Presented by:


Partnered with:


Sponsored By







2010 Best Places to Work in Vermont

Large Sized Companies

1|Merchants Bank

Merchants Bank is an independently owned statewide community bank. Merchants Bank is a full-service, commercial bank offering a complete range of retail and commercial services to businesses, industry, private and government institutions and individuals. The Bank maintains 34 full-service banking offices and five additional ATM-only locations throughout Vermont.

Compensation Practices: The majority of employee's are eligible for an incentive program that is based on overall financial performance of the Bank as measured by earnings. Employees can earn an incentive of two percent of base salary if the bank earnings budget is met. If earnings exceeds budget, employees will yield an additional incentive based on a matrix and can earn up to 25 percent of individual base compensation. The majority of our employee's are eligible for an incentive program that is based on overall financial performance of the Bank as measured by earnings. They also have an opportunity for their Market Teams to earn a recognition award. Market Team of the Year finalists qualify on the basis of overall team strength and contribution in the measurement year. In order to qualify, teams must demonstrate strength among individual branches and also the collective whole as a Market Team. The awards are substantial with the first place award being 10 percent of annual salary to each of the members of the market team. In the Service Center, there is an Employee Customer Service Award. The top choice winner receives $4,000. Milestones for length of service are recognized with gift catalogs for employees to choose their own gift - First anniversary, fifth, 10th and every five years beyond.

Health Practices: The medical plan has unlimited preventive screening coverage. The bank offers health, Rx and vision bundled under one plan. Their Service Center has showers on each floor allowing employees to shower after a run or walk. They offer up to $150 per employee per year for the cost of memberships and other approved health and fitness related expenses.

Community Practices: As part of the United Way campaign, they encourage employees to volunteer their time to participating agencies. They pay for up to three hours per year. MB supports United Way and is consistently recognized for successful campaigns. MB Foundation provides financial support towards education programs and human services organizations. Managers are given an annual budget to respond to local needs in their markets. CRA(Community Reinvestment Act) includes financial literacy programs such as Money Smart. HR participates in programs for troubled teens and disabled Vermonters looking to return to the workforce.

Education Practices: MB has a Training Committee comprised of individuals from each division of the bank that meets monthly to discuss existing training programs and the need to enhance, change, develop new training programs when needed, audit current programs for effectiveness, etc. In-house training calendar offers 35 to 40 different classes to employees. Employees can tap into national training and seminars that are offered. All employees have access to an online training tool with banking related courses, as well as courses on customer service, leadership/management, motivation, etc. New Branch Managers are mentored by another seasoned Branch Manager. The Credit Authority, Rating and Review Program (CARR) provide Lending Authority Candidates guidance in how to gain lending authority. The bank's highest ranked managers (just under Senior Management) participated in a key management development program this year working with an executive coach on customized coaching plans. This is continuing into 2010.

Merchants Bank has a true open door policy. The Senior Management team is accessible to every employee and works along side employees everyday. There is virtually no office politics. MBers know that the #1 goal is to provide good customer service making them want to come back for more. Building better relationships with customers strengthens business.

Our motto is Vermont Matters. We are proud to be the only independent statewide bank. To best serve our communities, we know we must first support our employees. We invest in their growth and value their contributions to our success.

2| is the global leader in online marketing solutions for the automotive industry, providing award winning e-marketing solutions to OEMs, auto dealers and media companies. More dealerships use the platform than any other platform in the world. was the 2008 top rated web provider on leading online rating websites, as well as the Gold Award winner from the Dealers' choice awards for best dealer website solutions.

Compensation Practices: Bonuses are based on either employees' individual production per quarter or departments' production per month. Employees determine compressed work week options and schedules with their managers, based on their individual job requirements and personal needs.

Health Practices: Company pays 100 percent of cost – medical, prescription, dental, life insurance, longterm disability. The Playground is an on-site, all inclusive training facility with an on-site fitness instructor. There are health & wellness workshops on a variety of topics such as Nutrition 101, gym orientation, core strength development, aerobics, dance, bootcamp, quit smoking programs and more. Employee wellness is's core culture, and is defined as the aggressive pursuit of happiness, health and the creation of a work environment that anyone would be proud to be part of. There are fully sponsored sports teams including softball, soccer, tennis, and more.

Advancement Practices: has a company-wide focus on developing in-house leadership, including internal promotions and cross training. 80 percent of the current management team resulted from internal development and promotions. Senior management has an overall goal of training and developing the team members who will one day replace them, actively cultivating internal leadership. views the development programs as a long-term investment in the future. The company employs numerous communication tools and practices to facilitate collaboration, information sharing and team building. also has Flex hours and encourages all employees to arrange their work schedules so that their lives may run smoothly.

Environmental Practices: The building is LEED certified, meaning that it is environmentally responsible. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System provides standards for environmentally friendly and sustainable construction, and's offices were built from the ground up based on these standards.

Community Practices: Annual Kid's Day Parade, local business program partnerships, local ride share program, all the products in the Dot Calm cafe are sourced from local vendors, quarterly fundraisers for local charities, holiday toy, food and bottle drives. Employees are also active within the community and often reach out to fellow co-workers for help and support, such as getting sponsorships for breast cancer walks, and more. actively cultivates an environment where employees feel happy and challenged to grow personally and professionally. It's a thriving workplace where employees have a sense of accomplishment for themselves, their community and the environment.

