Berkshire Hills reports 50 percent first quarter core EPS growth; dividend declared

first_img BERKSHIRE HILLS BANCORP, INC. CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS – UNAUDITED – F-1 March 31, December 31, (In thousands) 2012 2011 Assets Cash and due from banks $      34,117 $         46,713 Short-term investments 11,186 28,646 Trading security 16,847 17,395 Securities available for sale, at fair value 423,580 419,756 Securities held to maturity, at amortized cost 59,533 58,912 Federal Home Loan Bank stock and other restricted securities 35,282 37,118 Total securities 535,242 533,181 Loans held for sale – 1,455 Residential mortgages 1,100,663 1,020,435 Commercial mortgages 1,147,455 1,156,241 Commercial business loans 429,627 410,292 Consumer loans 361,255 369,602 Total loans 3,039,000 2,956,570 Less: Allowance for loan losses (32,657) (32,444) Net loans 3,006,343 2,924,126 Premises and equipment, net 61,661 60,139 Other real estate owned 439 1,900 Goodwill  202,397 202,391 Other intangible assets 19,662 20,973 Cash surrender value of bank-owned life insurance 75,652 75,009 Other assets 82,628 91,309 Assets from discontinued operations – 5,362 Total assets $ 4,029,327 $    3,991,204 Liabilities and stockholders’ equity Demand deposits $    450,497 $       447,414 NOW deposits 294,411 272,204 Money market deposits 1,089,742 1,055,306 Savings deposits 365,289 350,517 Total non-maturity deposits 2,199,939 2,125,441 Time deposits 984,228 975,734 Total deposits 3,184,167 3,101,175 Borrowings 236,240 221,938 Junior subordinated debentures 15,464 15,464 Total borrowings 251,704 237,402 Other liabilities  36,622 43,758 Liabilities from discontinued operations – 55,504 Total liabilities 3,472,493 3,437,839 Total stockholders’ equity 556,834 553,365 Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity $ 4,029,327 $    3,991,204 (1) At year end 2011, four branches were held for sale as discontinued operations and sold in the first quarter of 2012. Forward Looking StatementsThis document may contain forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  There are several factors that could cause actual results to differ significantly from expectations described in the forward-looking statements. For a discussion of such factors, please see Berkshire’s most recent reports on Forms 10-K and 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and available on the SEC’s website at is external).  Berkshire does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements made in this document. Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc.  reported $0.45 in first quarter core earnings per share, a 50 percent increase over first quarter 2011 core earnings of $0.30 per share.  This increase resulted from ongoing business expansion together with the benefit of the acquisitions of Rome Bancorp and Legacy Bancorp.  GAAP net income included nonrecurring and merger related expenses, together with income from discontinued operations. These non-core items together equated to a first quarter after-tax charge of$0.17 per share in 2012 compared to $0.10 per share in 2011. Including these non-core items, first quarter GAAP net income was $0.28 per share, compared to $0.20 per share in the first quarter of 2011. Unaudited Selected Financial Highlights of CBT ‘The Connecticut Bank AND Trust CompanyIncluded in the financial exhibits to this news release are unaudited selected first quarter financial highlights of CBT. This information does not include all items which may affect the final financial statements of CBT as of March 31, 2012 and it does not include non-core charges related to the merger of CBT into Berkshire. Additional financial information about CBT will be provided in the notes to the financial statements of Berkshire as of June 30, 2012, which will reflect the acquisition of CBT as of April 20, 2012.  Asset performance remained favorable and improving in the most recent quarter, with non-performing assets decreasing to 0.58 percent of total assets, and the annualized ratio of net loan charge-offs/average loans decreasing to 0.24 percent. The allowance for loan losses increased slightly to$32.7 million, measuring 1.07 percent of loans and 143 percent of non-performing loans at the end of the quarter.  Financial ConditionTotal assets increased at a 4 percent annualized rate during the first quarter of 2012 including 11 percent annualized loan growth. The $82 million increase in loans primarily resulted from increased bookings of Massachusetts residential mortgages relating to the partnership with Greenpark Mortgage during the transition period prior to the planned acquisition in the second quarter. Commercial business loans increased at an 18 percent annualized rate, and the pipeline of pending commercial loans grew including the benefit of Berkshire’s recent expansion in Central/Eastern Massachusetts with the opening of its Westborough commercial lending office.  Mr. Daly continued, “We are pleased with the progress of our strategic acquisitions of the operations of Greenpark Mortgage Corporation and CBT ‘The Connecticut Bank and Trust Company. We look forward to having the well regarded Greenpark team join us in the current quarter, and our partnership with them contributed to our first quarter results. The Connecticut Bank and Trust Company acquisition was completed on schedule on April 20.  We are now operating 8 branches in the Greater Hartford area, bringing our total branch count to 68, and introducing our brand and products into this attractive market.  We look forward to additional revenue and earnings growth from both of these strategic initiatives, along with the benefits to all of our business lines from this further expansion of our footprint.” BERKSHIRE HILLS BANCORP, INC. RECONCILIATION OF NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURES – F-9 At or for the Quarters Ended Mar. 31,  Dec. 31,  Sept. 30,  June 30,  Mar. 31,  (Dollars in thousands) 2012 2011 2011 2011 2011 Net income  $  5,844 $  8,477 $  4,392 $  1,877 $  2,835 Adj: Gain on sale of securities, net – (8) – (6) – Adj:  Other non-recurring gain (42) – (1,975) (124) – Plus: Nonrecurring and merger related expense 4,223 3,678 9,091 5,451 1,708 Adj:  Income taxes (1,255) (1,947) (2,884) (1,400) (316) Adj: pre-tax loss (income) from discontinued operations 261 (4,692) 8 – – Adj: income taxes from discontinued operations 376 3,773 (3) – – Total core income (A) $  9,407 $  9,281 $  8,629 $  5,798 $  4,227 Total non-interest income $  9,878 $  8,825 $10,766 $  8,170 $  8,009 Adj: Gain on sale of securities, net – (8) – (6) – Adj:  Other non-recurring gain (42) – (1,975) (124) – Total core non-interest income                        9,836 8,817 8,791 8,040 8,009 Net interest income 31,138 31,135 31,551 24,201 20,146 Total core revenue $40,974 $39,952 $40,342 $32,241 $28,155 Total non-interest expense $30,524 $29,533 $35,320 $28,623 $23,189 Less: Merger related expense (4,223) (3,678) (9,091) (5,451) (1,708) Core non-interest expense                                     26,301 25,855 26,229 23,172 21,481 Less: Amortization of intangible assets (1,318) (1,314) (1,382) (935) (716) Total core tangible non-interest expense              $24,983 $24,541 $24,847 $22,237 $20,765 (Dollars in millions, except per share data) Total average assets                                                 (B) $  3,990 $  3,989 $  3,871 $  3,214 $  2,876 Total average stockholders’ equity                          (C) 553 551 531 450 392 Total stockholders’ equity, period-end 557 553 547 445 391 Less:  Intangible assets, period-end (222) (223) (233) (193) (172) Total tangible stockholders’ equity, period-end    (D) 335 330 314 252 219 Total shares outstanding, period-end (thousands)                (E) 21,191 21,147 21,134 16,721 14,115 Average diluted shares outstanding (thousands) (F) 21,062 21,043 20,105 16,601 13,981 Core earnings per share, diluted  (A/F) $    0.45 $    0.44 $    0.43 $    0.35 $    0.30 Tangible book value per share, period-end (D/E) $  15.81 $  15.60 $  14.86 $  15.07 $  15.52 Core return (annualized) on assets (A/B) 0.94 % 0.93 % 0.89 % 0.72 % 0.59 % Core return (annualized) on equity  (A/C) 6.80 6.74 6.50 5.15 4.31 Efficiency ratio (1) 59.27 59.44 59.62 66.22 71.03 Supplementary data Tax credit benefit of tax shelter investments $    505 $    664 $    664 $    664 $    405 (1) Efficiency ratio is computed by dividing total core tangible non-interest expense by the sum of total net interest income on a fully taxable equivalent basis and total core non-interest income adjusted to include tax credit benefit of tax shelter investments. The Company uses this non-GAAP measure, which is used widely in the banking industry, to provide important information regarding its operational efficiency. (2) Ratios are annualized and based on average balance sheet amounts, where applicable. (3) Quarterly data may not sum to year-to-date data due to rounding. Non-GAAP Financial MeasuresThis document contains certain non-GAAP financial measures in addition to results presented in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“GAAP”). These non-GAAP measures provide supplemental perspectives on operating results, performance trends, and financial condition.  