Workers strip flooring and route electrical cables Aug. 14, inside the 15,000 square-foot space formerly occupied by Joanne's Fabrics inside the Berlin Mall. The space will the home to Planet Fitness, which hopes to open by the end of the year.

Planet Fitness beefs up mall

BERLIN — Berlin Mall officials said they’ve found the perfect new tenant in leading international health-club franchiser Planet Fitness to re-occupy 15,000 square feet of prime mall space. “We’ve been searching for years to find the right tenant for this high-profile space,” said Ken Simon, vice president of Heidenberg Properties Group, owners of Berlin Mall LLC. “In addition to providing Central Vermont residents with a meaningful service at great value, Planet Fitness provides good jobs for the area’s work force.”
Berlin Mall LLC, the owner of Berlin Mall, announced it has signed a long-term lease with Planet Fitness. The company has approximately 10 million members and more than 1,300 stores in 48 states, the District of Columbia, Canadfa, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Berlin Mall marks the fourth Planet Fitness franchise in Vermont in addition to locations in Essex Junction, South Burlington and St.

Small Business Administration Administrator-designate, former wrestling entertainment executive, Linda McMahon testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee.

SBA head sees business being held back

The Associated Press
NEW YORK — Six months into her tenure as head of the Small Business Administration, Linda McMahon sees a split among small business owners — they are increasingly optimistic, she says, but many are held back by their inability to get loans or find the right workers for jobs that are staying open. “Entrepreneurs are willing again to be bigger risk-takers than they have been over the past eight years,” McMahon said in a phone interview this week with The Associated Press. But, she said, there are also lingering effects of the Great Recession, and “I think there is still a caution.”
McMahon’s observations matched owners’ self-assessments in surveys including ones released by Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management and Dun & Bradstreet Corp. and by the National Federation of Independent Business. She also named some of the stumbling blocks that many owners have cited in addition to a scarcity of loans and workers: regulations, taxes and the cost of health care, all issues President Donald Trump has pledged to address.

The Den at Harry's Hardware owners pose behind the granite counter at the new pub in Cabot. From left are Johanna and Rory Thibault and Bobby and Stephany Searles.

Paints to pints: Hardware store offers more than hardware

CABOT — On Main Street, the lively sounds of keyboard, song and laughter drift from the hardware store, as the man behind the bar serves up eight craft beers on tap to thirsty patrons. At a time when entrepreneurial spirits often enable small villages to thrive, the owners of Harry’s Hardware have taken a new approach to reinvigorating a 100-year-old Vermont business. With The Den at Harry’s Hardware, they have created a new meeting place to bring people into town for a good laugh and a cold beer. Bobby and Stephany Searles own the Cabot Village Store, the only place to buy groceries in the village. When the hardware store next door was put up for auction in 2014, they made the winning bid, and installed new gas pumps out front.

SVMC launches express care service at Northshire Campus

BENNINGTON — Southwestern Vermont Medical Center’s Northshire Campus now features a walk-in clinic called Northshire ExpressCare. “SVMC Northshire’s ExpressCare is here to provide same-day health services for people of all ages,” said Dr. Bob Schwartz, medical director of SVMC Northshire Campus. “Our team of physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and support staff is dedicated to providing the care you need at the time you need it.”
The clinic will provide walk-in care to local patients and travelers with illnesses and injuries, including coughs, colds and flu, eye and ear infections, pulled and strained muscles, cuts and scrapes, bites, stings and rashes, stomach aches and other conditions. Onsite X-ray is available. The clinic’s association with the hospital allows its providers to make direct referrals to SVMC and to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Putnam Physicians
A second ExpressCare facility is located on the SVMC Campus in Bennington.

Urogynecologist brings new specialty to Gifford Medical



RANDOLPH — Dr. Anne Viselli specializes in the evaluation and treatment of disorders of the pelvic floor, with particular emphasis on urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse and pain disorders. She offers innovative nonsurgical options as well as minimally invasive surgery for these conditions. Board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology and subspecialty board-certified in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive pelvic surgery, she comes to Gifford after 11 years in private practice. Viselli received a bachelor’s degree in biology and in psychology from Bucknell University, and a doctorate of medicine from the Pennsylvania State University School of Medicine. She completed her residency at Brown University’s Women and Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, and was a Fellow in Urogynecology at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center.

ECFiber extends network to six more communities  

ROYALTON — ECFiber has released its 2018 construction plans today, identifying Braintree, Brookfield, Granville, Hancock, Rochester and Stockbridge as the six towns whose homes and businesses will get access to a fiber-optic-based internet connection in 2018. ECFiber will also build some mileage in Woodstock to initiate service there and to improve connectivity between West Windsor, Reading and the rest of its network. “Our mission is to build and operate a universal, open-access, fiber-to-the-premises network, ensuring state-of-the-art connectivity to every home, business and civic institution in all of our member towns. We are pleased that, thanks to our recent financing, we can at last provide near-universal coverage to six more towns,” said Irv Thomae, district chairman. ECFiber is a consortium of 24 towns organized as the East Central Vermont Telecommunications District, that is a municipal body dedicated to providing full-strength internet connections throughout its territory.

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.