3|Green Mountain Power

Green Mountain Power is an electric utility owned by Northern New England Energy Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gaz Metro, a leading Quebec energy company with a long history of investment in Vermont. Green Mountain Power 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.

Compensation Practices: Green Mountain Power matches 100 percent of the first four percent of contribution. The plan allows the opportunity to save 100 percent of the maximum deferral limit allowed by the IRS. Participation starts after 30 days of employment. In addition to the match, Green Mountain Power contributes 3.25 percent of employee's base wages to the 401k plan, regardless of their personal participation level.

Health Practices: Flu shots, free, healthy snacks available at all sites, on site Physical Therapy several times/month, interest free bike loans, Nutrition classes, discounted group fitness club memberships, chair massage. Reimbursement for smoking cessation costs, subsidized VTrim program for weight loss. All employees have a laptop and VPN access and where possible, are encouraged to work flexibly. Employees have the option to work four, 10-hour days for special projects and within the Call Center.

Education Practices: The company will pay 80 percent of the cost of tuition, lab fees, library fees and deferred payment charges up to a maximum amount of $3800/year. The employee must provide documentation of a grade C or better.

Community Practices: Each employee is offered four hours of paid time for community or volunteer work. At least once per year, sometimes more, the company coordinates events for employees to use those four hours. They have an active annual United Way campaign and 2009 was our best year ever with almost 100 percent participation. Green Mountain Power matches employee contributions as part of $100,000 they give to local charity and community service events.

Green Mountain Power's energetic commitment to excellence in employee performance, service to customers and environmental footprint, combined with providing an essential service to Vermonters, makes working here deeply satisfying.

4|Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee

Entergy is the largest nuclear operator in the Northeast and second largest in the nation. VY provides one-third of the power needed by the State of VT. Entergy is the second cleanest utility generator among the top 10 generators and was the first U.S. utility to voluntarily stabilize greenhouse gas emissions. In 2008 for the second year in a row, Entergy was named to the Forbes list of America's Most Trustworthy Companies.

Compensation Practices: Incentive goals are set every year by Entergy Nuclear executive and based on that year's performances, bonuses are paid out. Non-exempt employees have a base pay target bonus of 5 percent . Exempt employees have a base pay target bonus of 7 percent. Supervisors and Managers have a base pay target bonus of 10 percent to 25 percent.

Health Practices: Company pays 100 percent of cost of medical and life insurance. Entergy has partnered with two local gyms to receive discounted rates for our employees. VY's Wellness Program, Healthstrides, promotes healthy lifestyles. ENSHAPE offers free on site annual health screenings, gym membership reimbursements, $200 drawings held 6 times a year for employees who have had their wellness physical, quarterly ENSHAPE newsletters, Health Resources offering information on workout strategies, food diaries, weight management etc. Plus, VY has partnered with two local gyms for discounted memberships.

Education Practices: Upon employees first day of employment and successful completion of each approved Eligible Course, employees are reimbursed for the education expenses up to an annual reimbursement of $5,250. VY also offers on site courses taught by Keene State College for employees looking to further their education.

Community Practices: VY allows employees to volunteer on company time for various organizations including, the United Way, Project Feed the Thousands, Habitat for Humanity, VT Food Bank, Toys For Tots, Constructing a play ground at a local school, etc. VY has Dollars-for-Doers, which grants support to the employee or retiree who volunteer in VY's community. For every 20 hours volunteered employees earn $250 for the non-profit, with a limit of $750 per year. VY awards grants and sponsorships each year totaling over $300,000 to approximately 100 non-profit organizations in the tri-state area including, Project Feed the Thousands food campaign as the major sponsor, Brattleboro Area Drop in Center Food Shelf and Winter Clothing Drive, Toys for Tots, United Way Campaign raising $133,435, Habitat for Humanity Program, Vermont Food Bank, and the construction of a new playground at the Dummerston, VT elementary school.

Environmental Practices: The power generated from Vermont Yankee is third lowest in carbon emissions when compared to other electrical generating suppliers. Only wind and geothermal are lower in carbon emissions when looking at the entire life cycle emissions and it is the lowest when compared to other base load electric generating plants. Vermont Yankee helps VT maintain its ranking of having the lowest carbon footprint per capita of any state in the country.

VY is a great place to work boosting a positive work environment for employees. Diversity and inclusion, educational and leadership training contributes to making VY a great place to work. Entergy's mantra is The Power of People, and VY is a perfect example.

5|Vermont Electric Power Company

With the completion of the NRP, the first major project constructed in the state in over 20 years, we are the country's fastest growing transmission company. The company's associates work hard every day to give VT's utilities and their ratepayers a strong unified voice on regional energy issues and to ensure continued access to reliable, climate friendly power technology. We're committed to serve as VT's transmission reliability resource.

Recognition Practices: One of VELCO's 2008 Corporate Key Performance Indicators (KPI's) was to develop, implement and monitor a company-wide Associate Recognition Program. The purpose of the program, available to all Associates was to recognize Associates whose individual and team efforts contributed to VELCO's success. The criteria that was identified for the program was to recognize delivered results and demonstrated behaviors of milestones from individuals, teams and the corporation. Additionally important, they have also celebrated many corporate successes as well. Service year awards are celebrated quarterly at our WHAT's BREWING events. VELCO takes great pride in their talented Associates and we intend to continue to make them aware of how much their effort and commitment means to our company's success. A really special form of recognition came this year for many of the Associates who worked so hard on a major evaluation (NPCC Evaluation/Audit) of the company's operating procedures. They passed with flying colors and have since been asked by the auditors to go on roadshows and speak to their success at numerous venues. They have also been invited to fellow utilities to share their story on the diligence and teamwork as well as best-practice solutions VELCO incorporated.

