February 2014

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February 2014

This month's inserts:

In this issue:

President’s Message: Woodchuck Predictions

The Addison County Woodchuck predicts: More than six weeks of the Vermont legislature are to come (and some winter finally!)

It appears that Punxsutawney Phil says that we’ll have six more weeks of winter. Given that we haven’t had much of a winter so far I wonder what he’s thinking. Heck, I wonder why we would listen to a prediction from Pennsylvania. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I like PA. Spent some good summers there working at my grandmother’s zoo, which is a story for another time. But we need a Vermont groundhog to help us with our local affairs. I’m sure Vermont Hard Cider Company can help us— with a woodchuck anyway.

Speaking of local affairs, the Vermont legislature is in full swing. They are considering many potential pieces of legislation, some of which would affect your business. For example, there is the bill which would mandate that employers provide up to 56 hours of paid time for sick leave per year to all employees. There is also discussion of raising the minimum wage, possibly to a “living wage.” The Chamber would like to better understand how you feel about these and other issues. In an effort to keep you better informed, we will be piggybacking on our friends at the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce. They have the resources to track and report on legislative affairs. We will pass on their reports verbatim. If there is or appears to be a position being taken—it isn’t necessarily the position that the Addison County Chamber has or would take. But we think you will find their synopsis to be informative so that you can make up your own mind. The recent issue is here. We’ll post a link every week in our email blast. Also, please let me know any thoughts that you have and I will track them for our board of directors. We’ll also ask your opinion periodically via a “quick poll” and let you know the results.

Don’t forget the Addison County Legislative Breakfasts (and two lunches, one featuring Governor Shumlin) every Monday during the session with a wrap-up session in June. They are a good way to hear what your neighbors are thinking and speak directly with our Addison County legislative delegation. Here is the schedule. I’ll be at most of them so I’ll see you there. Or, if you want me to bring something up, I can do that as well. Well, I hope you enjoy the rest of the winter. The Addison County Woodchuck says it’ll be a good one. I saw him check out his shadow—yes really!

Board Member Profile: Rebecca Woods

Rebecca Woods, chief information officer at Porter Medical Center, is the Chamber’s newest board member. Sal Morana, who had been Porter’s representative on our board, is relocated to South Carolina for a new position. We welcome Rebecca to our board of directors.

Full name: Rebecca Woods
Hometown: Hampstead, NH
College: Plymouth State University, Communications and University of Phoenix, Masters in Healthcare Informatics

What was your first job? Newspaper delivery and Dunkin Donuts

What's the worst job you ever had? Working for an insurance certificate company

Do you have a nickname that you can share? Becky

What famous person have you been told you resemble?  I’ve never been told that—maybe you all can help with this one

What's your favorite junk food? York Peppermints

What talent would you most like to have? Play an instrument

What’s your favorite TV show? I don’t really watch a lot of TV

What three things could we find in your desk drawer? Chapstick, Stamps, a drawer full of high heels that I switch to when I get to work.

How long have you lived in Vermont? It will be one year in May

Where did you come from & why? After College in New Hampshire I moved to Boston and started my career in healthcare. I then moved to Georgia and onto Tennessee where I lived for 5 years. In May 2013 I moved to Vermont to work at Porter Medical Center.

What's your greatest extravagance? I spent two amazing weeks in Hawaii for my honeymoon

If Hollywood made a movie about your life, whom would you like to see play the lead role as you? Julia Roberts.

What's your least favorite household chore? Dishes

What would you want for your last meal? Anything, as long as my husband cooks it. He’s an amazing chef.

What is your motto? Actually I have two: Things happen for a reason and Life’s too short to not laugh and enjoy. You never know when it could end.

Image at:

Vermont Gran Fondo

The Vermont Gran Fondo* is the Green Mountain state’s first stand-alone fondo-style cycling event. The Chamber is one of the event’s sponsors and is also managing the day-to-day details of making the event happen. The inaugural ride will be held on Saturday, June 14, 2014 with the start and finish at the Middlebury College Snow Bowl located in Hancock, Vermont. The ride will feature three different routes (103, 75, 46 miles; two or four mountain climbs) and begins at 9 a.m.

*What is a Gran Fondo? Gran Fondo is an Italian term for long distance or great endurance. Fondos are long distance, mass-participation events (cycling, running, XC skiing) that have become immensely popular in Italy and the rest of Europe and are a fast growing phenomenon in the United States.  Participation is open to both recreational and competitive amateur athletes of all abilities. 

