GREEN MOUNTAIN POWER CORPORATION (NYSE: GMP) announced the preliminary results of its successful modified “Dutch Auction” self tender offer, which expired at 12:00 midnight, New York City time, on November 19, 2002.Based on the preliminary count by the depositary for the tender offer, approximately 815,779 shares of common stock were properly tendered and not withdrawn at a price at or below $19.75 per share (including those shares tendered by shareholders who indicated in their letters of transmittal that they were willing to accept the price selected by Green Mountain Power in accordance with the terms of the offer). Green Mountain Power expects to accept for purchase 815,779 shares at a purchase price of $19.75 per share in accordance with the terms of the offer. The 815,779 shares that Green Mountain Power expects to purchase are comprised of the 800,000 shares Green Mountain Power offered to purchase and 15,779 shares to be purchased pursuant to Green Mountain Power’s right to purchase up to an additional 2% of its outstanding shares. Due to the exercise of suchright, Green Mountain Power expects that there will be no proration andthat all shares properly tendered and not withdrawn at a price at or below$19.75 per share will be purchased. Immediately following such purchase,and assuming that 815,779 shares are purchased in the offer, GreenMountain Power will have approximately 4,916,331 shares of common stockoutstanding.The determination of the actual number of and specificshares to be purchased and the price per share are preliminary and subjectto verification and final confirmation by Mellon Investor Services LLC(the depositary for the tender offer), the proper delivery of all sharestendered and not properly withdrawn (including shares tendered pursuant toguaranteed delivery procedures) and the impact of “odd lot” andconditional tenders. The final results of the tender offer will beannounced promptly following completion of the verification process.Promptly following this confirmation process, the depositary will issuepayment for the shares accepted under the tender offer and return allshares not accepted. Any questions regarding the tender offer may bedirected to Mellon Investor Services LLC at (800) 858-0985.Green MountainPower is a public utility operating company engaged in supplyingelectrical energy in the State of Vermont in a territory withapproximately one quarter of the State’s population. Green Mountain Powerserves approximately 87,000 customers.
BURLINGTON, Vt.–Some Champlain College students have been hitting the bricks of the Church Street Marketplace, but this time they arent shopping. Students in Champlains Consumer Behavior course this semester are working with five businesses on the Marketplace to complete store-specific marketing research.This is the second semester to feature such projects, which bring clipboard-carrying Marketing and Business students to the pedestrian marketplace. Last spring students worked with eight businesses on Church Street, while others conducted research for Church Street Marketplaces director Ron Redmond.It had been difficult to acquire market research because of our budget restrictions, said Marketplace director Ron Redmond. Champlain College students answered our call.The data is helpful–it tells us where our strengths and weaknesses are. What we had been doing before was relying on anecdotal information, he said. This gave us a much better read on our markets, Redmond said.This semester the students are verbally surveying store customers about things such as name recognition, customer service, reasons for visiting, and shopping habits.The student teams met with store managers to define each stores objectives and designed a project plan and questionnaire. Theyll implement the market research and analyze the responses. Theyll then deliver to these businesses a written report including findings, methodology used, relevance of data and recommendations for each store. While the businesses earn valuable market research that can be acted upon, the students will gain priceless hands-on experience.Professor Michael Miceli said, Doing a project like this helps students put theory into practice, while providing valuable information for store owners that, upon implementation, will have an immediate positive impact on their business.Area businesses and nonprofits looking for assistance to tackle business challenges and opportunities are encouraged to check out the resources available through Champlain College at www.champlain.edu/corporate(link is external).