Performance Practices: In 2005, VELCO implemented a Performance Management System, a powerful, clear and comprehensive appraisal system that focuses on the Associates' delivered results, demonstrated behaviors and their alignment to the organization's critical competencies and key performance indicators. Each year all Associates are required to complete an Individual Performance Plan (IPP) and they are measured upon its success.

Health Practices: VELCO offers work at home, compressed work weeks, flexible schedules. They hold At Work Weight Watchers meetings, as well as on-site strength training sessions. . In addition to At Work Weight Watchers, there is a nutritionist on-site quarterly, Occupational health specialist, and on-site flu clinics. They also provide a stipend for gym memberships or some other fitness related activity or purchase (new walking shoes, treadmill, etc).

Education Practices: VELCO supports education, training and development in a variety of ways. They understand that as their business needs change and become more complex, Associates may need more job-required training. Job-required training and development may be to help Associates perform new or unfamiliar jobs, help Associates improve their performance in their present position, or to help Associates handle new and/or different responsibilities. VELCO also supports education outside of the workplace and offers a lucrative tuition reimbursement program. The Performance Management System will also be used to build and develop the skills and behaviors needed to enhance current job performance and prepare for future career opportunities as cited in their Succession Plan.

Community Practices: Organizations that are supported include Kids on the Move, Mentor Connector, Boys and Girls Club, numerous school activities, VT Childrens Trust Foundation, Food for Families (Community Cupboard), Carmey's Angels (Adopt a Family), Rutland County Relay for Life, Math and Science Competition at Norwich University, Pine Hill Park, and Green Up Day. VELCO's Associates understand and embrace our common unity and live their commitment as stewards of the environment and our community. VELCO Associates Sustainable Environment (VASE) launched a variety of environmental stewardship activities this year.

The people are smart, honest, funny and driven. Our work is toward larger goals than ourselves or our even our company alone. And we've been blessed with some reaffirming successes.

Small/Medium Sized Companies

1|Wells River Savings Bank

Wells River Savings has been providing personal and business banking products and services to the Upper Connecticut River Valley of VT and NH for more than 100 years. We take great pride in our tradition of friendly, personal service and our strong commitment to the community. Whether you choose to bank online, via ATM or Tellerphone, or in person at any of our conveniently located offices, Wells River Savings can meet all your banking needs.

Advancement Practices: The bank has two formal programs to encourage the development of the staff: the Bank Intern Program (BIP) and Job Shadowing. The BIP allows current employees to work temporarily in a position to which they have limited exposure, generally in a department that is not their current one. The programs run from the middle of May through the end of August. They are able to offer this program because of the additional coverage that is provided by our student intern program, which involves hiring high school and college students to work as tellers. The primary goal of the program is to provide exposure to different departments and/or positions for those employees who are interested in expanding their knowledge of other areas and to acquire new skills. The hosting employee/department is expected to provide the intern with a valuable learning experience that includes new job skills as well as exposure to the entire department. Additionally, this program provides a pool of cross-trained employees for coverage during leaves as well as internal applicants for openings within the bank. Job Shadowing involves an employee spending either a day or a half-day with another employee at any position within the bank, including the CEO. The employee observes the staff member performing their regular duties and asks questions, trying to gain an understanding of the job. An important outcome of the shadowing is that employees expand their knowledge of how the various functions within the bank interrelate. Their semi-annual performance evaluations focus on the setting and attainment of goals for development, which may include Job Shadowing experiences and enrolling in classes. The bank pays 100 percent of courses that are banking-related, which are mainly offered online, and employees are encouraged but not required to enroll in diploma or certificate programs. All employees are expected to serve on a committee with other employees from throughout the bank, including a member of senior management. Two of the committees are the Employee Recognition Committee, and the Customer Recognition Committee.

Recognition Practices: The bank has a formal recognition program that adheres to the IRS guidelines. Employees are recognized for every five years of service with flowers, a luncheon, and a gift of their choosing, valued from $75 for five years of service to $1,000 for thirty five years and beyond. All employees have their length-of-service recognized at our annual incorporators' dinner. Several long-term employees have had celebrations during working hours that have been open to customers.

Health Practices: A focus on a healthy work/life balance permeates the culture of the bank. It is an innate part of who they are. All employees have flexibility with scheduling when issues arise at home and fellow employees will pitch in to cover the workload. Two of the centrally located facilities (Bradford and Wells River) have bank-provided exercise equipment in dedicated rooms. Wells River Savings Bank offers onsite flu shots every fall that are free to employees and their families. If they are unable to attend, they have two more weeks to go to the hospital to receive their flu shot at the bank's expense. In the operations center the bank is launching a competition for nutrition/weight loss, which will expand to all locations. A yoga instructor has opened a studio nearby and employees go there for yoga on lunch hours.

