Alumni Awards 2016

first_imgThis year, the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and CAES Alumni Association recognized bankers, farmers and Cooperative Extension leaders as part of its annual awards program.“From the farm and field to the board and exam rooms, our alumni are leaders in a variety of areas,” said Elliott Marsh, president of the CAES Alumni Association. “These awards not only allow us to recognize the accomplishments of our fellow alumni, but also the ways in which CAES has contributed to our collective success.”The alumni association recognized its 2016 award winners at the annual CAES Alumni Awards Banquet on Nov. 11 in Athens, Georgia.UGA soybean pioneer John Woodruff, of Tifton, Georgia, and former Georgia Rep. Richard Royal, of Camilla, Georgia, were inducted into the Georgia Agricultural Hall of Fame. To find out more about these new inductees, visit tinyurl.com/GaAgHallofFame2016.This year, the alumni association awarded four Alumni Awards of Excellence. These awards recognize CAES alumni who have achieved excellence in their chosen fields or in their communities. This year’s winners include:Beverly Sparks, former CAES associate dean for ExtensionSparks, who graduated from UGA with her undergraduate degree in horticulture in 1978, went on to receive her master’s degree in entomology from UGA and her doctorate in entomology from Louisiana State University. After a long career in UGA Extension, Sparks was named associate dean for Extension within CAES in 2007. She was the first woman to lead UGA Extension, and she served as director of Extension until 2014. Her leadership is credited with helping Extension weather the financial turmoil that accompanied the Great Recession.D. Wayne Akins Jr., chief retail banking officer of Synovus BankAkins comes from a long line of CAES graduates. His grandfather graduated from the college in 1960. His mother served as a 4-H Extension agent for 30 years. Akins credits Josef Broder, currently the associate dean for academic affairs, for helping him find his career path.From 1998 to 2009, Akins served as the CEO and president of Sea Island Bank in Statesboro, Georgia. During his time there, Akins directed the strategic growth, profitability and market shares of the organization. He led nine executives and more than 140 personnel.When Sea Island Bank was consolidated into Synovus Bank, he assumed a leadership position and now serves as chief retail banking officer for the company, which operates 280 branch offices in five southeastern states.Charles Hubert Bronson Jr., former Florida commissioner of agriculture and consumer servicesBronson received a bachelor’s degree in animal science and agricultural education in 1972. Over the course of his career, he taught agricultural science at Gainesville High School, worked as a agricultural supply salesman and was elected to the Florida State Senate representing Brevard and Osceola counties.In addition to serving on several authorities and advisory committees across the state, Bronson served as state senator from 1994 to 2001, when he was named commissioner of agriculture and consumer services by Gov. Jeb Bush. He was subsequently reelected to two more terms, serving in the post until he retired in 2011.Lowry Weyman Hunt, Jr., sixth-generation Morgan County, Georgia, farmerHunt was the first in his family to seek a college degree in agriculture.He graduated from CAES in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture. During his time at UGA, he majored in animal science and minored in agronomy. Hunt knew that knowledge in these areas would help him run the family business, Godfrey’s Warehouse, and the family farm, Innisfail Farm.Innisfail, a 2,200-acre timber and cattle farm, has been in Hunt’s family for six generations. Hunt took over operations in 1972. The alumni association also honored three young alumni through its CAES Young Alumni Achievement Awards. These awards recognize CAES alumni under 35 who have achieved excellence in their chosen fields or in their communities. The 2016 award winners include:Allison Perkins, UGA Extension 4-H and Youth Development agent in Bartow CountyPerkins graduated from CAES in 2005. She majored in animal science, then went on to get her master’s degree in agricultural leadership.In her current position, Perkins is responsible for implementing educational programs for 4-H youth within Bartow County, Georgia. She carries out equine programs for youth.Cliff Riner, coordinator of the Vidalia Onion and Vegetable Research Center and Vidalia onion area Extension agentRiner received his bachelor’s degree in agricultural education from CAES in 2006 and is currently pursuing his master’s degree in agricultural and environmental education.Riner started his career as the Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension agent in Tattnall County, Georgia, and was promoted to his current position as coordinator of the Vidalia Onion and Vegetable Research Center and the Vidalia onion area UGA Extension agent in 2013.Luke Lanier, assistant vice president of Metter BankLanier graduated from CAES in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics.After graduation, Lanier accepted a job at Durden Banking Company and moved back to his family farm in Candler County, Georgia. Lanier spent the past eight years helping local farmers by coordinating agricultural lending.For more information about the ways that alumni of the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences have shaped the world visit alumni.caes.uga.edu.last_img read more

