1 Jan

Vermont’s Village Revitalization Initiative receives national historic preservation award

first_imgBELOW ARE PROJECT-BY-PROJECT DESCRIPTIONS OF THE VERMONT PROJECTS — # # # # # The Village Revitalization Initiative’a cooperative effort among Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the Preservation Trust of Vermont, and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) ‘ drew national recognition Thursday in garnering the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation’s (ACHP) Chairman’s Award for Achievement in Historic Preservation. ‘This creative and important initiative demonstrates how effective partnerships can use relatively modest funding to accomplish important local projects that create jobs, preserve our heritage, and improve the vitality of communities,’ said Milford Wayne Donaldson, FAIA, ACHP chairman. ‘It is a great model for other elected officials and preservation organizations to emulate across the country.’ In 2005, Leahy and the Preservation Trust of Vermont’using HUD Economic Development Initiative Special Projects Congressional Grants’embarked on a partnership to build stronger and more economically vibrant villages and small downtowns.  Leahy said, ‘This initiative proves again that historic preservation is not a cost for saving the past, but a wise investment in the future. Vermonters are respectful stewards of our state’s rich heritage.  Cookie-cutter solutions are not the Vermont way. Paul Bruhn and the other partners in this effort carefully and thoughtfully forged unique, local, ‘hand-crafted’ solutions that embrace our history, while envisioning a vibrant future for these special Vermont places.’ Readsboro, before and after.In remarks Thursday as he accepted the award, Leahy told a personal story:  ‘As a child, I recall visiting the 1891 Romanesque Post Office building that defined a block of downtown Montpelier.  It was a beautiful building ‘ complete with an arched entry way, a turret and a grand courtroom.  In 1963, the structure was destroyed to make room for a white box building that resembles a prison, a design familiar to any town in the county that got a new federal building in the 60s.  With the loss of that building, the character of my hometown was forever changed. If the Preservation Trust of Vermont and Paul Bruhn had been there, they would have saved that post office. He continued, ‘When Paul, my staff and I discussed the creation of the Village Revitalization Initiative, our goal was simple: to help towns protect their greatest historic, economic and community-building assets — their historic town centers — from the fate of the Montpelier Post Office.‘Though this program is primarily a bricks-and-mortar historic preservation program, we chose not to focus on the historic value of a building, but instead on the historic use and potential impact of restoring the building to full use.  This approach made every historic preservation project we undertook a meaningful economic development and community development project.  We reopened community spaces, rebuilt general stores and gave people places to gather in the center of their communities.‘Perhaps most notable was that we did all this with earmarks. I’m proud that we did all of this with earmarks that created jobs. I’m number two in seniority in the Senate and number two in seniority on the Senate Appropriations Committee and let me tell you a little secret:  I’m not giving up on earmarks.  I hope that your recognition of this program might help bring a bit of common sense to the appropriations process and prove that sometimes Congress can get it right.’During its first six years, the Village Revitalization Initiative supported 27 projects in 25 different communities in Vermont (see list below).  A federal investment of $2,435,200 has helped leverage more than $27 million in total project costs. At the ACHP Fall Business Meeting Thursday in Washington, Donaldson presented the award to Leahy; Paul Bruhn, Executive Director, Preservation Trust of Vermont; and Yolanda Chávez, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Grant Programs, Office of Community Planning and Development, HUD. Putney, before and after.The Village Revitalization Initiative’s goals are to use targeted federal grants to leverage investments that have made possible a collection of village-scaled historic preservation projects across Vermont. In 1995, when the average earmark was well over $1 million, the small scale of many projects in Vermont was a stumbling block for gaining federal support.  For Leahy ‘ a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee ‘ and his Initiative partners, the solution was to aggregate the smaller projects and to direct the overall grant monies, secured by Leahy, through the Preservation Trust of Vermont, which in turn sub-granted to communities. The grants are for rehabilitation of historic community buildings located in the heart of a community center or in a small downtown. A primary criterion is that projects must result in enhanced community use of a facility. The Preservation Trust of Vermont provided hands-on technical assistance, project management and grants management assistance.  