They are not a substitute for GAAP measures; they should be read and used in conjunction with the Company’s GAAP financial information. A reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures to GAAP measures is included in the accompanying financial tables.  In all cases, it should be understood that non-GAAP per share measures do not depict amounts that accrue directly to the benefit of shareholders. The Company utilizes the non-GAAP measure of core earnings in evaluating operating trends, including components for core revenue and expense. These measures exclude amounts which the Company views as unrelated to its normalized operations, including merger costs, restructuring costs, and systems conversion costs. Similarly, the efficiency ratio is also adjusted for these non-core items and for tax preference items. The Company also adjusts certain equity related measures to exclude intangible assets due to the importance of these measures to the investment community. Non-GAAP expense adjustments are primarily related to charges related to merger and acquisition activity. These charges consist primarily of severance/benefit related expenses, contract termination costs, and professional fees. There are additionally non-GAAP adjustments related to non-recurring securities gains, discontinued operations, the disposition of excess properties, and core systems conversion costs. Tax adjustments are based on an analysis of tax accruals for core income and for GAAP income, with the net difference included with non-core items and reflecting the timing impacts of tax expense estimates. RESULTS OF OPERATIONSFirst quarter results in 2012 included the operations of Rome Bancorp (acquired on April 1, 2011) and Legacy Bancorp (acquired on July 21, 2011), along with the per share impact of shares issued as merger consideration for those acquisitions. Most first quarter categories of income and expense increased from year-to-year due to these acquisitions. This discussion therefore primarily compares the most recent quarter to the fourth quarter of 2011, which also included these acquired operations. The core return on assets increased to 0.94 percent in the most recent quarter from 0.93 percent in the prior quarter. The GAAP ROA was 0.59 percent compared to 0.85 percent for these periods, respectively, including noncore expense charges. Capital ratios were little changed during the most recent quarter, with tangible equity/assets measuring 8.8 percent and total equity/assets measuring 13.8 percent at quarter-end. Tangible book value per share increased to $15.81 from $15.60 during the quarter, while total book value per share increased to $26.28 from $26.17.  First Quarter Financial Highlights50 percent increase in core earnings per share, compared to first quarter of 201110 percent annualized revenue growth, compared to linked quarter11 percent annualized loan growth11 percent annualized deposit growth3.62 percent net interest margin0.58 percent non-performing assets/total assets0.24 percent annualized net loan charge-offs/average loans0.94 percent core ROA (0.59% GAAP ROA)59 percent efficiency ratioBerkshire President and CEO, Michael P. Daly, stated, “We maintained strong momentum as we started the year, including a 9 percent annualized increase in core EPS compared to the prior quarter. We continue to have strong growth in our balance sheet, while maintaining a solid net interest margin. Our fee revenue also grew strongly during the quarter, while our focused expense discipline resulted in operating costs a little better than our expectations. Our core profitability improved and we are generating positive core operating leverage, with revenue growth exceeding expense growth. Our loan performance metrics remain favorable and improving.  We are maintaining the momentum we need to achieve our earnings growth targets and to generate revenue growth through further market share gains.” Conference CallBerkshire will conduct a conference call/webcast at 10:00 am eastern time on Wednesday, April 25, 2012 to discuss the results for the quarter and guidance about expected future results. Participants should dial-in to the call a few minutes before it begins. Information about the conference call follows:Dial-in: 866-843-0890 Elite Entry Number: 3494596 Webcast: is external) (investor relations link) BERKSHIRE HILLS BANCORP, INC. AVERAGE BALANCES – F-7 Quarters Ended Mar. 31,  Dec. 31,  Sept. 30,  June 30,  Mar. 31,  (In thousands) 2012 2011 2011 2011 2011 Assets Loans: Residential mortgages $1,057,903 $1,039,025 $1,004,950 $802,460 $651,059 Commercial mortgages 1,153,690 1,166,989 1,140,691 973,557 929,564 Commercial business loans 412,237 392,542 383,059 333,700 283,747 Consumer loans 366,035 376,385 376,754 311,057 281,069 Total loans 2,989,865 2,974,941 2,905,454 2,420,774 2,145,439 Securities 525,109 515,128 474,435 405,670 403,549 Short-term investments 15,107 20,748 34,293 4,688 12,035 Total earning assets 3,530,081 3,510,817 3,414,182 2,831,132 2,561,023 Goodwill and other intangible assets 223,930 230,864 229,594 196,292 172,653 Other assets 235,909 247,376 226,757 186,785 142,789 Total assets $3,989,920 $3,989,057 $ 3,870,533 $ 3,214,209 $2,876,465 Liabilities and stockholders’ equity Deposits: NOW $ 272,239 $274,041 $256,662 $229,980 $215,191 Money market 1,084,948 953,162 853,128 778,055 746,366 Savings 359,859 446,672 476,230 317,232 234,838 Time 983,696 1,028,817 1,029,555 809,768 737,551 Total interest-bearing deposits 2,700,742 2,702,692 2,615,575 2,135,035 1,933,946 Borrowings and debentures 257,389 248,611 253,018 269,665 229,878 Total interest-bearing liabilities 2,958,131 2,951,303 2,868,593 2,404,700 2,163,824 Non-interest-bearing demand deposits 439,015 448,952 432,381 334,171 293,895 Other liabilities  40,039 38,110 38,431 25,268 26,862 Total liabilities 3,437,185 3,438,365 3,339,405 2,764,139 2,484,581 Total stockholders’ equity 552,735 550,692 531,128 450,070 391,884 Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity $3,989,920 $3,989,057 $3,870,533 $3,214,209 $2,876,465 Supplementary data Total non-maturity deposits $2,156,061 $2,122,827 $2,018,401 $1,659,438 $1,490,290 Total deposits 3,139,757 3,151,644 3,047,956 2,469,206 2,227,841 Fully taxable equivalent income adj. 669 674 673 675 679 (1) The above schedule does not reclassify balances associated with discontinued operations, which are reclassified  from period end balances on the balance sheet. Core non-interest expense increased by $0.4 million (7 percent annualized) in the most recent quarter, compared to the linked quarter.  Expense growth included the impact of office expansion in retail and commercial banking.  The efficiency ratio remained unchanged at 59 percent. Net non-recurring and merger related expense totaled $2.9 million after-tax in the most recent quarter. This included merger related expenses for the Legacy and CBT acquisitions, disposition costs of excess premises in Pittsfield following the Legacy integration, and systems conversion costs related to the core systems conversion planned for later in 2012. Additionally, the Company recorded a $0.6 million after-tax non-core charge related to the divestiture of four New York branches in January. This charge included $0.4 million in income tax expense due to the non-deductibility of the goodwill associated with these branches.  