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Soil Sensors

first_imgFarmers know water is a valuable resource, and many farmers are now using soil sensors in their fields to control soil moisture content.Small-plot and home gardeners can take a cue from professional farmers by becoming more conscientious about when they apply irrigation to home landscapes and gardens throughout spring and summer, says Andre da Silva, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension vegetable horticulturist.Just as soil moisture sensors help farmers to understand when additional irrigation is needed, da Silva believes that home gardeners should use similar sensors on a smaller scale. He says even sensors with minimal technology are adequate to tell someone if and when water needs to be applied.“Nowadays, homeowners have manual control panels in place for their irrigation systems and it’s easy to just turn them on and keep them on automatically,” da Silva said. “We have access to better technology where you can install small sensors that can be synced up with your control panel. These sensors can tell your sprinkler system if water needs to be applied or not.”Such sensors range in cost from $30 for simple watermark sensors to $1,500 or more for advanced capacitance soil moisture sensors, depending on the level of technology. A higher level of technology allows more expensive sensors additional capabilities, such as systems that sync to smart phones.“We have the technology available, so let’s use it,” da Silva said.One misconception da Silva hopes to clear up about irrigation involves “field capacity,” or how much moisture remains in the soil after excess water has drained away.“Usually people see that it rained one day, but believe they still need to apply water the next day because it’s been a day and it hasn’t rained. When you have had rainfall, if your soil is full of water, it usually takes two or three days for it to return to field capacity. This means the soil still has enough water to supply the demand of your plants,” da Silva said.Watering plants too much can be as harmful as underwatering, as excessive watering creates ideal environmental conditions for plant diseases, he said.For more information about home gardening, see UGA Extension Bulletin 577, “Home Gardening,” at extension.uga.edu/publications.last_img read more

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Rutland Regional Medical Center Earns Accreditation by the American Association of Blood Banks and the College of American Patho

first_imgRutland Regional Medical Center has been granted accreditation by the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) and the College of American Pathologists (CAP), according to Mike Dowdy, Director of Public Relations.Accreditation for AABB follows an intensive on-site assessment by specially trained assessors and establishes that the level of medical, technical and administrative performance within the facility meets or exceeds the standards set by the AABB. By successfully meeting those requirements, Rutland Regional Medical Center joins approximately 2,000 similar facilities across the United States and abroad that have earned AABB Accreditation.“The AABB’s Accreditation procedures are voluntary,” Dowdy explained. “Rutland Regional Medical Center has sought AABB Accreditation because this program assists facilities around the country in achieving excellence by promoting a level of professional and medical expertise that contributes to quality performance.”Since 1958, the AABB has been engaged in the accreditation of blood banks and transfusion services. The Accreditation Program assists blood banks and transfusion services in determining whether methods, procedures, personnel knowledge, equipment and the physical plant meet established requirements. The minimum requirements for accreditation of blood banks and transfusion services are based primarily on the AABB’s Standards for Blood Banks and Transfusion Services. These standards not only reflect the level of professional proficiency for blood banks and transfusion services in the United States, but also provide the basis for practice in similar facilities around the world.Established in 1947, the AABB is the international association of community blood centers, hospital blood banks and transfusion and transplantation services. Individual members include health care professionals in blood banking and transfusion medicine. Its member facilities are responsible for collecting virtually all of the nation’s blood supply and for transfusing more than 80 percent of the blood used for patient care in the United States. The AABB sets standards, assesses and accredits blood collection and transfusion facilities, and provides continuing education and information.RRMC LABORATORY RECIEVES ACCREDITATION FROM COLLEGE OF AMERICAN PATHOLOGISTSRutland Regional Medical Center’s Laboratory has been awarded an accreditation by the Commission on Laboratory Accreditation of the College of American Pathologists (CAP), based on the results of a recent on-site inspection.Dr. Victoria Bessinger, the laboratory’s medical director, was advised of this national recognition and congratulated for the “excellence of the services being provided.” Rutland Regional Medical Center Laboratory is one of the more than 6,000 CAP-accredited laboratories nationwide.The CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program, begun in the early 1960’s is recognized by the federal government as being equal to or more stringent than the government’s own inspection program. Participation is voluntary, and only a small percentage of all the medical laboratories in the country are CAP certified.Inspectors examine the records and quality control of the laboratory for the preceding two years, as well as the education and qualifications of the total staff, the adequacy of the facilities, the equipment, laboratory safety, and laboratory management to determine how well the laboratory is serving the patient.The College of American Pathologists is a medical society serving nearly 16,000 physician members and the laboratory community throughout the worlds. It is the world’s largest association composed exclusively of pathologists and is widely considered the leader in laboratory quality assurance. The CAP is an advocate for high-quality and cost-effective medical care.last_img read more

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Champlain College announces a rare, new degree in Electronic Game & Interactive Development

