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Monday, May 25, 2009

U.S. NEW ENGLAND: Socially Responsible Networking in Vermont

by Noelle Southwick
U.S. New England Bureau Chief
(Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut)

Robert Dean co-owner of Juniper Hill Inn Bed and Breakfast in Windsor Vermont believes in socially responsible networking. He networks by supporting non-profit organizations and his local community.

Non-Profit Support
Robert had been involved in non-profit organizations for many years. When he started the Juniper Hill Inn with his partner Ari Nikki they continued that commitment by opening their doors to raise funds for non-profit organizations. They have raised over a half million dollars for charitable organizations in the past 3 years.

Being open to supporting non-profit organizations has led to non-profit organizations supporting the inn. Now the organizations they have helped think of Juniper Hill Inn when they need rooms or to host an event. The people they have worked with on fundraisers know them. People like to do business with those they have the opportunity to get to know.

Local Support

From our discussion I know that Robert has a genuine appreciation for Vermont and what is unique about Windsor. He supports the local economy by directing guests to visit local businesses and attractions.

The first December the inn was open Robert and Ari decorated in celebration of Christmas, Chanukah and Kwanzaa. They charged a $10 admission and donated the proceeds to improvements for the town park across the street form the inn. The fundraiser connected the inn with the local community.

The Juniper Hill Inn supports fundraisers for the Cornish Colony Museum as well. Robert says their association with the museum lasts much longer then simply putting an ad in a newspaper or a program.

Locals Support the Inn
“Locals can do a lot for an inn,” says Robert. Members of the community use the inn when they have guests or want an easy getaway. Robert recognizes they would not get as much business from the local community if they were not involved in the local community.

Results from Socially Responsible Networking
Robert acknowledges that it could be difficult to get statistics for socially responsible networking efforts. Results are not always immediate or measurable. However, being involved in charitable organizations and the local economy means the Juniper Hill Inn name gets associated with good things and the good work Robert and Ari are doing. Based on results, it works. Robert Dean and his partner were awarded the Innkeeper of the Year award for 2008 from the Vermont Chamber of Commerce and the Vermont Hospitality Council after being in business for only 3 year.

Networking Tip

“Think inside the box and outside the box. It takes both these days.” ~ Robert Dean co-owner of Juniper Hill Inn in Vermont.

Contact Information
Juniper Hill Inn
153 Pembroke Road · Windsor VT 05089
802-674-5273 · Toll Free: 800-359-2541

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