Community Practices: Annually the bank contributes between $75,000 and $80,000 to local groups. Employees raise funds through "Jeans Days" and volunteer time to projects that are important to them: host/coordinate March of Dimes March for Babies; Cottage hospital Walkathon; Upper Valley Mentoring Project; Bradford Area Workforce Investment Board; Merchants Associations; Chamber of Commerce; food shelves; Green Up Day; Prouty Ride SAG; Red Cross; staff the Welcome Center.

Employees are treated as assets of the bank and their wellbeing is as important to the achievement of the bank's strategic goals as growth and profitability. During the thirty-one year tenure of our CEO, we have grown from five to sixty employees, many of whom have been at the bank for most of their working careers, including our CEO. While we have added employees and expanded our facilities during that time span, we have managed to hold on to the one thread that has been woven tenaciously throughout our culture: the feeling of family.

2|Edward Jones

Edward Jones is the nation's largest financial-services firm in terms of branch offices, with 10,300 U.S. locations. Every aspect of firm business, from investment types to branch locations, is designed to cater to its nearly 7 million individual investors in communities where they live and work. Financial advisors work with clients to understand personal goals and create long-term, well-balanced, buy-and-hold investment solutions.

Compensation Practices: Edward Jones shares 24 percent of net profits with associates employed six months or more who work at least 20 hours weekly. On average, 2008 profit sharing represented a 3 percent bump in compensation, deposited into associate retirement accounts. If a financial advisor hits the legal limit on annual retirement contributions, the firm cuts a check for profit sharing due. All associates are eligible for potential limited partnership. The firm matches 100 percent of associates' contributions up to $500 annually. In addition, all associates may opt to open Roth 401(k) plans and deposit after-tax dollars into them through payroll deductions. 24 percent of the firm's net income is contributed to retirement programs through profit sharing. Company pays 100 percent of cost of life insurance. Profit sharing declined in 2008 because firm profits fell with the economy. Trimester bonuses also are paid when the firm profits. What does a partnership of collaboration bring in bad times? A willingness to forego your own gain for the good of the whole. Throughout its history, Edward Jones has avoided major layoffs, and associates are sacrificing to keep that record running. Lots of financial cuts have been made but not one job has been chopped.

Education Practices: In 2008, the firm spent nearly $2 million in tuition reimbursement for 731 associates, not including spending on top-level management courses and free executive MBAs for promising associates. Each associate can receive up to $5,000 per year. Reimbursement is paid on enrollment at request and only completion is required. Certifications and professional designations, however, are reimbursed after they are earned.

Community Practices: From hours associates volunteer during work to dollars donated, volunteerism is part of the culture. Branch associates attend to philanthropic commitments openly during office hours. In 2008, the firm charitable foundation contributed $7.5 million, including large donations to St. Louis arts organizations, YMCA and Big Brothers Big Sisters. The firm and associates raised $3.4 million for United Way in 2008. Associates can request donations for charities where they volunteer. In Vermont, financial advisors and BOAs collect Christmas for Kids presents, and raise donations for the annual Stuff-A-Truck Salvation Army effort.

Communication Practices: At Edward Jones, information flows downstream. It cascades from the managing partner and the Executive Committee to the Management Committee. From there, it flows freely to the firm's principals. Then the firm's principals are charged with sharing the news with their leaders and associates. Bottom line: Everyone gets drenched. Regional leaders are the firm's voice within their region, and they communicate in a variety of ways. Vermont financial advisors enjoy a monthly regional newsletter filled with kudos, information and ideas, leaders ask for their opinions. The Suggestion System, an internal communication system between associates and home-office leaders, guarantees associates have the firm.

Edward Jones was founded on the principle that associates are the source of its success. The belief permeates all firm practices, including sharing profits, culture of caring and partnership.

3|The Bank of Bennington

The Bank of Bennington has customer savings and checking deposits, IRAs, CDs, business deposit accounts. On the loan side we have consumer, mortgage and commercial lending. We also offer a Financial Planning Service.

Compensation Practices: The benefit package is an average of 40 percent of the total compensation. They pay 80 percent of health insurance premiums and supply, at no cost to the employee, dental, life insurance, short and long term disability. The Bank of Bennington's Profit Sharing Plan is a supplemental contribution made yearly to each employees 401K account. The contribution is based on the bank's performance and is an equal percent of gross pay to all employees. The Bank of Bennington matches 50 percent of the employee contribution up to and including their six percent contribution. They are one of the few companies that still maintain a 401K match, a profit sharing plan and an active pension plan. They have also been able to give a performance compensation bonus for several years as recognition to the hard work given by all employees. The Bank of Bennington's Profit Sharing Plan is a supplemental contribution made yearly to each employees 401K account. The contribution is based on the bank's performance and is an equal percent of gross pay to all employees.

Education Practices: An employee must submit a personal development plan to their supervisor. For full time employees, after one year of employment the Bank will pay 50 percent of expenses for one class per semester up to $3,000 per fiscal year. After two years of employment the Bank will pay 75 percent of expenses for one class per semester up to $3,000 per fiscal year. The amount is prorated for part time employees based on hours worked. Minimum acceptable grade is a B. The Bank of Bennington is committed to regular staff training sessions to keep all staff updated on current products and additional staff training to enhance promotability. There is also specialized Senior Management training sessions and formal succession planning with the Board of Directors and Senior Management. Senior Management and the Board of Directors puts great emphasis in training and cross training staff for the benefit of the company and the benefit of the employee through advancement. Training hours completed are part of the measurement in the yearly bonus plan.

