Conlon to Head New England Market for U.S. CellularMarch 24, 2008-Young professionals may test several different career paths in their professional lives. U.S. Cellular’s Eric Conlon, began his leadership journey five years ago as a part-time associate in Waterloo, Iowa. Conlons focus on customer satisfaction has since led him to the top position for the company in New England, as director of sales. Conlons responsibilities include planning and directing all sales, customer service, and agent relation activities in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. “Eric is focused and driven. He is a team player, approachable, passionate and supportive,” said Dana Dorcas, senior director of sales for the east region of U.S. Cellular. “His leadership and retail experience with U.S. Cellular demonstrate a solid track record of customer satisfaction and market growth. We have complete confidence in Eric’s leadership qualities to continue to make U.S. Cellular the most customer-focused company in the industry.”Conlon started out his career with U.S. Cellular in 2002 as a part-time retail wireless consultant in Waterloo, Iowa. He quickly took on additional opportunities and was promoted to assistant store manager in Omaha, Nebraska, sales manager in Iowa City, Iowa, and store manager in Cedar Rapids and Coralville, Iowa. Most recently, Conlon served as U.S. Cellular’s area sales manager in central Iowa, where he was responsible for the leadership and direction of the sales team in an effort to deliver the highest customer satisfaction for which U.S. Cellular is known.”We realize that U.S. Cellular’s success depends upon the satisfaction of our customers and providing that unparallel customer service is my main goal. Customer service has everything to do with relationship building, and that’s the part of my job that I get and really like,” Conlon said. “I don’t like to sit still for long, so I look forward to traveling extensively across the New England market to meet with customers and associates and to be engaged in our communities.”U.S. Cellular has created an atmosphere that places tremendous value on the bonds between associates and their leaders. The Dynamic Organization (or D.O.) created by CEO John E. Rooney, turns the traditional management hierarchy upside down.The concept behind the D.O. is simple: effective leaders build satisfied associates, who in turn deliver outstanding customer service, thus increasing customer loyalty and revenue. The D.O. starts with leaders who provide associates with the tools and training they need, while instilling a passion for serving customers and a culture of empowerment and pride.”U.S. Cellular aims to provide a vibrant work environment for its associates by offering the tools, training and leadership that empower associates to take ownership of the customer relationship on behalf of the company,” adds Dorcas. “Eric has embraced that empowerment and passion for serving customers and has been able to professionally and personally grow with the company. Through his commitment to U.S. Cellular customers, he has demonstrated the leadership skills and passion for the customer that defines our organization.””U.S. Cellular’s emphasis on customer satisfaction is more than just a model; it’s something we put into practice every day,” said Conlon. “I look forward to leading our New England team in delivering the ideal customer experience every time we interact with our customers.”Conlon, his wife, Amy, and daughter, Braylen are in the process of relocating to the greater Portland area.U.S. Cellular is the nation’s sixth-largest wireless service carrier, providing wireless service to six million customers in 26 states. The Chicago-based company employs 8,000 associates and operates on a customer satisfaction strategy, meeting customer needs by providing a comprehensive range of wireless products and services, superior customer support and a high-quality national network.For more information:Kelly WhalenJonathan GuerínPublic Relations CounselMedia Relations, U.S. CellularOffice: 603-436-2347, Cell: 207-441-5624 Office: 773-399-4379, Cell: 773-317-0113Kelly@whalenpr.com(link sends e-mail) firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends e-mail)