National Life Group Names Mehran AssadiPresident of Life and AnnuitiesMontpelier, VT The National Life Group has named Mehran Assadi President of Life and Annuities. Assadi, who has been with the company in an interim role for the past two years, will have responsibility for leading and directing all of the National Life Groups life and annuity operations, including product development, marketing, sales and distribution, as well as customer service.Mehran is a leader who has earned enormous credibility and respect throughout our organization, said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tom MacLeay, in making the announcement. As president of life and annuities for the National Life Group, we know that respect and credibility will only continue to expand and grow. Assadi, 47, joined National Life in August of 2003 in a consulting capacity and served as interim Chief Information Officer. In that assignment, he managed all of the companys information technology operations and divisions. In May of 2004, Assadi was named Interim Chief Operating Officer, assuming responsibility for marketing sales and distribution in the retail divisions.Prior to joining the National Life Group, Assadi served in several roles over five years at Provident Mutual in Philadelphia, PA., including executive vice president and chief information officer as well as chief marketing officer. He previously worked for 16 years at United States Fidelity & Guaranty of Baltimore, Md. in a number of positions including, vice president of technology and business development. The National Life Group is a dynamic and growing family of financial service companies, unified in values and purpose but differentiated by specialty, structure and size. Affiliates and divisions within the National Life Group operate in locations throughout the United States and offer products and services, which help a broad spectrum of individuals and businesses meet their financial goals.
Dress for Success from the Inside Out:Vermont Woman-Owned Business Sells Lingerie Online(May 25, 2005) Proud to be a Vermont-based business specifically targeting the needs of working women, A Little Lingerie Company, LLC opened its doors to the public this month at www.alittlelingeriecompany.com(link is external). I am very pleased with the site and the response we have gotten to it so far, says A Little Lingerie Company President, Jennifer Michelle. People find it to be a very warm, user-friendly site. Since we are geared towards the needs of real women who go to work every day, our lingerie is selected to be lovely, but appropriate for under a suit or a sweater set. Ms. Michelle, an epidemiologist by training, intends to use her site to promote new definitions of body image and beauty. Women are inundated with unhealthy images and misinformation about their bodies. I am using both the site and the blog (www.alittlelingeriecompany.blogspot.com(link is external)) to open up discussion on these issues.A Little Lingerie Company carries styles that cover the range from 32A to 46F, and bottoms that go up to 4XL. An extensive amount of work was also invested in making sure good fitting information is provided on the site. If a cup size runs large or a band size runs small, stresses Ms. Michelle, we let you know. The website also contains a Fitting Guide and a Search by Size feature, and customers receive a discount any time they buy a matching set.A Little Lingerie Company is a rarity in that every page of their site is available in Spanish and English (just click to switch languages), and they provide a fully bilingual Customer Service Desk, able to respond to both phone calls and emails in either language.Ms. Michelle decided to open the online lingerie boutique while traveling in Morocco. Since my career was in international health programs, the sudden desire at age 37 to switch to retail came as a bit of a surprise, she says, (But) when I found myself telling strangers on a train, All I really want to do is sell lingerie, I knew I was in for a big change.Ms. Michelle is available for speaking engagements and articles on womens health and body image. Please contact 802-685-4355 or firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends e-mail)
Vermont Employment Incentive Growth Program AuditJune 12, 2008 State Auditor Tom Salmon Reviews First Year of the “Vermont Employment Growth Incentive” Program Says New Policies Could Reduce Excessive Incentive Awards MONTPELIER – A prominent new State economic development assistance program is in general compliance with State law, says State Auditor Tom Salmon, but several policy changes to the program could save the State millions. For the full report, go to www.auditor.vermont.gov(link is external) and click on “Audits and Reports” and then click on “Special Audits.” The Legislature asked the Auditor to review the first year of the Vermont Employment Growth Incentive program – VEGI, or the “Veggie” program as it’s sometimes called – which began in January 2007.The Vermont Economic Progress Council (VEPC) authorized $9.7 million in incentives to 13 companies in 2007. Incentive authorizations ranged from a low of $71,302 to a high of $1.9 million; the average was about $750,000. If the companies meet their job creation, payroll and investment targets for the previous calendar, they receive a cash award from the Dept. of Taxes that is paid out in installments over 5 years. The 13 companies were projected, over the next 6 years, to create 1,310 qualifying jobs, $60 million in total new qualifying payroll, and to make $116 million worth of new capital investments.The report found the program in substantial compliance with rules and regulations, but noted that policies affecting how