Advancement Practices: As the employee's complete training they may find an interest in another field within the bank. Should that occur, they work to incorporate some additional training for that employee should the opportunity of a position in that department become available. The bank also encourages employees to take college classes to advance their knowledge in their field or pursue the degree they did not yet receive. They have a generous tuition reimbursement program to cover many of the costs. Whenever a position does become available in the bank, it is advertised internally first whenever applicable giving the current employees every opportunity to advance with in the bank structure prior to hiring from the outside. Over the years the bank has had several employees start as tellers and work their way up to branch managers and VP's.

Environmental Practices: The Bank of Bennington wanted to encourage green or environmentally friendly thinking, so they developed a Green Loan. This loan has a special interest rate and is available for customers that would like to make green or energy efficient improvements to their homes. In their own office environment they have worked with Efficiency Vermont in finding ways to improve their buildings including changing lights to the more efficient bulbs.

Community Practices: The Bank of Bennington has an expectation of employee service participation in the communities in which they live. Organizations that the employees have participated in are documented by staff and include Big Brothers Big Sisters, working within the school systems with tutoring and reading programs, and other one time requests as received from the local community. There are also several employees on the boards for local community organizations.

If an employee gives their best, the best will come back to them. They can achieve anything they want to do, or stay happily in the position they are in.

4|Mascoma Savings Bank

Mascoma Savings Bank provides families and businesses with "one-stop Shopping" for financial services, from traditional banking deposit products and loans, to financial planning, investments and insurance. Our consumer loan products include auto, home improvement, home equity loans and mortgages. Business customers are offered commercial lending and deposit products. We have created a new insurance agency and financial services division to enhance our services.

Compensation Practices: STAKEHOLDERS is the reward compensation program that Mascoma Savings Bank implemented in 2000. The plan focus is to maximize the long-term value of the company by balancing multiple goals achievement within the context of growth, profit, quality and productivity. The plan is "self funding." The payout is awarded as a percent of base pay. All employees participate beginning on first day of employment. The 401(K) Plan has a "Safe Harbor" match of up to 4 percent. It is 100 percent on the first three percent deferred and an additional 50 percent on the next two percent deferred. In addition to the 401(k) Plan, the bank provides a defined benefit retirement plan. Interest free loans are offered to purchase computers with up to 24 months to pay back. Employee Assisted Home Buyers Program allows $1,000 off loan costs or 0.25 percent off a 30 year mortgage rate. They offer a 529 Education Savings Plan through payroll deduction.

Health Practices: They have had a fitness program since 1987. Employees earn credits for time spent exercising. If an employee receives up to 300 credits they will earn one day off. 150 credits will get one half day off. The employee designs their own program and hands in a calculation at the end of the year.

Advancement Practices: Many positions within the bank have clearly defined advancement programs which can lead to promotions. By completing certain training and education requirements, as well as demonstrating job proficiency, employees have the ability to advance their careers. They also offer a wide variety of in-house courses to help employees build skills that can assist them as they work towards career growth. They provide tuition reimbursement for bank related courses through local colleges at 50 percent and 100 percent if job required. They also provide 100 percent for banking schools. Employees can also design individual development plans to build specific skills that can help them advance their careers. One aspect of these development plans includes suggestions for a variety of ways to build skills including (but not limited to) reading, journaling, interviewing, coaching, etc

Community Practices: The bank works with VABIR and does job shadow programs, workshops, etc. In 2008 the bank received the Employer Award from the Vermont Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. The bank pays employees to volunteer and represent the bank. They recruit employees to work functions on behalf of the bank. They support community dinner programs by allowing employees to volunteer during the work day. Last year they contributed three quarters of a million dollars to the health care organizations, social service groups, education institutions, service clubs, and the arts. The bank provides a matching gifts program - match up to $300 annually for contributions made to nonprofit organizations within their served communities. Through their MSB Foundation they have given over two million dollars. The bank supports this endeavor by contributing a portion of its annual earnings to the foundation.

We play an active role in our communities, we respect our employees and encourage their development, and employees share these beliefs and work together to accomplish our goals.

5|Seventh Generation

We are committed to becoming the world's most trusted brand of authentic, safe, and environmentally-responsible products for a healthy home. Products include: non-chlorine bleached, 100 percent recycled paper towels, bathroom and facial tissues, and non-toxic, phosphate-free cleaning, dish and laundry products; plastic trash bags made from recycled plastic; chlorine-free baby diapers, and baby wipes; and chlorine-free feminine care product.

Compensation Practices: All employees participate in the incentive program. The program is based 100 percent on company results. In addition to cash incentives, they have an employee's ownership part of the incentive plan. Employees are granted employee's shares of the company as part of the annual incentive plan. Employees can arrange to work from home as their schedules and work demands allow. All employees are issued a laptop computer to enable working from home. The Company will reimburse up to 80 percent of the cost of tuition upon course completion if the course grade received is B- or better based on length of service with the company. They offer employees $1,000 per year to use for their personal and professional development.

