VBSR Member News Round Up – 12/13/23

Outright Vermont: Camp Sunrise – a property the Boy Scouts have owned for 100 years – is changing hands but its use will continue to serve youth and maintain conservation efforts. The Green Mountain Council, which oversees Boy Scout programs in Vermont, and Outright Vermont have announced that Outright has signed a purchase agreement and the sale is expected to be approved. Outright Vermont’s stewardship of the property – 146 acres in the towns of Benson and Orwell – will allow the organization to connect more LGBTQ+ and allied youth to the outdoors through summer camps. Learn more here.

Zenbarn Farms: Zenbarn Farms has signed an agreement to purchase the Vermont assets of Curaleaf Holdings Inc., an international cannabis company based in New York City. The move brings together some of Vermont’s longest-standing cannabis ventures. By assuming operations of Curaleaf’s Middlesex growing and manufacturing facility, Zenbarn moves closer to its goal of producing premium-quality cannabis using organic, sustainable, and regenerative agricultural practices. Learn more here.

Lawson’s Finest Liquids: Brewbound – a leading beer industry trade publication – just revealed its 2023 Award Winners in Marina del Rey, California. Craft Brewery of the Year honors went to Champion Member Lawson’s Finest Liquids! 2023 milestones for Lawson’s that impacted the judges’ decision included achieving B Corporation Certification and completing 100% solar powered brewing operations with Vermont’s largest solar canopy. Beyond the beer itself, Brewbound also noted Lawson’s donation of approximately $40,000 to the Vermont Strong fund. We appreciate these values-led commitments daily here in Vermont, but it is always wonderful to have them celebrated nationally – congratulations, Lawson’s! Learn more here.

National Life Group: Employees, directors and retirees of Champion Member National Life Group donated $408,947 to more than 525 organizations across the globe through the annual “Share the Good” program, in which the National Life Group Foundation matches gifts up to $2,000 during the month of November, making the overall amount given more than $817,000. Four hundred twenty-three employees, directors and retirees made pledges this year, making this the highest number of donors and of dollars ever recorded for this initiative. Learn more here.

Efficiency Vermont: Efficiency Vermont is still offering Flood Recovery Rebates for businesses whose heating, cooling, refrigeration, or commercial kitchen equipment was damaged by the July floods. Eligible businesses can receive a flood recovery rebate of 100% of costs up to $4,000 per product for up to four products, in addition to standard offers. Rebates are available on a first come, first served basis and will expire when funds are exhausted. Learn more here.

VSJF and Efficiency Vermont: The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF), in collaboration with Efficiency Vermont and its Energy Excellence Network, is launching an advanced business assistance program for Vermont energy professionals. Starting in January 2024, a cohort of competitively selected energy services business owners and entrepreneurs will work directly with experienced business coaches to receive advanced business assistance in a new program. This “Tools of the Trade” program is an 18-month hybrid training course specifically designed to support the needs of home performance and weatherization contractors, builders who specialize in renewable energy and energy efficiency, electrician firms, and energy audit businesses. Learn more here.

Vermont Arts Council: The Vermont Arts Council has released its FY23 Annual Report. This year, Vermont’s artists and cultural organizations continued to show their strength, their resilience, and their ability to bring together Vermont communities during the most challenging of times. With change and challenge there is also joy and strength. Their report shows there the power of the arts to transform our communities. Learn more here.