awards are calculated may result in the State subsidizing some economic activity that would normally occur at a company.”It’s not a good use of scarce State funds to subsidize growth that is likely to happen anyway,” Salmon added. The Auditor is recommending that the Council change its policy so that it can use a company’s own growth rate – rather than the “industry sector” growth rate which includes similar companies – in its incentive award calculations. “The current approach to evaluating a proposed development is to exclude the normal business growth of a company from the award calculations because the purpose of the program is to encourage economic activity that is above and beyond the growth pattern in an industry sector,” Salmon said.Salmon noted that using the “industry sector” growth rate, instead of a company’s own historical growth rate in the calculations, is an approach that has been approved by the Legislature’s Joint Fiscal Committee. “However, the ‘industry sector’ approach is costing us money,” he said. Salmon said, “We could save money by doing more to ensure we are subsidizing only ‘stretch goals’ – the jobs and investments that are above a company’s normal growth trends.””We reviewed the applications of two companies with employment history in Vermont and found in both cases that the company’s particular growth rate was much higher than the industry sector growth rate,” Salmon said. “Using the industry growth rate, a lot of the company’s typical expected growth was included in the award calculations,” he noted, “and new payroll is the key factor in determining the total incentive amount.” “In one company, the payroll to be subsidized over the award period was a total of $819,148 using the industry growth rate, but only $56,138 using the applicant’s own growth rate,” he said.In another award, the projected payroll that qualified for an incentive over the award period was a total of $12 million using the industry average growth rate, but just $1.5 million using the company’s own growth rate,” Salmon said. Since incentives are largely based on a project’s payroll that is above the background growth rate, the choice of growth rates is important. The Auditor estimated that if historical growth rates were used in these two applications, the incentive authorizations could have been reduced by approximately $1.2 million. “There seems to be strong evidence that the State is paying for significant activity that probably would have happened anyway based on a company’s history; it’s just being masked by using a combined industry sector growth rate,” Salmon noted. “This is a policy that should be reviewed by the Joint Fiscal Committee,” he said. The report also found that the State’s consultants operating the cost-benefit model for the Council used an outdated industry classification code in calculating one company’s award. Using the wrong code resulted in employing a 1.6 percent growth rate in the award calculations, rather than the correct industry classification code which had a growth rate of 4.2 percent. The effect of this error was to award $484,000 in additional incentives over what would have been awarded had the correct industry code been used. “The Council has declined to address this error, but it is an honest mistake that should be corrected,” Salmon said. “The Council should quickly approve a policy which allows it to revise awards based on inadvertent errors,” he urged.Auditors also found that: one company had begun making project investments before final approval by the Economic Progress Council, contrary to guidelines;a checklist to guide the review of information submitted by a company about why incentives are necessary is not being used by VEPC staff;of three companies reviewed that said they had to choose between Vermont and out-of-state locations offering assistance, only one provided required contact information on the agency offering incentives, making it extremely difficult to verify “but for” statements of the two other applicants; there is no requirement for a company to maintain pay at 160 percent of the minimum wage if the minimum wage increases beyond the hiring year; in one case, it was not evident that the individuals signing an application were authorized to sign on behalf of the company; and the $10 million annual cap on incentive awards and the 80 percent ratio applied to the preliminary fiscal benefit amount are important safeguards for prudent fiscal management. Salmon said the Employment Growth Incentive program appeared to be much simpler to administer than a previous tax credit incentive program, and focuses more directly on supporting the creation of good-paying jobs with benefits. However, Salmon noted that a critical decision to award incentives is difficult to audit. “The nine volunteer Council members must, to the best of their judgment, vote on whether or not a proposed project would likely happen without incentives,” Salmon said. “If they determine that a project is likely to occur without the incentive award, the company’s application is denied. It’s a difficult decision to make,” he noted. Salmon added that the decision becomes more important considering that the awards are not based on a company’s financial need and that companies are not required to furnish financial statements, business plans or tax returns with applications. Salmon said the report also recommends that the Council get an assessment from an independent source to help members address the question of whether or not projects might proceed without State support. “It’s somewhat unfair to ask the staff that advertises the program and encourages companies to apply to also provide an impartial evaluation of the company’s application,” Salmon noted.
