Mark Dowling, co-owner of Creative Habitat at Ben Franklin, has been appointed to the Board of Directors of Sierra Pacific Crafts (SPC) in Woodburn, Oregon. Dowlings appointment is the first Board appointment of any store owner east of the Mississippi.Im extremely proud of my brother, co-owner Michael Dowling stated, Mark has worked very hard with the Sierra Pacific Crafts people to become an integral and important part of SPC. This is good for Mark, and great for Creative Habitat and its customers.Sierra Pacific Crafts is led by a nine-member Board of Directors, composed of store owners. Mark Dowling was appointed to a three-year term in March of 2004. Mark is a member of the Technology Committee, as well as Secretary of the Board.SPC is a strong organization of independent store owners with a sharing philosophy, explained Mark. As the first store from the eastern U.S., Creative Habitat has an opportunity to learn from other independent craft stores, particularly from the west, as well as to influence crafts trends across the country.Originally called Ben Franklin, the Dowlings have co-owned the store since 1991. Six years ago, the Ben Franklin parent company went into bankruptcy, leaving the store with no product supplier. That is when the Sierra Pacific Crafts connection began.Sierra Pacific Crafts is a cooperative organization of successful independently owned craft stores located throughout the United States. The organization began with two stores and now boasts a 60-store membership. SPC offers ongoing marketing programs, staff educational programs and exclusive import and domestic buying opportunities, along with a plethora of other membership benefits.SPCs goal is to make all our stores a success in the craft and home décor business, Mark explained. Thanks to our connection with SPC, Creative Habitat has been ahead of the latest craft trends available today. A benefit we pass on to our customers.Creative Habitat at Ben Franklin, formerly Ben Franklin, has been owned and operated by Mark and Michael Dowling since 1991. Creative Habitat is an independent store in the Burlington community, continuing in the family tradition of quality home design, crafts, and framing. Creative Habitat at Ben Franklin is located on Shelburne Road in South Burlington, telephone 802-862-0646. You may also visit them on the web at: www.creativehabitatvt.com(link is external).
Green Mountain Power Announces Quarterly DividendCOLCHESTER, VT Directors of Green Mountain Power Corporation (NYSE:GMP) have announced a quarterly cash dividend of $0.28 per share on the utility’s Common Stock, payable March 26, 2007 to holders of record at the close of business on March 12, 2007. The indicated annual dividend rate is $1.12.Green Mountain Power Corporation (www.greenmountainpower.biz(link is external)) is a Vermont-based energy services company serving 90,000 electric customers.
Computer Connection, a division of Datamann, Inc., is proud to announce that Service Technicians, Chris Scelza and Art Grodan recently received their certifications as Microsoft Certified Professionals (MCP). To earn MCP it was necessary for Scelza and Grodan to each pass a certification exam administered by Microsoft. These certifications further increase Computer Connection’s value as a Microsoft Certified Partner.Computer Connection specializes in retail and accounting software solutions. Additionally, they sell and support business networks, related hardware, and provide training services. Located in Wilder, Vermont, Computer Connection became a division of Datamann, Inc. in February 2006.
The Associated General Contractors of Vermont (AGC/VT) named Cathy Voyer of Morrisville to lead the 150 member organization today. A former member of the Vermont House of Representatives, Voyer has worked for Governor Douglas in the Agency of Human Services managing legislative, housing and transportation issues. Voyer’s experience both in the State House and with partner organizations throughout the state will be valuable to contractors as they face the twin challenges declining building cycle and increased federal stimulus funds.”Cathy Voyer brings leadership, experience and energy to AGC which is exactly what is needed for contractors in Vermont during this economic cycle,” said Don Wells, President of DEW Construction and Chair of the Board of Directors of AGC/VT.”The work the contractors do throughout the state impacts many individuals, communities and businesses and it’s important to ensure that these key Vermont employers are positioned to take full advantage of the federal stimulus money coming to this state so they can continue to employ more Vermonters. I look forward to working with AGC/VT to accomplish this goal,” said Voyer.AGC/VT provides exceptional training programs to educate and enhance the skills of existing workers, as well as recruit new workers. They offer a variety of educational programs to help improve every aspect of a contractors business. AGC/VT sponsors seminars and educational member activities to aid in career development including safety, quality management, supervisor training and skills training classes. The values and importance of education in the construction trades is recognized by the association and enhanced by student chapters and scholarships.
Cotton is a graduate of Clarkson University and earned a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), a Certified Treasury Professional (CTP), a Fellow of the Life Management Institute (FLMI), a member of the Association of Financial Professionals, the LOMA Treasury Committee, the New York State Society of CPAs, the Vermont Society of CPAs, and the Vermont Security Analysts Society. He is a resident of Williston, Vermont. In his new post Cotton, who joined National Life in 1993, will be responsible for all financial operations of National Life Group, a Fortune 1000 company with $29 billion in assets under management. He will also work with Assadi on strategy and business development. The companies of National Life Group offer life insurance, annuities, and investment* products and services. National Life Group,Bob Cotton has been appointed chief financial officer and senior vice president of National Life Group, it was announced today by Mehran Assadi, president and chief executive officer. ‘This is an exciting time for National Life Group,’ said Cotton. ‘We are a very strong company with a strategic plan that is designed to make us even stronger. I am incredibly honored to be working with Mehran on executing this strategy.’ Prior to joining National Life, he served as an accounting manager at Library Bureau, Inc., and before that as a senior accountant at Coopers & Lybrand. Commenting on the appointment, Assadi said, ‘Bob’s deep knowledge of National Life Group and his broad familiarity with the entire financial services industry will be of tremendous value as we execute our plans for the future. As the leader of our companywide initiative to craft a new three-year strategic plan Bob brought energy and focus that helped us develop a clear direction for our future.’ Cotton began his career with the company as a staff auditor. He steadily assumed positions of greater responsibility and served as the company’s treasurer for six years before his appointment in January as senior vice president for finance.