first_imgWhat do Nintendo, Atari, the medical industry, and the US Army have in common? All make use of electronic game or interactive technology, and all are potential employers of skills that will be developed in a new degree program at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont.The career-oriented college is unveiling a rare, new bachelor’s degree in Electronic Game & Interactive Development. It’s the first degree of its kind in New England and starting this fall it will prepare students for careers in the fastest growing segment of the entertainment market.“We’re on the cutting edge of this new academic area,” said program director Ann DeMarle, who also directs Champlain’s popular Multimedia & Graphic Design program. “Champlain offers one of the few bachelor’s degrees in the nation modeled after the team-based game development industry.” DeMarle recently attended the 2004 Game Developers Conference in San Jose, Calif., to continue to network with professionals who have helped to develop the program.Students studying for the new degree will learn to work in development teams composed of artists, animators, game designers, marketers, producers and computer programmers to create a game from start to finish. While they get their hands on state-of-the-art technology resources—including new multimedia, 3D animation and game production labs—they will also study psychology and history and they’ll sharpen their research, writing and storytelling skills to prepare for their careers.“The degree represents the convergence of entertainment, information, technology and art,” DeMarle said. “Our students will be introduced to a wide variety of ways in which games can be designed and applied.”In addition to game design, graduates of the new program will also be positioned for work in film, video, Web and interactive design, or in the fields of communication, educational training development, interactive development and interactive writing. The military has been a leader in adult education and their use of this technology is growing with applications in the defense industry and homeland security. The medical industry is also a heavy user of this technology in simulation training for doctors and other health care providers, as well as in the education of consumers of health care. It is also common to see media design, digital development and simulations in other industries such as architecture, law, research, insurance, and even in museum exhibit design.“In the near future, you should start seeing games that reach out and interact with you instead of being passive and awaiting your input,” said David Cook, design manager at Impression Games in Cambridge, Mass. “Furthermore, the techniques and knowledge that have developed about how games work and how they are made are drawing the attention of other fields.”Students in the Electronic Game & Interactive Development program will choose from two career tracks—Game Design or Art and Animation. Game Design students take a mix of game design courses and introductory computer programming courses, plus courses such as Cognitive Psychology and Survey of Drama to gain an understanding of human interaction with technology and virtual storytelling. Art and Animation students build on a graphic design foundation with courses in interactive design and 3D animation using professional software.The career path for a Game Design student includes game tester, level designer, interface designer, lead game designer and director of game design. The Art and Animation student can find a career as a 2D artist, 3D artist, animator, modeler, texture artist, character animator or skins artist, leading to lead artist or creative director, lead animator or lead concept artist.On Champlain’s campus in Burlington, Vermont, students will study in the backyard of one of the most active regions in the world for game development. Within a two-hour drive, Montreal, Quebec, is home to two of the largest game development firms on earth—Electronic Arts and Ubisoft Entertainment.“I think of game development as being like the extreme sports of software development,” said Clint Hocking, a creative director at Ubisoft Entertainment in Montreal, Quebec. “It’s a real thrill to be involved in trying to solve so many complex technical and creative problems in an aesthetically pleasing way—under tight deadlines.”“As interactive designers, we have the opportunity to create something that has never been created by human beings before,” he said.In the United States, the electronic game industry currently requires 5,000 new hires a year, primarily in the fields of game design, art, computer programming, production and testing. The Northeast states collectively are the second-largest employers in the US game design industry, while California is the top employer.Champlain’s program requires students to work in teams to build Web and console-type games in their junior and senior years. They’ll pitch their game to industry professionals and faculty, and, just as in the business world, those who do not have a winning product will “get hired” by the selected teams to help create a finished product.Founded in 1878, Champlain College is a private, career-oriented institution offering professional certificates, associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in 29 fields of study. Champlain educates 1,600 full-time students and 900 part-time students. For further information on the College’s academic programs, please visit www.champlain.edu(link is external) or call (800) 570-5858.last_img read more

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Saint Michael’s announces 3 finalists in presidential search

