Center for Women & Enterprise opens new resource center

BURLINGTON — The Center for Women & Enterprise, a regional nonprofit economic development organization, has opened its office in the Maltex Building in Burlington’s South End. Gwen Pokalo, program manager of Vermont CWE, said the office will house the Vermont Women’s Business Center, which is federally funded through a Small Business Administration (SBA) grant. The grant funds a center to provide technical assistance to businesses throughout every stage of development. Vermont is the newest office for CWE, which also operates centers in Boston, Central Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire. CWE was founded in 1995 in Boston.

Rutland native starts Burlington law firm

BURLINGTON — Rich Cassidy’s passion for the law was first sparked in 1970, when he was volunteering for former Vermont Governor Phil Hoff’s run for the U.S. Senate as an anti-war candidate. Amid all the controversy surrounding the Vietnam War, Cassidy said he learned about the wide impact the law could have, and that it could be “a tool for making the world a better place.”

VEIC hosts legislative networking event

BURLINGTON — Vermont Energy Investment Corp. welcomed the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce Legislative Networking event to its headquarters in Burlington’s South End in late October. Chamber members and guests got the opportunity to talk with candidates for Vermont’s legislature and other statewide offices (about 30 candidates attended), and the chance for some business-to-business networking. In addition to Vermont Energy Investment Corp., or VEIC, sponsors included AT&T, FairPoint Communications, Farrell Distributing, Green Mountain Power, Pomerleau Real Estate and Top Hat Entertainment. Sugarsnap of South Burlington catered the event.

Vt. Family Network gets $15K grant

Vermont Family Network recently received a $15,000 grant from the Vermont Community Foundation’s Innovations and Collaborations grant program. The grant will help further Vermont Family Network’s mission to empower and support all Vermont families of children with special needs by expanding the organization’s capacity to provide family-to-family support in the refugee and immigrant communities in Chittenden County. The Innovations and Collaborations grant program supports efforts by nonprofit organizations to help develop solutions to community needs.  

Kathy Fleury

Fleury joins Holbrook center

BURLINGTON — Kathy Fleury was recently hired as the new associate director of Sara Holbrook Community Center in Burlington. Fleury brings more than 20 years of work and volunteer experience in social service in Vermont. Her most recent position was with Hunger Free Vermont, where she served as the child nutrition initiatives manager. Earlier in her career, Fleury worked for 12 years as the associate director of the Chittenden and Franklin/Grand Isle Community Action programs of the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity.

Cycling studio gets a hip, new downtown location

BURLINGTON — Cyclepath, an indoor cycling studio, reopened last month in newly renovated space on Mechanics Lane in downtown Burlington. Husband-and-wife ownership team Ian and Kara Bouchett feel the new location — with entrance in the back of the former Burlington Free Press building — better reflects their studio’s identity than its previous location on College Street. “We have about 1,200 square feet of space here,” Ian Bouchett said. “We wanted a rugged, semi-industrial vibe — that’s what brought us to the Free Press building. We are the only dedicated indoor cycling in the heart of downtown Burlington, and we have the most aggressive urban vibe.

EcoSolutions tests aim to protect Lake Champlain

EcoSolutions, a Westford-based engineering firm, is partnering with the city of Burlington, with financial support from Main Street Project Services, on a unique pilot project aimed at reducing phosphorous in Lake Champlain. The project is testing a biological algae control methodology that could help clean the lake, with a potential added value – regenerated fertilizer for farms.

Farm tackles issue of lost produce

WINOOSKI — Jaws dropped statewide over the summer when a study revealed that farms statewide are losing more than 14 million pounds of marketable food a year. But now, a new surplus crop food hub that has opened in Winooski aims to broaden access to those millions of pounds of produce. Salvation Farms officially opened the Vermont Commodity Program in Winooski during a Sept. 27 kickoff event, which drew more than 70 people to the 276 East Allen St. facility.

Hilton marks 40th, in 70’s style

BURLINGTON — The Hilton Burlington and Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce teamed up for a Sept. 21 ’70s Throwback Party, on the 40th anniversary of the opening of the Hilton Burlington. disco balls, mood rings, disco dancing, foods from Pringles and Bugles to Jell-o molds, and a ’70s attire contest added to the retro feel of the evening. “It’s 40 years today for the hotel,” said Jeff Webb, general manager at Hilton Burlington. “It started out as a Radisson, and had a relatively short stint as a Windham Hotel.

Phoenix Books eyes off-site events

There is a brand-new van parked in front of Phoenix Books in Essex Junction, and it is all decked out in colorful decals identifying it as the property of the store. If customers can’t come to their stores, in Burlington, Essex, Rutland and Chester, then maybe the books can still get to customers. “There is an untapped market for increased sales to off-site customers, and we need a vehicle to get the books to those customers — and those customers need to know who is bringing them their books,” said owner Mike DeSanto. Phoenix Books intends to capitalize on a potential to compete in school book fairs, business-to-business relationships, off-site author events, supporting authors at their speaking engagements and creating mobile bookstores for large community events. The van will allow Phoenix to do this in the market areas served by all four locations.