The Board of Directors of the Vermont Captive Insurance Association (VCIA) has appointed Diane Leach interim president of the Association. The appointment will become effective upon Molly Lambert’s departure from the organization. Lambert has been recommended by Senator Patrick Leahy for appointment by President Obama as State Director for Rural Development for Vermont and New Hampshire.In announcing Leach’s interim appointment, Chair of the Board Michael Bemi, stated, “Diane’s 20+ years with the VCIA, her outstanding service to the Association and her deep understanding of the captive insurance industry make her the perfect interim leader.” Leach is a resident of Stowe, VT and has held the position of Director of Education and Program Planning for well over a decade. She was the first staff person of the VCIA when she joined the organization in 1988.As the Association transitions to new leadership, the Board also recognized the tremendous talent of each of the VCIA staff and the critical role that each will play in the organization’s continued success.The Board will outline a formal search process for the future president of VCIA during its June board meeting to be held in Burlington, VT.The VCIA is the largest captive insurance association in the world and is host to nearly 500 member companies. For updates on the search process or any other VCIA news go to www.vcia.com(link is external).Source: VCIA
The US Department of Labor today released $101 million to help states provide career training, job search and relocation assistance to U.S. workers who lose their jobs for trade-related reasons. Vermont’s total base allocation is $328,825. New Hampshire’s allocation is $564,903. Provided to 41 states, this money is the balance of the fiscal year (FY) 2009 Trade Adjustment Assistance(TAA) base allocations that were announced in October 2008. The Labor Department previously had provided $88 million for TAA activities under the federal government’s continuing resolution. For those qualifying states that experience large, unexpected layoffs during the year, the department maintains a reserve fund.”A revitalized Trade Adjustment Assistance program is an important element of our nation’s economic recovery,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) includes a major expansion and reform of the TAA program to ensure that all U.S. workers negatively affected by trade have the skills, resources and support to become re-employed.Mandated reforms to the TAA program will take effect May 18. Among these, the Recovery Act raises the annual cap on TAA training funds from $220 million to $575 million. The department soon will announce additional TAA training allocations to all states, based on the increased funding authorization to support implementation of the enhanced program.Editor’s note: Attached is a list of state distributions for FY 2009 TAA funds.Trade Adjustment AssistanceFY 2009 Base Allocation Distributions(including funds for training, job search and relocation allowances, and administration) State Distributions April 2009 Total FY 2009 under the C.R. Distributions TAA Base AllocationsAlabama $1,195,805 $1,506,352 $2,702,157Alaska $162,279 $204,422 $366,701Arizona $762,904 $961,029 $1,723,933Arkansas $1,411,711 $1,778,328 $3,190,039California $4,367,706 $5,501,986 $9,869,692Colorado $660,555 $832,101 $1,492,656Connecticut $899,187 $1,132,704 $2,031,891Delaware** $0 $0 $0District ofColumbia** $0 $0 $0Florida $1,047,176 $1,319,125 $2,366,301Georgia $1,702,489 $2,144,620 $3,847,109Hawaii** $0 $0 $0Idaho $747,087 $941,104 $1,688,191Illinois $3,491,122 $4,397,755 $7,888,877Indiana $3,113,109 $3,921,573 $7,034,682Iowa $1,598,003 $2,012,999 $3,611,002Kansas $867,526 $1,092,820 $1,960,346Kentucky $2,281,136 $2,873,542 $5,154,678Louisiana $191,453 $241,172 $432,625Maine $1,565,855 $1,972,502 $3,538,357Maryland $392,087 $493,910 $885,997Massachusetts $2,748,278 $3,461,998 $6,210,276Michigan $4,257,020 $5,362,555 $9,619,575Minnesota $1,251,951 $1,577,078 $2,829,029Mississippi $648,836 $817,337 $1,466,173Missouri $2,056,025 $2,589,968 $4,645,993Montana $346,743 $436,792 $783,535Nebraska $219,318 $276,275 $495,593Nevada $79,236 $99,814 $179,050New Hampshire* $564,903 $0 $564,903New Jersey $1,057,058 $1,331,573 $2,388,631New Mexico $145,718 $183,560 $329,278New York $1,541,973 $1,942,418 $3,484,391North Carolina $8,468,706 $10,668,002 $19,136,708North Dakota** $0 $0 $0Ohio* $6,483,294 $0 $6,483,294Oklahoma $975,638 $1,229,010 $2,204,648Oregon $2,466,762 $3,107,371 $5,574,133Pennsylvania $5,645,167 $7,111,200 $12,756,367Puerto Rico** $0 $0 $0Rhode Island* $1,169,427 $0 $1,169,427South Carolina $3,202,355 $4,033,998 $7,236,353South Dakota $260,008 $327,533 $587,541Tennessee $1,589,987 $2,002,901 $3,592,888Texas $4,213,969 $5,308,325 $9,522,294Utah $567,060 $714,325 $1,281,385Vermont $145,517 $183,308 $328,825Virginia $2,726,306 $3,434,320 $6,160,626Washington $4,487,219 $5,652,535 $10,139,754West Virginia $1,159,608 $1,460,754 $2,620,362Wisconsin $3,617,181 $4,556,553 $8,173,734Wyoming** $0 $0 $0U.S. Total $88,552,453 $101,197,547 $189,750,000* New Hampshire, Ohio and Rhode Island requested and received their full FY 2009 base allocations under thecontinuing resolution.** States that would receive a base allocation of less than $100,000 under the TAA funding formula do not receive a base allocation, but TAA funds are available from the reserve account.U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov(link is external). The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America’s employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance(link is external).SOURCE U.S. Department of Labor. WASHINGTON, May 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ —
