Stowe, VT – Main Street Alliance of Vermont held their year end celebration at the Alchemist Brewery on Sunday night where they awarded, Stephanie Hainely, COO of White + Burke, its 2016 Business of the Year award, and Speaker Shap Smith and Senator Philip Baruth were recognized as Legislators of the Year in a Year-End Celebration hosted by The Alchemist.
“Steph has led and directed our team as we created this organization and made a place for ourselves in this state,” said Jen Kimmich, MSA-VT Board Chair and co-wner of The Alchemist, “Her vision and her work helped to give structure to an idea that we all shared.”
Since its founding in 2014, MSA-VT has surveyed over 1,000 business owners around the state, and built a membership of 500 like-minded and civic-minded business owners from every county. The organization has worked with dozens of partners in coalitions to help pass important bills, including Ban the Box (Act 81 of 2015), Automatic Voter Registration (Act 80 of 2015), and the Paid Sick Days Bill (Act 69 of 2015).
For his leadership in the Senate on the paid sick days legislation, MSA-VT recognized Senator Philip Baruth. Baruth was the bill’s lead sponsor in the Senate and he worked for years to build support among his colleagues for paid sick days.
Speaker Shap Smith was also recognized for his leadership on the paid sick days bill and for his long standing support of small business. “Shap was the first person in leadership to publicly come out in support of paid sick days. His support kept the bill moving and kept the bill in the public conversation,” said Kimmich at the event, “He also worked with MSA-VT to finance a study that will look at the proposal to expand the Dr. Dynasaur program – recognizing how important it is that Vermont work on innovative ways to address the high cost of health care.”
“I look at my kids, and I think about what we can do to make life in Vermont better for them. Main Street Alliance works on issues that help build healthier communities and a better Vermont,” said Smith. “The work we’ve done together makes it easier for me to look at my kids and all Vermont kids, and know that our future generations will thrive.”