Gerald Best

VNH hires Gerald Best

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — Gerald Best II was recently hired as revenue cycle manager at Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire, or VNH, in White River Junction. Best brings more than 20 years of revenue cycle management experience to the agency. He worked for VNH from 2002 until 2004 and was part of the team that implemented McKesson, the organization’s electronic medical records system. In his new position at VNH, Best will be responsible for all billing and document management.

Paul Anderson

Anderson to lead AVA

LEBANON, NH — AVA Gallery and Art Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire, recently appointed Paul N. Anderson III, commonly known as “Trip,” as its new executive director upon Bente Torjusen’s retirement after a 30-year tenure. Anderson will officially join AVA on Nov. 1, and Torjusen plans to retire on Dec. 2. Anderson has called the Upper Valley home since 1999 when he moved to the Eastman community in Grantham, New Hampshire.

Theater venture has big cultural goals

Director and actor Jarvis Antonio Green recently began a new theater company, JAG Productions, in a partnership with ArtisTree Community Arts Center in Pomfret, which he hopes will foster more cultural awareness in the region through the uniquely deep and moving perspectives that theater brings into our lives.

Wellness center launches at Strong House

QUECHEE — Last month, Laleh Talebian opened LifeCycle Wellness Center, located in the Strong House Spa and Muscular Therapy Clinic in Quechee. She recently announced the schedule of summer classes, which are being held through September. “Most classes are held outdoors during the summer months, but inside you can enjoy the privacy and quiet of a personal session for your strength, balance, Reiki, yoga and healthy nutritional needs,” Talebian said. Owner and founder of LifeCycle Wellness, Talebian is a research scientist and health and nutrition consultant. Through her background in cancer and immunotherapy research, she has applied her knowledge of the field to implement individualized holistic, wellness health plans through careful analysis of her clients’ genetic histories.

Inn’s new owners make big changes

WOODSTOCK — Deer Brook Inn, located on Route 4 in West Woodstock, has new owners who are giving the inn a new vision. Phil Jenkins and Win Coffin purchased the traditional farmhouse in March of this year. The newly refurbished inn is set to open mid-August. Deer Brook Inn was built in 1820, and was at that time part of a 300-acre farm. Today, the farmhouse is nestled on five acres.

Chef starting pie business in WRJ

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — Through one of his many culinary-driven treks, chef Justin Barrett fused the old classic savory pie of the United Kingdom with his own modern take. In late summer, Barrett, 33, will introduce his concept with the opening of his first restaurant, Piecemeal Pies, in downtown White River Junction. Barrett’s pie menu will include a selection of both vegetarian and meat pies. His pies begin with a traditional hot-water pie crust which is then rolled out and delicately moulded over local ingredients such as curried vegetables, beef shoulder with red wine and rosemary, pork and parsnips, rabbit and bacon, and smoked trout. “The pies will be hearty, reflecting the long cultural standing as being associated with an old-traditional workman’s lunch,” Barrett said.

Simmons

Simmons to lead Billings Farm & Museum

WOODSTOCK — David M. Simmons was recently appointed as the new director of the Billings Farm & Museum in Woodstock. Until this appointment, Simmons had served as the museum’s vice president. Prior to coming to the Billings Farm & Museum, Simmons was director of the Wade House Historic Site, a 240-acre living-history site owned and operated by the Wisconsin Historical Society. He led a $13 million expansion during his eight-year tenure at Wade House. Simmons was previously a senior manager at Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts.

Scotland by the Yard owner to retire, close store

QUECHEE — Scotland by the Yard, on its hilltop location in Quechee, has been a familiar landmark to area residents and returning tourists for almost four decades. But this summer there’s an additional sign that’s been getting attention, which reads “Retirement Sale.” Owner and merchant Don Ransom put the store’s inventory of fine Celtic imports on sale in May — and business has been booming. Ransom, who will turn 70 this year, is selling as much of the store’s merchandise as possible before he closes the doors on the business in August. The store’s selection of Celtic goods includes Irish Mohair and Scottish Tartan blankets, Irish and Scottish jewelry, worsted wool Tartan fabrics, kilts and kilt accessories including sporrans (a pouch made of leather or animal fur worn in the front of the kilt), and an extensive collection of gift items and more. “The response to the sale has been really great,” Ransom said.

Big Fatty’s BBQ adds ‘Crowler Pit’

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — Big Fatty’s BBQ of White River Junction recently unveiled a new space where it’s offering 20 additional craft beers, crowler style. The Crowler Pit, located in the same building as the restaurant, offers an alternative to the growler containers that have become a popular part of the beer industry. “A Crowler is a 32-ounce can that we fill on site with fresh draft beer. Then after it’s filled, we can it right there right before our customers. Crowlers offer our customers fresh draft beer every time without sitting in a warehouse for two or three months,” said Brandon Fox, the owner and general manager of the business.

Tuckerbox expanding in WRJ

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — The Tuckerbox, a vibrant coffeehouse and restaurant in White River Junction, is expanding its dining room and adding a full bar. “Our current space is a crowded 50 seats; we are currently undergoing an expansion that will provide a comfortable, spacious 90 seats,” said owner Jackie Oktay. Currently, Tuckerbox is about 1,500 square feet. After the expansion, the restaurant will be more than 3,000 square feet, and the project will cost approximately $100,000. “The nicest part about the expansion is we’re building a beautiful new full bar.