Leahy’s seasoned and accomplished economic development staffers visited prospective grantees with the Preservation Trust personnel, and they worked closely together in vetting and refining proposals and then in making selections. The projects have created both short-term construction and permanent jobs in Vermont. Short-term federal and state income tax revenues have grown from construction jobs, as have long-term property tax revenues. HUD-EDI investments will play a crucial continuing role in the vitality of these communities.  The individual projects, while strengthening their own communities, together reinforce the essential unique character of Vermont, helping to maintain the state’s special brand. The federal grants ranged from $20,000 to $250,000 for revitalization projects ranging from $50,000 to $7 million in overall costs. For more information, visit www.achp.gov(link is external) and also http://leahy.senate.gov(link is external) and www.ptvermont.org(link is external) The location of projects to date and their grant/total costs include the following: Addison County            Salisbury ‘ Shard Villa                        $100,000/$200,000 total            Ferrisburgh ‘ Grange/Town Hall                        $100,000/$2.5 millionBennington CountyReadsboro ‘ Bullock Block$100,000/$200,000 first phase           Caledonia CountyHardwick ‘ Jeudevine Memorial Library                    $50,000/$200,000 total               ‘ Memorial Hall            $20,000/$40,000 total  ‘ Town House           $30,000/$50,000Groton ‘ Village Store and Library                        $54,900/$3.5 million total      Chittenden County            Richmond ‘ Round Church fire suppressions system                        $25,000/$215,000 in this phaseEssex County            Bloomfield ‘ Town Hall                        $70,000/$75,000 this phase/$200,000 total            Brighton ‘ Town Hall/Opera House                        $60,000/$500,000 totalFranklin County            Richford ‘ Sweat Comings Health Care Center                        $100,000/$7 million totalGrand Isle County            North Hero ‘ Community Center                       $100,000/$800,000 total        Orange County            Brookfield ‘ Old Town Hall                        $100,000/$400,000 total            Strafford ‘ Town House Bell Tower                        $50,000/$100,000            Bradford ‘ Public Library                        $75,000/$203,000 total            Randolph ‘ Chandler Music Hall                        $250,000/$3.5 million totalRutland County            Brandon ‘ Old Town Hall                        $70,000/$900,000 total            Pawlet ‘ Town Hall Auditorium                        $75,000/$200,000 this phase            West Rutland ‘ Carving Studio                        $75,000/$200,000 total            Sudbury ‘ Meeting House                        $75,000/$130,000 phases 5 & 6/$250,000 total            Poultney ‘ Bentley House                        $100,000/$220,000 totalWashington County            Worcester ‘ Town Hall                        $50,000/$162,300 totalWindham County            Rockingham Bellows Falls ‘ Town Hall Theatre                        $100,000/$850,000 total            Putney ‘ General Store (Putney Historical Society)                        $160,000/$800,000 total            Guilford ‘ Housing and General Store (Friends of Algiers Village)                        $65,000/$250,000 first phase Windsor County            Rochester ‘ Pierce Hall                        $100,000/$700,000 this phase            Springfield ‘ Ellis Block                        $125,000/$3,401,051 total North Hero Town Hall:  $100,000Funding used for exterior improvements to a 70-year-old building in the center of North Hero, helping to reopen the building to community members and visitors in preparation of the Quadricentennial celebration of Lake Champlain.Putney General Store:  $160,000Funding used to rebuild the Putney General Store that was targeted by arson twice in 18 months.  The historic building housed a general store since 1830.  The community will open a community supported general store shortly. Readsboro Bullock Building:  $100,000Funding was used to stabilize the 1880’s three-story, wood frame building that serves as a prominent storefront in the center of Readsboro. Brandon Old Town Hall: $70,000Funding was used for interior improvements to the 1861 Greek Revival Brandon Town Hall to enable additional public uses.Poultney’s Bentley Hall: $100,000Funding was used by Green Mountain College to restore a 1900 Queen Anne-Colonial Revival building in the center of Poultney Village to serve as community meeting facility.Randolph’s Chandler Center for the Arts:  $250,000Funds were used for rehabilitation and additions at the 1907 music hall in central Vermont.Richmond Round Church: $25,000Funding was used to install fire suppression equipment in the nearly 200-year-old Richmond landmark at the heart of Richmond village.Guilford Village Store:  $65,000Funds will be used by the Friends of Algiers Village to purchase, stabilize and reopen the Guilford Village Store.Brighton Opera House / Town Hall: $60,000 ‘ exterior siding workFunding will be used for the removal of old vinyl siding from the 122-year old Town Hall and restoring the building’s wood clapboard appearance and original architectural features. Springfield Ellis Block:  $125,000Funding was used for exterior rehabilitation efforts following a 2008 fire that destroyed several units of housing and an iconic downtown movie theater.  