GMP merger plan approved

first_imgCOLCHESTER, VT.. The Vermont Public Service Board (PSB) Monday issued its approval of Green Mountain Power Corporation’s (NYSE: GMP) proposed agreement and plan of merger with Northern New England Energy Corporation (NNEEC) and its wholly-owned subsidiary Northstars Merger Subsidiary Corporation. The decision is the final regulatory approval necessary for the transaction, which is expected to close in the second quarter of 2007.”We are delighted at the prospect of welcoming Green Mountain Power into our group of energy companies, which includes Vermont Gas Systems, and we look forward to completing the acquisition,” said Sophie Brochu, president and chief executive officer of Gaz Métro, parent company of NNEEC. “Green Mountain Power has proven itself to be well-managed, financially strong, committed to environmental responsibility and energy efficiency, and has a collaborative relationship with regulators and a dedication to transparency in its operations. These characteristics are consistent with the values of Gaz Métro, and so we believe that the transaction will be a good fit and beneficial for both companies and customers,” she said.In its unanimous approval order, the PSB said it concluded the transaction “will promote the general good of the State.” It also stated that “NNEEC also has a proven record of technical, financial and managerial competency through its twenty-year ownership of Vermont Gas Systems, Inc. . NNEEC and its parent, Gaz Métro, have a well-documented and an established track record for operating regulated and unregulated businesses in Vermont.”Chris Dutton, president and chief executive officer of Green Mountain Power, said, “We expect that this transaction will have many significant benefits to our customers and the entire state of Vermont. Most importantly, Green Mountain Power will be in a better financial position when we negotiate new power contracts. In addition, we have created the Green Mountain Power Efficiency Fund to provide more than $9 million in benefits for Green Mountain Power customers by investing in demand side management and other innovative efficiency programs.”On June 22, 2006, Green Mountain Power Corporation and Northern New England Energy Corporation announced their merger agreement under which Green Mountain Power will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of NNEEC in a cash transaction valued at approximately $187 million. Green Mountain Power shareholders overwhelmingly voted in favor of the transaction at a special meeting on October 31, 2006.After the completion of the transaction, Green Mountain Power will continue to be managed by its current leadership team and the Company will operate out of its existing offices in Vermont. Employees will be retained and the current labor contract with IBEW Local 300 will remain in place. The Company will operate under the jurisdiction of state and federal regulators, as it has for more than one hundred years.NNEEC is a Vermont corporation and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gaz Métro Limited Partnership (TSX-GZM.UN), a leading Québec energy company with a long history of investment in Vermont.Gaz Métro is a major distributor of natural gas in Québec and the northeastern United States. With more than $2.7 billion of assets and more than 1,500 employees in Québec, Gaz Métro serves about 164,000 customers through an underground pipeline network of almost 10,000 km.Gaz Métro is also the parent company of Vermont Gas Systems, which has 115 Vermont-based employees and serves about 40,000 customers. Gaz Métro also has an indirect significant ownership interest in a natural gas transportation company, Portland Natural Gas Transmission System (PNGTS), and owns important interest in a natural gas transportation enterprise (Trans Québec & Maritimes) and in an enterprise specializing in underground natural gas storage facilities (Intragaz). In addition, the company operates businesses providing district heating and urban water rehabilitation services in Québec. Green Mountain Power is an electric utility operating company that transmits, distributes and sells electricity and utility construction services in the State of Vermont in a service territory with approximately one quarter of Vermont’s population. It serves approximately 90,000 customers.last_img read more

