Jim Madej joins VEIC as chief executive officer

BURLINGTON — The Vermont Energy Investment Corporation Board of Directors has named Jim Madej chief executive officer. Madej comes to VEIC with decades of experience in the energy industry, including leadership experience in delivering energy efficiency programs and services to customers in his role as chief customer officer at National Grid USA. “Jim’s deep energy industry expertise and his proven track record of customer-focused leadership made him the ideal choice to lead VEIC in building on the success it has achieved in Vermont, Ohio, Washington, D.C., and beyond in helping customers spend less on energy,” said Richard Cowart, vice president of the board. “I’m excited to join VEIC and lead this great team to deliver innovations to everyone, regardless of income and geography. All market participants need to work together to deliver the clean energy revolution our customers are asking for,” said Madej.

Chad Fry, left, and Mark Frier sit inside the entryway to their new Mexican restaurant and performance venue, Tres Amigos restaurant and the Rusty Nail Stage, on the Mountain Road in Stowe. Although the restaurant opened September 8, the live performance space, being built to hold up to 300, is still under construction.

Iconic Stowe venue reborn with Mexican restaurant in tow

STOWE — Mark Frier has a full plate these days. He and business partner Chad Fry own the Reservoir Restaurant & Taproom in Waterbury, and Stowe restaurant The Bench. And they recently added a third spot to their repertoire, revamping the iconic Stowe music venue Rusty Nail into a Mexican restaurant and live music space called Tres Amigos & Rusty Nail Stage. The restaurant opened to the public on Sept. 8, serving authentic Mexican fare along with a sizable list of tequilas, mezcals and margaritas in addition to 24 draft-beer selections with an emphasis on Vermont brews.


BROC Community Action welcomes justice specialist

RUTLAND — Maggie Ganguly is the new program specialist for the Rutland County Community Justice Center at BROC Community Action. Following Ganguly’s education in sociology and anthropology at Green Mountain College, she joined AmeriCorps, where she used her skills to create and implement new ideas and programs in the Rutland community. Her passion for, and commitment to, helping disadvantaged populations transition into the community is evident through her experiences, positive outlook, and overall willingness to make a difference, BROC said in a news release. For more information about BROC Community Action, visit www.broc.org or Facebook.  

Northfield Night on the Common held to support nonprofits

NORTHFIELD — Northfield Community Development Network has announced the second annual Northfield Night on the Common. Scheduled for Sept. 26, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on the Common, this event invites all community members to come out and enjoy live music from the Vermont Fiddle Orchestra, free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and the opportunity to meet their neighbors volunteering in the community. The highlight of the event will be the “nonprofit market” where local nonprofit and community organizations showcase the good work they are doing in the area, answer questions, and connect those interested in being involved with causes that are critical to the community. The evening celebrates the hard work and commitment of Northfield’s many volunteers and community organizations.

Northfield Savings president joins VHFA’s commissioners  

BURLINGTON — Vermont Gov. Phil Scott has appointed Thomas S. Leavitt of Waterbury Center to the Vermont Housing and Finance Agency Board of Commissioners. Leavitt has been president and chief executive officer of Northfield Savings Bank since 2014, and at MountainOne Financial in Massachusetts before that. He serves on the boards of Norwich University Applied Research Institutes, ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, and the Flynn Center. He is an active member of the Vermont Financial Literacy Commission. Leavitt studied at the University of New Hampshire and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Jonathan Wilmot, center, talks about his electric Fat Bicycle with 4-inch wide tires with visitors at the recent 2017 Electric Vehicle Expo in White River Junction.

Festival showcases draw of alternative transportation

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — The 2017 Nissan Leaf Todd Kowalczyk purchased in June to replaced his trusted Subaru Outback is about as eco-friendly as 21st-century automotive technology can get. Silver, futuristic, curvy in all the right places, and mechanically reliable, the Leaf is a sleek-looking ride for its class and generation. Best of all, the Leaf is great on gas. That’s because it doesn’t need any: the Leaf is powered by a rechargeable battery that guarantees driving distances of up to 107 miles on a single charge. The “sweet spot” for Kowalczyk is that the Leaf is a great commuter vehicle that gives him peak performance at cruising speeds of 40 to 50 miles per hour.

Rutland Ninety Nine to close for renovation

RUTLAND — The Ninety Nine Restaurant & Pub, located at 288 US Route 7 South in Rutland, will celebrate its reopening after undergoing a revitalization of its décor and amenities. The restaurant will be closed for renovations Monday, Sept. 11 to Wednesday, Sept. 13. The Ninety Nine will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony, and offer prizes for guests as they enjoy appetizer sampling.

Dairy farmer Jennifer Lambert works with cows at her family farm in Graniteville. The University of Vermont and several groups have received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to tell the story of Vermont's diverse farming community, with more women, young farmers and new Americans now involved.

Who Farms? Updating the image of Vermont farmers


MONTPELIER — When people conjure up an image of a typical Vermont farmer, they most likely think of a middle-age white man on a dairy farm. But the state’s farming community is now made up of a more diverse population farming more than just dairy cattle, and the University of Vermont and several partners plan to update that image. The university and its partner groups have earned a three-year $90,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities that requires them to raise the same amount to tell the story of Vermont’s diverse farming community, with more women, young farmers and new Americans now involved. “Many are female; they vary in age, ethnicity and race; and they produce a wide range of agricultural products,” said UVM anthropology professor Luis Vivanco, co-director of the university’s Humanities Center. “The goal of the grant is to tell the story of this changing dynamic in an engaging way that brings people together.”
The most recent U.S. agriculture census, done in 2012, found that the average age of a Vermont farmer was 57 years old, up from 56 five years before.

Houston’s small businesses inch back to work

FEMA estimates that nearly 40 percent of small businesses never reopen after a disaster. HOUSTON — Bobby Jucker has had it with hurricanes. In 2008, Hurricane Ike tore the roof off his business, Three Brothers Bakery. Now, he estimates, he’s facing $1 million in damage and lost revenue from Harvey — the fifth time a storm has put his bakery out of commission. He’s always recovered before.

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.