first_imgSaint Michaels CollegePublic Relations OfficeColchester, VT 05439NEWSIMMEDIATE RELEASEJanuary 8, 2007Contact:  Buff Lindau(802) 654-2536blindau@smcvt.edu(link sends e-mail)Saint Michaels announces 3 finalists in presidential searchSaint Michaels College is today announcing the three finalists for president of the liberal arts residential Catholic institution located in the Burlington area of Vermont. Joseph Garrity, chairman of the Saint Michaels Board of Trustees, made public to the college community this morning the names of the three finalists for the position and announced dates when the community will have the opportunity to meet these candidates.I was very pleased with the strength and size of the candidate pool, and am extraordinarily gratified at the quality of these three individual finalists, Chairman Garrity said. With the prospect of President Marc vanderHeydens retirement, after a decade of exemplary leadership, the board of trustees takes the naming of a new president as an opportunity to find an individual to lead this college to even greater heights, he said.Any of the three individuals weve selected would make a competent president of Saint Michaels College, said Garrity, a 1978 graduate of Saint Michaels and retired COO/CFO of 4Kids Entertainment of New York City. The reputation of Saint Michael’s College generated a very enthusiastic response to our call for applicants, he said, and the search committee was universally happy with the choices we made. The eleven-person committee, composed of two faculty, two staff, one student and six trustees, received 70 applicants for the presidency. They narrowed the group to 12 and then to six semi-finalists, who were intensively interviewed.Saint Michaels is on a roll, Garrity said. Weve recently been invited into the elite group of colleges and universities with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter on campus.  He also referred to the colleges inclusion in the Princeton Reviews Best 361 Colleges, and to the recent naming of two Saint Michaels students to highly coveted national academic awards: senior Jamila Headley who earned a Rhodes Scholarship and junior Michelle Kayser who was named a Pickering Fellow by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.Weve also just completed a $52 million fund drive and a rousing celebration of our 100th anniversary, Garrity added. The leadership of President vanderHeyden has placed this college in a prime position to claim ever greater glory, and we will be looking to a new president to provide the kind of energetic, inspired guidance that Saint Michaels deserves.Candidates for President of Saint Michael’s CollegeJack P. Calareso, president of Ohio Dominican University, a liberal arts institution of nearly 3,000 students located in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Calareso has focused his leadership skills on developing the strengths of the Dominican and Catholic traditions to advance a learning community at ODU of excellence in the liberal arts and the professions. An institution of 50 majors and several graduate programs, including an MBA degree, ODU practices a student-centered approach to teaching and learning, superior academic and co-curricular programs, a focus on values and service. Dr. Calareso has written that, The effective leader must be a servant to and rooted in the mission, values, ideals, and goals of the institution. And further that The leader is a moral leader who inspires followers through modeling, enablement, and empowerment.Dr. Calareso was named president and professor of education at ODU in 2001. He served from 1999 to 2001 as president and professor of education at Briar Cliff University, Sioux City, Iowa; from 1996 to 1999 as vice president for academic affairs and professor of education at Merrimack College, North Andover, Mass.; from 1989 to 1996 at the College of Saint Rose, Albany, N.Y., as vice president for academic affairs/provost and professor of education from 1993 to 1996; dean of the school of education and professor of education from 1990 to 1993.At Saint Rose, Briar Cliff and recently at Ohio Dominican, Dr. Calareso implemented a full integration of academic affairs and student affairs. He has led and implemented a strategic plan at ODU, where he has landed the 12 largest gifts in the institutions history, increased enrollment by over 40 percent, initiated study abroad and international programs, developed corporate and community partnerships, and other accomplishments.Dr. Calareso has also held leadership positions in the teaching field, serving from 1982 to 1989 as superintendent of schools and director of education for the Green Bay (Wisconsin) Catholic Diocese; from 1979 to 1982 as director of education for Blessed Sacrament School in Madison, Wis., and as director of education for St. Ambrose School in Rochester, N.Y., from 1973 to 1979.Dr. Calareso earned a doctorate in educational leadership and administration from Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wis., in 1989; a masters in theology and scripture from St. Bernards School of Theology in Rochester, N.Y., in 1977, and a bachelors in English and theology from Boston College in 1972. Dr. Calareso and his wife of 34 years, Rose Calareso, an elementary school teacher and librarian, have three children and three grandchildren.John J. Neuhauser, University Professor, Boston College, from 2005 to the present, served previously as academic vice president and dean of faculties of Boston College from 1999 to 2005, and as dean and professor of the Carroll School of Management of Boston College from 1977 to 1999. He was associate professor and chairman of computer science at Boston College from 1971 to 1977 and assistant professor from 1969 to 1971 also at Boston College.During his recent tenure as academic VP and dean of Boston College, Dr. Neuhauser oversaw seven schools and colleges with 670 full-time and 400 part-time faculty, as well as the museum, international programs, admissions, financial aid, academic technology and 40 research centers. During this period the number of full-time faculty increased by 50 and endowed professorships more than doubled to the level of 45. Additionally, externally funded sponsored programs doubled to over $40 million annually, undergraduate applications increased by 50 percent, with a concurrent steady increase in quality.During his period as dean of BCs Carroll School of Management, Dr. Neuhauser established innovative joint degree programs within the University: MBA-MSW, MBA-JD and MBA-Ph.D, among other initiatives. He orchestrated major conferences with speakers, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and Labor Secretary Robert Reich, and he created the Universitys Center for Work and Family, Center for Corporate Community Relations, and Small Business Development Center.Dr. Neuhauser earned a bachelors degree in physics from Manhattan College in 1964, a masters in operations research and statistics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1965, and a doctorate in operations research and statistics: mathematics, also from Rensselaer, in 1968.Dr. Neuhauser is described as an academic leader who strives for excellence first and as a person who is very comfortable providing leadership within the framework of a strong Catholic institution. Jack Neuhauser, who has been a member of the Saint Michael’s College Board of Trustees since 2001, has completed the Boston Marathon seven times. He has three grown children.Christine M. Wiseman, vice president for academic affairs and professor of law at Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska, since 2002. Before joining Creighton, Professor Wiseman was associate vice president for academic affairs at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis., from 1998 to 2002. She was also a professor in the Marquette University Law School, where she joined the faculty in 1980, and earned top teaching awards in 1991 and 1996.Prior to her teaching career, Professor Wiseman was Assistant Wisconsin Attorney General with the Criminal Appeals Division and a law clerk to the Honorable Robert W. Warren, deceased Chief Judge for the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin. She has served on a number of State Bar committees, including the Wisconsin Task Force on Equal Justice. She received the Wisconsin Civil Liberties Union 1989 Volunteer Attorney of the Year Award for her representation of Texas death row inmate Billy Conn Gardner, who was executed in 1995. She is associate editor of two law journals, author of a number of journal articles and co-author of Wisconsin Practice: Criminal Practice & Procedure (1996) and Punitive Damages: Law and Practice (2000). She has given scores of papers and public presentations.As VP for academic affairs, Professor Wiseman is chief academic officer overseeing Creightons College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business Administration, the Law School, the Graduate School, University College and Summer Sessions, as well as enrollment, admissions, TRIO Programs, international programs, registrar, library, financial aid and student retention.Professor Wiseman has spent 30 years in Catholic higher education and is one of the ranking women administrators among all 28 Jesuit schools and colleges. In that capacity she has led change at two major Catholic institutions. She was the first woman to rise through the ranks at Marquette to a position of senior administration, where she led core curricular reform and assessment across all undergraduate programs, led a university-wide gender equity study and a rank and tenure initiative. As Creightons chief academic officer, Professor Wiseman has led strategic planning, re-accreditation, and a number of major interdisciplinary initiatives, among numerous other projects.Professor Wiseman has served on the boards of three Catholic high schools and is presently on the board of St. Josephs University in Philadelphia. She and her husband of 33 years, William A. Wiseman, have three grown children.ScheduleThe three candidates for president of Saint Michael’s College will be on campus the week of January 15th and will participate in meetings with the Board of Trustees, cabinet members, students, faculty and staff. The Saint Michaels community and members of the press are invited to attend open meetings with each candidate, as follows:Jack Calareso, Tuesday, Jan. 16, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Hoehl Welcome CenterJack Neuhauser, Wednesday, Jan. 17, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Hoehl Welcome CenterChristine Wiseman, Thursday, Jan. 18, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Hoehl Welcome CenterOn Friday, Jan. 19, the three candidates will participate in all day meetings with the Board of Trustees.An announcement of Saint Michaels next president is expected during the spring semester.Saint Michaels College, founded in 1904 by the Society of St. Edmund and headed by President Marc A. vanderHeyden, has been identified by U. S. News & World Report for 17 consecutive years as one of the top15 Masters Universities in the North. A liberal arts, residential, Catholic college located in the Burlington area of Vermont, Saint Michaels was recently invited to sponsor a chapter of the prestigious academic honor society, Phi Beta Kappa, on campus. Saint Michaels has 1,950 full-time undergraduate students, and some 650 graduate students and 200 international students. The College was named by Newsweek magazine a Hidden Treasure, one of 30 colleges recommended most frequently by guidance counselors for being schools that deserve more national recognition. Saint Michaels is included in Princeton Reviews The Best 361 Colleges: 2007 Edition.-30-last_img read more