Celebrating 25 Years in Economic Development

first_imgPress ReleaseGreen Mountain Economic Development Corporation celebrated 25 years of service to its communities and businesses with an Annual Meeting Monday, November 5, 2007. The meeting was held at Elixir Restaurant and Lounge, located in The Freight House Building, White River Jct., Vermont, and was called to order at 5:58 pm by President Allen Malcolm.Governor Jim Douglas was in attendance and spoke about the importance of Economic Development. He also thanked GMEDC, SBDC and the Town of Hartford for their dedicated service toward the important goal of Creating jobs to keep our youth interested in staying in Vermont and attracting others to the state.Guest speaker Michelle Ollie, managing Director and Co-founder of The Center for Cartoon Studies talked about the positive support she received from GMEDC, the Town of Hartford and Ed Childs of Merchants Bank when she started the school. She mentioned that without the financial support from these organizations cartoon studies would not be where it is today.Neal Fox, Executive Director of GMEDC presented awards to Lori Hirshfield, Planning Director, Town of Hartford and Peter Gregory, Executive Director, Two-Rivers Ottaquechee Regional Commission for their many years of service to GMEDC. A special Letter of Appreciation was given to Hartford Town Manager Hunter Rieseberg for recognition as a dynamic leader in economic development and to Allen Malcolm outgoing president of GMEDC for valued service.Jim Masland, Representative, spoke about the state workforce funds available to employers and if employers needed funding to help train new or existing employees, they should call GMEDC immediately at 802-295-3710.The meeting was adjourned at 6:42 pm.last_img read more

Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund Hires Netaka White as Biofuels Director

first_imgMontpelier — The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF) announced today that it has hired Netaka White as its new Biofuels Director. White was formerly the co-founder and Executive Director of the Vermont Biofuels Association (VBA), which recently merged with Renewable Energy Vermont.”We are very pleased that Netaka has joined the VSJF staff,” said the Funds Executive Director, Ellen Kahler. “He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in the biofuels arena as well as program management to the Jobs Fund.” Kahler went on to say that “had it not been for the efforts of Netaka White and the Board of the VBA, there would not be a growing biofuels industry in Vermont today. He has provided important technical assistance, education and outreach to help Vermonters learn about the use of biofuels and has taken the lead on many important market development projects in this arena, with an emphasis on sustainable production for local use.”Established in 1995 by the Vermont Legislature, the VSJF builds markets and new business opportunities within Vermonts natural resource industries and the green economy through our strategically targeted grant making and technical assistance.”I feel really ready to take on this new assignment,” said Netaka White. A significant part of his work with the VBA involved initiating and participating in energy and agriculture policy and economic development discussions at the state and local level. Some of these include the Governor’s Commission on Climate Change, Vermont Council on Rural Development’s Energy Council, Vermont Sustainable Agriculture Council and Vermont’s 25×25 steering committee.White will be responsible for implementing the VSJF biofuels agenda which includes the promotion and development of a range of feedstocks, including oilseed crops and algae for biodiesel and perennial grasses for biofuel pellets, that can help Vermont meet a portion of its energy needs”Large scale biofuels have been getting a lot of bad publicity lately,” said White. “However, what we are doing here in Vermont is very different. We’re working with farmers, agriculture researchers, and entrepreneurs to create new on-farm energy generation that is sustainable and affordable. This is all about local production for local use. Were not promoting fuel production at the expense of food production, nor are we promoting industrial or commodity scale biofuels development from corn or sugar crops.” He went on to say that “we’re working with farmers to help grow enough oilseed crops, for instance, so that they can replace the diesel that runs just about everything on the farm, with homegrown biodiesel. And when you press oilseeds, you also get a high protein livestock feed that our diaries absolutely depend on. We think our strategy will ultimately help to preserve and enhance Vermont agriculture by making our farms more secure in terms of energy and feed costs, especially in this new era of record high crude oil and grain prices.”White has a long history with the VSJF, having been a recipient of numerous grants made to the Vermont Biofuels Association and having been a collaborator on a number of projects. He will primarily be responsible for managing several large grants obtained from the U.S. Department of Energy through the support of U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy and from the High Meadows Fund.Prior to starting the VBA in 2003, Mr. White started and ran several small businesses, both wholesale and retail, and served as Director of Marketing for Vermont Family Forests, a nonprofit forest conservation group based in Bristol.last_img read more