Three utilities solicit new energy contractsVermont’s three-largest electric utilities today issued a joint request for new power supply resource proposals, casting a wide net across the Northeast and Canada, and the state’s two largest utilities issued an additional request for bids to supply more energy in case Vermont Yankee is unavailable.Central Vermont Public Service, Green Mountain Power and Vermont Electric Cooperative said today’s solicitations would be the first of several staggered RFPs issued over the next couple of years.In one RFP, the utilities are jointly seeking up to 100 megawatts of energy, up to 40 megawatts each for CVPS and GMP, and 20 megawatts for VEC. In the second RFP, CVPS is seeking an additional 100 megawatts and GMP an additional 50 megawatts. The utilities expect to issue RFPs in 2010 and 2011 as well, to stagger the start and end dates of various portfolio components.”This is part of our broader integrated resource planning efforts, which are designed to ensure we continue to provide safe, clean, reliable and affordable energy in the years ahead,” the utilities said in a joint statement. “As a state, we enjoy arguably the cleanest power supply in the country, with rates that are the lowest in the Northeast. Our power-planning efforts are intended to preserve those competitive advantages to the greatest extent possible.”The three companies rely heavily on energy from Hydro-Quebec and Vermont Yankee, but contracts with both suppliers end between 2012 and 2016. Vermont Yankee’s license, which expires in 2012, is being considered for renewal. While contract negotiations are under way for new power supplies with both those suppliers, the utilities are also planning to take this opportunity to diversify their portfolios in the years ahead.CVPS, GMP issue second requestThe second RFP by CVPS and GMP for 150 megawatts of new energy is contingent on the outcome of Vermont Yankee relicensing and contract negotiations.”We want to be prepared in the event Vermont Yankee is not relicensed, or negotiations fail to produce an acceptable power contract,” CVPS President Bob Young said. “Last fall, I made a commitment to legislators that I’d come back to them in January with information on the cost impacts if we were to lose Vermont Yankee, and this request for bids will help us understand the scale of that impact.”Young and GMP President and CEO Mary Powell said they continued to view Vermont Yankee as a solid, reliable and affordable asset, but issued the RFP to help prepare for the possibility of its loss.”Vermont Yankee provides us power that has low emissions and is very reliable,” Powell said. “Assuming it can pass state and federal reviews, we hope it will continue to be an option, but we must prepare for a different outcome.”Several factors to be weighedThe utilities said that among the factors to be considered in both RFPs are price, volatility or stability, fuel diversity, environmental attributes, the results of the state’s public outreach process and reliability.”Regardless of the outcome of the VY debate, we want to expand the pool of potential suppliers to ensure the best power mix possible,” the utilities said. “We may each weigh the value of the proposals differently, but we will give added weight to reliable, renewable and stably priced proposals. Each company will make its own decisions about accepting or rejecting the proposals, but we all put extra value on non-fossil, renewable supplies from diverse sources.”Fuel diversity and credit requirements will be considered,” the utilities said. “Energy from small or medium-sized renewable projects will be given more weight than energy from large fossil fuel plants. New projects that can defer or supplant the need for transmission and distribution expansion or upgrades will be favorably evaluated.”The RFPs are just one of several activities the utilities are taking to ensure a solid energy future for Vermont. CVPS, GMP and VEC, along with Washington Electric Cooperative and VPPSA, sponsored a study of the possibility of building a new in-state generator, and all the companies are working to develop renewable energy such as CVPS Cow Power(tm) and Greener GMP.The RFPs are being distributed to all New England Power Pool participants, power suppliers and developers, which includes dozens of companies in the region. “Our hope is to notify winning bidders in late March,” the utilities said.More information about participating in the RFPs can be found at www.cvps.com(link is external).
