Benson is Vermont engineer of the year

John K. Benson has been named Vermont’s 2018 Engineer of the Year. A Vermont native, Benson is an owner of Randolph-centered Dubois & King, Inc. He was selected for this award based on his technical accomplishments, stature in the profession, contributions to professional organizations, and involvement in the community. The selection committee is comprised of the five most-recent award winners. Benson graduated from Vermont Technical College in 1973 and became a licensed professional engineer in 1993. He has served as project manager on a wide variety of projects, from single-lot subdivisions to large-scale developments with on-site water and wastewater treatment facilities.

Programs hopes to entice females to cyber security

A new initiative, Girls Go CyberStart was announced by Gov. Phil Scott last month as a gateway for young women to explore the different opportunities in the cyber security field. The program is a partnership between Vermont, other states and the SANS Technology Institute, a global leader in cyber security training. The SANS Institute works to develop people with the skills to protect governmental, military and commercial institutions from cyber attacks. “This program will provide a valuable experience for those who participate. You can’t figure out what you like or don’t like until you try it.

Farms already exploring legal cannabidiol products

While not an herbal medicine cure-all, cannabidiol (CBD)-infused hemp honey is said to have the same healing ingredients found in marijuana, though without the mind-altering, munchy-craving effects. Many people nowadays use CBD-infused hemp honey to treat anxiety, nausea, arthritis and a variety of other chronic ailments, claiming amazing results and health benefits. “I firmly believe in plant medicine,” said Joe Pimentel, co-owner of Luce Farm in Stockbridge, who said he takes hemp honey for occasional pain relief and “can feel the effects within minutes.”
“I don’t use it daily. I use it if I’m sore,” he said. About two years ago, Pimentel and his wife, Rebecca, started growing hemp for extracting CBD oil on their 206-acre farm as a sustainable farming model.

Hospitals look more to philanthropy for upgrades

When the Rutland Regional Medical Center wanted to upgrade its breast cancer screening, the hospital turned to its fundraising arm, the Rutland Health Foundation, for help. The foundation raised $362,253 to purchase one of two 3-D breast imaging machines as part of the hospital’s Early Detection Saves Lives breast cancer awareness campaign. “The Rutland Health Foundation took responsibility for raising funds for one of the new units,” said foundation director Traci Moore. “Each unit comes with a price tag of $350,000.”
It’s just the latest project for the Rutland Health Foundation. Moore said the foundation works closely with the “hospital’s leadership to really determine and understand priority needs for the hospital and align our fundraising goals and strategies with those needs.”
RRMC will purchase two new imaging machines next month, which will be operational in early July.

Woodward joins VHFA as development underwriter

BURLINGTON — Vermont Housing Finance Agency has hired Sarah Woodward of Barre for the position of development underwriter. Woodward comes to VHFA from Aeon in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she worked as a site manager and compliance technician for affordable-housing developments. Woodward is a graduate of the University of Vermont, and previously worked for the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity on mobile home parks and other housing issues. “Sarah’s experience in managing affordable housing projects will be a valuable addition to the Agency’s development staff,” said VHFA Executive Director Sarah Carpenter. Se will work with the Development Department to oversee the allocation of housing tax credits and VHFA loans to developers building and renovating rental housing projects.

Rutland Regional welcomes new supply chain director

RUTLAND — Andy Lamb recently joined Rutland Regional Medical Center as the new director of supply chain, overseeing purchasing, distribution, mail room, print shop, receiving and the warehouse. Lamb was employed in similar positions with the University of California-Davis and University of California-San Diego. He graduated from the SUNY Polytechnic Institution in Utica, New York, with a bachelor’s degree in business and public management. Lamb is a certified purchasing manager. “This is a perfect situation for me,” said Lamb.

Planet Fitness adds new anchor to the Berlin Mall

BERLIN — New Hampshire-based Planet Fitness — home of the “Judgement Free Zone” — celebrated the grand opening of a new location at the Berlin Mall. On Jan. 22, the company hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the 282 Berlin Mall Road fitness center, with a $2,000 check donation to the Washington County Youth Service Bureau and Boys & Girls Club. The mall location will occupy 15,000 square feet of newly renovated space, located at the mall’s main entrance. The space was formerly occupied by Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts before it relocated to West Lebanon, New Hampshire, several years ago.

Ski groups are a growing portion of resort business

LUDLOW — Alison Dvorak’s family averages six trips a year with a Norwich, Connecticut, ski club. On Jan. 7, she found herself the trip leader and up at 4 a.m. to check in people loading a motor coach for a three-hour trip to Okemo. Arriving at 8:30 a.m., she visited the Group Sales Office to get lift tickets and maps while an Okemo staffer boarded the bus to greet guests, detail conditions and answer questions. “Our trips are a great deal and less expensive than driving and much easier and more fun,” Dvorak said.

Employers must help workers with emotional issues

The Associated Press
NEW YORK — An employee is severely depressed and unable to complete a task. Or has mood swings and outbursts, unnerving colleagues and disrupting the workplace. These are some of the hardest situations small business owners and managers can face. John Crossman has had employees at his commercial real estate company whose personal problems made it hard for them get work done. He’s sympathetic, because he’s struggled with depression and sought counseling in the past.