UVM College of Medicine ranks 4th for primary care and 8th for rural medicine

first_imgPrimary care education at the University of Vermont College of Medicine has been ranked fourth in the nation among 146 accredited U.S. medical and osteopathic schools, according to US News & World Report’s 2011 edition of  “America’s Best Graduate Schools,” on newsstands April 20. UVM ranked sixth last year and has ranked in the top five percent of all medical schools for Primary Care for four years in a row. UVM also ranked eighth this year in Rural Medicine specialty programs, chosen by medical school deans and senior faculty who identify those schools offering the top 10 programs in selected specialties.”We are honored and proud that our commitment to excellence in medical education and training has gained such a high level of national recognition,” said UVM College of Medicine Dean Frederick C. Morin, III, M.D. “The College, along with our teaching hospital partner Fletcher Allen Health Care, has long valued the critical role of educating physicians with a strong grounding in primary care to ensure healthier local, regional, and national populations. Our innovative curriculum, the engagement of our faculty, the career choices of our students, and our close connection to health outcomes in our state, all reflect those values.”UVM’s innovative Vermont Integrated Curriculum, which has also received national recognition over the years, integrates basic science and clinical education throughout all four years, including exposure to primary care practices around the state during the first weeks of medical school.”It is both a privilege and a responsibility to train the next generation of primary care physicians in today’s dynamic health care environment,” said Melinda Estes, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Fletcher Allen Health Care. “Here in Vermont, we take that responsibility very seriously, and it is nice to be recognized for doing this well in a rural environment.”More than one-third of the physicians in Vermont were educated at the UVM College of Medicine and Fletcher Allen Health Care, and Vermont ranks second in the nation for primary care physicians per capita. In addition, for three years in a row Vermont has topped the list of the nation’s healthiest states in rankings produced by the United Health Foundation, the American Public Health Association and Partnership for Prevention.Each year, U.S. News & World Report ranks professional-school programs in business, education, engineering, law, and medicine. The primary care ranking model is based on seven indicators, including program quality assessments by medical school leaders and residency program directors; the percentage of graduates entering primary care residencies in family medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics; and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school’s faculty and students, including MCAT and GPA scores, faculty/student ratios, and acceptance rates. Specialty rankings, including Rural Medicine, are based solely on ratings by medical school deans and senior faculty at peer schools, who identify schools offering the best programs in selected specialties. For more on the U.S. News & World Report rankings, visit:http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/…(link is external)                     The University of Vermont, in partnership with Fletcher Allen Health Care, serves as Vermont’s academic medical center. The College of Medicine received nearly 6000 applications for the 114 entering students in the Class of 2013, and has 458 medical students across the four years. An average of 58 percent of graduating students 2007-09 entered residency programs in the primary care fields of family medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics.  For more information, visit www.med.uvm.edu(link is external)Fletcher Allen Health Care serves as a regional referral center – providing advanced care to approximately one million people in Vermont and northern New York – and as a community hospital for approximately 150,000 residents in Chittenden and Grand Isle counties. Fletcher Allen’s mission is to improve the health of the people in the communities we serve by integrating patient care, education and research in a caring environment. For more information visit www.fletcherallen.org(link is external)Source: UVM. 4.15.2010last_img read more

