Adeline Druart, who is joining Lawson's Finest Liquids executive leadership team as CEO, visits with founder Sean Lawson. (photo courtesy of Lawson's Finest Liquids)

VBSR Member News Round Up – 6/21/23

Lawson’s Finest Liquids: What a month it has been for Champion Member Lawson’s Finest Liquids! First, they announced they have earned their status as a Certified B Corporation, the latest step in the brewery’s 15-year history of commitment to positive social and environmental change. With this designation they join the ranks of 40+ VBSR members who have achieved B Corp status.

Second, they have announced that Adeline Druart, former president of Champion Member Vermont Creamery, will join the brewery’s executive leadership as chief executive officer. “Her enthusiasm for leading with purpose is what makes her the right fit for the team,” said Karen Lawson. “She’s uniquely capable of creating a company culture that cultivates community, protects the planet and takes pride in producing a delicious, quality product.” Read more about the B Corp certification here and read more about Adeline Druart’s new role here.

Outright Vermont: Don’t miss VTDigger’s profile of VBSR Board Member and executive director of the LGBTQ+ youth nonprofit Outright Vermont, Dana Kaplan. The piece covers Kaplan’s approach to the evolution of the organization’s mission during his tenure. Instead of solely reacting to external events, they now aim to proactively change the environments they are working in. Read how he and Outright Vermont are meeting the moment here.

Vermont Community Foundation and Others: The Vermont Women’s Fund, a component fund of the Vermont Community Foundation, has announced the recipients of its 2023 annual grant round. A total of $412,135 was awarded this year, the largest amount ever distributed by the philanthropic resource dedicated to women and girls. Recipients include other VBSR members including Champlain College, Downstreet Housing & Community Development, the Governor’s Institutes of Vermont, and the Janet S. Must Family Room. Read more here.

Mamava: The infant formula crisis, new guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics, a receding global health pandemic and a spike in inflation are all placing increasing pressure on new parents returning to work who need substantive support to continue breastfeeding. Kin, a comprehensive lactation benefits program created by Medela and Champion Member Mamava, has released a new white paper that addresses these issues while clarifying that normalized breastfeeding is here to stay. Read “The Call to Support Breastfeeding Moms in the Workplace Intensifies” and learn more here.

Vermont Integrated Architecture and Engineering Ventures: The historic Fairbanks Museum is getting an addition, but it isn’t your standard extension. The 6,500 square foot build out will be home to Vermont’s first demonstration mass timber building. Aligned with the Fairbank’s commitment to decarbonization, the new addition is actually the first in the world (not just the state) to use regional hemlock in cross-laminated timber construction. VBSR members Vermont Integrated Architecture and Engineering Ventures designed the addition in collaboration. Part of their motivation was the lower embodied energy of the wood and the process, but the key driver was that it’s a local product. Learn more here.

Green Mountain Power: Six years ago, Champion Member Green Mountain Power (GMP) launched the first pilot program in the country to offer Tesla Powerwall backup batteries to their customers to keep the lights on during outages. Today, with a wait list stretching into 2025 of nearly 1,000 customers who want the backup batteries, Vermont’s largest utility is working to lift a self-imposed cap of 500 installations yearly. In 2017, GMP wanted to move cautiously with an unproven program, but the cap no longer makes sense. The program works – and GMP wants to clear the backlog and get storage into people’s homes. If a recent request is approved by the PUC, customers could begin enrolling in the program this month. Learn more here.

VNRC and Vermont Land Trust: Gov. Phil Scott recently allowed H.126, a land conservation bill that was a top priority for environmentalists during the legislative session, to pass into law without his signature. The law establishes a goal of permanently conserving 30% of Vermont’s total land area by 2030 and conserving 50% by 2050. As part of a larger coalition, VBSR members VNRC and Vermont Land Trust have called the new law “a major win for the future protection of Vermont’s forests, water, wildlife, and community resilience.” Learn more here.

Vermont Arts Council: The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has announced eight grants totaling $1,116,440 to Vermont arts and cultural organizations, including the Vermont Arts Council, which has been approved for an $968,940 NEA FY 2023 partnership agreement to deliver arts programs, services and activities throughout Vermont. The Vermont awards are part of more than $103.1 million in recommended NEA grants to organizations in all 50 states and U.S. jurisdictions. Learn more here.

National Life Group: In 2023, the American Cancer Society estimates there will be 1.95 million new diagnoses of cancer in the United States. Beyond the physical and emotional toll cancer takes, it can cause financial hardship, especially when a patient is forced to take time off to recover. Nine years ago, Champion Member National Life Group started Do Good Fest to help change that. Haven’t heard yet about this year’s incredible lineup for the July 15 benefit concert? Then it’s time to catch up and start making plans. Learn more here.