The Vermont Downtown Development Board today announced that the City of Montpelier has been awarded Growth Center Designation. In action taken Monday by the Vermont Downtown Development Board, the designation comes after several months of discussion between Montpelier, the Downtown Board and its advisory group. Growth Centers were enabled by the legislature in 2005 to encourage communities to plan for denser and mixed use development in areas surrounding the state s downtowns and village centers. I am very pleased that Montpelier has received this designation, which will help support the City in its planning efforts, Governor Jim Douglas. This is why I signed the Growth Center bill, to encourage communities to create more compact and dense mixed use development in appropriate areas.Montpelier s Growth Center is located in the area surrounding and including the City s Designated Downtown. Designated Growth Centers have several important benefits that help support increased development. Of particular importance is that housing and mixed use projects that include an affordable housing component may not need Act 250 review. In addition, the City may also more easily meet the requirements for a Tax Increment Financing District, which would allow it to access state funding to support investment in water, wastewater and transportation in the district.To gain this designation the Town had to show the Downtown Board that it had met state standards including:The Growth Center meets the statutory definition, is included in the Town Plan and is implemented in the Town s bylaws;The Town has or has planned for the roads, water and wastewater systems, and other infrastructure necessary to support the planned growth;The Growth Center be adjacent to an existing Designated Downtown or Village Center, and that the Growth Center support such areas;It protect natural and historic resources both within and outside the growth center;It be designed to accommodate a majority of growth anticipated by the municipality over the next twenty years; andIt include a mix of uses, including affordable housing. This is very consistent with the Governor s promotion of growth in these targeted areas, and with the legislature s Growth Center bill passed in 2005, said Kevin Dorn, Chairman of the Downtown Board and Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development. At the same time, we will be reducing development pressures on important natural resource lands outside the designated areas.Several other communities are working toward Growth Center Designation, including Hartford and St. Albans City.For more information about the Growth Centers Program, please visit: http://www.dhca.state.vt.us/Planning/GrowthCenters.htm(link is external).Source: State of Vermont.
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) has given $10,000 to support the South Burlington School District’s Wellness and Resiliency Program.The program, which includes approximately 100 teachers, addresses wellness and learning through stress management and mindfulness techniques. These techniques are brought into the classroom as part of the student’s regular curriculum.“Green Mountain Coffee Roasters has been a leader in developing wellness programs that include mindfulness training and yoga within their company. Shinzen Young, who leads GMCR’s mindfulness training and retreats, is also working with the South Burlington teachers”, says Talk About Wellness coordinator, Marilyn Neagley. “Training our youth in exercising calming practices and stress management increases their ability to learn and process information as well as deal with the day-to-day stress of social situations that are part of being a student.” GMCR showed particular interest in the South Burlington School District’s teacher and teen retreats being offered.A teen wellness retreat for three high schools, South Burlington, Burlington and Champlain Valley Union is being offered this summer at Omega Institute. The Talk About Wellness initiative is offering partial to full scholarships thanks to grants from Wind Ridge Publishing and the Ferguson Foundation.Source: GMCR. 2.26.2010