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Institute for Sustainable Communities Launches $4 million U.S.-China Partnership

first_imgInstitute for Sustainable Communities Launches $4 million U.S.-China Partnership Chinese government delegation will visit Vermont on October 20to tour energy-efficient facilities and sign an agreement with ISC.ISC’s program will reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in Guangdong province, China’s ‘Factory to the World.’Montpelier, Vermont, October 20, 2008- Officials from the Guangdong Economic and Trade Commission are in Vermont today to sign an agreement with the Institute for Sustainable Communities, which has launched a $4 million U.S.-China partnership to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in the southern province of Guangdong.Leveraging the best resources and expertise from the United States and China, ISC’s Guangdong Environmental Partnership is designed to increase energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and improve environmental health in the heavily industrial province. The program works at four levels-business, government, communities, and schools-to spark a wave of change in environmental and energy-efficiency practices. It is supported by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, GE Foundation, Citi Foundation, SABIC Innovative Plastics, Honeywell Corporation, and the U.S. Agency for International Development, through a public-private partnership.”The Guangdong Economic and Trade Commission is pleased to be working with the Institute for Sustainable Communities on this important partnership,” said Bi Zhijian, vice director general of the commission. “Addressing environmental challenges and reducing energy intensity levels are important priorities for the Guangdong government and, while we are making progress in addressing these issues, we welcome international cooperation and assistance.”Often called the factory to the world, Guangdong province is the same geographic size as New England with seven times the population (100 million-about 2.5 times more people than California). The region has more manufacturing jobs than the United States and its factories make a significant contribution to global green house gas emissions, acid rain, and other pollutants. The region, which suffers from frequent energy shortages, has made a significant commitment to improving energy efficiency.”This is precisely the kind of partnership-working across sectors, disciplines and nations to address the critical sustainable development challenges of our time-that I envisioned when I established ISC in 1991,” said Madeleine Kunin, the former governor of Vermont. “We are proud to leverage Vermont’s leadership and energy expertise in the global arena.”The Chinese delegation will spend two days in Vermont meeting with organizations and agencies involved in various energy efficiency programs, including Efficiency Vermont, Burlington Electric, and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. The delegation will also visit Canada, New York City, and Miami, Florida.”If the world is going to make any progress in improving resource efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and minimizing climate disruptions,” said George Hamilton, president of the Institute for Sustainable Communities, “nonprofits, agencies, universities, and businesses from the U.S. and China must work together more effectively.” He added, “I look forward to achieving some very exciting results with the Guangdong Economic and Trade Commission and all of our U.S. and Chinese partners.”The delegation is led by Bi Zhijian, vice director general of the Guangdong Economic and Trade Commission (GETC), and includes Xie Shichao, director of the Department of Environment & Resource Conservation at GETC; Huang Xiaoqun, director of Guangdong State Tax Bureau; Zhang Na, vice-section chief, Department of Environment and Resource Conservation; Li Bianzhuo, president, Guangdong Association of Resources Comprehensive Utilization; and Wang Cailian, vice-director, Guangdong Energy Saving & Circular Economy Promotion Center.*Founded in 1991 by former Vermont governor Madeleine M. Kunin, the Institute for Sustainable Communities has managed 70 projects in 18 countries. ISC, which is led by George Hamilton, brings 18 years of experience in helping communities address major challenges. ISC’s China program consists of four mutually reinforcing components:BUSINESS: Environmental Health and Safety Academy. Based at Lingnan University College of Sun Yat-Sen University, the new academy will provide affordable, state-of-the-art training designed to save energy, reduce harmful emissions, and improve worker health and a safety conditions in Guangdong’s manufacturing enterprises. It will expand the pool of qualified EHS managers serving factories in Guangdong province and South China.GOVERNMENT: Environmental Governance. ISC is working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to provide technical assistance and training to regional and local environmental authorities on strategies to encourage more effective monitoring and compliance — as they staff up to manage a number of new laws and regulations.COMMUNITIES: Community-Based Energy Efficiency. ISC is working with three demonstration municipal districts and townships to demonstrate how communities can design and implement comprehensive energy efficiency program – with a particular emphasis on public facilities and small factories.SCHOOLS: Education for Sustainable Development. Working in local schools, ISC is developing courses on resource efficiency and environmental health for children ages 9-13-and involving the public, community and business leaders, and education administrators in their hands-on learning. Partners include South China Normal University, Vermont’s Shelburne Farms and LEAF in Japan.###last_img read more

