The launch of a new organization for the South Burlington business sector drew an enthusiastic crowd, Tuesday, September 16. A desire to retain young graduates and the mid generation population in the community and to provide an avenue for dialog and communication were just two of the most popular issues among the standing-room only crowd at the first public meeting of the newly formed South Burlington Business Association. The Burlington International Airport generously hosted the inaugural event, organized by South Burlington resident Jamie Polli on behalf of a core group of community members and business owners who have been working for months to create an organization that will aim to foster business in South Burlington and make our city an even better place to work and live.
Over 125 local business professionals attended the meeting in the airport's mezzanine area, which began with a networking breakfast donated by the airport's own Skinny Pancake. Polli welcomed the enthusiastic group, and introduced Rick Milliken, general manager of DoubleTree Hotel , who spoke on behalf of the SBBA "core" group of founders about the benefits an organization like the SBBA can offer to our already stellar community. The event's host, Director of Aviation Gene Richards was the guest speaker who, along with three members of his team, discussed the commitment that the BIA has to the city of South Burlington, its role as a community resource and its vision for the future as a community resource.
An open forum led by Polli and Milliken invited discussion about what role the SBBA might play as the organization takes shape, and provided an opportunity for business owners to share their thoughts about South Burlington. Topics discussed by the audience included the benefits of connecting with and giving back to the community, having a voice in Montpelier with respect to local business and regulatory procedures, streamlining and updating city zoning laws and procedures, and developing ways to offer information and resources to new businesses entering or relocating to the marketplace.
The meeting concluded with Polli distributing door prizes to the Guild Tavern and the Rotisserie Restaurant and enthusiastically encouraging folks to support one another by doing business locally.
A second public meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 21 at 7:30am at the Williston Road Holiday Inn. Guest speakers will include Dawn LeBaron, VP of Hospital Services and Dave Keelty, Director of Facilities Development speaking on behalf of Fletcher Allen Health Care and their commitment to South Burlington.
The SBBA continues to seek input from business owners as to how to shape the organization and invites any and all business professionals to attend and share their vision of what this new SBBA can offer. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.