The Vermont primary is TODAY, Tuesday, August 24. If you are voting with the Democratic ballot, you have probably had the following question posed to you and responded in the following way: ‘Who are you voting for?’ ‘I don’t know yet.’To assist in your decision making now that it is down to the wire, Vermont Business Magazine has packaged all its relevant stories and interviews into this one file, which includes the televised debate from the Addison County Fair and Field Days, done in conjunction with WCAX-TV and WDEV Radio.Debate: http://vermontbiz.com/video/addison-county-fair-and-field-days-gubernato…Economic Plans: http://www.vermontbiz.com/news/august/democratic-candidates-governor-off…Candidate Statements when asked, ‘Why do you want to be governor?’:State Senator Susan Bartlett: http://vermontbiz.com/video/gubernatorial-interview-series-susan-bartlet…State Senator Peter Shumlin: http://vermontbiz.com/video/gubernatorial-interview-series-peter-shumlinState Senator Doug Racine: http://vermontbiz.com/video/gubernatorial-interview-series-doug-racineSecretary of State Deb Markowitz: http://vermontbiz.com/video/gubernatorial-interview-series-deb-markowitzFormer State Senator Matt Dunne: http://vermontbiz.com/video/gubernatorial-interview-series-matt-dunne
GE Aircraft Engines – Rutland Operation,The Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce held their 112th Annual Meeting on November 1st. Dan DiBattista, Plant Manager, Rutland GE-Aviation and his employees were named the 2010 Business Persons of the Year. In his remarks Executive Vice President Tom Donahue noted ‘GE Rutland recently added a 27,000 (square) foot expansion to Plant 2 and have invested $60 million into this plant within the last four years,’ Donahue said, ‘and will be investing another $10 million in the next year with a substantial portion of that total investment in machinery and equipment.’ Donahue also highlighted the benefits of having GE-Aviation in Rutland, GE’s commitment to the region, contributions to the community and the superior leadership of Dan DiBattista.The meeting featured Captain Richard Phillips, as the keynote speaker. Captain Phillips’ riveting address told of his capture by Somali Pirates and how the lessons he learned through his experience can be used by anyone. Captain Phillips noted that either on a ship or in business to remember, you are stronger than you think, the only time all is lost is if you quit, and a dedicated team of professionals can overcome most problems. He reminded those in attendance “Never trust a pirate” and to always hope for the best and plan for the worst.Other highlights of the meeting included an overview of the Chamber’s accomplishments over the past year and goals looking forward, awards were presented to Larry Jensen for his dedicated service to the Chamber and the Board of Directors and to John Valente who just finished his term as Chamber President.The American Red Cross and CVPS announced their annual goal for the Gift of Life Marathon. The goal (to beat Boston’s new record) will be 1,178 pints. The Gift of Life Marathon will take place on December 21st, 9:30am-6:30pm at the Paramount Theater.Photo: The RRCC Business Person of the Year Award is presented to Dan DiBattista of GE Aviation in Rutland by (L to R) Tom Donahue, RRCC EVP/CEO, Mayor Chris Louras, RRCC President Glenda Hawley, DiBattista and Captain Richard Phillips.
The Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC) and Strolling of the Heifers announce the finalists for the 2011 Business Plan Competition. From the 39 submissions received by the April 11th deadline, the selection committee chose 20 finalists as follows below. Finalists in the “General Business Existing Business” category are (in alphabetical order): (1) Dreamcatcher Entertainment by Bill Forchion; (2) Kaye Audio, Inc., by George Kaye; (3) Laura Zindel Design by Laura Zindel; (4) Saxtons River Distillery, LLC, by Christian Stromberg; and (5) Spirit Hill Farm Back Roads Granola by Virginia Vogel.Finalists in the “General Business New Business” category are (in alphabetical order): (1) Muse Tec by Daniel Kasnitz; (2) Next Step Sustainable Business Consultancy by Ben Griffin and Bonnie Sigwalt; (3) Pinewood TMS, LLC, by Julie Plummer; (4) Rock River Studio by Christine Triebert; and (5) Student Cultural Exchange, LLC, by Peter and Jesse Friedman. Finalists in the “Food/Farm New Business” category are (in alphabetical order): (1) Big Picture Farm by Louisa Conrad and Lucas Farrlell; (2) Entera Artisanal Catering by Tristan Toleno; (3) Just Pies by Andrea Waisman; (4) The Fox Shop by Cindy Logan; and (5) Whetstone Cider Works, LLC, by Jason MacArthur. The