session includes an open discussion with the audience on the best ways to integrate these into their businesses, and how these approaches complement existing efforts to “measure what matters.”

Tom Barefoot, Gross National Happiness USA
Jon Erickson, University of Vermont; Gund Institute for Ecological Economics
Anne Lezak, Benchmarks for a Better Vermont
Moderator: Kate McCarthy, Vermont Natural Resources Council

Supporting Documents: RBA Slideshow, BBVT Q&A, RBA Info

Workshop 3
Workplace Design: Aligning Mission, Brand and Values

Discover strategies and approaches to workplace design that enhance brand, embody mission, and facilitate organizational values. Case studies of National Life of Vermont, Brattleboro Coop, Casella Resource Group, and others.

Join in a rich conversation from the owner’s, architects’, and workplace service providers’ perspective. Highlighting four recently completed projects at leading businesses around the state—including National Life Group, Brattleboro Food Coop, Casella, and Central Vermont Community Action Council—the panel will explore mission-driven design strategies and processes that enrich workplace culture. Explore how to leverage your company’s mission, brand and values in the design and renovation of your workplace and facilities, better reflecting today’s focus on branding, storytelling, collaboration, real estate optimization, technology, energy efficiency and sustainability. Learn how high-performing workplace design helps cultivate a strong and diverse workplace culture while building community and empowering innovation. Attendees will take away easy to share lessons learned and best practices to adapt and use in their workplaces and facilities.

Chris DesRoches, Casella Waste Systems
Tim Shea, National Life Group
Jessica Thyme, Gossens Bachman Architects
Dan Woodworth, Office Environments
Moderator: Stephen Frey, AIA – LEED AP, Arocordis Design

VBSR Membership Annual Meeting



Don Don Mayer, Small Dog ElectronicsMayer - CEO & Top Dog, Small Dog Electronics

Don Mayer founded Small Dog Electronics in 1994 with the goal of becoming a premier Apple Specialist, selling Apple Computers and products via the internet, with a vision of building a sustainable business upon socially responsible business practices. Today he serves as Chief Executive Officer for Small Dog Electronics, Inc., an organization that has grown to near 65 employees and three (soon to be four) retail stores, while continuing to build a strong web presence in sales of Apple Products and associated electronics.

Don developed a keen understanding of business development and leading socially responsible business as the Founder and President of North Wind Power Company / Northern Power Systems from 1974 through 1988, and gained a solid foundation for developing sales strategy and remote customer relationships as the President and Founder of River Computer and Maya Computer Company between 1989 and 1992. Don has served as a Member of the Apple Computer Reseller Advisory Board since 2002. Don served as Chair of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility for over six years and currently serves as Chair of the Public Policy Committee within Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility. He also served as Director for Vermont Health Care For All.

Don graduated from Goddard College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1975 and served as a Member of the Board of Trustees for the college from 2006 through 2008. His vision, passion and energy results in an unwavering commitment to Small Dog Electronics’ triple bottom line: People, Planet, and Profit.


Workshop 4
Emerging Trends: Creative Grassroots Financing for Entrepreneurs

Crowdfunding, community supported enterprise, and other emerging, alternative forms of grassroots financing are highlighted by entrepreneurs and practitioners alike. Includes an up-to-date review of the JOBS Act of 2012 and its implications for community based financing.

The panel explores a wide range of new and emerging grassroots financing, as well as discusses the JOBS Act of 2012 and its implications for Vermont entrepreneurs and businesses. Kenneth Merritt, Managing Director of Merritt & Merritt & Moulton, will start the panel with a review of the JOBS Act of 2012, while Eric Becker, Chief Investment Officer, Clean Yield Asset Management, will then examine the emerging grassroots financing schemes, including crowdfunding. Renee Renier, Co-owner of Phoenix Books, and Joseph Bossen, Founder, Vermont Bean Crafters, provide their business financing experiences for their respective companies.

