“when they sell a company, it’s not only the financial benefit: they also want to feel good about what happens to the company afterwards”

Curious about worker ownership, including Employee Stock Ownership Plans, or ESOPs, and worker cooperatives? Check out this piece by for Vermont Digger:

NCEO says its research shows employee-owners are likely to have higher median incomes from wages, no matter what their wage level. The group said employee-owners tend to have better access to benefits like flexible work schedules, parental leave and tuition reimbursement, and tend to stay at their jobs longer than non-employee-owners.

Proponents of the worker ownership model say it’s also more likely to result in jobs with dignity and more opportunities for wealth and building skills.

Source: Interest in Employee Ownership Growing

A New Report on the State of Craft Beer Shows Vermont Leading the Way

C + R Research has just released a new report on the craft beer industry. It contains a number of insights:

  • Vermont has the most number of breweries per capita
  • And Vermont also produces the most pints per capita
  • To no surprise to anyone that follows this industry, the number of craft breweries continues to show a steady upward trend
  • And the states seeing the most growth are New Jersey and Kentucky

But I think the most striking figure in this report is the economic impact:

Per capita for 21+ adults, Colorado comes in at No. 1 with an economic impact of $764 per person and Vermont at No. 2 with an economic impact of $681 per person. These numbers represent the overall output of the craft beer industry in each state based on the 21+ population.

via Vermont heads up the field in craft beer | Vermont Business Magazine

Enjoy the ride!

It’s hard to believe it’s over. It all went by so fast.

38914200_1889215644471878_4945278026683252736_oLast August, I packed up a van filled with my belonging and headed north, first on I-93 and then on I-89. I had come to Burlington to participate in a one-year, intensive MBA program. I had resisted graduate school and more formal education for a while, but something about this program spoke to me.

I soon found myself in a room surrounded by people who felt the same. We had come from different backgrounds, different work experiences, and from different areas of the country, a few from other nations.

What we soon found out is that we shared a similar feeling: that business-as-usual was no longer working and that it is time to transform and, if necessary, create businesses to respond to society’s challenges in a way that is more sustainable. That is, we need more market-based solutions to the challenges that face the world today.

In fact, it was a year ago today that I first met the other members of my cohort. They are, and remain, some of the most amazing people I’ve met. And I feel honored to have spent a year in a windowless room with them.

We began the year with a quintessential UVM activity: a trip to the university’s ropes course. In the first of many surreal moments this year, we also took turns looking at the solar eclipse that happened to be taking place that day. Then we played games to get to know each other, followed by other trust-building activities on the actual course. As I walked home that evening, reflecting on the experience and the first day of class, I remember thinking, This is going to be a wild year. Enjoy the ride.

We began by studying business foundations: finance, strategy, brand marketing, and organizational behavior. We learned about the sustainability challenges facing the world. But soon enough, we found ourselves exploring topics that get at the heart of those challenges: strategic CSR, entrepreneurship, innovation, supply chain issues, public policy, and community development. And before we knew it, we were applying what we had learned in the classroom with businesses and organizations with real world challenges.

I tried to go into this year with no expectations for the experience. My initial goals were only to work as hard as I could and enjoy every minute of it. We know not if we’ll ever pass this way again…or something like that.

So, my advice, both to this next cohort and anyone that happens to be reading this, is to enjoy every minute of your time here. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Soak up every moment of it. Take advantage of every opportunity. Enjoy the time you have with the people you’re lucky enough to share a room with. Learn from them. And approach it all with a growth mindset: your intelligence and talent got you here, but the world also needs more people who have a love of learning, that communicate effectively, that work well on a team, and that have the resilience to get across the finish line.

The time flies by. Before you know it, you’ll be saying goodbye and moving onto your next adventure. And if you’re lucky, you’ll be sitting here a year from now being thankful for every single minute that you got to spend with some of your new favorite people. Enjoy the ride. It all goes by so fast.