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Vermont Democratic Party hires Dandeneau as interim executive director

Mon, 05/16/2022 - 8:44am -- tim

​Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Democratic Party announced that they've hired Jim Dandeneau as the Party’s Interim Executive Director. Dandeneau is a familiar figure in Vermont political circles who is widely respected as an able and effective leader. He joined the VDP as House Campaign Director in 2017, leading the effort to recruit, train, and run more than 120 candidates for the Vermont House of Representatives. Democrats picked up 12 seats, resulting in a supermajority coalition that was able to override gubernatorial vetoes on key issues. 

VAHHS: Health care bill review as lawmakers go home

Mon, 05/16/2022 - 8:30am -- tim

by Devon Green, VP of Government Relations, VAHHS Ding, dong, the 2021-2022 legislative biennium is dead! Or, on life support until we see if the governor issues any more vetoes and calls a special session. It’s been a long two years, as reflected in the number of legislators leaving, including Bill Lippert, Chair of the House Health Care Committee. I will never forget that day in March of 2019 when he asked health care providers what they needed during the pandemic and then passed supportive legislation in about 24 hours. Thank you.

Working Lands Enterprise Board announces $3.1 million 2022 impact grants

Mon, 05/16/2022 - 3:08am -- tim

Vermont Agency of Agriculture Food & Markets The Working Lands program continues to increase its historic funding for those who make their living off the land. This May, the program awarded $3.1 million in grants that will help grow agriculture and forest businesses in Vermont. New Supply Chain and Market Level Impact specific grants will help businesses leverage supply chain partnerships at a significant scale, with awards of up to $250K. Please follow the link in each category to view the individual businesses receiving 2022 program funds.

Saint Michael’s graduates hear Catholic environmentalist Dan Misleh as a rainy day turns sunny

Sun, 05/15/2022 - 9:03pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine A spirit of deep gratitude and joy should animate each person joining the overwhelming but urgent work of tackling climate change, a leading Catholic environmentalist told nearly 480 Saint Michael’s College 2022 graduates on a rainy Sunday morning for the College’s outdoor 115th Commencement on May 15. “We must all do our part to save the earth from our own selfishness and our own foolishness,” said Dan Misleh, founder of Catholic Climate Covenant and longtime activist to address global warming.

Vermont's dairy farms: Which way forward?

Sun, 05/15/2022 - 4:47pm -- tim

by C.B. Hall, Vermont Business Magazine Each year, the people who study such things inform us that our state's dairy farms, so emblematic of what makes Vermont, Vermont, continue to dwindle in number. According to the state's Agency for Farms, Food and Markets, Vermont had 973 cow dairy farms in 2012. Five years later, there were 796 — 18% fewer. By the first quarter of this year, the number stood at 564, a further decline of 29%. Thirty-eight farms — one or two a week — disappeared in the seven months between May and December 2020, following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which occasioned a major decline in demand as schools and restaurants shut down. In three months, the average price that Vermont's dairy farmers received for their product through the federal milk market system plummeted 27%, to $12.82 per hundredweight of raw milk, according to the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service.

Inaugural Women In Leadership Luncheon celebrates women of Southwestern Vermont

Sun, 05/15/2022 - 11:33am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Southwestern Vermont Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Berkshire Bank, presented the inaugural Women In Leadership Luncheon at the Wilson House in Dorset, Vermont on Wednesday, May 11 from 12pm to 2pm. The luncheon highlighted the many women leaders in the Southwestern region of Vermont, while creating connections, partnerships and networking opportunities with those in attendance.

Hansen: Bad policy begets worse, repealing the GWSA is the solution

Sun, 05/15/2022 - 5:26am -- tim

by Meg Hansen One signature and one vote thwarted the attempt to upend heating in Vermont's built environment. Governor Phil Scott won the game of political ping pong against the Legislature, when the latter failed to override his veto of the Clean Heat Standard (CHS) bill by one vote. The CHS was touted as the most impactful plan to meet the carbon reduction goals mandated by the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA). But Scott asked for the invoice upfront. Politicians who buy today with the promise of paying tomorrow (when they'll be gone) were then forced to defang the bill. The new version still lacked “details on costs and impacts” and delegated outsized policymaking authority to the three-member Public Utilities Commission. So, Scott rejected it.

VSP: Cruelty to animals case in Elmore

Sun, 05/15/2022 - 2:03am -- tim

Vermont State Police On May 1, 2022, Vermont State Police was notified of an emaciated abandoned Pitbull that was located at the intersection of Brown Hill Road an Eagle Ledge Road in Elmore, VT.  With the assistance of the public through social media and local community resources, the owner of the dog was identified as Tara Smith (30) of Morrisville. Investigation revealed Smith had possession of the dog beginning in the fall of 2021.  During ownership, Smith deprived the dog from adequate nutrition resulting in the dog to become emaciated as well as inhumanely containing the dog in unsanitary living conditions.  

Leonine: Lawmakers button up session in tidy fashion after messy two years

Sat, 05/14/2022 - 3:15pm -- tim

Leonine Public Affairs The Vermont legislature adjourned sine die on Thursday evening after a whirlwind final week. It was the first time in years that legislators convened and adjourned neatly within the allotted 18-week timeframe. But the first partially in-person session since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic was full of starts and stops that gave it a rocky and turbulent cadence. The final week was no different. 

M&T Bank names Michael Seaver Vermont Regional President

Sat, 05/14/2022 - 11:17am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Michael Seaver has been named Vermont Regional President and Head of Commercial Banking across the state for M&T Bank, a role he has held with People's United Bank since 2009. Seaver will ensure collaboration across all lines of business and community banking activities, providing value for customers, businesses and communities across the region. M&T Bank completed its $8.3 billion acquisition of People's United on May 4, 2022.

Roundup of news from April 2022

Sat, 05/14/2022 - 9:29am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine State reports strong tax revenue results for March; Unemployment rate falls two-tenths to 2.7 percent in March; Bill Stenger gets 18 months for role in AnC Vermont EB-5 case; Quiros gets five years, fined over $8 million, for EB-5 fraud; DFR Commissioner Mike Pieciak to step down in May; GMCB cuts hospital rate request; Inaugural Vermont State University president named; and more.

NVU to host Veterans Summit with Sebastian Junger

Sat, 05/14/2022 - 6:11am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Tenth Annual Veterans Summit will be held on Northern Vermont University’s Lyndon Campus on Wednesday, June 3, and veterans, military families, and all who care about veteran's issues are invited to attend. Sebastian Junger, bestselling author, will be the keynote speaker for this year’s event. Junger is the author of Tribe, about soldiers’ struggles adjusting to life back home, and War, about American soldiers in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley. His documentary Restrepo — which he shot, directed, and produced with photojournalist Tim Hetherington — won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for an Oscar the following year.