EMBOLDIA hosts event for entrepreneurs Sept. 12

MANCHESTER — EMBOLDIA, a group focused on uniting the collective brainpower and vision of entrepreneurs, investors, financiers, academics and professional advisors, is hosting a free entrepreneurial event on Tuesday, Sept. 12, at the Wilburton Inn in Manchester Village. The special event includes industry experts such as Issa Sawabini, owner of Fuse, and Michael Jager, founder and chief creative officer of Solidarity of Unbridled Labour. These successful entrepreneurs will discuss “The Power of Entrepreneurial Communities and Being Engaged with Generation Y and Millennials.” on a panel moderated by Joy Proft, JOY-all things underthings. “Our mission is to reach the individuals that are looking for inspiration and resources, and give them the opportunity to mix and mingle with like-minded people.

Melissa Carlson

Melissa Carlson Joins HR department at National Life


MONTPELIER — Melissa Carlson has joined National Life in a senior role in the People Center, the company’s human resources department. Carlson has been appointed associate vice president for talent management and will report to Michael Veilleux, interim chief people officer. She was director of global learning and development at QuintilesIMS, a health-care service provider based in Durham, N.C.

Carlson lives in Lyme, N.H., and will work out of National Life’s Montpelier headquarters.  




Kody Lyon joins NFP as account executive  

BARRE — Kody M. Lyon has joined NFP’s team in Barre as an account executive for commercial insurance. NFP is an insurance broker and consultant. In her new role, Lyon will be responsible for generating new sales opportunities in the Business Insurance segment. She brings with her more than five years’ experience in the insurance and management industries. She formerly served as an account executive with Noyle Johnson in Montpelier.


Brett Graves joins DuBois & King engineers

SOUTH BURLINGTON — Brett Graves has joined DuBois & King consulting engineers as a civil engineer in the firm’s Site and Land Development Division. Graves is a licensed wastewater and water system designer with seven years of professional experience. He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Vermont. He is a resident of Richmond and works out of the firm’s South Burlington office. Founded in 1962, DuBois & King provides multidiscipline engineering services from offices in Randolph, South Burlington, Brandon and Springfield, Vermont and Bedford, Laconia and Keene, New Hampshire.

Photo by Peter Cobb

Martial artist turns equipment gripes into business

What can you do when the equipment needed to fuel your passion, traditional martial arts, is not as good as you think it should be? For Jeremy Lesniak, the answer was to make his own gear. Frustrated with the martial arts gloves, helmets, boots and other safety gear that was available, Lesniak decided to make his own equipment and sell to others, like himself, who were desperately seeking high-quality equipment that lasts. In 2010, Lesniak started Whistlekick, LLC. His company sells sparring gear and apparel for karate, taekwondo and other martial arts.


Lt. Scribner moves into Internal Affairs command

PITTFORD — Detective Sgt. Julie Scribner with the Vermont State Police Office of Professional Development in Pittsford has been promoted to lieutenant commander of the Office of Internal Affairs. Scribner has served Vermont for nearly 17 years, graduating from the Vermont Police Academy in early 2001. She began her career as a trooper assigned to the Royalton barracks, later becoming a detective trooper at the New Haven barracks in 2008. In 2010 she was promoted to sergeant at the Office of Professional Development, where she focused on training and recruiting.

Nick Smith, quality assurance specialist, and Allison Gagne, product developer, work in Vermont Village's food lab Tuesday in South Barre. Virtually all of the company's products contain apples or cider vinegar.

Sour is sweet for Barre company’s vinegar shots

BARRE — Just because it’s good for you, doesn’t necessarily mean it tastes good. Such was the case with Vermont Village and its organic apple cider vinegar. Since its debut more than two years ago, sales have grown. But Vermont Village was looking for a way to broaden its appeal to many consumers who perhaps had trouble adjusting to the bitter or sour taste. Andrew Lawrence, the South Barre company’s vice president of marketing and sales, said customers appreciated the health benefits of taking apple cider vinegar, but even diluting it with water for some people wasn’t “palatable.”
So the company came up with a solution and is now introducing a line of flavored cider vinegar shots, that are sold in 1-ounce, throwaway plastic pouches.

Richard Fink and Lee Duberman, owners of Ariel's Restaurant in Brookfield, have decided to sell their landmark restaurant and move to Mexico.

Ariel’s owners to sell restaurant, head to Mexico

BROOKFIELD — Lee Duberman and Richard Fink have owned and operated Ariel’s Restaurant on the shore of Sunset Lake for 21 years. While their respective skills as chef and sommelier have sharpened in that time, their energy level has gradually diminished. Now, they say, it is time to abandon Vermont winters, acrimonious politics and unaffordable health care. It is time to pack up personal items (including Bailey, the little black dog; Noah, their teenaged son; and Duberman’s knife kit) and head where the weather is temperate throughout the year. The restaurant will be closing for good after dinner service on Sept.

A sign identifies produce from Sun Valley Orchards in  Swedesboro, N.J., a 3,000 acre farm that's been conserved under a farmland preservation deed.

Where was this grown? Pilot program empowers locavore shoppers

RUTLAND — Customers at Tops Friendly Market in Rutland are beginning to benefit from a pilot marketing program that supplies customers with information about where their food is grown and sourced — from the farm to their forks. Launched at the end of July, the Local Food Marketing Program is a joint effort by WhatsGood, a food technology company based in Providence, Rhode Island, and the Tops produce team. A nearly 100 years old, Tops Friendly Market has 173 locations and five franchise locations in a four-state area: upstate New York; Northern Pennsylvania; Western Vermont; and North Central Massachusetts. “It’s a program that helps retailers and markets, providing transparency into local sources. Furthermore, to better tell the story to shoppers of where their food is coming from,” said Jennifer Goggin, director of retail at WhatsGood.

An odd trend in wheat country: Farmers opt for chickpeas

The Associated Press
DES MOINES, Iowa — An odd thing has happened in wheat country — a lot of farmers aren’t planting wheat. Thanks to a global grain glut that has caused prices and profits to plunge, this year farmers planted the fewest acres of wheat since the U.S. Department of Agriculture began keeping records nearly a century ago. Instead of planting the crop that gave the wheat belt its identity, many farmers are opting this year for crops that might be less iconic but are suddenly in demand, such as chickpeas and lentils, used in hummus and healthy snacks. “People have gone crazy with chickpeas. It’s unbelievable how many acres there are,” said Kirk Hansen, who farms 350 acres south of Spokane in eastern Washington, where wheat’s reign as the king crop has been challenged.