The effective income tax rate on core income from continuing operations was 27 percent in the most recent quarter, compared to a 24 percent effective tax rate for the year 2011, reflecting the expectation of higher core income in 2012.center_img The Bank plans to continue to maintain an asset sensitive interest rate profile based on commercial loan growth and the integration of the CBT balance sheet. All major categories of deposit account balances increased, with growth continuing to come primarily from Berkshire’s expanding New York region, including a new office in Colonie, New York. In January, the Company completed the divestiture of the deposits of four former Legacy New York offices which were reported as discontinued operations at the end of 2011.  Total net revenue increased by $1.0 million (10 percent annualized) in the most recent quarter, compared to the linked quarter. This growth was due to an increase in fee income, including the benefit of increases in mortgage secondary market income, insurance income, and wealth management income. These increases included increased business volume in these areas, along with some seasonal and pricing related factors.  Net interest income was stable compared to the prior quarter, and the net interest margin increased slightly to 3.62 percent.  Loan growth was weighted towards the latter part of the quarter and is expected to produce a higher proportionate revenue benefit in the second quarter. The provision for loan losses decreased to $2.0 million in the most recent quarter from $2.3 million in the prior quarter. Net loan charge-offs totaled$1.8 million during the quarter.  Dividend DeclaredThe Board of Directors voted to declare a cash dividend of $0.17 per share to shareholders of record at the close of business on May 10, 2012, payable on May 24, 2012. This dividend equated to a 3.0% yield based on the $22.67 average closing price of Berkshire’s common stock in the first quarter of 2012. BackgroundBerkshire Hills Bancorp is the parent of Berkshire Bank – America’s Most Exciting Bank(SM).  Including the recently acquired operations of CBT, Berkshire has $4.3 billion in assets and 68 full service branch offices in Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, and Vermont providing personal and business banking, insurance, and wealth management services.  Berkshire Bank provides 100 percent deposit insurance protection for all deposit accounts, regardless of amount, based on a combination of FDIC insurance and the Depositors Insurance Fund (DIF).  For more information, visit is external) or call 800-773-5601.  BERKSHIRE HILLS BANCORP, INC. CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME – UNAUDITED – F-3 Three Months Ended March 31, (In thousands, except per share data) 2012 2011 Interest and dividend income     Loans $35,051 $24,606 Securities and other     3,621 3,307 Total interest and dividend income     38,672 27,913 Interest expense Deposits 5,502 5,715 Borrowings and junior subordinated debentures 2,025 2,052 Total interest expense     7,527 7,767 Net interest income 31,145 20,146 Non-interest income Loan related fees 1,373 591 Deposit related fees 3,500 2,541 Insurance commissions and fees     2,746 3,730 Wealth management fees     1,900 1,192 Total fee income     9,519 8,054 Other 241 80 Non-recurring gain 42 – Total non-interest income       9,802 8,134 Total net revenue 40,947 28,280 Provision for loan losses    2,000 1,600 Non-interest expense Compensation and benefits 13,589 11,151 Occupancy and equipment      4,395 3,435 Technology and communications 1,958 1,466 Marketing and professional services      1,716 1,213 Supplies, postage and delivery 562 454 FDIC premiums and assessments 681 1,027 Other real estate owned 179 609 Amortization of intangible assets      1,311 716 Nonrecurring and merger related expenses      4,223 1,708 Other 1,580 1,410 Total non-interest expense      30,194 23,189 Income from continuing operations before income taxes        8,753 3,491 Income tax expense 2,272 656 Net income from continuing operations 6,481 2,835 Loss from discontinued operations before income taxes      (including gain on disposal of $63) (261) – Income tax expense 376 – Net loss from discontinued operations (637) – Net income  $  5,844 $  2,835 Basic and diluted earnings per share: Continuing operations $     0.31 $     0.20 Discontinued operations (0.03) – Total basic and diluted earnings per share $     0.28 $     0.20 Weighted average shares outstanding:       Basic 20,955 13,943 Diluted 21,062 13,981 (1)  Discontinued operations are described in Note 3 on Page F-1.  Loss from discontinued operations includes operating losses        in the first quarter of 2012 (including divestiture costs), and the gain on the sale of four branches in the same quarter, net        of taxes. At or for the Quarters Ended Mar. 31, Dec. 31, Sept. 30, June 30, Mar. 31, 2012 2011 2011 2011 2011 PERFORMANCE RATIOS Core return on assets 0.94 % 0.93 % 0.89 % 0.72 % 0.59 % Return on assets 0.59 0.85 0.45 0.23 0.39 Core return on equity 6.80 6.74 6.50 5.15 4.31 Return on equity 4.23 6.16 3.31 1.67 2.89 Net interest margin, fully taxable equivalent 3.62 3.61 3.74 3.52 3.30 Fee income/Net interest and fee income 23.44 21.44 22.20 25.58 28.56 Efficiency ratio  59.27 59.44 59.62 66.22 71.03 GROWTH Total commercial loans, year-to-date (annualized) 3 % 29 % 38 % 20 % – % Total loans, year-to-date (annualized) 11 38 54 29 – Total deposits, year-to-date (annualized) 11 41 63 26 7 Total net revenues, year-to-date, compared to prior year 43 33 28 15 6 Earnings per share, year-to-date, compared to prior year 40 (2) (26) (37) (17) Core earnings per share, year-to-date, compared to prior year 50 53 50 33 25 FINANCIAL DATA   (In millions ) Total assets $4,029 $3,991 $4,087 $3,226 $2,886 Total loans 3,039 2,957 3,003 2,452 2,145 Allowance for loan losses 33 32 32 32 32 Total intangible assets 222 223 233 193 172 Total deposits 3,184 3,101 3,249 2,486 2,241 Total stockholders’ equity 557 553 547 445 391 Total core income  9.4 9.3 8.6 5.8 4.2 Total net income 5.8 8.5 4.4 1.9 2.8 ASSET QUALITY RATIOS Net charge-offs (current quarter annualized)/average loans 0.24 % 0.27 % 0.27 % 0.24 % 0.30 % Non-performing assets/total assets 0.58 0.65 0.58 0.52 0.54 Allowance for loan losses/total loans 1.07 1.10 1.07 1.30 1.49 Allowance for loan losses/non-accruing loans 143 134 148 212 240 PER SHARE DATA Core earnings, diluted $  0.45 $  0.44 $  0.43 $  0.35 $  0.30 Net earnings, diluted 0.28 0.40 0.22 0.11 0.20 Tangible book value 15.81 15.60 14.86 15.07 15.52 Total book value 26.28 26.17 25.87 26.61 27.69 Market price at period end 22.92 22.19 18.47 22.39 20.83 Dividends 0.17 0.17 0.16 0.16 0.16 CAPITAL RATIOS Stockholders’ equity to total assets 13.82 % 13.86 % 13.38 % 13.80 % 13.54 % Tangible stockholders’ equity to tangible assets 8.80 8.76 8.15 8.31 8.07 (1) Reconciliation of Non-GAAP financial measures, including all references to core and tangible amounts, appear on pages F-9. Tangible assets are total assets less total intangible assets. (2) All performance ratios are annualized and are based on average balance sheet amounts, where applicable. (3)   The above schedule does not reclassify balances associated with discontinued operations, which are reclassified  from period end balances on the balance sheet. BERKSHIRE HILLS BANCORP, INC. ASSET QUALITY ANALYSIS – F-5 At or for the Quarters Ended Mar. 31, Dec. 31, Sept. 30, June 30, Mar. 31, (Dollars in thousands) 2012 2011 2011 2011 2011 NON-PERFORMING ASSETS Non-accruing loans: Residential mortgages $  8,281 $  7,010 $  4,750 $  2,811 $  1,529 Commercial mortgages 12,151 14,280 13,721 9,600 9,510 Commercial business loans 1,029 990 1,399 1,764 1,507 Consumer loans 1,411 1,954 1,834 862 763 Total non-accruing loans 22,872 24,234 21,704 15,037 13,309 Other real estate owned 439 1,900 2,200 1,700 2,400 Total non-performing assets $23,311 $26,134 $23,904 $16,737 $15,709 Total non-accruing loans/total loans 0.75% 0.82% 0.72% 0.61% 0.62% Total non-performing assets/total assets 0.58% 0.65% 0.58% 0.52% 0.54% PROVISION AND ALLOWANCE FOR LOAN LOSSES Balance at beginning of period $32,444 $32,181 $31,919 $31,898 $31,898 Charged-off loans (1,923) (2,313) (2,061) (1,564) (1,758) Recoveries on charged-off loans 136 313 123 85 158 Net loans charged-off (1,787) (2,000) (1,938) (1,479) (1,600) Provision for loan losses 2,000 2,263 2,200 1,500 1,600 Balance at end of period $32,657 $32,444 $32,181 $31,919 $31,898 Allowance for loan losses/total loans 1.07% 1.10% 1.07% 1.30% 1.49% Allowance for loan losses/non-accruing loans 143% 134% 148% 212% 240% NET LOAN CHARGE-OFFS Residential mortgages $   (381) $   (449) $   (292) $   (225) $   (124) Commercial mortgages (1,116) (1,198) (1,099) (597) (963) Commercial business loans (3) (244) (463) (435) (222) Home equity  (247) (90) 7 (68) (79) Other consumer (40) (19) (91) (154) (212) Total, net $(1,787) $(2,000) $(1,938) $(1,479) $(1,600) Net charge-offs (QTD annualized)/average loans  0.24% 0.27% 0.27% 0.24% 0.30% Net charge-offs (YTD annualized)/average loans  0.24% 0.27% 0.27% 0.27% 0.30% DELINQUENT AND NON-ACCRUING LOANS/TOTAL LOANS 30-89 Days delinquent 0.55% 0.55% 0.79% 0.50% 0.59% 90+ Days delinquent and still accruing 0.40% 0.34% 0.22% 0.12% 0.11% Total accruing delinquent loans 0.95% 0.89% 1.01% 0.62% 0.70% Non-accruing loans 0.75% 0.82% 0.72% 0.61% 0.62% Total delinquent and non-accruing loans 1.70% 1.71% 1.73% 1.23% 1.32% (1)  The above schedule includes balances associated with discontinued operations. BERKSHIRE HILLS BANCORP, INC. CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME – UNAUDITED – F-4 Quarters Ended Mar. 31, Dec. 31, Sept. 30, June 30, Mar. 31, (In thousands, except per share data) 2012 2011 2011 2011 2011 Interest and dividend income     Loans $35,051 $35,466 $35,719 $28,607 $24,606 Securities and other     3,621 3,562 3,547 3,446 3,307 Total interest and dividend income     38,672 39,028 39,266 32,053 27,913 Interest expense Deposits 5,502 5,792 6,097 5,768 5,715 Borrowings and junior subordinated debentures 2,025 2,101 2,131 2,084 2,052 Total interest expense     7,527 7,893 8,228 7,852 7,767 Net interest income 31,145 31,135 31,038 24,201 20,146 Non-interest income Loan related fees 1,373 856 934 780 591 Deposit related fees 3,500 3,848 3,885 3,366 2,541 Insurance commissions and fees     2,746 2,145 2,431 2,782 3,730 Wealth management fees     1,900 1,650 1,607 1,389 1,192 Total fee income     9,519 8,499 8,857 8,317 8,054 Other 241 318 (158) (277) 80 Gain on sale of securities, net      – 8 – 6 – Non-recurring gain 42 – 1,975 124 – Total non-interest income       9,802 8,825 10,674 8,170 8,134 Total net revenue 40,947 39,960 41,712 32,371 28,280 Provision for loan losses    2,000 2,263 2,200 1,500 1,600 Non-interest expense Compensation and benefits 13,589 13,172 13,195 12,027 11,151 Occupancy and equipment      4,395 4,063 3,883 3,546 3,435 Technology and communications 1,958 2,464 1,996 1,531 1,466 Marketing and professional services      1,716 1,565 1,873 1,557 1,213 Supplies, postage and delivery 562 555 545 507 454 FDIC premiums and assessments 681 542 923 741 1,027 Other real estate owned 179 153 541 700 609 Amortization of intangible assets      1,311 1,314 1,271 935 716 Nonrecurring and merger related expenses      4,223 3,678 9,091 5,451 1,708 Other 1,580 2,024 1,392 1,627 1,410 Total non-interest expense      30,194 29,530 34,710 28,623 23,189 Income from continuing operations before income taxes        8,753 8,167 4,802 2,248 3,491 Income tax expense  2,272 609 405 371 656 Net income from continuing operations 6,481 7,558 4,397 1,877 2,835 (Loss) gain from discontinued operations before income taxes         (including gain on disposals) (261) 4,692 (8) – – Income tax expense (benefit) 376 3,773 (3) – – Net (loss) gain from discontinued operations (637) 919 (5) – – Net income  $  5,844 $  8,477 $  4,392 $  1,877 $  2,835 Basic and diluted earnings per share: Continuing operations $    0.31 $    0.36 $    0.22 $    0.11 $    0.20 Discontinued operations (0.03) 0.04 – – – Total basic and diluted earnings per share $    0.28 $    0.44 $    0.22 $    0.11 $    0.20 Weighted average shares outstanding:       Basic 20,955 20,930 20,009 16,580 13,943 Diluted 21,062 21,043 20,105 16,601 13,981 (1) The Company acquired Rome Bancorp on April 1, 2011.  The income statement includes operations from that date.  (2) The Company acquired Legacy Bancorp on July 21, 2011.  The income statement includes operations from that date.  A telephone replay of the call will be available through May 2, 2012 by calling 877-344-7529 and entering access code: 10011976. The webcast and a podcast will be available at Berkshire’s website above for an extended period of time. BERKSHIRE HILLS BANCORP, INC. AVERAGE YIELDS  (Fully Taxable Equivalent – Annualized) – F-8 Quarters Ended Mar. 31, Dec. 31, Sept. 30, June 30, Mar. 31, 2012 2011 2011 2011 2011 Earning assets Loans: Residential mortgages 4.63 % 4.68 % 4.82 % 4.97 % 5.04 % Commercial mortgages 5.01 5.17 5.44 4.74 4.68 Commercial business loans 4.76 4.44 4.78 4.89 4.69 Consumer loans 3.98 4.03 4.17 3.97 3.63 Total loans 4.72 4.74 4.97 4.74 4.65 Securities 3.29 3.26 3.53 4.07 4.01 Short-term investments 0.07 0.14 0.03 0.19 0.13 Total earning assets 4.48 4.49 4.72 4.64 4.53 Funding liabilities Deposits: NOW 0.26 0.39 0.49 0.31 0.33 Money Market 0.55 0.62 0.66 0.69 0.75 Savings 0.20 0.19 0.18 0.26 0.31 Time 1.51 1.52 1.67 2.00 2.19 Total interest-bearing deposits 0.82 0.87 0.95 1.08 1.20 Borrowings and debentures 3.16 3.35 3.34 3.10 3.62 Total interest-bearing liabilities 1.02 1.06 1.16 1.31 1.46 Net interest spread 3.46 3.43 3.56 3.33 3.07 Net interest margin 3.62 3.61 3.74 3.52 3.30 Cost of funds 0.89 0.92 1.01 1.15 1.28 Cost of deposits 0.71 0.73 0.82 0.94 1.04 (1) Cost of funds includes all deposits and borrowings. (2) The above schedule includes yields associated with discontinued operations, although the related income        is excluded from income from continuing operations on the income statement.  This schedule also includes balances       associated with discontinued operations. Berkshire Hills Bank Inc. 4.24.2012. THE CONNECTICUT BANK AND TRUST COMPANY UNAUDITED SELECTED FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS – F-10 March 31,  December 31,  (In thousands) 2012 2011 Selected Financial Condition Data: Loans: Commercial mortgages $   130,242 $        133,215 Other commercial loans 58,732 68,022 Consumer and other loans 25,413 25,796 Total loans 214,387 227,033 Deposits: Demand deposits 51,200 52,014 NOW deposits 26,835 24,002 Savings and money market deposits 66,572 67,252 Time deposits 72,575 76,737 Total deposits 217,182 220,005 Three Months Ended March 31, 2012 2011 Selected Operating Data: Core net interest income $      2,380 $            2,494 Core non-interest income 227 208 Core non-interest expense 2,590 2,527 (1)  Core income and expense information excludes non-core merger related items. BERKSHIRE HILLS BANCORP, INC. CONSOLIDATED LOAN & DEPOSIT ANALYSIS – UNAUDITED – F-2 LOAN ANALYSIS Organic annualized  growth % (Dollars in millions) March 31,  2012 Balance December 31,  2011 Balance First Quarter 2012 Total residential mortgages $    1,101 $          1,020 32% Total commercial mortgages 1,147 1,156 (3) Total commercial business loans 430 411 18 Total commercial loans 1,577 1,567 3 Total consumer loans 361 370 (9) Total loans $    3,039 $          2,957 11% DEPOSIT ANALYSIS Organic annualized growth % (Dollars in millions) March 31,  2012 Balance December 31,  2011 Balance First Quarter 2012 Demand $      451 $            447 4% NOW 294 272 32 Money market 1,090 1,055 13 Savings 365 351 16 Total non-maturity deposits 2,200 2,125 14 Time less than $100,000 479 487 (7) Time $100,000 or more 505 489 13 Total time deposits 984 976 3 Total deposits $    3,184 $          3,101 11% (1)  Organic annualized growth rates are calculated on organic growth only, which excludes the impact of mergers and         divestitures.   (2)  Quarterly data may not sum to annualized data due to rounding.last_img read more

