Accountant joins Davis & Hodgdon

RUTLAND — John Haussner has joined Davis & Hodgdon Associates CPAs as an associate accountant. Haussner is a graduate of Pace University with a master’s degree in business administration and is on track to earning a certified public accountant license within the next year. Prior experience includes audit and accounting positions, most recently at PKF O’Connor Davies, LLP in New York. He has a strong background in nonprofit auditing as well as experience in bookkeeping and providing analytical support to many in the nonprofit industry, including health care organizations, private schools and foundations. Haussner will be operating from the firm’s Williston location.

Orem Joins Gifford’s orthopedic team

RANDOLPH — Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Alexander Orem has joined Gifford Medical Center. Specializing in adult joint replacement surgery, he brings anterior approach total hip replacement and bone-saving knee surgery expertise to Gifford’s orthopedic team. He currently is a staff physician at Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s orthopedic surgery adult reconstruction division and will be seeing Gifford patients two days a week in Randolph. “I enjoy helping patients regain their quality of life after suffering from degenerative joint disease,” he said. “It is rewarding to see the positive outcome this surgery often brings.”
Orem is now accepting new patients in Randolph.


Cassidy selected as a top lawyer

RUTLAND — Richard Cassidy was recently selected by his peers for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America 2018 edition in the following areas: Employment law (individuals and litigation), labor and employment, and mediation, according to a news release. Cassidy, a Rutland native, is a 1975 graduate of Mount Saint Joseph Academy. He is a personal injury and employment lawyer who also works regularly as a mediator and arbitrator. A founder of Rich Cassidy Law, he has more than 36 years’ experience with the practice of law in Vermont.  




One of Killington Ski Resort's high-efficiency snow cannons blankets the area in 2015. Snowmaking technology such as this has helped Killington to be named the most energy-efficient resort in Vermont that year.

Snow guns at the heart of ski-area efficiency

Ski areas throughout the state have invested millions in energy-efficiency measures such as wind, solar and recharging stations for electric cars, according to Chloe Elliott, communications manager at Ski Vermont. The most critical and expensive cost areas face, however, is snowmaking. A 17-year trend to improve snowmaking efficiency and sustainability has resulted in the use of high-tech snowgun and compressor technologies. In honor of Bromley Mountain’s continuing innovations, having completed a reported 27 energy-efficiency projects since 2000, Efficiency Vermont recently awarded the area a 2017 Energy Leadership Award for Project of the Year, Innovation. In presenting the award, Efficiency Vermont Director Karen Glitman praised the area for “an impressive commitment to efficiency improvements.” Citing the installation of 10 new, high-efficiency Sledgehammer snow guns and the fine-tuning of air compressors this summer, she noted Bromley has adopted “nearly every energy-efficiency technology in snowmaking.”
The Sledgehammers are low-energy guns developed by SnowGun Technologies in partnership with LP Snowsystems. SnowGun Technologies is a subsidiary of The Fairbank Group, the father-son team of Brian and Tyler Fairbank, who own and operate Jiminy, Cranmore and Bromley resorts.

A resident walks past a row of tiny houses at a homeless encampment in Seattle where full size homes stand behind. Elaine Thompson / AP PHOTO

Tiny houses are trendy, unless they go up next door

The Associated Press
DES MOINES, Iowa — As he tows a 96-square-foot house around Des Moines, Joe Stevens is overwhelmed by the intense, sometimes tearful support he receives from churches, schools and service groups for his plan to use the trendy little structures to help homeless people. But when Stevens actually tried to create a village of the homes in Iowa’s largest city, the response was far different. “We got shot down,” said Stevens, who leads a group that proposed erecting 50 tiny homes on a 5-acre industrial site north of downtown Des Moines. “It was a sense of fear, uncertainty and doubt, a kneejerk situation.”
Tiny homes have been promoted as the solution to all kinds of housing needs — shelter for the homeless, an affordable option for expensive big cities and simplicity for people who want to declutter their lives. But the same popularity that inspired at least six national TV shows about the homes often fails to translate into acceptance when developers try to build them next door.

Sargent to serve as sales manager

BARRE — Wilkins Harley-Davidson has announced that longtime motorcycle specialist Jon Sargent, a Roxbury resident, has been promoted to sales manager. Sargent has been with Wilkins since 2011. He has won the prestigious New England Harley-Davidson Dealer Association Walk-Around Competition in 2015, for “extraordinary presentation skills and knowledge about Harley-Davidson motorcycles,” according to a news release. “Jon is an extraordinary individual capable of taking Wilkins Harley-Davidson to the next level,” said Mark Frano, customer experience manager. Wilkins Harley-Davidson has won the most awards of any New England Harley-Davison dealership.

Jeb Spaulding, chancellor of the Vermont State Colleges, speaks about the state's rural economy and the importance of education at a hearing Nov. 7 at the State House in Montpelier.

School mergers seen as barrier in rural economy

MONTPELIER — According to the nearly three dozen witnesses who testified at a Nov. 7 hearing of the state’s Rural Development Caucus, Vermont’s small towns are losing population, have unreliable internet, fewer job opportunities, higher transportation costs and a smaller tax base that makes paying for essential services difficult.
Despite these challenges, they said, Vermont’s small towns offer an unmatched quality of life and are ready to make the investments needed to welcome new business and create new jobs. The hearing, organized with support from House Speaker Mitzi Johnson, the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, and the Vermont Council on Rural Development, was held to help lawmakers determine what Vermonters think are the most significant factors impacting Vermont’s rural economy. “The economies and economic development challenges of rural areas are different from those of more densely populated parts of the state,” said Rep. Chip Conquest of Newbury, co-chairman of the caucus. Co-chairwoman Rep. Laura Sibilia of Dover, agreed.


Mjaanes to head Vermont Mutual IT

MONTPELIER — Bryan A. Mjaanes has joined Vermont Mutual Insurance Group as vice president and head of information technology. He replaces Joanne Currier upon her retirement. Mjaanes comes to Vermont Mutual from Zurich North America in Schaumburg, Illinois, where he was senior vice president and head of underwriting information technology. “Bryan brings a wealth of experience to our organization at a time when keeping pace with technology is a necessity for us to succeed both operationally for our employees and as we strive to provide exceptional service to our independent agent partners and our policyholders,” said Dan Bridge, president and CEO. Mjaanes, along with his wife and three children, will be relocating to Vermont.

Sugarbush, Craftsbury guiders  join Nature Conservancy board

MONTPELIER— Judy Geer and Win Smith have joined The Nature Conservancy’s board of trustees. Geer, of Morrisville, along with her husband, Dick Dreissigacker, direct the Craftsbury Outdoor Center, a nonprofit outdoor recreational and training facility that hosts Nordic skiing, rowing, running and cycling activities. Geer has also been a part of the Concept2 team, that manufactures and sells rowing and fitness equipment. A former Olympian, Geer was a member of the U.S. National Rowing Team, which competed in the 1976, 1980 and 1984 Olympics. Smith, of Warren and Shelburne, is chairman and CEO of Summit Ventures NE, which owns Sugarbush Resort, where he also serves as president.

Vt. Housing Finance Agency announces staffing changes

BURLINGTON — The Vermont Housing Finance Agency reports that David Adams, chief of program operations, will retire Nov. 17. At the same time, Maura Collins will be promoted to the position of deputy director. “Dave has expertly led our programs through the turbulent economic and mortgage industry changes of the past two decades,” said VHFA Executive Director Sarah Carpenter. Adams, a longtime Jericho resident, was inducted into the New England Mortgage Bankers Hall of Fame in 2012.