20 entrepreneurs to participate in Emerging Leaders program;
Vt. Chamber honors four with hospitality awards

Twenty entrepreneurs throughout the state have been selected to participate in a free business course starting April 21 at Vermont Technical College in Williston.

Emerging Leaders is a Small Business Administration training program specifically tailored for entrepreneurs looking to grow their small businesses. The program includes approximately 100 hours of classroom time, connects small business owners with a network of industry experts and peers, and assists with the creation of a three-year strategic growth action plan.

Vermont Technical College is the educational partner of the SBA’s Emerging Leaders program and the program is taught by Professor Allan Rodgers. Prior to teaching, Rodgers was a small business owner himself who founded and operated Engineered Thermal Systems Inc., a manufacturer of automotive components.

The SBA established the Emerging Leaders program in 2008 to assist entrepreneurs in urban communities, but in 2016 the agency determined the program could benefit rural states such as New Hampshire and Vermont. This is the program’s second year in Vermont.

“In a little over a year, we’ve had nearly 150 businesses from every corner of the state apply. Much of that has to do with our mission partners encouraging small business owners to apply because they see how Emerging Leaders can help small businesses grow in Vermont,” said Darcy Carter, SBA Vermont District director.

Vermont graduates will be assessed annually for three years upon completing the program. The 2015 national assessment showed graduates of the program increased their businesses revenue on average by $362,000 and experienced a 39 percent growth rate after one year of completing the program.

Emerging Leaders is for established business owners and is not for start-ups or people who are thinking about starting a business. There are no restrictions on the types of businesses that can participate.

To be considered, firms must be for-profit enterprises, been in business for at least three years, have at least one full time employee other than self, and have annual revenues between $400,000 and $10 million. The majority of Vermont businesses selected for the 2017 class have annual revenues in excess of $1 million.

The 2017 Vermont Emerging Leaders class is:

  • Brent Karner of ClearLake Furniture in Ludlow
  • Arion Thiboumery of Vermont Packinghouse in North Springfield
  • William Laberge of Grassroots Solar in Dorset
  • Robert Stubbins of Robert Stubbins Electrical and General Contractor in Rutland
  • Tami Napolitano of Awesome Graphics in Rutland
  • William Elles of First Stop Board Barn in Killington
  • Ray Coffin of All Access Infotech in Fairlee
  • Sarah Kaeck of Bee’s Wrap in Bristol
  • Mel Fields of Birnn Chocolates of Vermont in South Burlington
  • Nick Savasta of Cheese & Wine Traders in South Burlington
  • Frank Dell’Amore of Dell’Amore Enterprises in Colchester
  • Lisa Ransom of Grow Compost of Vermont in Moretown
  • Johnny Mendez of Hen House Media in South Burlington
  • Evan Deutsch of Oxbow Creative in Burlington
  • John George-Wheeler of Patagonia in Burlington
  • Jeremy Elliott of Smugglers’ Notch Distillery in Jeffersonville
  • Abbey Duke of Sugarsnap in South Burlington
  • Rob Sleamaker of Vasa in Essex Junction
  • Mark Elvidge of Vermont Nut Free Chocolates in Grand Isle
  • Andres Torizzo of Watershed Consulting Associates in Burlington

For more information, call 802-828-4422 or visit www.sba.gov/vt.

Vermont Chamber honors four with Hospitality Awards

On Wednesday, April 5, the Vermont Chamber of Commerce announced its annual Hospitality Awards at the 34th Annual Vermont Tourism Summit.

The 2017 Chef of the Year was presented to Ian Huizenga of the Bar Antidote and Hired Hand Brewing Company in Vergennes.  This award recognizes an individual with a proven history of supporting Vermont’s agricultural economy using local food and products.

The 2017 Restaurateur of the Year was presented to Holmes & Beal Jacobs and Megan Brady, the owners of the Two Brothers Tavern in Middlebury. This award honors restaurateurs who continue to demonstrate excellence in restaurant operations and management.

The 2017 Borden E. Avery Innkeeper of the Year was presented to Gary Thulander, president and General Manager of the Woodstock Inn and Resort. This award is designed specifically for individuals who continue to demonstrate excellence in the operation and management of a Vermont bed & breakfast, inn, hotel or resort.

The 2017 Tourism Partner of the Year was presented to Laurie Callahan of Cabot Creamery.  This award is designed for an individual who is a leader in supporting and promoting the hospitality industry in Vermont.

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Filed Under: Business & Personal FinanceBusiness in Brief

About the Author: This item was edited from one or more press releases submitted to The Chester Telegraph.

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