Vermont Castings Group acquired by employees

first_imgVermont Castings Group, based in Paris, KY, a leading supplier of hearth and grill products throughout North and South America, Asia and Europe, with two plants in Vermont (Randolph and Bethel), today announced that after a prolonged sale process with many potential buyers, the company has been acquired by an entity owned by the employees of the company. As a result of the acquisition, Vermont Castings Group (VCG) will be the largest privately held, employee-owned company in the hearth industry.‘I can’t be more excited about the direction we are taking Vermont Castings Group,’said Ricardo León, the new Chairman and CEO of Vermont Castings Group. ‘After listening to all the different proposals and evaluating the options for returning Vermont Castings Group to prominence, the employees realized the best way for our business to succeed was to take back the control and play the leading role in driving the Company’s strategic direction. Over the coming weeks and months, we will refocus VCG on the hearth industry, and transition away from non-core activities. We will provide the highest quality products to all our customers, large and small. You won’t find a more motivated Company in the business.’The new ownership team is entirely made up by current and former employees including Ricardo León, Pat Kelly, Jess Baldwin and Kirsten Jenkins.Expect to see other familiar faces from the industry returning to Vermont Castings Group, as well. As part of this transaction, the Company cancelled the majority of its debt and is emerging in a stronger financial position. ‘With the financial commitment from the ownership group, an aggressive and focused operational plan, and the support of the senior lenders, we have created the financial flexibility to continue serving and earning the right to grow with our customers,’added Mr. León.‘We have a lot of work to do, but the optimism has never been higher,’said Jess Baldwin, Senior Vice President of Sales and Customer Service.‘Every customer will now be able to put a real face to this business and we are thrilled to be given this opportunity.’Bill Tweardy, the former owner and founder of Monessen Hearth Systems added, “I am exceedingly supportive of this transaction, and believe this approach represents the best possible solution for the Company, its employees, and most importantly, its customers. The employees demonstrated remarkable courage and determination in taking back what I am convinced is a great company. I know this is just the beginning for Vermont Castings Group and our customers can expect great things to come.”Vermont Castings Group is a leading supplier of hearth and grill products throughout North and South America, Asia and Europe. Under its four brands, Vermont Castings, Majestic, Monessen and Ambient Technologies, Vermont Castings Group offers a full line of direct vent, natural vent, vent-free, wood-burning and electric fireplaces, inserts, log sets and stoves as well as outdoor grills and heating products. Vermont Castings Group is proud to be on the cutting edge of design, efficiency and environmental responsibility.  Source: PARIS, KENTUCKY, August 1, 2013 ‘Vermont Castings Group.last_img read more