The theater reopened recently.Salisbury Shard Villa: $100,000Funding used to restore murals and infrastructure at a 1874 historic residential care home and national historic site.Hardwick Jeudevine Memorial Library: $50,000Funding was directed to repoint exterior stonework of the 1896 Jeudevine Memorial Library, a classic Romanesque Revival building designed by Lambert Packard, one of Vermont’s most prominent nineteenth-century architects.Hardwick Memorial Hall window repair: $20,000Funding was used to conserve windows and replace historic lighting fixtrues in the 1911 Neo-Classical style building listed on the National Register of Historic Places.Hardwick Town House woodwork, roof, foundation repair: $30,000Funding was used to make structural improvements and code improvements to the c. 1860 Hardwick Academy building.Groton Village Restoration Project: $54,900Funding was used as part of a village-wide mixed use restoration effort.Bloomfield Town Hall:  $70,000Funding was directed to make foundation, basement and life safety repairs enabling the late 19th century stick style building to be used as a public meeting space.Brookfield Old Town Hall: $75,000Funding was directed to make structural repairs and add handicap access so that the mid 1850’s facility could be used for community functions.  The building is listed on the National Register as a contributing structure to the Brookfield Village Historic District.Strafford Town House: $50,000Funding was used to make repairs to the 1799 Town House which stands on a small hill overlooking the common in the Village of Strafford.  The building has been in continuous use for 200 years for Town Meetings and elections.Bellows Falls Town Hall Theater:  $100,000Funding was used to restore the 1926 building, targeting the 250 seat theater.  Improvements included reproduction and installation of arched windows and stage renovations to accommodate both film and live theater.Worcester Town Hall:  $50,000Funding was used to address fire safety code improvements and accessibility problems on the second floor of the town office building.Sudbury Meeting House: $75,000Funding was used to help the Sudbury Community Club restore the 1807 Gothic style meeting house.West Rutland Carving Studio:  $75,000Funding was used to convert former Vermont Marble Company offices into usable year round artist space.Bradford Public Library:  $75,000Funding was used to complete brick work and roof work on the 1895 Woods Library Building in the heart of Bradford.Pawlet Town Hall:  $75,000Funding was used to help the town restore the 1881 Italianate style town office building and reopen the second story town meeting hall closed due to accessibility concerns.Richford Sweat Cummings:  $100,000Funding was used to help convert a decaying mill property in housing, retail and office space in the downtown center of Richford.  This funding was particularly helpful in relocating the Richford Health Center to the mill.Ferrisburgh Grange Project:  $100,000Funding was used to help the town rebuild the 1868 Italianate style Grange Hall into town offices and a community center following a 2005 fire that destroyed the building prior to rehabilitation efforts.Rochester Pierce Hall:  $100,000Funding was used to help the Pierce Hall Community Center restore the 1916 Pierce Hall and re-establish its original purpose as a community center and performance venue for the Upper White River Valley.WASHINGTON (THURSDAY, Nov. 10, 2011) ‘   # # # # #last_img read more

27 Jul

Do Not Underestimate the Power of Your Anti Sales Culture

first_imgEditor’s note: This is the eleventh post in a new series devoted to helping new sales managers survive and thrive in their new role. For more essential tips and tactics, sign up for our free email course, The First 90 Days: A Sales Manager Survival Course.  The first dozen years of my sales career I only worked in healthy, pro-sales cultures. My first few sales jobs were in companies where Sales was king and salespeople were treated like royalty. Don’t take that for a second to mean that they were “soft” on sales, lacked intensity, or a results focus. Not at all. In fact, these companies were quite the opposite with a high–performance bent and an obsession for exceeding sales goals. Oh, how I benefitted from and loved working in those environments!Young and naive, I wasn’t even aware that there were sales organizations and companies with unhealthy, anti-sales biases until I joined a small software startup with the goofiest anti-sales culture imaginable. Senior leadership at this company didn’t quite get that foosball and free soda did not a healthy sales culture make. Little did I know that my exposure to less than ideal cultures was just beginning. It took fifteen years, three employers and over 150 client engagements until I discovered another company with as healthy a pro-sales culture as the place I worked prior to the software company!Hallmarks of Organizations with Prominent Anti-Sales CulturesWhat was I observing and experiencing in company after company? Let me count the ways:A low view of salespeople and the sales role. Salespeople not only weren’t valued or appreciated, they were treated as second-class citizens. In one company they were categorically denied credit for sales successes while being constantly blamed for sales shortfalls and frustrated customers. In