Hannaford Food & Drug South Burlington,Hannaford Supermarkets announced today that it plans to build a new Hannaford Supermarket & Pharmacy in Hinesburg. Hannaford will seek Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for this facility.Hannaford has submitted plans and application materials to the Town of Hinesburg and is looking forward to working with local and state officials to secure approval. The proposed new supermarket will feature a butcher shop, produce and seafood departments, a bakery and a deli, and a full-service, drive-through pharmacy. The store will also sell locally grown and produced items through the Hannaford Close to Home program.‘We look forward to providing the residents of Hinesburg and the surrounding communities with a convenient, first-class shopping experience,’ said Matt Paul, Hannaford spokesperson. ‘Our plan to build a LEED-certified supermarket that features our everyday low prices and the nation’s first nutrition navigation system ‘ Guiding Stars ‘ shows that we are committed to our customers, the environment and the community.’The 35,000-square-foot store, proposed to be built in the remaining lot of the Giroux Commercial Subdivision with an entrance off Commerce Street, will employ about 100 associates.Hannaford has a history of environmental stewardship and forward-thinking design. In July 2009, the company opened the world’s most environmentally advanced supermarket in Augusta, Maine. The U.S. Green Building Council awarded the store Platinum LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, the USGBC’s highest standard. The company also opened a Gold LEED store in Duanesburg, N.Y., in June 2010.Hannaford will apply many of those principles at the Hinesburg store, such as the use of energy-efficient lighting and refrigeration systems.‘We’ll also emphasize recycling cardboard, plastic and other materials in our daily operations ‘ as we do in every Hannaford location ‘ to increase efficiency and reduce environmental impact,’ Paul said.Last year, Hannaford was named one of America’s 10 healthiest supermarkets by Health magazine. Its stores offer a large selection of natural and organic products, many of them supplied by local farms through the company’s Close to Home program. All Hannaford stores use Guiding Stars, an at-a-glance system that guides customers to foods with good, better and best nutritional value.‘We’ve found that programs such as Close to Home and Guiding Stars, combined with everyday low prices, earn strong approval from customers,’ Paul said.About Hannaford SupermarketsHannaford Supermarkets, based in Scarborough, Maine, operates 176 stores and employs more than 27,000 associates in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. Most Hannaford locations have full-service pharmacies and all stores feature Guiding Stars, the nation’s first storewide nutrition navigation system.Source: Hannaford. 11.12.2010 www.hannaford.com(link is external).# # #
Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC,Attorney Peter D Van Oot of the law firm Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC has been named Volunteer of the Year for 2011 in the eleven northeast states by the Northeast Economic Development Association. The award will be presented at NEDA’s annual meeting on October 24 at the Sheraton Hotel in Burlington. ‘Pete Van Oot worked tirelessly to promote economic development in southern Vermont during his many years in Brattleboro,’ according to Jeff Lewis, executive director of the Brattleboro Economic Development Corporation. ‘His focus and leadership helped the organization create a dynamic strategy that addressed widespread economic decline in the region. Under his leadership BDCC developed a CEO council, a robust public policy activity, annual plan reviews, and led a transformation of board membership. BDCC now annually exceeds its goals for economic development and its own financial stability. Based on Pete’s work with the board, BDCC is now leading a regional strategy project looking to address long-term job and population loss, and the prospective loss of the region’s largest employer.’ For the past several years, Van Oot has been transitioning from Brattleboro to the firm’s Lebanon office, where he has recently worked with the Green Mountain Economic Development Corporation. ‘The GMEDC is the economic development engine for the east-central and Upper Valley regions of Vermont,’ explained Joan Goldstein, executive director. ‘Pete has brought that same deep level of commitment to his role on the board at GMEDC. Leadership of this type ought to be recognized, and I am pleased that NEDA saw it the same way we did.’ The Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes an individual who serves without pay to promote effective economic development. Criteria include service to community, region, and/or organization; demonstrated leadership, and long-term commitment. At DRM, where he is a director, Van Oot advises commercial clients, utilities and institutions on significant policy issues, permits and transactions that require a range of expertise in corporate, environmental and real estate law. He co-chairs the firms Regulated Entities Group. He has been selected by his peers for recognition in The Best Lawyers in America, is recognized among New England Superlawyers and earned the AV Preeminent Peer Rating from Martindale Hubbell for environmental law. He is also recognized in Chambers USA 2011: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. Outside of his professional duties, Van Oot serves on the board of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce and GMEDC. He has served as president of the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation and is a former member of Vermont Governor James H. Douglas’ Jobs Cabinet and the Brownfields Advisory Committee to the Vermont Legislature. He is a member of the Vermont Community Foundation, has been chair of the United Way of Windham County and was a member of the board of World Learning, Inc. The Northeastern Economic Developers Association consists of over 500 professional economic developers, appointed and volunteer economic development officials, and others committed to sound economic development practice, in the eleven northeastern states and the District of Columbia. (Specifically, these states include Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.) NEDA provides professional development education, publishes information about best professional practices, and supports the pursuit of individual economic development education throughout the Northeast. Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC is a full-service law firm with more than 60 attorneys and six offices in Vermont, New Hampshire and New York. DRM provides legal services to local, national and international clients in practice areas that include bankruptcy and business restructuring, business law, captive insurance, energy and telecommunications, family law, health law, intellectual property, labor and employment, litigation, real estate and land use, environmental law, tax law and trusts and estates. The firm represents clients in legislative, regulatory and public affairs through the Government and Public Affairs group. DRM is the law firm member for Vermont of Lex Mundi, the world’s leading association of independent law firms.