Vermont Electric Co-op upgraded to ‘A’ rating from Standard & Poor’s

first_imgVermont Electric Cooperative, Inc,On September 23, 2013 Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services (S&P) raised Vermont Electric Cooperative’s (VEC) credit rating to ‘A’ and gave VEC a stable outlook. VEC’s rating prior to this upgrade was ‘A-’. The improved credit rating reflects S&P’s view that strong management practices at VEC and demonstrated leadership skills have helped to improve VEC’s reliability while controlling costs and electric rates. ‘This is great news for VEC’s members,’ said Dave Hallquist, VEC’s chief executive officer.  ‘VEC’s board of directors and employees have worked hard during the past several years to improve our financial outlook. We’ve steadily moved from a ‘BBB’‘ in 2007 to an ‘A’ rating which indicates that we’re on strong financial ground. This will help VEC to further diversify our power portfolio at more competitive and stable costs while we continue to deliver safe and reliable electricity to our members. In a press release S&P analyst Judith Waite referred specifically to ‘a combination of cost management, moderate growth, and regulatory support’ as factors contributing to this achievement. By keeping purchased power costs low and reducing operating costs, VEC has been able to control electric rates. The S&P announcement comes on the heels of a VEC announcement last week that it would issue patronage capital distributions to its members for the first time in its 75 year history.  Patronage capital is a unique feature of the cooperative business model and is based on the principle that the economic benefits of the cooperative’s operation should be returned to its members or reinvested in the co-op. Unlike shareholders of investor-owned utilities, a cooperative’s owners are its members (or consumers). VEC is issuing $850,000 to current and former VEC members.Johnson, VT- VEC 9.25.2013 For more information is external).last_img read more

Historic barn moved at Camel’s Hump State Park in Bolton

first_imgIt’s not every day that an historic barn is picked up and moved to a new location, but that is exactly what happened Monday in Bolton. The iconic ‘East Barn’ of the former Preston-Lafreniere property (now owned by the State as part of Camel’s Hump State Park) was moved more than 60 feet to the north from its previous location at the edge of the Duxbury Rd. This move was part of barn stabilization efforts currently being undertaken by the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation.’ The East Barn is and English-style barn dating back to the early 1800’s and is one of three separate barns located on this site. The barn complex, as well as an adjacent homestead along with approximately 460 acres were acquired by the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation and added to Camel’s Hump State Park in 1991. Funding for this purchase was made available by the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board. The Lafreniere homestead and barn complex was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998. The East Barn is a local landmark and is depicted on the Town Seal of Bolton.’ The homestead, including possibly the barn complex, is slated for sale by the State in the near future. According to Mike Fraysier, the Department’s Director of State Lands Administration, it’s important that some preliminary barn stabilization measures be undertaken at this time, so that this barn may be put to productive use in the future. ‘Regardless of whether the Department elects to include the barns as a part of the sale parcel or chooses to retain the barns in State ownership, the Department recognizes the historic significance of this barn and its importance to the Town of Bolton and felt it was important to undertake some stabilization measures now so that the barn is not lost,’ said Fraysier. The Department’s goal regarding barn stabilization is to complete the most critical measures that have the greatest potential for maximizing the barn’s useful life and would enhance the ability of the landowner (be it the State or a private party) to complete barn stabilization and restoration.’ The barn stabilization activities are being undertaken by Building Heritage which is serving as the Department’s contractor for this project. The barn has been jacked up, rotten posts and girts have been repaired or replaced, new sills have been installed, and a new foundation prepared about 40’ north of its previous location. ‘A major reason this barn was in such tough shape was due to its location immediately off the Duxbury Rd.’, said Eliot Lothrop of Building Heritage. Over the years, the road bed has been built up against the wall of the barn, resulting in substantial rotting of support posts. The barn was slid on steel rails to its new foundation today.’ The barn stabilization efforts are expected to be completed in November.last_img read more

Condoleezza Rice to speak at Norwich University in June

first_imgNorwich University,Related Company: Norwich UniversityNorwich University’s College of Graduate and Continuing Studies (CGCS), based in Northfield, Vermont, will present former United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as a keynote speaker during its 2014 residency conference on Thursday, June 19, at 10 am in Shapiro Field House. Rice will share remarks as part of the Todd Lecture Series, and the event is free and open to the public.  CGCS will host its annual residency conferences during the week of June 16, when more than 600 students from all over the world in nine graduate programs and two bachelor’s degree-completion programs will participate in academic activities, conference sessions and commencement exercises. “At Norwich University’s annual Residency Conference, our online students from around the globe engage in interdisciplinary discourse that further shapes their development as ethical and efficacious leaders,” said Bill Clements, dean of the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies. “We are honored to welcome Dr. Rice to be a part of this culminating educational journey, to help share her passion for public service and commitment to positive change as the nation’s diplomat and former Secretary of State.” Tickets to attend Dr Rice’s keynote will be available on a first come, first serve basis, and pre-registration for this event is required. Please go here to register.The Todd Lecture Series is named in honor of Army Major General Russell Todd (USA Ret) and his wife, Carol, in gratitude for their dedicated service to the university. Todd, ’50, serves as Norwich President Emeritus. With this series, Norwich brings significant lecturers to campus. All events are free and open to the public.Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation’s six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). is external) Norwich University’s College of Graduate and Continuing Studies (CGCS) builds upon the institution’s 195 year academic heritage with innovative online programs. CGCS offers master’s degrees in a variety of areas; bachelor’s degree completion programs; a certificate in teaching and learning and continuing education opportunities. The programs are recognized throughout the industry for their rigor, small class size, high student satisfaction and retention. online.norwich.edulast_img read more

Forums to focus on stimulating Vermont’s climate change economy: Rutland, Burlington, Brattleboro

first_imgVermont Business Magazine Area businesses and nonprofits are increasingly involved with climate change–both its challenges and opportunities. Their creative solutions are becoming a growing part of our state’s economy. The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) is holding 3 public forums to hear from people already adapting and growing businesses that lower Vermont’s carbon impact and to gather ideas from the public on how to nurture this emerging field. The forums, entitled What’s Next for Vermont’s Climate Change Economy? will take place from 7-9pm at Rutland’s Paramount Theater on August 26, Contois Auditorium in Burlington on September 17, and the Latchis Theater in Brattleboro on October 6.The forums are the next step for public input to the Vermont Climate Change Economy Council. This group, formed following a statewide Summit in February, is developing a practical plan to reduce carbon emissions and stimulate green economic development in Vermont. The panelists will include local business leaders and elected officials.The Summit focused on economic development in a time of climate change, including transportation, education, investment strategies, downtown redevelopment, tourism, and efficiency. The report, which provides excellent background material for the forum, is online at is external)“We have an opportunity to lead in the climate economy, attract and nurture entrepreneurism, build on the VT brand, and support the future prosperity of our communities,” explains VCRD Executive Director Paul Costello. “The forums will bring Vermonters together to share their ideas about how to advance the state’s economic future.”Everyone is encouraged to attend, listen, and share ideas. More information about the forum and the Council can be found through VCRD’s home page at is external).The Vermont Council on Rural Development is a non-profit organization charged by the federal farm bill to act as a neutral convener at both the local and policy level supporting the progress of Vermont communities. VCRD will promote the platform of action that comes from the deliberations of Summit participants.Past VCRD policy efforts have supported progress in issues ranging from wood products to downtown revitalization, rural energy development, the digital economy, and Vermont’s working landscape. VCRD produced the most extensive evaluation of Vermont values and priorities in a generation when it led the Council on the Future of Vermont in 2009.Source: Vermont Council on Rural Development. 7.14.2015last_img read more