The Vermont Gran Fondo is a variation of Vermont’s famed L.A.M.B. ride. L.A.M.B. is an acronym for the Lincoln, Appalachian, Middlebury and Brandon Gaps. The three distances—gran, medio, piccolo—traverse two or four gaps with up to 7,600’ of climbing back and forth across the spine of the Green Mountains.  The Lincoln Gap features the steepest (24%) paved mile in the U.S. and Bicycling Magazine lists the L.A.M.B. ride as the best ride in Vermont. The route distances and ascents are:

  • Gran Fondo distance/ascent is 103 miles/7,600’(all four gaps)
  • Medio Fondo distance/ascent is 75 miles/6,100’ (Lincoln & App gaps)
  • Piccolo Fondo distance/ascent is 46 miles/3,000’ (Brandon & Middlebury gaps)

Ted King, a professional road racing cyclist, Tour de France veteran and Middlebury College graduate, knows the L.A.M.B. ride well. “As a freshman at Middlebury College, I watched my brother win a collegiate national championship finishing atop the App Gap. Middlebury is the epicenter of where I found and fell in love with cycling—for obvious reasons. The riding there in the heart of the Green Mountains is some of the most amazing as you'll find anywhere on the planet. The spectacularly sinuous roads, the iconic New England scenery, the rolling hills with just the right mix of pavement and dirt, as well as the notorious gap climbs all leave me pining for Vermont's riding when I'm riding the world over,” said King.

Several hundred riders for the first year and, depending on their level of fitness and aggression, riders should expect to be in the saddle 4 to 10 hours. Refueling stops will be available every 25-30 miles and mechanical/sag support is provided by VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations and Discovery Bicycle Tours.

Course Highlights

  • Max elevation of 2,428 feet
  • Sustained downhill grades of 20% to 24% on Lincoln Gap
  • All but a few miles are paved (approximately 10% of Gran and Medio routes)
  • Loop routes for Gran and Medio routes; first/last 5 miles out/back for Piccolo route
  • Start/finish in Hancock, VT
  • Rest stops every 25 miles
  • Mechanical and “sag” support vans

Complete event details can be found on the event website at www.VermontGranFondo.com. Cost to participate is $75-100 and participants can register via BikeReg.com.

Event organizers are working closely with the Vermont Agency of Transportation and Public Safety Department to host a safe event for participants, residents, and motorists.

Pre- and Post-Ride Events

Addison County and the town of Middlebury will fill the days around the Vermont Gran Fondo with Cyclefest '14, a series of cultural events centered on all things bicycling. Events include an authors’ panel discussion, a film screening of “The Armstrong Lie,” and an exhibition of posters commemorating and visually translating each day of the 2013 Tour de France. Post-ride, participants and their family and friends will be invited to an après ride event.

Event Sponsors

The Vermont Gran Fondo wouldn’t be possible without founding sponsors VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations and the Addison Independent; and event sponsors bMighty2, Discovery Bicycle Tours, Middlebury Fitness, The Vermont Book Shop and the Addison County Chamber of Commerce. Sponsorship opportunities are still available. 

Grand Opening: Brennan Punderson, PLLC

The Addison County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the office opening of its newest member, Brennan Punderson, PLLC, a law firm whose principals are Kevin T. Brennan and Ebenezer Punderson. Kevin Brennan has maintained a solo practice in Monkton and will maintain that office as the Monkton branch of Brennan Punderson, PLLC.   Eben Punderson heads the Middlebury office, located in the Marble Works.  Brennan Punderson, PLLC is a general practice law firm, including real estate (residential and commercial); estate planning and administration; business formation, acquisition and sale; land use permitting and litigation; general civil litigation; divorce, post-divorce and child custody; and renewable energy facilities permitting.

Eben Punderson has practiced law in the Middlebury area since 2000, most recently as a partner at Deppman & Foley PC. He holds a JD degree from Northeastern University and BS from University of Vermont. Kevin Brennan has practiced law in Addison County since 2002. He holds a JD degree from New England School of Law and a BBA from Dowling College.  

With two locations the firm will have a broad presence in Addison County. The two partners’ practice areas complement one another allowing them to serve individual and business clients with many different needs.

Eben lives in Weybridge with his wife, Jill Madden, and two children. He serves as the chairperson of the Weybridge school board and enjoys skiing, cycling, and hiking.  Kevin lives in Monkton with his wife, Bonnie Brennan, and two children.  

The Middlebury office of Brennan Punderson, PLLC is located at 99 Maple Street, Suite 10B, Marble Works. The phone number is 802-989-7342. The Monkton office is located at 1317 Davis Road.  The phone number is 802-453-8400.

New Member Introductions

Brennan Punderson, PLLC
Eben Punderson, Attorney
99 Maple Street, Suite 10B
Marble Works
Middlebury, VT  05753
P: 802-989-7342

Intentional Peer Support
Chris Hansen
187 Jerusalem Road
Bristol, VT 05443
P: (802) 453-6786
E: info@intentionalpeersupport.org
W: www.intentionalpeersupport.org
Mental Health

Membership Renewals

Thanks for renewing your membership!