finalists’ full business plans are due at BDCC by 4 p.m. May 23. Final presentations, lasting up to 12 minutes per finalist with an additional 10 minutes for questions, will take place on the morning of June 1 at the Marlboro College Graduate School. Winners will be announced that afternoon, and Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin has been invited to present the awards.For the General Business division, the top prize in the ‘Existing Business’ category will be $12,000, the second-place prize will be $6,000, and the prizes for up to three runners-up will be $2,000 each. For the General Business ‘New Business’ category, the top prize will be $6,000, the second-place prize will be $3,000, and the prizes for up to three runners-up will be $1,500 each.In the Food/Farm division, the top prize in the ‘Existing Business’ category will be $10,000, the second-place prize will be $5,000, and the prizes for up to three runners-up will be $1,500 each. For the Food/Farm ‘New Business’ category, the top prize will be $5,000, the second-place prize will be $2,500, and the prizes for up to three runners-up will be $1,000 each.More information about the Business Plan Competition can be found online at the BDCC website http://www.brattleborodevelopment.com(link is external) or by contacting BDCC at 802-257-7731.BDCC is a private, nonprofit economic development organization that serves as a catalyst for industrial and commercial growth in southeastern Vermont. Its primary objective is to create and retain a flourishing business community that supports vibrant fiscal activity, and improves the quality of life of all its residents. Founded in 1954, BDCC owns and manages the Cotton Mill industrial park/incubator and the new Business Park at the former Book Press building, among other facilities, and is one of 12 Vermont Regional Development Corporations. Finalists in the “Food/Farm Existing Business” category are (in alphabetical order): (1) Downstreet Cafe by Adreana Porteur; (2) High Meadows Farm by Howard Prussack; (3) New Leaf CSA by Elizabeth Wood; (4) Putney Mountain Winery by Kate and Charles Dodge; and (5) Side Hill Farm by Kelt and Kristina Naylor. Strolling of the Heifers, based in Brattleboro, Vermont, was founded in 2001 with the goal of helping to save and sustain family farms by connecting people with healthy local food. Annually in June, it presents the Strolling of the Heifers Parade, in which heifer calves and other farm animals, bedecked with flowers, are led up Brattleboro’s Main Street. When it’s over, the crowd follows the parade to the Live Green Expo for food, entertainment, education and fun. As part of its 10th anniversary in 2011, Strolling will also present the first Slow Living Conference, the first Tour de Heifer bicycle fund-raising event, and the first Farm/Food Short Film Festival. A summer internship program placing youth on family farms, developed and piloted by Strolling of the Heifers, will become part of the Windham Regional Career Center’s new agricultural curriculum.
Vermont Insulated Concrete Forms,Vermont Insulated Concrete Forms has consolidated its operation to one location, 1920 Waterbury Stowe Road in Waterbury. The consolidation of administrative and warehouse operations to one location will enable VTICF to move toward the goal of offering their customers an improved walk in retail experience. Vermont Insulated Concrete Forms is the regional distributor of the AMVIC Building System and ICF construction supplies. Since 1999 VTICF and President Joel Baker has been leading the transition from traditional building methods to more sustainable, efficient and durable construction.
Vermont Electric Cooperative, Inc,Vermont Electric Cooperative (VEC) has lost a great friend and leader. Bertrand Lague, who died on July 27, joined VEC’s board of directors in 1983, most recently serving as treasurer and chairperson of the finance committee. Elected by VEC members, Lague played an integral role in setting policy and building a financially sound organization. ‘We are deeply saddened by the sudden death of Bert Lague,’ said Dave Hallquist, CEO of VEC. ‘Bert’s long-time leadership at VEC has left a mark that will not be forgotten. On behalf of all of our employees and the board of directors, I extend our deepest sympathy to his entire family.’ ‘With nearly 30 years of service on VEC’s board of directors, Bert provided the leadership excellence on fiscal matters that is necessary to move forward in today’s increasingly complex electric utility environment,’ reflected Tom Bailey, President of VEC’s board of directors. ‘Bert’s dedication, intelligence and compassion for others will be sorely missed.’ VEC, 7.29.2011