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Hanover Chamber of Commerce Announces Leadership Awards

Hanover — An Enfield resident, a Hanover arts center and two area businesses were honored Tuesday at the Hanover Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual leadership awards banquet. The theme for the 2012 awards, presented to current and emeritus chamber members, is “Courageous Imagination.”

“This year’s award winners have demonstrated the courageous imagination to pursue and realize dreams and have helped to set a standard of excellence in the Upper Valley,” the chamber said in a recent news release.

The Hopkins Center for the Arts received the Innovator of the Year Award, which is presented to an area business that has enhanced the vitality of the community with its ingenuity and creativity, the chamber said.

“The Hopkins Center for the Arts, with its daily influence on the cultural fabric of Hanover, is one of the prime arts organizations in the Upper Valley,” the chamber said. The center has contributed to the community’s cultural and economic life through its “consistent modeling of collaboration with peer art organizations, Dartmouth and area students of all ages, patrons of the arts, and a continuous stream of creative performers and artists.”

Tom Byrne received the Chamber Achievement Award for his “selfless and tireless service” to family, friends, the community and Dartmouth College. Byrne worked for Dartmouth College for three decades, first as business manager of the Hopkins Center, and then business manager and later associate director of computing services. After retiring in 1991, he served as general manager of the Hanover Improvement Society. He serves on the Regional Board of Directors of the Vermont and the New Hampshire Valley Chapter of the Red Cross and is helping to document Hanover’s 250th celebrations. He is a co-author of Town of Hanover — 1761-2011, a book published last year in honor of the anniversary.

The Business Leadership Award is presented to a business, organization, community or nonprofit that has helped “invigorate the economic health” of the area the chamber serves, while “contributing to the well being of the Upper Valley.” The 2012 award went to West Lebanon-based Simple Energy for “its vision of neighborliness, environmental stewardship and community service.”

Designer Gold, a Hanover jewelry store owned by Paul Gross and Peggy Sadler, was named Small Business Innovator of the Year. The chamber cited Gross and Sadler’s “extraordinary ... combination of business acumen and care for community as expressed through the application of surprising innovation to their high-quality jewelry and their passion as volunteers and business people for a healthy community in Hanover.”

Company News

West Lebanon Feed & Supply was recently awarded OSHA Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) designation for its efforts to provide exemplary safety and healthy work environment practices.

The certification is granted to employers who have demonstrated exceptional achievements in workplace safety and health. Participating businesses must undergo a comprehensive safety and health site evaluation and work with an OSHA consulting team to ensure that effective safety and health management systems are in place.

For West Lebanon Feed & Supply, the process involved rigorous testing of multiple work environments, inspection of current health and safety policies and practices, provision of documentation regarding hazard prevention and safety initiatives, and a host of other tests and training to ensure the highest level of workplace health and safety.

Only five other businesses in New Hampshire and about 1,600 in the country hold SHARP status, the company said in a recent news release.

General Manager Steve Bingel said the SHARP distinction demonstrates West Lebanon Feed & Supply’s commitment to employee health and well being.

“Nationally, we are among only a handful of businesses with under 100 employees to receive this recognition,” Bingel said in the release. “It is our hope that other businesses within our industry and beyond will follow our lead in making employee safety a top priority.”

Upcoming Events

A conference on reducing food waste will take place Dec. 4 at Vermont Technical College in Randolph.

“Reducing Food Waste Through Source Reduction” is the second part of GroundWork, a four-conference series on sustainability. The series, offered by the college’s Institute for Applied Agriculture and Food Systems, focuses on agriculture, education, innovation and the future of the regional economy.

The December conference will look at strategies for reducing food waste to save money and help meet new statewide waste management goals and the EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge. It will also address the implications of solid waste legislation in Vermont for generators of large quantities of food waste.

The keynote speaker will be Nora Goldstein, the editor of Biocycle, a magazine that covers composting, sustainability and renewable energy.

Other speakers will include Justin Johnson, Deputy Commissioner of Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, and Cathy Jamieson and Carey Hengstenberg from the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation’s Solid Waste Program.

A representative of the Recovery Challenge Program will lead a panel discussion featuring Andrea Asch, manager of natural resources, Ben & Jerry’s; Kasey Harris, sustainability programs specialist, Hannaford Bros. Co.; Daria Holcomb, dining services manager, Fletcher Allen Health Care; and John Sayles, CEO, Vermont Food Bank. A second panel discussion will address food waste reduction and tracking.

The event is cosponsored by the EPA and the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources.

Upcoming conferences in the GroundWork series are Connecting Education with Employers on Jan. 15, 2013, and Aligning Educational Needs and Resources; Vermont Technical College’s Roadmap, and Collaborations with Educational Counterparts on March 12, 2013.

The cost is $25 per conference, and scholarships are available. To register, go to www.vtc.edu/groundwork. For more information, email Ivansteamburg@vtc.edu or call 802-728-1339.

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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.