Joanne Conroy

Alumna takes over as Dartmouth-Hitchcock CEO

LEBANON, NH — Joanne M. Conroy began her tenure as CEO and president of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health System this week. “Today marks a true highlight of my career,” said Dr. Conroy Tuesday. “When I walked through the doors of Dartmouth-Hitchcock this morning, I officially joined a community of health-care professionals that I believe is second to none.”
Conroy is a 1977 graduate of Dartmouth College. She comes to Dartmouth-Hitchcock from Lahey Hospital and Medical Center in Burlington, Massachusetts, where she served as CEO. Her career includes leadership positions at the Medical University of South Carolina, Atlantic Health System, and the American Association of Medical Colleges.

Jen Cohen, left, shows participants from the Twin Rivers Supervisory Union where and how to hit a steel drum during a team building exercise Aug. 3.

Steel drums bring power of music to corporate culture

RUTLAND — The steel drum music of Trinidad is making its way to Rutland via Calypso Consulting, a new business set up by Jennifer Cohen. Cohen, a classically trained pianist and violist with 30 years experience as a performer and educator, wanted to bring what she describes as a transformational experience to the workplace. “Music has a way of connecting us like no other experience. I have seen how the transformative power of collaborative music-making can be used to achieve outstanding results,” she said. Cohen taught herself how to play steel drums, and first introduced it into Clarendon Elementary School, where she taught.

Members of the University of Vermont Dining Services team visit Pete's Greens in Craftsbury recently  as part of a tour of Vermont farms organized by Sodexo's Vermont First program.

UVM nails goals for locally sourced food

It’s a challenge the University of Vermont did not shy away from — supporting family farms through the purchase of locally grown and raised produce and meat products. So, five years ago UVM joined the national Real Food Challenge with the goal to increase the purchase of Vermont food products so that 20 percent of what’s served on campus would be locally grown. UVM committed to reaching that goal by 2020. Instead, it met the goal this year, three years ahead of schedule. Now, the school has upped its commitment to 25 percent by 2020.


PCCA names Chisamore pharmacy tech of the month  


RUTLAND — Professional Compounding Centers of America has named Amanda Chisamore, of Wilcox Pharmacy in Rutland, as its pharmacy technician of the month for July, an award which is presented monthly to a technician at an independently owned compounding pharmacy who has demonstrated excellent service to their patients, health care providers, and pharmacy colleagues. Compounding is the pharmacy method of preparing customized medications to meet each prescriber’s and patient’s unique needs. Chisamore has been compounding for six years at Wilcox Pharmacy. She received an associate’s degree prior to coming to Wilcox Pharmacy, in applied science in veterinary technology, and was a veterinary technician for five years. She has successfully completed PCCA’s Comprehensive Compounding Course in Houston, Texas.

Cellars is Curtis Fund’s first advancement director

BURLINGTON— Joyce Cellars has been appointed the first director of advancement of the Curtis Fund, called Vermont’s oldest scholarship program, reflecting the goal of the fund’s board to provide more financial assistance for more Vermont students seeking a postsecondary education. Cellars has a background working in nonprofits in California and Vermont, with expertise in donor relations, marketing and communications, community engagement, public relations and administration. As director of advancement, she will build and strengthen relationships with donors, grow major gifts to the fund, and increase visibility. “The Board of Trustees is excited about Joyce Cellars joining the Curtis Fund as our first-ever director of advancement,” said Joseph Boutin, the fund’s chairman and president. “We want to help more students achieve their dreams of higher education and, with the costs of education increasing, we need to provide more financial help.”

Organization works to put farmer, farmland together

Farmers across New England are faced with new challenges every day, including the issue of finding the right piece of land to farm. As a part of its undertaking to help farmers overcome these challenges, the Department of Sustainable Agriculture at the University of Vermont continues its efforts with the Land Access Project to help transition farmers, landowners, conservation organizations, service providers, communities and policymakers throughout New England. The Land Access Project is entering its final year of a three-year timeline. This project builds from the first phase of Land Access, which took place from 2010 to 2013, and focused on improving and coordinating access to resources and services available for farmland. This current phase is structured around land access and transfer networking.


Tara Parks joins board that oversees Headstart programs

BENNINGTON — Tara Parks has been appointed to the board of United Children’s Services, which oversees Bennington County Head Start. This program provides children and their families with the building blocks necessary to succeed in learning, parenting and life. Parks will also head up the policy council, which oversees all aspects of the Head Start program, including selection of staff, development of new policies, grant budget approval and curriculum development. The council is comprised of parents and community members. “I am pleased to have Tara Parks serve on the board of United Children’s Services, which includes our Head Start and Early Head Start programs,” said Lorna Mattern, executive director of UCS.

Diane Wheeler checks a chart after pruning a row of tomatoes at the Backyard Farms greenhouse in Madison, Maine. It is one of the largest hydroponic greenhouses in New England. North Country Growers plans to start building its two, 10-acre hydroponic greenhouses in Berlin, N.H., in 2017.
Robert F. Bukaty / AP FILE PHOTO

$25M invested to grow New England produce via hydroponics

A business that wants to build two hydroponic greenhouses in New Hampshire’s North Country to get tomatoes and salad greens more quickly to New England supermarkets has received $25 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. North Country Growers plans to start building its two, 10-acre greenhouses in Berlin, New Hampshire, soon, and planting next July, with its first harvest next October. The company expects to produce 8 million pounds of tomatoes and 15 million heads of lettuce annually in a year-round operation. “Northern New Hampshire has very few really hot nights, which makes it perfect for us,” said North Country Growers CEO Richard Rosen, who grew up in the greenhouse business. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says hydroponics, or growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions in water, without soil, is a growing area of commercial food production.

Micro development program nets Wells Fargo grant

BARRE — Capstone Community Action’s Micro Business Development Program received a $10,000 grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation. The grant will strengthen Capstone’s efforts to provide low-income aspiring entrepreneurs with technical assistance, capacity building and mentoring support as they look to launch or expand micro businesses. Last year, Capstone helped individuals launch or expand 18 new businesses in central Vermont, creating 34 full time jobs
“Micro business development is proven to be an extremely effective and cost-efficient job creator that supports the community’s economic vitality,” said Dan H. Hoxworth, Capstone’s executive director. “At Capstone, our mission is alleviating the suffering caused by poverty by building sustainable households and communities. With this Wells Fargo grant, the micro business development program will help improve the economic futures of all employers and their employees.”
To learn more about Capstone Community Action and the Micro Business Development Program, contact Yvonne Lory at 479-1053.

Jae C. Hong / AP PHOTO
Bundles of $20 bills are placed on a table as Jerred Kiloh, owner of the Higher Path medical marijuana dispensary, prepares a trip to Los Angeles City Hall to pay his monthly tax payment in cash in Los Angeles. For Kiloh, the cash is a daily hassle. It needs to be counted repeatedly to safeguard against loss. State and local taxes must be set aside and stored, sometimes for a month or more.
Jae C. Hong / AP PHOTO

Inside a nerve-rattling trip to pay pot taxes


LOS ANGELES — Jerred Kiloh’s eyes narrowed as he checked his mirror again. The black Chevy SUV with tinted windows was still behind him. It had been hanging off Kiloh’s bumper ever since he nosed out of the parking lot behind his medical-marijuana dispensary with $40,131.88 in cash in the trunk of his hatchback. Kiloh was unarmed, on his way to City Hall to make a monthly tax payment, and managing only stop-and-start progress in the midday traffic. He was afraid of one thing above all else: getting robbed.