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New trustees announced at Northfield Savings Bank

BERLIN — Northfield Savings Bank welcomes Nicole Carignan and Thomas Robbins to its board of trustees. Carignan, of Essex, is a corporator of NSB and served on the 2016 Corporator Nominating Committee. She is currently the owner of ProfitFusion, LLC, a business consulting firm focused on growing entrepreneurial companies. Carignan had a 17-year career with SymQuest Group, Inc., serving as executive vice president and chief operating officer. She serves on the boards of Champlain College and the Greater Burlington YMCA.

David Lahr is the new workforce development director for the Vermont Department of Labor.
STEFAN HARD / STAFF PHOTO

Lahr: ‘Serve the employer and the employee’

MONTPELIER — David Lahr, Vermont’s new workforce development director, has seen unemployment rates rise and fall in Vermont in the 30 years since he first entered the field. The current Vermont rate of 3.1 percent is indisputably preferable to the 7 percent rate seen in 2009 at the height of the Great Recession, yet challenges remain. “We have a pretty good gauge on which industries will be expanding and hiring in the next 20 years,” Lahr said. “As the director of workforce development for the Vermont Department of Labor, I plan to focus on three broad priorities: One: serving employers and employees with equal energy. We need to make sure that business’ workforce needs are being met by providing timely and effective recruitment and training solutions that are relative to Vermont’s business environment.

Judith Soules appointed CFO of One Credit Union

SPRINGFIELD — Judith Soules has joined One Credit Union as chief financial officer. She assumed responsibilities on May 29. Soules has more than 20 years’ financial management experience, working successfully to integrate the efforts of diverse departments toward unified goals. She has also managed marketing, sales, HR, IT and operations. “I’m excited to join the team at One CU.

Bikers take off from the foggy Killington peak Friday afternoon during a round of practice.
ROBERT LAYMAN / STAFF PHOTO

Enduro race boosts Killington region’s mountain biking mojo

KILLINGTON — The creation of mountain bike parks at seven Vermont ski resorts and the building of bike trail networks by dedicated enthusiasts and volunteers throughout Vermont attest to the sport’s growing popularity. Providing places to learn, ride and compete, the trails are becoming a significant source of summer business. Green Mountain Trails, a grassroots 25-mile hiking/biking trail network in Pittsfield, and Killington Resort’s Bike Park became the first Northeast venues to host a two-day Clif Enduro World Series Qualifier on July 1 and 2. The eight-stage race was also a Vittoria Eastern States Cup and Enduro East event. All welcomed male and female amateurs and pros.

Carly Ward prepares a table display at the Mountain Top Inn and Resort in Chittenden, a popular wedding destination.
PHOTO BY PETER COBB

Vermont’s elusive brand a draw for wedding couples

As destination weddings have become more popular, can Vermont wedding professionals compete with such enticing locations as Hawaii, Florida, Las Vegas or Europe, or even with the rest of New England? One way is to promote the “Vermont brand.” That’s a difficult idea to define, but wedding planners seem to agree, the brand helps sales. “People want what we have here. Our natural landscape draws visitors and locals to our thousands of acres of forest and mountain terrain to ski, board, bike and hike,” said Judy Risteff, owner of the Vermont Wedding Association, a trade association that represents wedding professionals and venues. Her association is holding a trade show July 13 at the Killington Grand Hotel that connects couples to vendors and helps wedding professionals refine their operations.

Oliver Ames is the new director of the  Lyman Spitzer Jr. Planetarium at the Fairbanks Museum in St. Johnsbury.
COURTESY PHOTO

Fairbanks Museum has new planetarium director

 
ST. JOHNSBURY — The Lyman Spitzer Jr. Planetarium was installed in 1961 at the Fairbanks Museum in St. Johnsbury, and continues to be the only public planetarium in Vermont. In an effort to increase and diversify the planetarium’s offerings and science programming, the museum welcomed Oliver Ames as the planetarium director last month. “Accessibility is something I hope to improve in our planetarium.

Patrick Chikoloma, 18, of Zambia, who is a member of Circus Smirkus' current traveling troupe of performers, demonstrates his juggling on the Greensboro campus of the 30-year-old Vermont youth circus. DAVID W. SMITH / STAFF PHOTO

STORY AND VIDEO: In uncertain times for circuses, Smirkus thrives

 
GREENSBORO — Ringling Bros. Circus may be gone, but for many in Vermont’s homegrown Circus Smirkus, the circus is still the greatest show on earth. The year 2017 marks some important milestones in circus history, both nationally and locally. This year marks Smirkus’ 30th anniversary, and also when its longtime executive director, Ed LeClair, will step down. “It’s very much like the politicians say, ‘I’m going to spend more time with my family,’” said LeClair, who has overseen 15 annual seasons of the Greensboro traveling troupe.

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Randolph man awarded water quality service distinction

Chris Chambers of the Randolph Water/Wastewater Department has been awarded the Bob Wood Young Professional Award by the Green Mountain Water Environment Association. The award honors exceptional commitment to service excellence by a water-quality professional under the age of 30. Chambers has been a wastewater operator in Randolph for about four years
Coming from a background in the automotive industry, Chambers applied his mechanical knowledge to his new position and quickly passed the wastewater exam. He then completed GMWEA’s operator management course and was promoted to the role of process control and maintenance supervisor. He now serves as acting water/wastewater superintendent of Randolph and chairman of the Randolph Safety Committee.

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Lead teacher Elrick named top employee at Parent Child Center

 

RUTLAND — Carrie Elrick has been recognized as the 2017 employee of the year of the Rutland County Parent Child Center. Nominated by the management team, the employee of the year is someone who goes above and beyond, while always promoting the vision of the agency. Elrick, who is the site coordinator and lead teacher at RCPCC, has consistently shown support to her team, demonstrating commitment and dedication to her job, according to a news release. She requested to move into a higher leadership role during a challenging time of transition. RCPCC, one of 15 parent-child centers located throughout Vermont, is a community-based, private, nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and meeting the needs of children, youth and families.

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Way to manage Morgan Orchards Independent Living program

 

RANDOLPH — Gifford Retirement Community has named Diane Way as the director of the Morgan Orchards Independent Living program. The new 49-apartment independent-living facility is scheduled to open on Aug. 15. It is the newest addition to a senior-living community in Randolph Center that includes the Menig Nursing Home and a planned assisted-living section. Since 2013, Way has been community relations manager at Armistead Senior Care in South Burlington.