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Douglas to announce Williston and Colchester housing grants of $400,000

first_imgGovernor Jim Douglas to announce $360,010 Community Development Block Grant to the Town of Williston and $49,795 grant to the Town of Colchester to assist in the development of affordable housing. Tuesday, March 17, 2009 4 pm. Williston Town Hall meeting room. ###last_img

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Canadian manufacturer expands into St Albans

first_imgSource: Governor’s office, April 22, 2009 Governor Jim Douglas has welcomed a Quebec-based transformer manufacturer opening a factory in Vermont. The firm estimates it will create 16 jobs this year and up to 43 workers by the end of 2011. In a ceremony at the company s new facility in the St Albans Industrial Park, the governor introduced BEMAG Transformers, Inc and celebrated the company s selection of Vermont for their expansion project. The state used $267,569 in incentives to lure the Canadian firm to Vermont, as well as $106,000 for training, and VEDA financing of $718,000. It is gratifying to see a world-class manufacturer appreciate the value of locating in Vermont, particularly one from our largest trading partner, Douglas said. This is another example of our state competing successfully for the jobs of the 21st century, and we look forward to helping Vermont Transformers grow and prosper here.BEMAG Transformers manufactures dry-type electrical transformers at a facility in Farnham, Quebec, but was nearing production capacity at that plant as it moved forward with plans to expand its share of the North American transformer market. As part of our due diligence, we explored potential expansion in Farnham; investigated locations in western Canada; and spoke with officials in New York, said Christian Roberge, Vice President and CFO of BEMAG Transformers. But the job creation and workforce training incentives Vermont offered helped seal the deal, Roberge said. Our new company, Vermont Transformers, Inc. will allow us to significantly expand our Canadian market share and to bring our quality products into the billion-dollar U.S. market.Vermont economic development officials began working with BEMAG in the fall of 2008.  After several meetings in Vermont and Quebec, an incentive package including Green VEGI incentives totaling $267,569 and $106,000 in employee and manufacturing efficiency training from the Vermont Training Program were approved. The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) also approved $718,000 in financing assistance.BEMAG has established a U.S. entity called Vermont Transformers, Inc. which will lease the 23,000 square-foot former Vestshell building with the option to purchase in the near future.The new facility will employ innovative manufacturing practices and equipment developed and built in-house by BEMAG engineers, enabling greater efficiency and reliability.  Several million dollars will be invested in facility fit-up and machinery and equipment, and operations will begin with a single shift and the possibility of expanding to multiple shifts once production ramps up.Under reforms proposed by Governor Douglas in 2006 and passed by the General Assembly, the VEGI economic incentives are authorized based on job creation and capital investments that must occur before the company earns the incentives and then the company receives incentive installments over a period of years.Vermont Transformers is eligible to earn a maximum of $267,569 in job creation incentives over three years only if they meet and maintain payroll, employment and capital investment targets each year. The incentives would then be paid out over a total of seven years, if the jobs are maintained.The Vermont Economic Progress Council approved the application late last month after reviewing nine program guidelines and applying a rigorous cost-benefit analysis which showed that because of the economic activity that will be generated by this project, even after payment of the incentives the State will realize a positive net increase in tax revenues over five years.The Council also determined that these projects would not occur or would occur in a significantly different and less desirable manner if not for the incentives being authorized.The Vermont Economic Progress Council is an independent board consisting of nine Vermont citizens appointed by the Governor that considers applications to the state s economic incentive programs.The Council is attached to the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, whose mission is to help Vermonters improve their quality of life and build strong communities.For more information, visit:www.thinkvermont.com/vepc(link is external)Or:www.vermonttransformer.com(link is external) ###last_img read more

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Vermont Yankee owner Entergy pulls plug on spinoff Enexus

