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Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR)
(802) 862-8347
255 South Champlain Street Suite 11
Burlington, VT 05401

The impetus to work on developing the Farm to Plate Investment Program originated from VBSR’s public policy committee discussions during the Fall of 2008. A survey had been conducted of VBSR members asking what issues they felt the organization should become involved with over the upcoming legislative session and food systems development was in the top three. During the 2009 legislative session, representatives from VBSR and Rural VT worked collaboratively with a number of legislators from the House Agriculture and Commerce Committees and the Senate Agriculture and Economic Development Committees to craft the Farm to Plate Investment Program bill. This bill was passed with strong tri-partisan support during the 2009 Legislative session and was signed into law by Governor Jim Douglas in May, 2009. The law asked the VSJF to develop a 10 year strategic plan that would increase jobs and economic activity in the sector and would increase access for local food for all VTers. Simply put, VBSR is a statewide, nonprofit business association who believes business cannot be truly sustainable unless people and planet are valued as much as profit. Now in our 29th year, we’ve grown from a grass roots organization into one of the largest business groups in Vermont with more than 750 members from every economic and geographic sector in the state. We host educational webinars, 10-12 networking events throughout the state each year, run 5 programs/partnerships designed to help do business differently, and organize two large education-based conferences yearly. Member benefits include reduced conference/event admission fees, promotional opportunities and materials, member-to-member discounts, access to main contacts at fellow member organizations, and the ability to post jobs, events, and member news on the VBSR website, which we often include in our monthly E-News and social media efforts. In addition, member dues go to support our public policy efforts; over the years our efforts have successfully helped influence nearly 20 major, socially responsible legislative policies. VBSR's legislative team works actively to influence public policy at the state and national level. Our full-time lobbyist works with members, legislators, coalition partners, and government officials on issues of interest to small and large business. Basic membership rates are quite reasonable/affordable, and we welcome businesses of any walk to join the cause!


Name Title Phone
Russ Elek
Communication and Membership Manager
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An Ohio native, Russ moved to Vermont in 2011 and joined the VBSR team in August of 2012 as Program Assistant. Now as VBSR's Communication and Membership Manager, Russ is VBSR's lead for event planning and coordination, membership relations and organizational communication. He has spent his entire professional career working with non-profits in communication-based roles and serves as a volunteer Communication Consultant and Coordinator for the Williston Church of the Nazarene and as the Marketing Lead for Full Barrel Cooperative Brewery & Taproom. He is also a three-term member of Burlington's Community Development Block Grant Committee. When not in the office or shaking hands, Russ can be found on the golf course, playing basketball, or watching Notre Dame Football with his wife and son.
Jane Campbell
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VBSR is a statewide, nonprofit business association with a mission to foster a business ethic in Vermont that recognizes the opportunity and responsibility of the business community to set a high standard for protecting the natural, human, and economic environments of our citizens.
Carra Cheslin
Toby Aronson

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  • Education
    • Support organization: Education
  • Workforce Development
    • Support organization: Workforce Development
  • Business Planning and Technical Assistance
    • Marketing
  • Regulations and Public Policy
    • Advocacy organization


Business to business, public policy, legislation, networking, education, conscious capitalism!