Chroma Technology Corp,On its 20th anniversary, employee-owned Chroma Technology in BellowsFalls has a lot to celebrate.The company, which manufactures optical microscope filters andcoatings for laboratories all over the world, recently opened a salesoffice in Xiamen, China. And for the third consecutive year, it hasbeen honored by Inc. Magazine, which released its prestigious Inc.500/5000 – a list of the nation’s fastest-growing private businesses- on August. 23.This year marks a rise of 834 positions on the list for Chroma, whichwas honored for an impressive 27 percent three-year growth and 2010revenues of $24.2 million. The company employs 95 people.”This means we had a great year last year,” said CEO Paul Millman.”And more importantly, it means we are once again recognized by thegreater business community outside of Vermont. As much as I love therecognition we receive in Vermont, there is something very specialabout being recognized by the larger US business community.”All of Chroma’s manufacturing is done in Vermont, and it has longexported much of what it produces here. The new office in China,which joins offices in Europe and North America, represents a logicalnext step in the company’s growth.”China is investing billions of dollars in biomedical andbiotechnical research and development,” Millman said. “We seek tohave the kind of close-up and personal relationship with Chineseengineers and scientists that we have with their counterparts in theUS and Europe. Only a Chroma presence in China will make thishappen.”The complete list of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles, canbe found at http://www.inc.com/inc5000/list/2011(link is external).Other Vermont companies on the list this year include King ArthurFlour, Resource Systems Group, MBA Healthgroup, CPA Site Solutions,Fuse and Global Sourcing Group. Chroma is the only manufacturer fromVermont on the list.”The most important highlight of our 20 years is that anemployee-owned company in a small state became a very importantsupplier to some of the most important manufacturing companies of theworld,” Millman said. “I can’t think of a higher light than that.That’s thrilling.” Chria. 8.30.2011
The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) on Thursday, October 13 will close a small section of Route 30 in Hubbardton so that work crews can replace a culvert that was badly damaged by Tropical Storm Irene. The repair work ‘ which will take two days to complete ‘ is considered temporary and designed to allow Route 30 to operate safely through the winter. Crews will return sometime after winter to make more permanent repairs. The culvert is located under Route 30 in the area along Beebe Pond. Work will begin at sunup on Thursday, October 13, and is scheduled to finish by sundown on Friday, October 14. During construction, Route 30 in this area will be closed to all traffic. Truck traffic during construction will be rerouted around the area. The detour will direct large, commercial vehicles to use Route 4 to the south and Route 73 to the north, where they can then connect with Route 22A to continue their north/south journey. Small pleasure vehicles are encouraged to seek more local alternate routes. For up-to-date information on storm-related openings and closings, people can call VTrans recovery call center at 1-800-866-7099 or go to the agency’s homepage at www.aot.state.vt.us(link is external) where they can sign up for alerts pushed to their mobile phone. You can also follow VTrans’ recovery efforts on both Facebook and Twitter.VTrans. 10.11.2011