first_img5 6% compound annual earnings growth from 2010 through 2014 (2009 base) Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee’s parent company, Entergy Corporation of New Orleans (NYSE: ETR), announced this morning that it will no longer pursue a plan to spin off the Vernon nuclear power plant and five others in its fleet into a new company called Enexus. The plan took a serious blow on March 25 when New York state effectively denied Entergy’s application to do so. Entergy said it will take a $0.40 to $0.45 writeoff to cover costs to date. The decision by the New York Public Service Commission was based on a high debt load for the new company of about $3 billion. New York officials were also concerned by the tritium leak at the Vermont plant and by the management action in Vermont associated with its relicensing. The Indian Point plants in Westchester County, NY, produce over 2 gigawatts of power, while the Vermont Yankee plant produces about 620 megawatts. Local response was understated.Steve Costello of Central Vermont Public Service said, “This may simplify things given the negative impression of Enexus in Montpelier.” He emphasized the “may.”Dorothy Schnure of Green Mountain Power said, “We are pleased at the news that Energy has decided not to proceed with the spin off as this appeared to be a major issue for many Vermonters.”Shawn Shouldice, of Capital Connections, LLC in Montpelier, said “There is actually a strong case that could have been made that Vermont would have been better served by Enexus rather than Entergy because of sizable additional financial assurances that the Vermont Department of Public Service was able to negotiate.”She added, “To the extent that this issue was largely a distraction in Vermont Yankee s license renewal process, however, taking the issue off the table, makes it more likely that Vermont Yankee will be able to continue to provide the state with clean, competitively-priced, and abundant power until 2032. So you could say, we welcome the company s announcement this week.”Shouldice is a registered lobbyist whose clients include the Vermont Energy Partnership and the National Federation of Independent Business.Vermont Yankee and the other plants targeted for the spin off are all so-called merchant plants, meaning that they are not owned directly by a utility but sell power directly to the wholesale power market. CVPS and GMP are former owners of the plant. They relinquished their stakes in the plant as the then Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corporation was sold to Entergy in 2002.Entergy said in a statement that the action is effective immediately as it plans to unwind the business infrastructure associated with the proposed separate non-utility nuclear generation and nuclear services companies while it evaluates and works to preserve its legal rights. This action includes the proposed new company, Enexus, and the associated management company, EquaGen. Meanwhile, Entergy said it is thus able to boost its dividend to shareholders to 83 cents per share from 75 cents, its first increase since 2007.Given the potential for the legal process to continue for an extended period, Entergy made the decision to unwind the internal organizations created for Enexus Energy Corporation and EquaGen LLC to eliminate dis-synergies related to the spin-off and redirect its efforts into other strategies as soon as possible in 2010. As a result of this decision, Entergy outlined capital return plans as well as updated long-term financial outlooks consistent with the current business structure. We are pleased the Board took action to return cash to our owners who have been patient during this protracted period of uncertainty, said J. Wayne Leonard, Entergy s chairman and chief executive officer . While we do not have an order from the New York State Public Service Commission, we believe there are serious questions with regard to the basis for the Commission s March 25 th decision to reject the spin-off transaction given the dialogue at the Commission s meetings over the last few months and will preserve all of our legal rights. That being said, we will leave that to the attorneys to figure out. We are moving forward on the business side to create and capture value unrealized today. Our tested business model focuses on portfolio management and operational excellence. Entergy has produced significant value by executing consistent with a market-based point-of-view through multiple changes in strategic direction over the last 11 years; in fact the highest total shareholder return in the industry over that period. Going forward, we will continue to apply this business model supported by strong cash flows and disciplined risk management to advance our financial and business aspirations.Capital Return PlansIn fourth quarter 2009, Entergy Corporation s Board of Directors authorized a new $750 million share repurchase program supported by the underlying business operations whether or not the spin-off transaction was completed. The company expects to execute on this $750 million share repurchase authority. The amount of repurchases may vary as a result of material changes in business results or capital spending or new investment opportunities. Further, this past weekend, the Board declared a quarterly dividend of $0.83 per common share payable June 1 to stockholders of record on May 12, reflecting the first increase in its quarterly common stock dividend since July 2007.Financial ImplicationsIn connection with the business unwind, Entergy estimated a total potential charge could range from $0.40 to $0.45 per share to reflect the write-off of capitalized costs incurred to date and certain other costs to be recorded in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. The charge would be reported as a special item. This charge also includes the previously identified special items for spin-off dis-synergies and expenses for outside services provided to pursue the spin-off in 2010. Entergy will immediately take steps to eliminate spin-off dis-synergies as soon as possible during 2010.Overarching Financial AspirationEntergy continues to aspire to deliver superior value to owners as measured by total shareholder return. The company believes top-quartile total shareholder returns are achieved by:·Operating the business with the highest expectations and standards,·Executing on earnings growth opportunities while managing commodity and other business risks,·Delivering returns at or above the risk-adjusted cost of capital for each initiative, project, business, etc.,·Maintaining credit quality and flexibility,·Deploying capital in a disciplined manner, whether for new investments, share repurchases, dividends or debt retirements and·Being disciplined as either a buyer or a seller consistent with the market or Entergy s proprietary point-of-view.Long-term Financial OutlookOver the next five years, Entergy believes it offers a competitive utility investment opportunity combined with a valuable option represented by a unique, clean, non-utility nuclear generation business located in attractive power markets. The expected current long-term financial outlook includes the following:Earnings:·Utility: 5 to 6 percent compound annual earnings growth over the 2010 2014 horizon (2009 base year).·Entergy Nuclear: Relatively constant Adjusted EBITDA 1 under current forward prices, plus option value related to the potential positive effects of an economic rebound on market heat rates, capacity markets and natural gas prices. Potential environmental legislation and regulation could also recognize the value of clean energy to society.·Corporate: Results will vary depending upon factors including future effective income tax and interest rates, the amount of share repurchases and the ability to achieve the targeted financial results for the non-nuclear wholesale assets business.Capital deployment:·A balanced capital investment / return program. Entergy continues to see productive investment opportunities at the Utility in the coming years, as well as an investment outlook at Entergy Nuclear that supports continued safe, secure and reliable operations and opportunistic investments. Entergy aspires to fund this capital program without issuing traditional common equity, while maintaining a competitive capital return program. Given the company s financial profile with a mix of utility and non-utility businesses, return of capital is expected to be provided similar to the past through a combination of common stock dividends and share repurchases. Absent other attractive investment opportunities, capital deployment through dividends and share repurchases could total as much as $5 billion over the next five years under the current long-term business outlook. The amount of share repurchases may vary as a result of material changes in business results or capital spending or new investment opportunities.Credit quality:·Strong liquidity.·Solid credit metrics that support ready access to capital on reasonable terms.1 Adjusted EBITDA, a non-GAAP financial measure, is defined as earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization and interest and dividend income, excluding decommissioningexpense and other than temporary impairment losses on decommissioning trust fund assets.The long-term financial outlook should be considered in association with 2014 financial sensitivities as shown in Table 1 . These sensitivities illustrate the estimated change in earnings or Adjusted EBITDA resulting from changes in business drivers. Estimated impacts shown in Table 1 are intended to be illustrative. Assumption Corporate Entergy Corporation s common stock is listed on the New York and Chicago exchanges under the symbol ETR . EstimatedAnnual ImpactUtility Adjusted EBITDARelatively constant Adjusted EBITDA plus option value+0 1,500 Btu/kWh heat rate expansion+$0 30/ton CO 2+$0 4/kW-mo. capacity price- / + $0 2/MMBtu change in gas priceUp to 300Up to 500Up to 200Down / Up to 600 TeleconferenceEntergy will host a teleconference to discuss this release at 10:00 a.m. CT on Monday, April 5, 2010, with access by telephone, (719) 325-2247, confirmation code 8490199.  The call can also be accessed via Entergy s Web site atwww.entergy.com(link is external) .  A replay of the teleconference will be available through April 12, 2010 thereafter by dialing (719) 457-0820 , confirmation code 8490199.  The replay will also be available on Entergy s Web site atwww.entergy.com(link is external) . (Adjusted EBITDA                 in U.S. $; millions) Balanced capital investment  / return / credit quality 1% retail sales growth$100 million/year investment in service1% change in allowed ROE1% change in non-fuel operation and maintenance expense$100 million change in debt- / + 0.13- / + 0.03- / + 0.44+ / – 0.07+ / – 0.02 (Per share in U.S. $) (a ) *******************************************************************************************************************************In this news release, and from time to time, Entergy Corporation makes certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Except to the extent required by the federal securities laws, Entergy undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Table 1 :  2014 Financial Sensitivities  Illustrative Earnings growth Forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties.  There are factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements, including (a) those factors discussed in Entergy s Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2009, and Entergy s other reports and filings made under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, (b) uncertainties associated with efforts to remediate the effects of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike and the January 2009 Arkansas ice storm and recovery of costs associated with restoration, and (c) legislative and regulatory actions, and conditions of the capital markets during the periods covered by the forward-looking statements, in addition to other factors described elsewhere in this release and in subsequent securities filings. Source: Vermont Business Magazine. Entergy, 4.5.2010. Vermont Biz Drivers Additional investor information can be accessed on-line atwww.entergy.com/investor_relations(link is external) (Per share in U.S. $) (a ) 1% change in interest rate on $1 billion debt1% change in overall effective tax rate$500 million share repurchase+ / – 0.03+ / – 0.10+ 0.20 0.25(a) Based on estimated 2010 average fully diluted shares outstanding of approximately 187 million. Long-term Outlooklast_img read more