Speaker Shap Smith reappoints Cathy Frey to Vermont Commission on Women

Speaker of the Vermont House Shap Smith has appointed Cathy Frey of Barre to serve on the Vermont Commission on Women. Commissioner Frey is Professor of Mathematics at Norwich University and serves as Vice Chair of the Faculty Senate. She joined the Norwich faculty in 1985, and in 1991 became the very first woman promoted to Associate Professor in Mathematics, and the first woman ever tenured in the University’s Mathematics Department. In 2001, she became the first woman promoted to the rank of Professor of Mathematics at Norwich. She served as the first and only female Chair of the Mathematics department from 2002-2006 and as the first and only female Dean of Mathematics and Sciences from 2006-2013.Cathy FreyWith research interests in the areas of mathematics pedagogy (methods of teaching) and actuarial science (applying mathematical and statistical methods to assess risk), she particularly enjoys creating videos and instructional modules for the web. Under her leadership, Norwich began offering a major in Actuarial Concentration in Mathematics in 2014. Commissioner Frey was the recipient of the Vermont Women in Higher Education Jackie Gribbon’s Award for leadership in 2008.  She returns to the Vermont Commission on Women, having served two terms previously from 2006-2014.”Cathy is an experienced and effective advocate for women’s issues and I am thrilled that she has agreed to return to the commission,” said Speaker Smith.Cary Brown, VCW’s Executive Director, responding to the appointment stated, “We warmly welcome Cathy back to the commission.  She’s a great example of a trailblazer: a woman who has not only succeeded brilliantly in a traditionally male-dominated occupation, but has risen to leadership positions within that profession.  Cathy is a strong proponent of fairness and equity in education.  We know she will contribute this experience and passion to our deliberative discussions.”The Vermont Commission on Women (VCW) is a non-partisan state agency advancing rights and opportunities for women and girls. Sixteen volunteer commissioners and representatives from organizations concerned with women’s issues guide VCW’s public education, coalition building, and advocacy efforts. VCW offers many services to the public, including a toll-free information and referral service at 800-881-1561 and many publications, including the handbook The Legal Rights of Women in Vermont.   For more information, please visit is external). read more

Quebec losing ground in maple syrup production to Vermont

first_imgVermont Farm Show maple syrup winners, February 2018. VBM photoby Timothy McQuiston Vermont Business Magazine While the Fédération des producteurs acéricoles du Québec (FPAQ) is struggling with substantial levels of unsold inventory, there has been a significant increase in Quebec’s imports of maple syrup, almost all from the United States, according to a report issued today by the MEI. Since the FPAQ started controlling both production and marketing, Quebec has been losing ground to its competitors. Between the start of the 2000s and today, the province has experienced the slowest growth in maple syrup production in all of North America (60%), far behind Maine (131%), New Brunswick (179%), and Vermont (254%).Quebec, by far the world’s largest maple producer, has regulated production to maintain price. US producers, especially Vermont, have benefited from the higher prices, while not being restricted in production.”While the FPAQ comes down hard on producers that try to get free of its grip, those that are located outside the province take advantage of price stability and a free market to take market share away from Quebec,” points out Alexandre Moreau, Public Policy Analyst at the MEI and the author of the publication. “Ironically, these are often producers who have left Quebec to escape the constraints imposed by the FPAQ.”As a result, Quebec’s share of global maple syrup production went from 82% in 2003 down to 72% in 2017, whereas it had been increasing constantly since the 1970s, the reports states.Because of the value and breakthroughs in technology, growth in Vermont industry has been five fold in recent years: 2004 there were 1 million taps; 2017, over 5 million taps.  In 2017, Vermont produced 1.98 million gallons of maple syrup – second highest total on record. In 2017, Vermont led the country in maple production with nearly 50 percent of the US crop.  Approximately 4,000 jobs are supported by the Vermont maple industry. Technological breakthroughs are led by reverse osmosis machines, which reduce water content in sap to reduce boil costs and time, and vacuum taps, which increase production per tree.Note: Growth is based on three-year averages to reduce the effect of harvest volatility.Sources: Author’s calculations. USDA, Sugar and Sweeteners Yearbook Tables, Table 44: U.S. Maple syrup production and value, by state, calendar years, 2003-2017; Statistics Canada, CANSIM Table 001-0008: Production and farm value of maple products, 2003-2017.”Our restrictive rules hurt Quebec maple syrup producers. Those that look to develop their business without going through the FPAQ are subject to searches, seizures, and penalties of up to several hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Moreau said.Considering that the province harvests close to 50 percent of its potential, compared to just 5 percent on the American side, it is imperative to give Quebec producers back their freedom to produce and sell their maple syrup without having to submit to the FPAQ’s dictates, the report states. Otherwise, their share of the global market will likely continue to fall.The restrictive regulations are also blamed for a black market in maple syrup that ensnared a major Vermont producer in 2012. Maple Grove Farms of St Johnsbury unwittingly got caught up in Quebec’s black market after it was discovered (in May 2013) that it had purchased syrup from a seller that had stolen 12 tanker truckloads of Quebec syrup, according to the Montreal Gazette(link is external). The syrup was valued at $20 million (CD).The Viewpoint entitled “Maple Syrup: Quebec Is Hurting Its Producers and Encouraging Its Competitors” was prepared by Alexandre Moreau, Public Policy Analyst at the MEI. This publication is available HERE(link is external).The Montreal Economic Institute is an independent, non-partisan, not-for-profit research and educational organization. Through its studies and its conferences, the MEI stimulates debate on public policies in Quebec and across Canada by proposing wealth-creating reforms based on market mechanisms.RELATED STORIESVermont taps out at near record maple syrup production in 2017The Economic Contribution of the Vermont Maple Industry(link is external)Highland Sugarworks parent acquired for $126 millionRunamok Maple acquires maple candy operation from BascomSOURCE MONTREAL, March 8, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ – Montreal Economic Institute is external). State of Vermont.last_img read more

