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Business Notes: Sept. 8, 2013

Randolph Center Patty Stonesifer, the founding chief operating officer of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, will be the keynote speaker at the 17th annual Women’s Economic Opportunity Conference on Oct. 19 at Vermont Technical College.

Stonesifer recently became the executive director of Martha’s Table, a nonprofit organization committed to breaking the cycle of poverty in Washington, D.C. She also has been featured in recent profile stories in The New York Times, The Washington Post and on National Public Radio.

In 2010, Stonesifer was appointed by President Obama to serve as chairwoman of the White House Council on Community Solutions, and she recently complete a term as the chairwoman of the Smithsonian Institute board of directors. She has served on the U.S. delegation to the U.N. conference on AIDS and on other boards and committees, according to website of Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.

The conference is being presented by Leahy and is sponsored by Score, the Small Business Administration and 12 state agencies and Vermont Tech.

Admission is free and includes lunch, pre-arranged child care and 30 morning and afternoon workshops.

There are two morning sessions to choose from. One includes such topics as money management, marketing, crowd financing, leadership, energy management and getting a good night’s sleep. The other morning session is focused on marketing with social media and the cloud, and includes such other topics as assessing business ideas, getting a book published and balancing life and work.

Participants also can attend two afternoon workshops, including preventing identity theft, cyber safety, using Facebook, tweeting and LinkedIn and yoga and others.

The deadline for registration is Oct. 10. For more information or to register, go to www.leahy.senate.gov or call Vicki at 802-728-9101.

Company News

White River Junction-based groSolar has opened a second Vermont office in Rutland.

The solar company, which has been in business for 15 years and also has an office in Maryland, is leasing 1,000 square feet of office space in Rutland’s Opera House on Merchants Row.

“This new location is a direct link to Green Mountain Power’s Solar Capital effort. We wouldn’t be here if not for GMP,” said Steve Remen, executive vice president for business development. “GMP’s leadership is making Rutland a focal point for solar development in the region, and we want to support that effort and be a meaningful part of it. This expansion will help us do that.”

The office will initially be staffed with the company’s business development, project management and engineering teams, CEO Jamie Resor said in a news release.

In recent years, groSolar has focused its business on large commercial and utility-scale solar engineering projects and procurement and construction.

Help Systems has leased an 1,800-square-foot office space at 30 Airport Road in West Lebanon, Lang McLaughry Commercial Senior Broker Bruce M. Waters said last week. Help Systems acquired Dartware in 2012, a company created out of software technology developed at Dartmouth College. The company is a leader in systems and network management, security and business intelligence software. Help Systems is based in Eden Prairie, Minn., and the West Lebanon office currently has six to eight programmers and staff. The new office is in a 12,000 square foot building with Feldstein Dental Clinic, Liberty Mutual Insurance and Technically Sound. Lang McLaughry Commercial represented the landlord and assisted the tenant in the transaction.

Upper Valley Networking has leased an office of 1,000 square feet at 93 South Main St. in West Lebanon, Waters said. Upper Valley Networking, which is owned and operated by John Mosson and Kevin Tombs, provides business computer systems and network solutions for businesses in the Upper Valley area. The business provides support and technical expertise for Microsoft Servers, PC’s, Firewalls, Routers and VPN Connectivity. The new office will give the company higher visibility and a greater presence in the community, Tombs said in a news release.

FairPoint Communications is planning to expand and upgrade broadband Internet service in 18 towns across New Hampshire, including neighborhoods in Lyme and Newbury in the Upper Valley. FairPoint will leverage $848,000 from the Federal Communications Commission’s Connect America Fund, established in 2011 to accelerate broadband buildout to the 18 million Americans living in rural areas who have no access to broadband services. This initiative will bring broadband access or offer higher speeds to approximately 7,000 locations, of which more than 1,470 locations qualify for CAF funding. The project should be completed in three years with about a third of the communities coming online each year, the company said in a news release.

Upcoming Events

The Upper Valley Score chapter is holding a series of workshops designed for small and medium-sized businesses to learn how to more effectively grow and prosper in the current economic climate. The sessions are being held at the Score offices on the Green in Lebanon at 20 West Park St. on Thursday evenings from 6 to 9 from this Thursday through Oct. 3. The first class will cover starting a business followed by business bookkeeping, understanding a financial statement and selling and advertising. The fee is $30 per class. For information and to register, go to uppervalley.score.org.

The Upper Valley Housing Coalition’s fall business leaders breakfast is Sept. 20, from 8 to 9 a.m., at the Fireside Inn in West Lebanon. In addition to a full buffet breakfast, the event includes a discussion with a panel of young professionals, who will talk about their experience in the Upper Valley housing market. The program also includes an update on the local rental and homeownership markets from Realtors Ned Redpath, Buff McLaughry and Lynne LaBombard. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Seating is limited so reservations are required by this Friday. Reserve a seat by emailing Corb Moister Jr. at cmoister@uvhc.org, or by calling and leaving a message at 603-448-0272. A $5 donation at the door is encouraged.

Items of interest to the local business community are published every Sunday. Submissions may be mailed to: Business Notes, c/o Sunday Valley News, P.O. Box 877, White River Junction, Vt. 05001. You may also send your items by fax to 603-298-0212, or by e-mail to biznotes@vnews.com. All items are subject to editing for clarity or space.