Shumlin appoints Steve Kimbell to lead BISHCA

first_imgAnya Rader rejoins forces with KSE in health care reform plan … Jul 1, 2010 … Kimbell Sherman Ellis, LLP, (KSE) a national government affairs and strategic communications firm, announced today a joint venture with Anya … ### Leonine Public Affairs,Governor-elect Shumlin announced today several appointments that will make up his health care reform team. Steve Kimbell will assume the role of Commissioner of BISHCA, Harry Chen will become the newly appointed Commissioner of the Department of Health, Susan Besio will remain in her role as Commissioner of the Department of Vermont Health Access and Anya Rader Wallack will lead the health care reform efforts as Special Assistant to the Governor.‘I pledged during the campaign to work for a single payer system that provides all Vermonters with affordable, quality health care. Vermonters can no longer afford to pay a million dollars more a day for health care. We are bankrupting our small businesses and the middle class’ said Shumlin. ‘A single payer system is not only the right thing to do, it is absolutely necessary to ensure that we put Vermont on a fiscally sustainable path. This is a complex undertaking. It will require careful planning at the state level, and pushing the limits of laws and regulations at the federal level. I have put together my health care dream team. All of the members of this team have the experience, skills and knowledge of both Vermont and Washington D.C. that is necessary to get the job done.’Anya Rader Wallack is President of Arrowhead Health Analytics. A native Vermonter, Anya has a deep knowledge of state health policy, including Medicaid policy and the effect of national health reform on states. She established Arrowhead after serving as interim President of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation (BCBSMAF) and Executive Director of the Massachusetts Medicaid Policy Institute (MMPI). Anya has served as a consultant to state governments and multi-state organizations for most of the past decade. For the past two years she has been deeply engaged in Massachusetts health care reform through her service at MMPI and BCBSMAF. Anya served from 1991-1994 as Policy Director and then Deputy Chief of Staff for Vermont Governor Howard Dean, M.D. In that capacity she coordinated efforts to pass and implement two major health reform initiatives and served as the governor’s liaison to the Agency of Human Services and BISHCA. From 1995-1998 Anya ran the Vermont Program for Quality in Health Care, a quasi-governmental agency that specializes in quality measurement and improvement at the state level. Anya earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont and a Ph.D. in social policy from Brandeis University’s Heller School. As Special Assistant to the Governor on Health Care, Anya’s salary will be approximately $125,000.‘Implementing a system where all Vermonters have access to quality, affordable health care and where health care is no longer the responsibility of the employer is going to be very hard work,’ said Shumlin. ‘Numerous agencies and departments will need to work together toward this goal and Anya will lead this effort from my office. Anya has had the frustration of seeing health care reform efforts falter in both Vermont and Massachusetts and has the commitment, skills and experience to now get it done.’Steve Kimbell, the Commissioner-designee for BISCHA has been involved in public policy issues in Vermont since 1973. He was born and raised in Illinois, attending public schools and the University of Illinois. He earned a law degree from the University of Michigan and spent three years on active duty in the United States Marine Corps. In 1973, he moved to Vermont. He worked as a staff attorney for Vermont Legal Aid for five years, then started his own law practice/lobbying business. In 1987, he joined with Bob Sherman to create the public affairs firm now known as Kimbell Sherman Ellis. He retired from the firm and from the affiliated law firm of Kimbell Storrow Buckley Hughes on July 1, 2010. Kimbell managed statewide campaigns for former governor Madeleine Kunin in 1978 and 1982 and served as state planning director from 1984 to 1985. Kimbell’s salary will be approximately $127,000 as Commissioner of BISCHA.”The excellent health care providers that serve Vermonters and the entities that now operate the claims payment systems will be full partners as we take the next steps in health care reform,’ said Shumlin. ‘Steve Kimbell and the other members of our health care team will be working closely with them to achieve our goals. The banking, securities, captive insurance and traditional insurance companies regulated by BISHCA are important job creators for Vermont. With Steve’s leadership skills and experience they can expect a predictable, consistent and collaborative approach to both regulation and reform. I am deeply grateful to Steve for coming out of retirement and taking on this challenge.’Dr. Harry Chen, the Commissioner-designee of Vermont’s Health Department has been an emergency physician at Rutland Regional Medical Center for over twenty years. He earned his medical degree at the Oregon Health Sciences University School of Medicine, serving as Chief Resident. He is also on the clinical faculty at the University of Vermont School of Medicine. From 2004-2008, Dr. Chen served in the Vermont House of Representatives; during his final term he was Vice Chair of the Health Care Committee. In 2008, Dr. Chen received the Vermont State Medical Society Physician Award for Community Service. He has served on numerous statewide boards addressing health care and medical issues, including the Vermont Board of Medical Practice. Dr. Chen has spoken on the issue of health care reform nationally and regionally, including presentations to the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee and the New England Medical Society Leadership Conference. Dr. Chen’s salary will be approximately $115,000.‘Harry’s experience as a physician in our emergency rooms has given him the understanding of the challenges facing both Vermonters and our health care providers. In addition, his time served in the legislature working towards health care reform will be invaluable as he now assumes the role of Health Care Commissioner,’ said Shumlin. ‘In this role, Harry will both oversee the public’s health and be an integral member of my health care reform team.’Susan Besio will remain in her current role, serving as the Commissioner of the Department of Vermont Health Access (DVHA) ‘ the State of Vermont office responsible for the management of Medicaid, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), and other publicly-funded health insurance programs in Vermont. Prior to her current position, Dr. Besio served Vermont in a number of leadership capacities, including Deputy Commissioner and Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Developmental & Mental Health Services from 1996 to 2004, and as Director of Planning and Operations for the Vermont Agency of Human Services from 2004 to 2006. She was one of the architects of Vermont’s Global Commitment to Health Medicaid 1115 Demonstration Waiver, which provides the state with financial and programmatic flexibility to help Vermont maintain its broad public health care coverage and provide more effective services. Dr. Besio received her undergraduate degree from Emory University in Atlanta, earned a master’s degree in Psychology from San Diego State University and received a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Vermont. Her salary will remain at $100,714.‘Susan has done an incredible job administering our publicly-funded health insurance programs in Vermont,’ said Shumlin. ‘I am delighted that she is willing to continue in this role as her wealth of experience and knowledge regarding Vermont’s health care system will be critical as we move towards a single payer system.’Source: Shumlin’s office. 12.13.2010RELATED:Inside the Insiders: Kimbell & Bob Sherman | Vermont Business Magazine Jul 31, 2006 … Founded in 1987, Kimbell Sherman Ellis (Kevin Ellis joined in 1991) is located in a warren of rooms on one floor in an antique building in …last_img read more