Eric Becker, Clean Yield Asset Management
Joseph Bossen, Vermont Bean Crafters Co.
H. Kenneth Merritt, Jr., Merritt & Merritt & Moulton
Reneè Reiner, Phoenix Books
Moderator: Jacob Park, Green Mountain College

Workshop 5
VBSR Policy Update: Report from the Golden Dome

Join key lawmakers and VBSR Policy Committee members for a preview of the 2013 Legislative session's top issues, including proposals on clean energy, taxation, health care reform, and economic development.

Three top Vermont lawmakers reveal what will happen at the Statehouse during the 2013 Legislative session on important issues such as health care, the environment, clean energy and the economy. VBSR Policy Manager Daniel Barlow moderates the panel and will discuss the organization’s legislative agenda for the new session. If you are interested in how policy made in Montpelier affects you and your business – or you want to work with VBSR on advancing socially responsible priorities at the Statehouse – this panel is for you.

Representative David Deen, Chair of House Fish, Wildlife, and Water Resources Committee
Senator Anthony Pollina, Senate Health & Welfare Committee; Senate Government Operations Committee
Senator Jeanette White, Chair of Senate Government Operations Committee
Russ Bennett, Northland Design & Construction, Inc.

Moderator: Daniel Barlow, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility

Workshop 6
Community Collaboration: Establishing Smart Relationships Between Business, Arts and Culture

Panelists representing the arts, media, and business describe collaborative models that create organizational value while also providing essential support to arts and culture endeavors across the state.

Businesses tend to engage with the arts most frequently and directly through a cash trade for exposure. While sponsorship of events and exhibits is a valuable and traditional means of supporting the arts and experiencing the rewards of recognition, there are other approaches to participating in Vermont’s arts and culture and creating benefits for all involved. Creative, meaningful, and entrepreneurial outlets exist that return recognition and a more intimate engagement with the arts and the people whose lives are enriched by them. The panelists have each experienced, from the arts or business perspectives, innovative engagement with arts organizations and are here to share their experience and ideas with the audience.

Steve Cook, Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing
Zon Eastes, Vermont Arts Council
Dani Gleason, Magic Hat Brewing Company (North American Breweries)
Ron Redmond, Church Street Marketplace

Moderator: James Lockridge, Big Heavy World


Senator Anthony Pollina

Directions to Event


If you are interested in carpooling to the conference, please visit, and click on "Find an Event" (in the left column) to connect with carpooling attendees. 

Use Lookup code: VBSRFALL2012


Overnight accommodations are available for Tuesday, 11/13 and Wednesday, 11/14 at The Grand Summit Hotel at Mount Snow at the discounted rate of $99/night. Please call The Grand Summit Hotel directly at 800-817-0764 for reservations, and identify yourself as a VBSR conference attendee to receive the special rate.

To use the map: Click and drag to move the map around. Zoom by using the controls on the left. Double-click to center the map.

Event Sponsors




Business Energy Action (BEA)


Business Energy Action: challenge your business to reduce your energy consumption by 5% annually for 3 years! The Business Energy Action Challenge is a project of VBSR, designed to get businesses to focus on economic and environmental sustainability. Partnered with Efficiency Vermont, Burlington Electric Department, Vermont Gas Systems, and the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association, BEA can help bring your business the latest in cost-effective efficiency improvements. For more information, visit us at, and find us on Facebook!



Interrobang Design Collaborative, Inc. provides brand strategy and develops branding, packaging, print and web communications for businesses and organizations. Now in its 15th year, Interrobang has provided strategic brand development and design services for many Vermont companies, including Switchback Brewing Co., Autumn Harp, Middlebury College, CVAA, PocketWizard, and has designed all three editions of the VBSR/Local First Vermont Buy Local Book.



LineSync ArchitectureA green & sustainable firm based in Wilmington, Vermont, LineSync Architecture focuses on creativity, ingenuity, and attention to detail.  We create spaces that are direct, unassuming, and feel good to be in.

Social and environmental responsibility are integral to LineSync Architecture’s corporate mission.  A significant percentage of the firm’s services each year are donated to community-oriented projects.  Reflecting the firm’s focus on environmentally conscious design, LineSync Architecture has been repeatedly recognized for employing innovative energy-efficient materials and methods in their work.

