Kelty joins GMUW’s Working Bridges program

MONTPELIER — Laurie Kelty, executive administrative assistant with Green Mountain United Way since 2011, was promoted in December to resource coordinator for the organization’s Working Bridges program. Working Bridges is an employee-service and workforce-development program offered to business partners in the service area covering the Northeast Kingdom and central Vermont. “Laurie’s work will primarily be focused on connecting employees at our Working Bridges program sites with community resources to support them in their lives, so they can be present and productive at work, said Pam Bailey, director of operations at Green Mountain United Way and program manager for Working Bridges. Kelty is a resident of Montpelier.  

In this selfie photo provided by Rebecca Miller, Miller, an academic adviser at Tennessee State University, wears sweaters, a scarf, ear coverings, gloves and a blanket over her lap while she works at her desk in Holland Hall on campus in Nashville, Tenn.

Chilly offices plague workers during cold snaps

Two long-sleeved shirts, a sweater, a fleece jacket, two scarves and two pairs of socks. That has been Karen Ericson’s go-to outfit in her office in Des Moines, Iowa, in recent weeks. “I am still shivering,” the 39-year-old graphic designer said last week, estimating the temperature in the office was in the mid-60s while outside, the city hit 19 degrees below zero at one point. “Living in the Midwest, I’m well-trained to dress warmly and in layers, but this deep freeze has been difficult to endure, especially when I expect to be comfortable — or at least not shivering — inside.”
As much of the nation muddled through bitter weather in recent weeks, office dwellers found they still had to brave the cold even when indoors. Many relied on winter parkas, gloves, blankets and space heaters just to keep working.

Ryan Christiansen, president and head distiller of Caledonia Spirits in Hardwick, pulls Tom Cat Gin out of an American oak barrel.
Photos courtesy of Caledonia Spirits

Venture fund FreshTracks supports Vermont entrepreneurs

Thanks to a substantial investment by FreshTracks Capital, a Shelburne-based venture capital fund, Caledonia Spirits of Hardwick, a distillery which sells Barr Hill Gin, Tom Cat Gin and Barr Hill Vodka, has the money needed to carry out its national marketing plan. SunCommon, a solar energy company based in Waterbury, used its FreshTracks investment money to expand from providing solar systems to private home owners, to offering residential, commercial and community systems, according to company Chief Financial Officer Chach Curtis. “There’s nothing more rewarding to me than when we can invest in an entrepreneurial company that makes a great Vermont product and to be able to help that company grow in a way that also positively impacts Vermont’s economy,” said Cairn Cross, one of the founders of FreshTracks Capital. FreshTracks is a seed and early-stage venture capital firm focused on financing businesses in Vermont and surrounding regions. The firm was founded in 2000 by Cross and Charlie Kireker.


Olson wins Roundtable award

SOUTH BURLINGTON — Jen Olson, work-based learning coordinator from Hazen Union High School, has been named recipient of the Vermont Business Roundtable’s 2017 New Medallion Award, which recognizes exceptional school leadership and progress toward the state’s goals of equity, access and quality of proficiency-based learning experiences for all Vermont students. “For 15 years the Roundtable annually recognized educational leaders for the innovative and creative ways in which they delivered excellence in the whole educational experience, despite increasing social and economic pressures at the state and local levels,” said Michael Seaver, chairman of the Roundtable’s board of directors

The New Medallion Award, which includes a framed certificate and $5,000 monetary prize to be directed to Olson in furtherance of her work, was presented to her at a school-wide assembly on Jan. 3.  



Gaughan to lead two funding organizations

WINOOSKI — Two of Vermont’s oldest infrastructure financing organizations have hired a new executive director, Michael Gaughan, to lead both agencies. The Vermont Municipal Bond Bank and Vermont Educational and Health Buildings Financing Agency facilitate social and physical infrastructure within Vermont. “The joint search committee found that Michael had the unique mix of technical skills and commitment to community that is needed to help lead the agencies forward,” said VEHBFA Board Chairman Jim Potvin

Gaughan’s background is in public finance and economic development. He worked for the nonprofit National Development Council and as a public finance banker focused on governmental, housing, and community facilities transactions. Michael earned a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College and a Master of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania.


Groeneveld joins VMEC board

RANDOLPH CENTER — The Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center has elected Lisa Groeneveld, chief operating officer and co-owner of Logic Supply of South Burlington, to the VMEC advisory board for a two-year term. At the Dec. 5 annual election, VMEC Advisory Board members also elected existing board members to additional two-year terms: Dave Blittersdorf, CEO/ founder, All Earth Renewables (Williston); Tommy Harmon, CEO/ owner, Sonnax Industries (Bellows Falls); Ben Riehl, president and CEO, GW Plastics (Bethel) and Ed Townley, president and CEO, Agri-Mark / Cabot Creamery (Waitsfield). Part of the nationwide MEP National Network and hosted by Vermont Technical College since 1995, VMEC operates as a nonprofit with a primary mission to strengthen and empower Vermont manufacturers.  






Day earns CPA

MONTPELIER — Christy E. Day, of Fothergill, Segale & Valley, certified public accountants of Montpelier, has passed the certified public accountants exam and has been recognized by the Vermont Board of Public Accountancy as a CPA. Day joined the firm in 2016. Prior to that, she was an actuary at a local insurance company for many years. She returned to her alma mater, the University of Vermont, to earn a master’s degree in accountancy.  

Katie Churchill, of Proctor, owner of Juice Amour, prepares a smoothie at her new shop in Rutland in early December. Beside here is employee Samantha Mestyan, working on preparing a salad.

Owner amazed at response to new Rutland juice bar

RUTLAND — With all the interest in natural and organic diets, it is no wonder Juice Amour on Center Street in Rutland has suddenly become so popular. “It has been an amazing response,” said co-owner Katie Churchill, whose shop opened on Dec. 2. “People have been supportive and excited and enthusiastic. People are learning about natural products.”
She believes that is why things have gone so well for the juice bar.

One of the Airbus EC135 helicopters used by Dartmouth-Hitchcock Advanced Response Team to move emergency patients to other hospitals. Dartmouth-Hitchcock will work with UVM Medical Center to offer a similar service to a broader area.

Hospitals get ‘air ambulance’ accord off the ground

BURLINGTON — Dr. Ryan Clouser tells the story of a recent heart attack victim who needed advance medical treatment that couldn’t be provided by the local hospital. So an ambulance was dispatched to take the patient to the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington. The patient survived, but Clouser said because the trip took several hours, it jeopardized the patient’s chances for recovery. “That is why helicopter transport is really helpful,” said Clouser, a medical officer for the UVM Transport System. Cases like the one cited by Clouser are the reason Vermont’s largest hospital teamed up with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center to provide air transport for critically ill patients in Vermont and northern New York.


Ophthalmologist joins Rutland Regional

RUTLAND — Dr. Ryan Rogers, an ophthalmologist, has recently joined Marble Valley Eye Care at Rutland Regional Medical Center. He received his bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Southern California and medical degree from Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University. Rogers completed his residency in ophthalmology at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, and an oculoplastic fellowship at Baylor University Hospital in Houston, Texas. He is the only board-certified ophthalmologist in Southern Vermont trained to do oculoplastic surgery, a specialized procedure that can treat and correct eyelid problems which include droopy upper eyelids, extra eyelid skin or eyelids that turn inward or outward. Contact Marble Valley Eye Care at 773-8328.