FirstLiight/Sovernet Communications,The Vermont Telecommunications Authority (VTA) announced today that Southern Vermont Broadband Cooperative and Cloud Alliance, LLC, were selected to receive discounted commercial broadband connections on the Vermont FiberConnect network. Additional award announcements are expected in the coming weeks. To meet the public interest needs of reaching more underserved areas of the state, VTA selected the last-mile providers while Sovernet Fiber Corp. will offer them deeply discounted network connections. Awards were based upon review and evaluation of the recipients’ responses to a Request for Proposal that was issued by the VTA in May. Each of the recipients demonstrated that their broadband service offerings would target the Hardwick area and Stamford which are among the most underserved communities in rural Vermont.The VTA’s RFP offered as many as 10 commercial connections to the Vermont FiberConnect network which will be engineered and owned by Sovernet. ‘When these ‘last-mile’ service providers have a higher capacity lower cost option, like Vermont FiberConnect, they can more readily offer high speed broadband services, internet access, and other services directly to Vermont consumers with better coverage and more options,’ said Rich Kendall, CEO of Sovernet. Small internet service providers have been challenged to find affordable connections that enable provision of last-mile broadband service. Michael Birnbaum of Cloud Alliance sums up the business scenario this way: ‘We at Cloud Alliance have been fortunate, since our inception in 2005, to have access to fiber-optic transmission of bandwidth. One provider has been available, and we paid very high rates for this most essential commodity. Vermont FiberConnect is a game-changer for our small, local company. This network will bring us guaranteed low-cost, high-capacity connections, with access to several competing carriers for bandwidth. While we wait for the project to be constructed to two new tower locations, it has already delivered a benefit; our existing provider, and now, others, are competing for our business, driving the costs down. As a result, we can already announce lower pricing for our current subscribers and for unserved households and businesses in our expansion area.’ ‘These announcements help to show how the Vermont FiberConnect project will push fiber infrastructure more deeply into our underserved rural communities and how that will make better last-mile broadband services available,’ said Christopher Campbell, Executive Director of VTA. The award takes the State of Vermont one step closer to achieving its goal of 100% broadband coverage by improving the business case for service providers to deploy services in areas with low population density. About Vermont FiberConnect: Vermont FiberConnect is 770 mile fiber optic network under development by Sovernet Fiber Corp, an affiliate of Vermont-based Sovernet Communications.The network will connect over 340 community anchor institutions such as K-12 schools, colleges, public libraries, healthcare providers, government offices and public safety communications in southern, central, and northeastern Vermont, encompassing seven of Vermont’s fourteen counties. Vermont FiberConnect is also designed to provide wholesale data transport services to broadband and telecommunications service providers such as Internet service providers, telecom companies and cellular companies. The network will interconnect with several new adjoining regional ‘middle-mile’ fiber networks, including Network New Hampshire Now, MassBroadband 123 and the ION network in upstate New York. The project has been funded by a combination of public and private capital, including a $33.4 million grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), a $2 million grant from the State of Vermont via Vermont Telecommunication Authority, a $400,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and over $12 million of private capital committed by Sovernet. The VTA is the recipient of and conduit for the federal, state and foundation grants. Sovernet Fiber Corp. will build, own, operate and provide services over the Vermont FiberConnect network. NTIA funding of the project, through its BTOP ‘Comprehensive Community Infrastructure’ program, is intended to help ensure sustainable community growth, and to provide the foundation for enhanced household and business broadband Internet services by deploying new or improved broadband Internet facilities and connecting ‘community anchor institutions.’ For further information, please visitwww.vermontfiberconnect.com(link is external). Montpelier, VT ‘ July 18, 2011 Vermont Telecommunications Authority
The companies of National Life Group offer life insurance, annuities, and investment* products and services. Prior to joining National Life, Smith was a consultant in the areas of life insurance product management and development, distribution, technology implementation and new business initiatives. She also was with Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Company for more than 20 years National Life Group,Ruth B Smith has been promoted to the position of executive vice president for protection at National Life Group, it was announced today by Mehran Assadi, president and chief executive officer. Since 2009 Smith has been in charge of the life insurance division of National Life Group, a Fortune 1000 company with $29 billion in assets under management. She oversees product development, business acquisition services, customer services, agent services, and claims management. Over her career Smith has earned her Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and Fellow, Life Management Institute (FLMI) designations. She received her undergraduate and MBA degrees from the University of Hartford and resides in Stowe, Vermont. October 31, 2011 National Life Group ‘What makes Ruth so unique is her love of our business, her passion for the field and for the people who represent National Life Group across the country,’ he said. ‘Her optimism infects us all. Most importantly, she delivers results.’ ‘This promotion reflects Ruth’s incredible record of accomplishment at National Life Group,’ said Assadi. ‘Ruth joined the company in 1999 as vice president of registered products, and was placed in charge of implementing an independent distribution channel for our life business. That effort has been successful beyond anyone’s expectations. Independent distribution has been – and continues to be – critical to our growth.’