SVHC and Southern Vermont College affiliate

first_imgSouthwestern Vermont Health Care,David Evans, president of Southern Vermont College; Mary Botter, PhD, RN, SVC’s Chair of the Division of Nursing and Health Services and SVHC’s new Chief Nursing Officer; Shiela Boni, RN, MSN, Associate Chief Nursing Officer at SVHC and Associate Chair of the Division of Nursing and Health Sciences at SVC; Thomas Dee, president and CEO of Southwestern Vermont Health Care. SVHC photo.Vermont Business Magazine Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) and Southern Vermont College (SVC) have affiliated to enhance healthcare education and workforce opportunities for college-bound high school students, as well as working professionals interested in pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. The strategic alliance looks to first address the growing nursing shortage expected to be experienced in Vermont, and is expected to grow to include other academic programs at the college. The SVHC-SVC institutional affiliation cites plans to focus on several strategic areas, and includes: 1) supporting shared leadership and multidisciplinary collaboration; 2) developing educational programs to attract students seeking careers in nursing and other healthcare disciplines; and 3) stimulating workforce development through programs which will encourage staff to pursue education advancement while retaining existing SVHC employees. In addition, tuition incentives and career path opportunities will be developed for students in the collegiate program as well as tuition debt relief to encourage current staff to pursue educational advancement.  “The average age of SVHC’s registered nurse is 55 years old,” stated Thomas Dee, president and CEO of the health system. “Our affiliation with Southern Vermont College is a critical step to helping solve our hiring dilemma when we will need to replace retiring nurses. This partnership will help SVHC continue to build nursing and patient care excellence within our healthcare system.”Data collected by the Vermont Business Roundtable for a statewide study details that Southwestern Vermont Health Care projects to have to replace as many as 40 registered nurse positions vacated by retirees in the near future. The same study forecasts that Vermont stands to replace nearly 3,000 nursing professionals during the same period.Affiliation is one of the first of its kind between a rural health system and small private collegeSeveral health systems and universities throughout the United States have clinical affiliations with academic medical centers, but few if any of these partnerships are in communities with a population under 40,000. For example, the University of Vermont and the UVM Medical Center have this type of affiliation, in which their medical center’s chief nursing officer serves as the university’s associate dean. Similar to other programs, a key objective of SVC and SVHC is to grow enrollment at the college while training and educating current and future employees at the health system. But a unique attribute to the SVHC-SVC affiliation model is the baccalaureate program will be supported by tuition relief for students who go on to careers at Southwestern Vermont Health Care and will enable current employees to advance their education at a significantly reduced cost. The long range vision of the program is to create an economic development multiplier by attracting college-bound students to SVC and retaining them as regional employees.A key element to the SVHC-SVC affiliation will be individuals from both institutions serving in joint leadership roles and/or faculty positions. Along these lines, Mary Botter, PhD, RN, currently SVC’s Chair of the Division of Nursing and Health Services, will become SVHC’s new Chief Nursing Officer and retain her responsibility as Chair of the Division of Nursing and Health Services at SVC. Additionally, she will serve on SVHC’s executive management team, helping oversee the daily operations of the health system. Botter has significant nursing leadership experience, including previously serving as CNO at Fletcher Allen Health Care (currently called UVM Medical Center). She has also worked in numerous nursing executive positions in large healthcare organizations, including Mercy Hospital (Miami, FL), Albert Einstein Medical Center (Philadelphia), and St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children (Philadelphia) and previously served as the executive director for the Vermont Board of Nursing. In addition, Shiela Boni, RN, MSN will assume the role of Associate Chief Nursing Officer at SVHC and Associate Chair of the Division of Nursing and Health Sciences at SVC.  She will also serve as an Instructor of Nursing at SVC. Boni has been with SVHC for 14 years and has served in a variety of nurse leadership roles within the health system. “Mary Botter is a dynamic nursing executive and has worked closely with nurse leaders at SVHC during her tenure at SVC,” stated Thomas Dee. “She will be a tremendous addition to our health care system and executive management team.” Dee added, “Sheila Boni has had a major impact as a nurse leader at SVHC, and in her new role will enhance how our health system continues to provide exceptional, award-winning care for our communities.”The baccalaureate degree in Nursing at Southern Vermont College is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The program offers an intellectually challenging, hands-on academic experience to prepare students to be on the leading edge of quality nursing care in a variety of professional settings. Southwestern Vermont Health Care will serve as a clinical site for SVC students, and several of SVHC’s nursing professionals will serve as part-time faculty at the college. Recognized for its nursing excellence, quality patient care, and innovation, Southwestern Vermont Health Care is a four-time Magnet® hospital through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). In 2016, SVHC’s Barbara Richardson received worldwide recognition as ANCC’s Magnet Nurse of the Year®.  And in 2017, SVHC was awarded ANCC’s Magnet Prize®—only one hospital is selected annually and it is the highest honor granted to a Magnet organization.    “SVC has had a long-standing relationship with Southwestern Vermont Health Care through their nursing executives instructing courses at the college and curricular collaboration,” stated David Evans, president of Southern Vermont College. “Affiliating with a Magnet® hospital and nationally-recognized health system like SVHC provides a tremendous opportunity for our students to learn from and shadow some of the country’s best nursing professionals as well as enhancing the clinical resources and experiential-learning of SVC’s baccalaureate program. Like SVHC, SVC is committed to the Bennington community and regional economic development, and our collaboration creates powerful synergies to help move our area forward.”About SVHC:Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) is a comprehensive, preeminent, health care system providing exceptional, convenient, and affordable care to the communities of Bennington and Windham Counties of Vermont, eastern Rensselaer and Washington Counties of New York, and northern Berkshire County in Massachusetts. SVHC includes Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center, the Centers for Living and Rehabilitation, and the SVHC Foundation. SVMC includes 25 primary and specialty care practices. Southwestern Vermont Health Care complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. Language assistance services, free of charge, are available at 1-800-367-9559. For more information, visit is external).About SVC:Founded in 1974 but with roots extending to 1926, Southern Vermont College is a small, liberal arts college located on a 400-acre campus overlooking the Green Mountains. The College aspires to be a model of an enlightened educational community: diverse, supportive, environmentally respectful and socially responsible. Through its career-focused, liberal arts curriculum, SVC transforms students into engaged citizens with a broad perspective of an ever-changing society. Classroom learning is combined with real-life, real-world experiences in the study of business, humanities, nursing and health services, natural sciences and math, and the social sciences. SVC’s athletic teams are part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III and the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC). The College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and has been designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a Community-Engagement Classification Institution. For more information, visit is external).Source: BENNINGTON, VT—August 28, 2018—Southwestern Vermont Health Carelast_img read more

Shelburne Vineyard Benefit helps Food Shelf

first_imgortant it is to have this “ongoing support each year as we work to feed families in Chittenden County.”   She added that this year’s donations totaled:$1,005 in cash along with an additional 468 pounds of food items. As in past years, much of the cash contributed will serve to help the Food Shelf supplement their typical supplies and provide special items like turkeys for their clients during the holiday season. “That’s a great start to our holiday food and fund drive season!”, she said.The event, held at Shelburne Vineyard where VT Tent Company helped supplement the Tasting Room space with a heated patio tent, welcomed visitors from across VT and farther afield who tasted samples, took part in the raffle and purchased locally produced wines from Shelburne Vineyard, Artesano Mead and Eden Ice Cider, Caramel sauces from Fat Toad Farm, Cheese from Fairy Tale Farm, Pierogis from Luiza’s Homemade With Love, syrups from Run Amok Maple, and for the holiday table, Winter veggies and Jams from LaLumiere Greenhouse, Kombucha from Living Water, meats from Snug Valley Farm and an array of sauces from It’s Arthur’s Fault.According to Vineyard owner, Gail Albert, among the close to 400 attendees on Saturday were not just locals who spoke to how much they look forward to this annual celebration of community, but also surprised out-of-towners who came expecting a simple tasting and discovered a sampling of Vermont’s diverse localvore culture and generosity—a win-win for everyone.Source: Shelburne Vineyard is external) Vermont Business Magazine Last weekend’s 10th Annual Wine and Food Fest Benefit for the Food Shelf turned up a big bounty for the Chittenden Emergency organization that provides supplemental food supplies those in our community who are in need. For the event Shelburne Vineyard  waived their usual Tasting Fee for attendees who brought non-perishable food donations or who made a cash contribution to the Food Shelf. In turn contributors were enrolled in an hourly raffle that netted a different gift each hour donated by the ten participating Vermont food and beverage vendors. The hourly clang of two wine bottles brought silence to the room as winners were drawn and there were whoops of surprise and delight as the raffle winners were announced.Anna McMahon collects donations from Wine & Food Fest Benefit attendees.Anna McMahon, who collected the donations on behalf of the Food Shelf, shared the results of the donations that collected, noting how implast_img read more