Entrepreneurship

Furthering broadbased economic development in Vermont

 

Recently we attended a lunch and learn about some of the key issues facing the State of Vermont in its Tech focused economic development efforts as well as key focuses for the year ahead for the new administration. We heard about statewide economic development efforts from Mike Schirling, Secretary of the State of Vermont Agency of Commerce, Community, Housing and Economic Development. (A mouthful) For a renewed beginning see beta version of www.thinkvt.com. Thanks to Vermont Technology Alliance for spearheading this and Logic Supply for hosting the lunch and learn.

Areas of economic development focus

Innovation center, maker hubs

Accelerators and incubator ecosystem

Enhance coworking opportunities

Better and more fiber

Access to capital

Integrated communication

Easier customer experience navigating permitting, contracting

Smooth access to needed agency services.

Help needed

Vermont Senate and Vermont House of Representatives economic development committees please support additional funding for the Agency to market the whole story of Vermont rather than no funding. This story spans across tourism, technology, sustainable business in technology, agriculture, food and spirits, our historic downtowns and naturalbeauty, entrepreneurialism and more?

What's next?

Lots to keep talking about these issues Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR), Vermont Chamber, Vermont Business Roundtable, Vermont Business Magazine, Seven Days, Burlington Free Press and keep the conversation going. Vermont needs to thrive for the generations to follow.  Lots of work to do, bills and important cross party lines and advocacy conversations to have.

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Celebrating Best Places to Work in Vermont

Best Places to Work Vermont Celebration - 2017

Best Places to Work Vermont Celebration - 2017

Tonight we attend the 11th annual Best Places to Work in Vermont held in South Burlington. A sold out event, experiencing it shines a light on successes around the State in businesses large and small following their values and passions building thriving companies. 

By embracing 'Best Places to Work' processes and organizational strategies, companies drive culture building and engagement helping attract and retain talent, improved performance and more. 

We have always wanted to attend to be amongst all of this amazing positive energy.  And being here certainly doesn't disappoint! Vermont is a special place to live, work and run a business.  

There is so much variety in the business focus and value sets of the award winning companies here. What they hold common is their passion for measuring the success of their environment, employee survey results, levels of engagement in programs and other factors.

Another factor is having clear and persistently lived and shared values in their workplaces. Building successful organizations is clearly a team sport requiring many hands and brilliant minds working together. Strength in values and strength in a team of operations, administration, and in many cases, the field, or manufacturing floor all counts. 

16 of the 45 companies here tonight are here for the first time. It's our impression building a best place to work takes years and requires a big vision to get there. Companies following Best Places strategies over the long run, research shows, perform 50-100% better than industry peers. Long term commitment to the process really matters to building success. 

Consider pursuing a Best Places to Work mindset in 2017 and beyond. You won't regret it!

American Meadows New Offices

A New Home

      Driving down Shelburne Road in Shelburne, Vermont a new workplace for American Meadows and High Country Seeds rises along one of the busiest roads in Vermont.  
     Their new workplace displays our mission and values driven design and work process. We designed their interior architecture renovation including front of house offices, meeting spaces, collaboration areas, and shipping/ receiving areas. We provided space planning, workplace strategies and more.  
      We worked closely with the owner on the design who then collaborated with Christine Burdick who provided finishing touches of targeted finishes, furniture selection and wall graphics. 

The Process:

      Together we created a new workplace environment echoing their brand DNA of a disruptive e-commerce company operating in the gardening and seed space.  The owner purchased the former site of a venerable area outdoor recreation store which became a high end furniture store seeing new possibilities for re-purposing its' tall floor to floor heights and vast open areas into a high functioning collaborative focused open office workplace and seed shipping and receiving warehouse area.  

View of open work area towards "garden shed" meeting space and kitchen work cafe beyond.

View of open work area towards "garden shed" meeting space and kitchen work cafe beyond.

      There's more to be done in the months ahead but these images show what's emerging.  Like their brand, they've planted a new seed in Shelburne providing the area with renewed energy and vitality.  We helped create meeting spaces in close proximity to open work areas and common spaces like the kitchen commons which also doubles as a flexible meeting space.

A Kit of Parts

       We developed an interior kit of parts of interior elements which evolved out of a garden shed aesthetic with common everyday materials like galvanized corrugated sheet metal, rustic shake shingles, a timber frame. The client was extremely interested in bringing a feeling of nature near into their new workplace with natural materials including repurposing as flooring in the central common area reclaimed bleachers. 
      Improving daylighting and access to views outside was also critical to American Meaodws. We campaigned for opening up the center of darkest area with a generous skylight to let daylight and the sunshine in over the kitchen / common area.  To further lighten the space on the south elevation, a series of large windows matching existing windows on other elevations were installed.

View of open work area from main entry.

View of open work area from main entry.

See this gallery of more photos of their new space.