Jane Knodell appointed UVM provost and senior vice president

first_imgUniversity of Vermont,The University of Vermont Board of Trustees today approved President Daniel Mark Fogel’s appointment of Jane E Knodell as provost and senior vice president.”I couldn’t be happier that Dr. Knodell has accepted the position of Provost and Senior Vice President,” noted UVM President Daniel Mark Fogel. “During her time in the interim role, she has shown the leadership skills, creativity, and high level of energy necessary to succeed in this challenging job, while proving to be an exceptional colleague and team member. I am grateful to have Jane as a partner in addressing the many challenges ahead, and the University is fortunate to have such a talented individual leading our academic enterprise.”Knodell, who had been serving in that capacity since July of 2009 on an interim basis, emerged as one of two finalists last month from an internal search process that took place during the fall semester.In accepting the position, Professor Knodell said, “I am grateful for and humbled by this appointment, and deeply appreciate the trust and confidence that Dan Fogel and the Board of Trustees have placed in me. There is much our community must accomplish together to continue on the very successful course the University of Vermont has charted, and I am both eager and excited to get on with the important tasks before us. UVM is an extraordinary place, and I plan to do everything I can to make it even better.”Knodell sees both challenges and opportunities ahead: “American higher education is in the midst of a transformation. We have entered an era of increasing competition and declining public and private resources. It is essential that the university achieve greater distinction and deepen its reputation for academic quality if we are to secure a strong and sustainable place in the future of higher education,” Knodell said.She continued, “It is true that our work as educators, scholars, creative artists, and researchers has unquestionable value in and of itself. It is also true that our long-term viability as an institution requires us to respond to change in prudent but timely ways; to adapt to new educational technologies, markets and demands; and to build our profile in national and international arenas.”Knodell has been a member of the UVM faculty since 1986, and has served the university in a variety of administrative roles. Knodell earned her bachelor’s degree with honors and distinction in 1976 from Stanford University, and her Ph.D. in Economics, also from Stanford, in 1984. “I am particularly pleased,” Fogel said, “that Jane Knodell brings to her work as the university’s chief academic officer a record as an accomplished teacher and scholar,” adding that Knodell is a leading expert on central banking in the early United States whose work continues to be published in the top financial and economic history journals, including the Financial History Review (2010) and The Journal of Economic History (2006).Knodell is an active member of the Burlington community. She served on the City Council from 1993-1997, and again from 1999-2009. She was elected President of the City Council in 1999 and 2000.Source: UVM. 12.13.2010###last_img read more