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12 communities selected to pilot e-Vermont project

first_imgA dozen rural communities across the state will receive digital tools and in-depth training as the initial participants in the new e-Vermont Community Broadband Project. The twelve will benefit from the expertise and resources of e-Vermont’s statewide partners as the local groups develop ways to take full advantage of the Internet for job creation, school innovation, providing social services, and increasing civic involvement. e-Vermont is a new, $3.8 million initiative to help rural Vermont towns take full advantage of the Internet and advance a wide variety of local needs including economic development, school innovation, job creation, downtown marketing, community engagement, and e-commerce.The 2010 communities (selected from over 40 applicants) are Brighton, Bristol, Canaan, Cambridge, Grand Isle County, Ludlow, Middlesex, Newport, Poultney, Pownal, Sunderland, and West Rutland. [1]“Vermonters have a long history of innovation and finding creative ways to meet our goals,” notes Project Director Helen Jordan. “e-Vermont will continue that tradition by bringing 21st century tools to these communities and nurturing the local development of model solutions we can adapt statewide.”e-Vermont is not stringing cable or fiber, but is working to make better use of broadband where it is available. An unprecedented network of partnerships will contribute to this two-year project.Each community will become part of the Front Porch Forum network, helping link neighbors to each other and local services.Digital Wish will bring technology into the classrooms (including a limited number of Netbook computers) and provide essential training for students, teachers, and parents.The Vermont Department of Libraries will work with local libraries to upgrade computer equipment and enhance e-servicesStudents in the Vermont State College system will offer classes and workshops in both public and home settingsThe Vermont Small Business Development Center will mentor businesses to help them increase efficiency and grow their market share through e-commerce.Best practices that come from these communities will be shared through statewide symposia, on-line applications, and conferences organized by The Snelling Center for Government. The Vermont Council on Rural Development is overseeing e-Vermont, and will bring its expertise in community organizing to help each town connect its schools, government, businesses, and nonprofit providers in new and exciting ways.e-Vermont updates are posted at www.vtrural.org(link is external). Contact e-Vermont with any questions at 802-223-6091 or eVermont@vtrural.org(link sends e-mail).[1] Though some applications were submitted on behalf of adjoining towns, this list of the 2010 communities is based on the town of the lead organization. Source: Vermont Council on Rural Development. 5.14.2010last_img read more

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