The firm has a diverse portfolio of institutional, commercial, and residential projects, as well as a growing number of publications and awards.

One highly published Vermont residence is Eden: a strawbale home - a highly energy efficient, timber frame and strawbale structure operating entirely “off the grid.”  The project received many accolades including Efficiency Vermont’s “Best Integrated Residential Design for Energy Efficiency”.


Merritt & Merrit & MoultonMerritt & Merritt & Moulton is a boutique law firm based in Burlington, Vermont that collaborates with publicly- and privately-held growth companies throughout New England, as well as the angel, venture capital and private equity investors that support them, to build and guide their businesses.

We provide growth companies with focused business and legal advice from incorporation through seed financing, venture financing, later-stage expansion financing, liquidity events, including initial public offerings and mergers and acquisitions.

Merritt & Merritt & Moulton also advises companies on a variety of day-to-day issues, such as employment matters, intellectual property protection, commercial contracts and real estate transactions.



Vermont Center for Independent LivingThe Vermont Center for Independent Living (VCIL), a non-profit organization directed and staffed by individuals with disabilities, works to promote the dignity, independence and civil rights of Vermonters with disabilities. Like other independent living centers across the country, VCIL is committed to cross-disability services, the promotion of active citizenship and working with others to create services that support self-determination and full participation in community life. Founded in 1979, VCIL is the only center for independent living (CIL) in Vermont and was the first organization in the state with a majority of board and staff with disabilities.






Vermont Community Loan Fund

The Vermont Community Loan Fund (VCLF) transforms Vermonters' lives by providing loans, grants and technical assistance for affordable housing, small businesses, child care providers and other community facilities benefiting lower-income Vermonters.



Media Sponsor


Vermont Business Magazine

VBM is currently celebrating it's 40th Anniversary. Vermont Business Magazine, Vermont's only statewide publication, has published the latest and most accurate information and economic data available since 1972.
Led by journalists, powered by the public.  In-depth and investigative news on Vermont politics, business and
public affairs.


Vermont Public Radio


Listener-supported Vermont Public Radio has been serving the people of Vermont and the surrounding region since 1977. As Vermont's only statewide public radio network, VPR is a trusted and independent source for news, music, conversation, NPR programming, and much more. For more information about VPR News and VPR Classical, a list of stations and streaming audio from all of VPR's services, visit





A. N. Deringer, Inc.
Black River Produce
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Vermont
Burton Snowboards
Business Culture Consultants
Cabot Creamery Cooperative
Champlain College
Chroma Technology
City Market
Community & Economic Development Office (CEDO)
Dunkiel Saunders Elliott Raubvogel & Hand
FairPoint Communications
Goddard College
Heritage Aviation
Hubbardton Forge
King Arthur Flour Company
Marketing Partners, Inc.
McKenzie Country Classics
Merchants Bank
Merritt & Merritt & Moulton, Attorneys at Law
Middlebury College
National Life Group
Northeast Delta Dental
Office Environments
Paul Frank + Collins P.C.
People's United Bank
The Point, WNCS-FM
Sugarbush Resort
SymQuest Group Inc.
University of Vermont
Vermont Business Magazine
Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery
Vermont Country Store
Vermont Energy Investment Corp. (VEIC)
Vermont Public Television
Vermont State Employees Credit Union
Vermont Telephone Company, Inc. (VTEL)
Vermont Youth Conservation Corps
World Learning

Event Co-Sponsors

Union Institute & University
VBSR Vermont Intern Program

Champion Members!

Sponsor: All Earth Renewables Sponsor: Ben and Jerrys Sponsor: Dinse/Knapp/McAndrews Sponsor: Gardeners Supply Sponsor: Green Mountain Power Sponsor: Keurig Green Mountain Sponsor: Marketing Partners Sponsor: New Chapter Sponsor: NRG Systems Sponsor: Seventh Generation Sponsor: SunCommon Sponsor: Villanti & Sons, Printers, Inc. Sponsor: Vermont State Employees Credit Union