Growth Practices: For 20 years, the closely held Burlington, Vermont-based company has been at the forefront of a cultural change in consumer behavior and business ethics. As part of this standard, the company is a place for people to seek not only material growth, but spiritual growth as well. They work to create a corporate culture in which people are energized and fulfilled as members of an intentional community. One of the country's first self-declared "socially responsible" companies, Seventh Generation is a business that operates according to a new and different set of principles and values that in many ways are a marked departure from those long considered traditional. Its business practice is focused on offering people avenues to express their idealism, passion, and commitment to causes larger than themselves at every point along its supply chain: from suppliers and partners to shareholders, customers and its own staff. A company built on a foundation of employees manifesting their unique talents and interests in support of its mission enjoys more than just success as a business: it contributes to the quality of the employee's life through their own self-actualization, it increases the ability of the employee to contribute his/her greatest gifts to the society, and ultimately it helps ensure the future of our planet is being designed by increasingly more developed and conscious individuals.

Community Practices: Each full-time SVG employee is offered 16 hours of paid time off per year to volunteer in the community. SVG also sponsors two to four employees to take part in national/international volunteer efforts offered by kindred companies. In addition to their volunteer program, they dedicate 10 percent of profits to the non-profit community, environmental, health, and responsible business organizations working for positive change. SVG has four donation partnerships: Children's Literacy Foundation, Committee On Temporary shelter, Whole Planet Foundation, and Youthbuild.

Environmental Practices: In 2008, Seventh Generation hosted a Sustainability Summit for their partners to encourage introducing a more sustainable effort in the manufacturing process. Their offices are LEED certified in a lead certified building. The expanded office space new in 2008 is LEED gold certified.

There are 106 great reasons to work for Seventh Generation- that's the number of dedicated employee-owners who truly embody the philosophy that anything is possible and that even if we don't succeed at first, good things always happen when we try. Of course, watching the sun set from our rooftop deck overlooking Lake Champlain brings the total to 107.

6|King Arthur Flour Company

Employee-owned King Arthur Flour is America's oldest flour company and premier baking resource. Their hallmark is naturally pure, consistently high-quality flour. Their Baker's Catalogue offers over 1,000 ingredients, mixes and baking tools; offers a wealth of recipes and resources; and our on-site and traveling educational programs have reached over one million people, making us the largest educator of home bakers in the world.

Employee Compensation: The sales staff is eligible to receive annual bonuses based on achieving specific goals. The customer care staff receive incentives (products, pizza party, etc) both individually and collectively for meeting monthly upsell goals. They encourage warehouse safety, providing free lunch when no accidents occur during each quarter. They also offer annual profit sharing, monetary and product kudos, referral bonuses and prizes for reaching wellness goals. When the company performs at or above plan, a budgeted profit sharing pool is paid to eligible employees based on salary/wages. The profit sharing pool for FY09 paid all eligible employees. The maximum dollar amount that the company matches of an employee's 401(k) contribution is $375.

Health Practices: King Arthur Flour offers two medical plans for employees to choose from: an HMO Network plan and an HSA plan. King Arthur funds a high percentage of the premium for each plan (80 percent of the Network Plan and 76 percent of the HSA Plan). In addition, King Arthur funds 50 percent of the deductible ($2500 for individuals and $5000 for family) for those employees enrolled in the high-deductible HSA plan. King Arthur Flour has a designated area for on-site yoga and pilates classes, offered to employees for just $5/class. The King Arthur Trail, a forested walking and biking trail crossing our campus that we worked with a local trails group to create, offers great opportunities for recreation. In addition, walking groups join together at lunchtime throughout the year.

Community Practices: Employees receive paid volunteer time (40 hours/year for full-time; 20 hours/year for part-time) for volunteering during normal work hours for non-profit agencies or schools of the employees' choosing. In the past year, 78 employees have given 606 hours serving community dinners, tutoring at local schools, building with Habitat for Humanity, helping at local homeless shelters, cleaning up the Connecticut River, and much more. King Arthur Flour has participated in & sponsored Green Up Day (collecting roadside litter), Habitat for Humanity builds, community dinners and river cleanups. Each year they make cash and product donations to more than 200 nonprofit organizations, sharing 5 percent of our profits. They also donate studio space to Vermont Public Radio at their headquarters. The Life Skills program has taught over 100,000 school students to bake bread and give to people in need.

Environmental Practices: Much of the packaging for the baking mixes is made from minimum 35 percent post-consumer recycled fiber. The paper on which the mail-order catalogue is printed comes from North American forests that are managed in compliance with acceptable forest management standards, and contains 10 percent post-consumer recycled content. Additionally, many of the baking pans, muffin tins and cookie sheets we sell are made from 65 percent recycled steel.

What makes King Arthur Flour truly special and unique continues to be the feelings of caring and empowerment we cultivate through employee-ownership. At King Arthur Flour, there is greater sense of mutual trust and respect that you just don't find among the employees at every business; and it gives us strength, both individually and collectively as a company. We believe in each other and everything we do, and we work hard together in hopes that we'll prosper together.

7|NRG Systems, Inc.

NRG Systems is an independently-owned company that has served the global wind energy industry for 27 years. Its wind measurement systems and turbine control sensors can be found on every continent in more than 130 countries, serving electric utilities, wind farm developers, turbine manufacturers, research institutes, government agencies, and universities.

