Better Bennington Corporation
 Board Meeting Minutes

June 9, 2016
Bennington Fire Station

The mission of the Better Bennington Corporation
 is to build, improve, and support a vital downtown that benefits our entire community.

Present: Vice President Michael McDonough, Eric Peterson, Edie Sawitsky, Milt Surdam, Heather Maneely, Beth Wilwol, Keith Carey. Staff: John Shannahan and Diane Perry. Guest: Crae Messer.
Absent: President Jeannie Jenkins, Shelley Colvin, Michael Keane, and Ted Bird.

Call to Order
               Vice President, Michael McDonough chaired this month’s meeting. He confirmed a quorum, and then convened the meeting at 7:35AM.

               Crae Messer, a Keene State student, is interning at the BBC. His internship is regarding social media marking. He will receive college credit for his 140 hours at the BBC.

               The May 2016 board minutes were reviewed. Action/Resolution- a motion to approve was made by Heather Maneely and seconded by Edie Sawitsky. Motion carried unanimously.

Board Members
The BBC Board has invited Kelly Clarke to join the BBC Board of directors. She will fill a currently empty Board seat. Edie Sawitsky moved to approve Kelly Clarke’s appointment to the open Board seat, Keith Carey seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

Financial Report
            Executive Director John Shannahan reported on the financials which were reviewed at the Organizational level. All is in order.  Action/Resolution- a motion to approve was made by Edie Sawitsky, seconded by Beth Wilwol. Motion carried unanimously.

Director’s Report Discussion regarding report:

  • Conversations on the Street – New restaurant Cilantro to open on South Street within a few weeks. Vine & Branches opened on Main Street, Holy Cow frozen yogurt opened on Main Street and an antique gun shop will also be opening on Main Street. Action/Resolution – all encouraged to visit and to patronize the businesses.
  • Story Hour – Forest Byrd hosts the Story Hour series throughout Bennington.  At a Story Hour event downtown, he will be holding a fundraiser for a Mural art project that will also take place Downtown. Some mural site possibilities are the UU on Pleasant Street and the side of Panache on Main Street, the latter whose design may be an outdoor movie screen. He asked if BBC would be the 501(c)(3) organization to hold the funds for the mural projects.  Action/Resolution – the Director will approach Cultural Bennington Arts Council regarding their preparedness to be the fiscal agent on the mural project. Action/Resolution - the BBC Org committee will initiate protocol and guidelines for future request for BBC’s involvement as fiscal agent.

Old Business

  • Park @ 336 Fundraising Update- each Board Member received an orange fundraising packet. Raffle tickets are included and are to be sold. Talking points are included in packet, as well. Topics such as why park development IS economic development were discussed. The park committee will be drafting a corporate sponsorship letter in order to solicit large contributions and gifts.  The raffle drawing party will be held at Ramunto's on the 29th.  Action/Resolution -sell raffle tickets and attend the fundraiser. Share BBC Facebook event on individual pages.
  • Board Elections & Nominations- Three Board Members are up for re-election. Action/Resolution –nominate slate of officers for next year at July’s Board meeting.

New Business

  • VT Downtown Program Reporting Stats- the Director will be presenting to the Select Board on June 13. He will be discussing the National Main Street Program reports that were written about in the Bennington Banner. The presentation will show some insight to the one of many things BBC does. There is tremendous value in what we do; specifically that no one else keeps any statistics like these. Action/Resolution – all Board members encouraged to attend the next Select Board meeting.
  • Destination Bennington – Crae Messer has been populating our new website Action/Resolution –at the next Board meeting, Crae will give a presentation of the new site. Until then he will send Board members a sample of the site.  The site will go live next week.


Michael McDonough called for the adjournment of the meeting at 9:20am.  Action/Resolution - a motion was made to adjourn by Keith Carey, seconded by Heather Maneely. Motion carried unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Eric Peterson, Secretary
Better Bennington Corporation

Bennington Downtown Alliance
215 South Street
Beautiful Bennington, Vermont 05201

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