others they were treated like little children incapable of making even the smallest business decisions or judgment calls.A complete lack of understanding that sales involves emotions and heart-engagement, and that salespeople actually need to make noise to effectively do their jobs! This may be hard to believe, but I’ve been in companies where it was common for the sales team to be regularly told to “keep it down” so the important people (software engineers) could do their jobs. I kid you not.High-ego self-proclaimed “sales expert” executives deflating salespeople with micromanagement and constant pontificating. This point doesn’t require further editorial comments or specific examples. Does it?Management jerking around with work rules, compensation plans, quotas, territories, and commission deductions. I’ve seen everything from out-of-control controllers arbitrarily taking commission deductions to executives insisting that salespeople keep “regular” office hours even during days/weeks when they’re traveling extensively including nights and weekends.Lack of focus on goals and results. You might be surprised at the number of companies where a salesperson’s specific goals are unclear or where sales results/reports are not published/public for all kinds of silly reasons. Oh, there’s plenty of criticism and public complaining about sales performance, just not goal clarity, useful reports and scorecards. This one is definitely a head-scratcher.Salespeople are treated as “free labor” and given extra non-sales work to do by management. Is there anything more insulting to a forward-deployed salesperson than when he’s viewed as an extra set of hands and free indirect labor to help out managing a program or tackling an operations challenge? What’s crazy is that it is usually the weaker underperforming salesperson recruited to “help” with a non-sales task – the salesperson who can least afford to be diverted and distracted from his primary job. Then at the end of the quarter, management turns around to blame that very salesperson for missing his number while conveniently overlooking the fact that he was occasionally reassigned to play “good corporate citizen.”The sales manager’s desk is treated as the garbage dump for all customer problems. I worked at a company where there was so little respect the sales manager’s role that customer service reps were actually instructed that all customer issues went to the sales manager. Needless to say, once I figured that CSRs were giving my cell phone number to insignificant little customers, I put a stop to that inane practice. But it spoke volumes about the company’s low view of sales and sales leadership.I could go on, but aside from the entertainment value, it would not be productive. My hope is that this list has caused many of you to pause and reflect on your own sales culture and its impact on both the health of your sales team and your sales results.A healthy, pro-sales culture is a wonderful, powerful, and unfortunately, very rare thing. Two years ago during an engagement with an incredible company outside Philadelphia, I discovered The Healthiest Sales Culture I Have Seen. It was so dramatically different than what I typically encounter that I dedicated an entire chapter to describing it in my new book Sales Management. Simplified. This company exhibited every characteristic I consider important to creating and maintaining a healthy sales culture:They were crazed about goals and results with sales reports published everywhere you turnedManagement met one-on-one regularly with every salesperson to review goals, results, the pipeline and business plansSales team meetings were fun, energizing, productive and helpful; salespeople walked out better aligned and better equipped to winIt felt like the winning locker room of a championship team (chemistry, loud, passion, high expectations, straight talk, confrontational with love)Sales management and salespeople were laser-focused on their primary jobs and given tremendous respect for the value they brought to the organizationVictories were celebratedEvery salesperson knew beyond a shadow of doubt that management and the company were for their success and had their backs!The compensation plan was brilliant: it drove the desired behaviors and results and management was thrilled when the salespeople won big because it meant the company was winning bigSales was king. Period.Let me leave you with a few challenge questions:Is your sales culture working for you like the wind at your back? Or does your culture actually work against building the sales team you want and the results you desire?If I confidentially polled members of your sales team, would they more likely to tell me that your company is for them or against them? Is the company and culture helping or hurting performance?What would it take from a priority and time allocation standpoint to shift your sales culture to be more like the ideal environment at my client I described?More Tips for New Sales ManagersGet caught up by reading any previous posts in the series you may have missed:How to Handle Underperforming Sales Reps with Performance Improvement PlansA Foolproof Way to Increase Accountability without Micromanaging Your SalespeopleHow to Have Sales Meetings That Aren’t a Waste of TimeAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis1last_img read more