Accent Travel American Express
Addison County Asphalt D&F Excavating
Addison County Fair & Field Days
Addison County Solid Waste Management District
Addison County Sugar Makers Assn.
Addison County Transit Resources
Addison Northeast Supervisory Union
Addison Northwest Supervisory Union
American Flatbread Middlebury Hearth
Barash Mediation Services
Basin Harbor Club

Beau Ties LTD of Vermont

Binnacle Group, LLC
Bixby Memorial Free Library
Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vergennes
Bread Loaf Corporation
Bristol Family Center
Cabot Creamery
Carillon Cruises
Casella Waste Management
Century 21 Jack Assocs, Lynn Jackson Group
Champlain Valley Christian Reformed Church
Champlain Valley Equipment, Inc.
Chipman Point Marina
College St. Children's Center
Common Ground Center
Community College of Vermont
Countryside Carpet & Paint
CTP Gifts, Inc.
Dakin Farm, Inc.
David Congalton DDS
David Peters Masonry & Construction, LTD
Deerleap Transportation
Denecker Chevrolet, Inc.
Distinctive Paint & Interiors
Dreamhouse Country Inn
EastView at Middlebury
Efficiency Vermont
Elderly Services, Inc.
Emerson House Bed & Breakfast
Emilo Guest House, LLC
Erik K. Koskinen, DDS PC
Fire & Ice Restaurant
Friends of Middlebury Hockey
Gaines Insurance Agency, Inc.
Geiger of Austria, Inc.
Goshen Farms of Florida, Inc.
Green Mountain Power Corporation
Green Peppers Restaurant
HRM Strategies
Ilsley Public Library
J.P. Carrara & Sons
JW & DE Ryan, Inc.
Kevin P. Mahaney '84 Center for the Arts
Lake Champlain Maritime Museum
Long Trail Physical Therapy
Mark Favreau Graphic Design
Martin's Hardware & Building Supply
Masterson Excavation
McKernon Group, Inc.
McKnight, Carol Jean
Merchants Bank
Middlebury Area Land Trust, Inc.
Middlebury College Snow Bowl
Middlebury Inn
Mountain View Equipment, LLC
Nathaniel Group, Inc.
Omya Open Approach Otter Creek Bakery Otter Creek Child Center
Otter Creek Engineering, Inc. Paige & Campbell Inc. Paquette Self-Storage, Inc. Patricia A. Hannaford Career Center
Phelps Engineering, Inc. Powers & Powers PC PP&D Brochure Distribution Purple & Sage Property Maintenance
r.k. MILES Ralph Myhre Golf Course at Middlebury College Randy's Middlebury Service Center, LLC RE/MAX Champlain Valley Properties
Redstone Rikert Nordic Center River's Edge Cottages & Campground Sanderson Ducharme Funeral Service, Inc.
Sentinel Pine Orchard Shoreham Inn Silloway Networks Suburban Propane
Sweet Charity System Integrators The Lodge at Otter Creek The Swallow's Nest
Town of Addison Town of Cornwall Town of Middlebury Town of Shoreham
UVM Morgan Horse Farm VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations Vergennes Opera House Vermont Association of Business Industry & Rehabilitation
Vermont Business Magazine Vermont Community Foundation Vermont Soap Vermont Water
Wallace Realty Willowell Foundation WOKO/WKOL/WIZN/WBTZ/WJOY Yankee Farm Credit, ACA

February Coffee Talk

  • Claire Wallace Named National Director for Vermont Realtors®
  • New Releases from Woodchuck® Hard Cider
  • Caroline Carpenter Appointed C.O.O. At National Bank of Middlebury
  • ACCOC Members Listed as Best Places to Work
  • ACTR to Assume Management of Stagecoach

Claire Wallace Named National Director for Vermont Realtors®

Claire Wallace, broker and owner of Wallace Realty in Bristol, Vermont, has been selected to serve as a National Director on the Vermont Realtors® (VR) Board of Directors. In her role, Wallace will represent Vermont Realtors® at the National Association of Realtors®, the nation’s largest trade association with more than 1.2 million members.

Wallace served as president of VR in 2013, and was named the association’s Realtor® of the Year in 2006. She has also been involved in leadership at the Addison County Board of Realtors®, where she was selected as local Realtor® of the Year in 2004-2006. She also serves on the Northern New England Real Estate Network (NNEREN) Board of Directors. NNEREN is a regional multiple listing service, serving Vermont and surrounding states.

Claire and her husband Tom and daughter Kelly Laliberte have owned and operated Wallace Realty for more than 20 years. Claire and Tom have also owned and operated the Village Creeme Stand in Bristol for 32 years.

