Business Buzz

Saturday October 13, 2012

Amy Crowell joins
Shear Designs

BRATTLEBORO -- Shear Designs announces their newest stylist, Amy Crowell. She is a graduate of the Keene (N.H.) Beauty Academy, and has worked in the area for the past four years. She is trained in all aspects of cosmetology, from custom colors to manicures and pedicures.

To schedule an appointment with Crowell, call Shear Designs at 802-257-5030, Monday through Saturday. Shear Designs is located at 735 Putney Road.

Richards Group
agent honored

BRATTLEBORO -- Monique Johnson, CIC, of The Richards Group, was recently recognized for professional leadership and advanced knowledge by The Society of Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC), a leading national insurance professional organization.

Johnson was awarded a certificate marking more than 25 years of participation as a designated CIC, which requires annual completion of advanced education and training. As additional recognition for this service and achievement, Johnson has been granted the status of "Tenured CIC" by the Society.

Her ongoing allegiance and support of the CIC Program is a testament to the value she places on ‘real world’ education and customer satisfaction.

Johnson can be reached at 800-222-6016 or via e-mail at

Efficiency project offers $175 energy audits

BRATTLEBORO -- A new service has been established to offer low cost energy audits, free consulting, and contractor referrals for homeowners in Windham County. The Open Source Efficiency Project is a collaboration of local home performance professionals intended to make home energy efficiency improvements more accessible and affordable. The goal is to facilitate a significant increase in the percentage of homes currently being weatherized in Vermont.

According to project founder Jon Albee, the strategy is based on feedback from hundreds of energy audit clients over several years. The consensus was that there are still three main deterrents to starting the process of efficiency upgrades:

-- The $400 average cost for an energy audit is still too high.

-- Due to potential conflict of interest, many homeowners would prefer the auditor and contractor to be separate entities.

-- There is a large knowledge gap between what most homeowners know about new energy efficiency standards vs. what the home performance contractor knows. This always puts the homeowner at a disadvantage.

The Open Source Efficiency project answers these problems and more by providing:

-- $175 Energy Audits from independent auditors who are not connected to the contractors.

-- Free objective analysis and advice by Open Source Project Consultants who will help homeowners develop a plan that meets their budget and goals.

-- A competitive contractor proposal process that insures the best work at the best price.

-- An on-line method for real time feedback. Transparency that keeps everyone focused on the best interests of the homeowner at every step.

The Open Source Efficiency Project is currently booking $175 residential energy audits in Windham County. To schedule an audit or get more information, call 802-688-5860 or e-mail Homeowners can also request an audit or an estimate on the project at

Smokin’ Bowls open
for the season

ROCKINGHAM -- Smokin’ Bowls in Rockingham and Winhall, Vermont has opened for the season. Homemade soups, stews, sandwiches and chili will be available. It is located on Route 103 just off of Exit 6 and in Winhall near Bromley and Stratton at the intersections of Routes 11 and 30.

Drawing from an array of local products such as award winning Grafton or Cabot Cheddar cheese, Grass fed beef from Fischer Farm or Pop’s Original Smoked Maple Syrup, the recipes range from simple to complex. Smokin’ Bowls also has gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, seafood and more. The menu changes daily. Hours of operation are Thursday through Monday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Colleen Ryan joins
Le Studio as head coach

WESTMINSTER -- Le Studio Gymnastics and Dance in Westminster has hired on a new head coach with ties to Olympic Gold. Coach Colleen Ryan has relocated to Vermont to continue her coaching career at Le Studio. Ryan is from Brestyn’s Gymnastics in Mass., home of Olympic champions, Aly Raiseman and Alicia Sacromone.

With a coaching background of over 20 years, Ryan brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and enthusiasm. She has a passion for the sport of gymnastics and a love of children. Ryan’s athletes have earned state, regional and national titles, as well as consistently having athletes names to the TOPS and Jump State National teams. Ryan was also the coach of the double silver medalist of the 2009 world-age division championships in St. Petersburg, Russia. She was the Southern California state TOPS director for two years, and has trained under many of the USA gymnastics national staff members, at the national team training center in Texas.

For more information on the gymnastic or dance program, call Le Studio at 802-463-9010 or visit

Potter joins the Center for Health and Learning

BRATTLEBORO -- Alexander B. Potter has been hired at The Center for Health and Learning in Brattleboro as its Development Specialist. Potter has over a decade of nonprofit experience in the areas of management, development, program coordination, and training.

Most recently, he has served as an HIV Prevention Specialist for eight years with the AIDS Project of Southern Vermont, working with the gay and bisexual men’s community of Windham County. In his position at the Center, Potter will be primarily responsible for pursuing the organization’s funding opportunities, as well as collaborating on strategic initiatives.

Ewald hired as executive director of regional
cancer support group

BRATTLEBORO -- The Board of Directors of Forest Moon: Celebrating Cancer Survivorship announced that Richard Ewald of Westminster West has been hired as the organization’s new executive director.

Ewald most recently was Director of Planning and Development at the Connecticut River Watershed Council, an environmental non-profit based in Greenfield, Mass. Previously he was community development director for the Town of Rockingham. Ewald staffs Forest Moon’s new office at 38 Park Place in Brattleboro with newly-hired Executive Assistant Carolyn Conrad.

Forest Moon offers free and low-cost programs to improve the quality of life of cancer survivors and their families, primarily in northern Massachusetts, southern Vermont and southwestern New Hampshire. Participants are introduced to therapeutic activities fostered through group learning and reflection in safe, caring and comfortable settings.

Every Forest Moon program is facilitated by a cancer survivor, leading to a greater sense of trust and intimacy among participants. Programs are confidential, and everyone is encouraged to participate at their own pace.

More information about Forest Moon programs may be found at or by calling the office at 802-246-1368.


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