Compensation Practices: NRG Systems offers a monthly cash profit-sharing plan and occasional bonuses for exceptional employee performance. In addition, NRG Systems provides new employees a bonus payment at the end of their first year when they are not yet eligible for monthly profit-sharing. NRG Systems offers a cash profit sharing program which allows all employees to share in the growth and success of the company. This program has been in place since 1998 and has consistently provided employees with monthly bonuses. When individuals go above and beyond expectations, NRG has systems in place to acknowledge them, including bonuses for exceptional performance, merit raises, opportunities to attend conferences, and recognition on the intranet or at company-wide meetings. Long-term employees are recognized for their service with a six-week paid sabbatical at their 10th anniversary (and every five years thereafter).

Workday Practices: NRG Systems supports telecommuting as an excellent option for employees who want flexible schedules and reduced commute times. Any employee, with approval from his or her manager, can telecommute or work a compressed work week. In 2009, they participated in Way to Go Week where employees are encouraged to find alternate ways to get to work, including telecommuting and compressed work weeks. Many of the accomplishments achieved by NRG Systems are the result of close team work and effective communication.

Health Practices: The company-wide "NRGize Your Life" program promotes good heath with initiatives and resources that focus on health and wellness (spirit, mind and body). In 2009, they sponsored NRG teams for local events like the Corporate Cup and the Dragonboat Festival and participated in the Bike to Work Challenge. NRG Systems reimburses employees $200 for participating in the University of Vermont's VTrim program which consists of weekly meetings, calorie counting, exercise goals, and meal planning tools. The company has established a strong relationship with Wild Leeks Kitchen, a local caterer who provides lunch onsite four days a week. NRG Systems pays expenses for approved training programs that may enhance job skills or performance.

Community Practices: The workforce is actively engaged in community activities in and outside of work. Employees from all departments speak at local schools, Rotary Clubs, etc on wind energy topics. In addition, the company supported employee involvement in the Corporate Cup race, Dragonboat Festival and United Way campaign. In 2009, they had the highest employee participation rate (89 percent) in their United Way campaign. They also serve as tour guides for visitors to our green manufacturing facilities.

Environmental Practices: NRG Systems operates using the principles of lean manufacturing to reduce waste, through-put times, and inefficiencies throughout our value chain. A commitment to lean and sustainability is rooted in our long-term, no waste, and fix-it-first philosophy. Their green buildings have 80 kW of roof/building mounted solar photovoltaics, 62 kW of solar trackers, and a 10 kW wind turbine. They recently installed a 144 kW solar tracker farm, the largest in the state of Vermont. Under a group net-metering agreement with Earth Turbines, their two companies anticipate this source of power will supply 100 percent of electricity needs. Wood pellet boilers use compressed low-grade timber to heat their buildings. In 2009 the company supported, an international campaign to raise awareness about climate change. Employees organized a social media campaign to catalyze action in Vermont.

The high expectations we hold of ourselves and our colleagues makes NRG Systems a great place to work. Our dedication to mission and product excellence creates challenging and meaningful work.

8|Resource Systems Group, Inc.

Since 1986, RSG has provided insightful consulting services for the planning, analysis, and management of transportation, natural resources, technology, and business. We design sophisticated approaches to collecting, modeling, and communicating meaningful, nuanced data that organizations and governments at every level can use to make informed policy and operational decisions.

Compensation Practices: As a privately held, employee-owned corporation, their philosophy is to distribute as much profit at year's end as possible in the form of bonuses while retaining enough earnings to have a ten to 20 percent appreciation in the firm's overall ESOP valuation. Bonuses are distributed in an equitable way that rewards firm, work group and individual performance. These bonuses cover a broad range and can be in excess of 20 percent of one's base compensation. Employees receive an additional three percent of total compensation in the form of ESOP shares, which have appreciated an average of 16.5 percent the past six years, each employee receives another four percent match in his or her 401(k). RSG has 99 percent participation in its 401(k) program and employees vest 100 percent on their first day. New in 2010, RSG will offer a Consumer Driven Plan with an HRA. By doing this RSG has reduced the individual's share of the premium by 28 percent, a savings of $73 a year. Families will realize a premium reduction of 43 percent, a savings of over $2,000 a year. All preventative care and all services over the deductible are 100 percent covered. RSG is also offering orthodontic coverage new in 2010.

Workday Practices: RSG allows telecommuting on a case by case basis. Telecommuting allows an employee to work at home, on the road, or in a satellite location for all or part of their regular workweek. Increasingly RSG is relying on this option to attract good employees in VT and around the country and to minimize the environmental impacts of commuting. Compressed work weeks allow full-time employees to work longer days for part of the week or pay period, in exchange for shorter days or a day off each week or pay period. All employees are eligible for an annual training and professional development benefit after six months of employment. This benefit covers up to three days of pay and up to $1000 of reimbursed expenses. Professional development and educational assistance is covered up to $2500. RSG has evolved in recent years from a firm with a one-size-fits-all career development process to a program where each position/grade within the firm has a unique set of tools and criteria from which an employee can understand what is expected of him or her to succeed and get promoted. This material includes a description of each job, the criteria for promotion to that position, and a list of the factors against which that employee's performance will be evaluated.

Community Practices: Part of being a good corporate citizen includes making charitable donations in the communities in which we work and live. This includes both local organizations and global non-profits. RSG provides employees with flexibility to participate in activities during the business day & one day (or eight hours) of paid time off each year to get involved in community service. They pursue project work that provides a greater societal benefit and pro-bono consulting when possible. Company donates five to 10 percent of net profits to charity each year.