New Releases from Woodchuck® Hard Cider

Woodchuck Hard Cider continues its tradition of category pioneering ciders with the release of Woodchuck Cellar Series Chocolate.  The third cider released in the Cellar Series line, Chocolate is on store shelves now, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Woodchuck’s original small batch hard cider, featuring Vermont culinary apple varieties such as Macintosh and late season Northern Spy, was aged with crushed cocao beans.  Cocao beans, or nibs, are the starting point from which chocolate is produced.  The infusion of the cocao nibs bring notes of artisan chocolate throughout the nose and taste of the cider.  A hint of caramel accompanies the dry finish, as does a full apple flavor.

Cellar Series Chocolate represents one of the most unique ciders Woodchuck has ever brought to market.  It deepens the commitment to crafting cider styles that push the category forward while exposing cider to an ever-growing audience.

In addition, Woodchuck is introducing 16-ounce cans of its flagship Amber cider to the market.  Woodchuck Amber has been crafted to the same recipe since 1991, and remains the top selling Woodchuck cider style nationwide. Twelve-ounce Amber cans first rolled off the line in 2012.  That package has seen growth of 42% over the last year as consumers venture outdoors with the Amber can in hand.  Those same consumers have called for a larger format can and Woodchuck is once again answering the call.

Caroline Carpenter Appointed C.O.O. At National Bank Of Middlebury

National Bank of Middlebury recently announced that Caroline R. Carpenter has been named Chief Operating Officer of the bank. Ms. Carpenter most recently held the position as Executive Vice President of the bank, Finance and Technology Department Manager. She serves on the board of directors of NBM and is Treasurer of Middlebury National Corporation, the bank’s holding company.

Ms. Carpenter is a graduate of the University of Vermont and the New England School of Banking at Williams College.  She has been part of the banking community in Addison County since 1991, serving as a mortgage loan originator at Vermont Federal Bank for six years before joining National Bank of Middlebury in 1997. Caroline has served on various local non-profit boards, including Habitat for Humanity, Addison County Humane Society, and HOPE.  She currently serves on the board of NEACH, an organization serving financial institutions in New England.

ACCOC Members Listed as Best Places to Work

Vermont Business Magazine and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce have announced the top 27 Best Places to Work in Vermont 2014. The awards program was created in 2006 and is presented in partnership with the Society for Human Resource Management, Vermont State Council (SHRM), the Vermont Department of Labor and the Vermont Department of Economic Development and Best Companies Group.  

There are three Addison County Chamber members included on the list:

150+ employees: Country Home Prodcuts
150 fewer employees: Basin Harbor Club and SunCommon

Who is number one? The final rankings for each category will be announced at a special awards presentation on March 27, 2014, at the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center from 5 to 7:30 p.m.

ACTR to Assume Management of Stagecoach

Addison County Transit Resources (ACTR) was recently asked by the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) to provide management services for Stagecoach Transportation Services Inc. based in Randolph, VT.  Stagecoach is one of Vermont's several non-profit rural community transportation providers.   

Stagecoach's longtime executive director recently stepped down from that role, which left it in need of new leadership.  ACTR was asked to assume management responsibilities due to its strong history of operational success, as well as the many similarities between the two regions.

Stagecoach provides more than 100,000 rides annually to Orange and North Windsor County residents connecting people to jobs, medical appointments, school, shopping and other vital quality of life services.  VTrans, Stagecoach and ACTR are currently working out a three-year agreement for ACTR to manage administrative and operational functions for Stagecoach.  


February Mixer Preview: American Flatbread

Join us at this month’s mixer (February 20th) at American Flatbread—always a great host to the Chamber mixers.

The pot of gold grew again this month—now valued at $1,400. Spencer Putnam, a regular mixer attendee, is kicking himself for not attending January’s mixer at 51 Main.

Here’s the event flyer with the details on this month’s mixer. 

Speaking of which, 51 Main put on a great event last month with live music and great food. For anyone who hadn’t been there before it as a great opportunity to hang out in one of Middlebury’s hot spots.

Attendees walked away with some great gift certificates!

51 Main gift certificates:
  • Tim Lynk, Basin Harbor Club
  • Elizabeth, Comfort Hill Kennel
  • Pat Palmer, Thornapple Farm
Glow Esthetics gift certificates donated by WVTK:
  • Megyn Pitner, Electrology Vermont
  • Ron Dedrick, Northlands Job Corps Center
  • Beth Diamond, Vermont 2-1-1
View photos from last month’s mixer here.

    Looking ahead to mixers for the next three months:

    March 20: Town Hall Theater, Middlebury
    April 17: Distinctive Paint & Interiors, Middlebury, co-hosted by SunCommon
    May 15: McKernon Group, Brandon, in conjunction with the Brandon Chamber