Thu, Nov 7, 2013 07:12 PM
Photo courtesy of RRCC
Steve Costello, Vice President of Generation and Energy Innovation
at Green Mountain Power is presented the 2013 Business Person of
the Year Award by (l-r) Tom Donahue, Executive Vice President/CEO
Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce; Lt. Governor Phil Scott;
Costello; Jane Costello; Marleen Cenate, President Rutland Region
Chamber of Commerce and Rutland City Mayor Chris Louras.
Steve Costello awarded Business Person of the Year at 2013
Rutland Chamber Annual Meeting, Tuesday, Oct. 29
Chamber's annual accomplishments through local partnerships
Over 200 people attended the annual meeting of the Rutland
Regional Chamber of Commerce (RRCC) on on Tuesday, Oct.
The Keynote speaker was Vermont Lt. Governor Phil Scott, who was
joined on stage with Rutland City Mayor Chris Louras, and Chamber
Perhaps the most anticipated event of the afternoon is the annual
selection of the Business Person of the Year award. This year it
went to went to Steve Costello, Vice President of Generation and
Energy Innovation at Green Mountain Power. Before presenting the
award, Tom Donohue, CEO of RRCC, told the audience, 'This
award exemplifies what makes Rutland tick; volunteers and
Costello has been involved in Vermont business and communications
since his career began. A graduate of St. Michaels College in
Vermont, he went on to complete a Bachelor of Journalism, and
become editor of both the Addison Independent and TimesArgus. More
recently he was the Director of Public Affairs for 16 years at CVPS
and, in 2012, joined Green Mountain Power who set the goal to make
Rutland the 'Solar Capital' of New England. Most recently GMP
increased their commitment and shortened the timeline aiming to
provide 10 megawatts of solar production in the city by the end of
Tom Donohue cited a quote from local radio personality Nanci
Gordon, who said, "Steve has vision and energy, he thinks big and
then attends to all the details that make those big things happen.
Meanwhile, he maintains a low-key demeanor. He is an exceptional
In response, Costello humbly said, "No one wins this award on
their own, it is a team effort."
Ever passionate for the next community project, Costello did not
forget to mention the Gift of Life Marathon on Dec. 17 this year.
"Let's set a national record," he said. Costello also received the
American Red Cross Presidential Award for Excellence in 2010, for
The afternoon of presentation also included highlights of the
Rutland region during the past year and the chamber's role in
supporting those events.
Tom Donahue spoke about how the Chamber together with
REDC, intervened in Section 248, Certificate for the
Public Good, advocating for the pipeline from Burlington
to Rutland. 'The RRCC strongly supports the Vermont
Natural Gas Pipeline," he said, adding that natural gas for
Rutland would mean lower household energy bills, and
a reduction in Vermont's greenhouse gas emissions.
Donohue also mentioned the $8.9 million dollar grant received from
the US Department of Transportation to upgrade the
Western Rail Corridor, benefitting not only the passenger rail
through Rutland, but also freight business. "We want to
get our rails up to national standards, so our freight cars can
carry full capacity," he said of the improvements.
As the second busiest airport in Vermont, Rutland wants to
keep the competitive edge, Donohue continued. "We want to keep
attracting new business, as well as improving the business we
already have," he said. Airport Road is being repaved and a
right hand turn lane will be added from US Route 103,
additional length is also being added to each end of the main
runway. "It is a significant asset to the region, supporting
business and recreation," Donahue said.
The Chamber's Independence Day Fireworks Extravaganza won
best fireworks in the region for the third year in a row, and has
become quite a draw for the region.
The 32nd Chamber Winter in August Celebration, sponsored
by The Rutland Herald, was once again a success giving Rutland
Business people and residents
the opportunity to recognize the positive
economic impact of the ski industry.
In collaboration with the Mountain Times the RRCC produced and
distributed 20,000 'Perk Cards' promoting over 100 businesses,
created and distributed 10,000 regional maps as well as 30,000
Central Vermont Getaway Magazines.
Moving forward, the Chamber aims to continue to bring new commerce
to the region by supporting numerous events, especially over the
summer period. "In the off-ski-season, as well as utilizing our
great roads and covered bridges, we want to take advantage of
our amenities in order to bring in a number of national
organizations," Donohue said.
From June until September, this past summer, Rutland hosted
Horseless Carriage Club of America, Red Knights International
Motorcycle Convention, New England Brass and Gas, Rally North
America and worked with the Town of Killington to bring the
Killington Classic Motorcycle Rally to the region. Donahue hopes to
build on these successes while attracting new organization to the
region as well.
Lt. Governor Scott gives keynote speech at RRCC Meeting
By Francesca Whyte
On Oct. 29, the annual Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce Meeting
featured Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott as the Keynote
A personal friend and colleague, Ken Grier, introduced Scott to a
crowd of over 200 local business people. Having spent many hours
with the Lt. Governor at the Thunder Road SpeedBowl, Grier noted
that the sport (of car racing) meant that Scott had learned at an
early age to work hard for what he wanted. Referring to Scott as a
conciliator and a thinker, Grier said, "His life is dedicated to
doing things for others."
A member of the Senate for 10 years, Scott became Lieutenant
Governor in 2010. He promotes a common thread in all his work, from
running his own construction company, to race-car driving, to
politics, he says "To be successful you have to treat others as you
would like to be treated. Respect your competition."
Scott compared the Rutland region to his hometown of Barre, saying,
"Two blue collar towns, both full of survivors and innovators." He
praised the Chamber's innovative work in Rutland calling it "a
melting pot of traditional values and cutting edge ideas - just
what Vermont needs." Scott referenced the diverse entertainment
offered by the Paramount Theatre, bringing both Metropolitan Opera
and live sports games to downtown Rutland.
Lt. Governor Scott established the Wheels for Warmth program, now
entering its ninth year. Over that time 18,000 tires have been
recycled, 11,150 tires have been put back into use, and $217,000
has been raised for fuel assistance.
The Lt. Governor touched on the Affordable Health Care Act. His
advice to Vermonters was: "Don't lay blame, it is the law at this
point, and we should do what is right for Vermonters."
In closing, he urged people to speak up and get involved, "If you
want things to change then you have to step up, come down to the
local government and talk to us."