Environmental Practices: RSG is the founding member of the Climate Registry. They encourage low-impact commuting and alternative work schedules, locate offices in walkable communities, make high-efficiency purchasing decisions, recycle whatever possible, 100 percent participation in Green Mountain Power renewable power program, standardize on laptops and flat screens that use less energy, economize on intra-office trips/use video conferencing, etc.

RSG is a uniquely healthy workplace. Evidence of RSG's vision statement " insights for a better world" is tangible within its offices, which have a campus casualness and buzz of intellectual curiosity that reflects the firm's academic roots.

9|MBF Bioscience

MBF Bioscience designs quantitative imaging software to help scientific researchers reach their objectives faster and more efficiently. We are the recognized experts at customizing integrated imaging software and microscope hardware peripheral systems. Neurolucida is used by neuroscientists world-wide and Stereo Investigator is the world's best selling stereology software. Through our MBF Labs division, we also offer contract stereology services.

Compensation Practices: A set amount of profits are disbursed as a profit sharing contribution to each employee based on how much compensation the employee received during the year as well as the classification they are assigned to. These profit sharing amounts are fully vested after six years of service. MBF Bioscience contributes three percent of an employee's gross wages to their 401k accounts, regardless of the amount the employee contributes to the plan. MBF Bioscience offers a flexible work week and is able to accommodate an employee's schedule on a case by case basis. An employee's hours can be adjusted to accommodate short-term commitments such as coaching a soccer team or long-term commitments such as child-care coverage.

Health Practices: MBF offers an annual Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) in the amount of $1000 to employees. Half of an employee's unused HRA money can be carried over to the next year. When an employee's plan reaches the yearly deductible, MBF contributes another $500 to the HRA. Employees can also participate in a Health Savings Account, Dental Plan, and Vision Plan. Employees may also purchase Short Term Disability and additional Life Insurance.

Community Practices: MBF sponsors the annual food shelf dinner hosted by Northfield Savings Bank each year. They also collect redeemable soda cans and donate them to the food shelf throughout the year.

Employee Practices: Twice a year, they meet as a company to assess their corporate and departmental goals to see if any adjustments are needed. Departments meet weekly, and a "flat" management system ensures that all employees are involved. With employees at sales offices or working from home, they use Skype video-conferencing to include them in meetings in real time. For those who cannot attend, they record audio and video for their future use. They use an internal Wiki to both communicate with employees and allow employees to initiate and participate in discussions. The regular "Lunch and Learn" meetings cover topics ranging from new software features, to options for home and auto insurance, to demonstrations of software they will begin to use in day-to-day operations. With the open door policy, they encourage employees to be proactive in communicating their needs and talents. While MBF does not have a formal job advancement program, they are eager to work with each employee to develop a personalized advancement plan. They listen to people's aspirations and support their immediate and long-term goals. They strive to maintain an open dialogue between each employee, their supervisor, and the company President. Employees are 100 percent reimbursed for tuition fees and books for courses that are relevant to their work.

Smart, dedicated employees empowered by smart, dedicated management.

10|TPW Management LLC

TPW Management provides an array of services to common ownership Associations & their homeowners. TPW's core competency is Professional Management & Maintenance of Communities while incorporating Technical Consulting and Concierge services as value-added services to it customers. TPW used technology to allow ordinary people to perform in extraordinary ways while maintaining a growth oriented structure for future success.

Compensation Practices: All employees are considered for a performance based bonus. Some management employees are considered for gross & net revenue performance bonuses. The overall performance rating will influence the amount of Performance Bonus, if any, to be given the employee. TPW's Work-life balance is about good management practice and sound business sense. TPW adopts initiatives such as flexible schedules, health insurance benefits, social events, work groups, open dialogue, and a focus on balanced work loads that help their employees achieve a better balance between work and the rest of their lives so that they can continue to focus on their achievements at work and home. With this focus, TPW can build more resilience within the organization and the staff by being better able to adapt and be successful. TPW believes they can attract better talent as a best practice employer, a benefit that impacts directly on our business's bottom line, with improved recruitment and retention of a more diverse workforce.

Advancement Practices: TPW Management believes in creating a harmonious working relationship between all employees. Employees are cross trained. More experienced employees mentor their newer counterparts. They prefer to promote within and make that available to all employees. Keep all employees informed of the progress of TPW Management, as well as the company's overall goals and objectives.-Promote an atmosphere in keeping with TPW Management's vision, mission, and goals.TPW Management conducts quarterly reviews in addition to a formal performance review once each year for each employee. During reviews employees are asked where they see themselves in the company a few years down the road & what training they will need. A review may also be conducted in the event of a promotion or change in duties and responsibilities. The review provides a golden opportunity for collaborative, two-way communication between the employee and manager, supervisor or designated company representative. TPW Management promotes leadership training and development by offering continuing education coursework to management and executive level employees. During the summer months, TPW provides for training sessions that can be attended in person or via webinar access from remote locations.

Community Practices: TPW is a Corporate Sponsor of Burr & Burton Academy, the Stratton Foundation, the Lodonderry, Okemo, Killington, & Manchester Chambers of Commerce Events, Mountain Valley Medical Clinic, The "Bring VT soldiers home for the Holidays" Statewide initiative, and the "Maple Leaf Corporate Challenge" in Manchester, Vermont.

TPW fosters a company culture that empowers employees to provide the highest level of service possible and still go home happy and healthy with a sense of satisfaction every day.