BMP honors outstanding business, citizens

MIDDLEBURY –– The Better Middlebury Partnership (BMP) recognized Vermont Hard Cider as its Outstanding Business of the Year, and John and Roch MacIntyre for Outstanding Citizens at its annual meeting this past Wednesday night at 51 Main.
Outgoing board president Donna Donahue lauded Vermont Hard Cider not only for being an exceptional company, but also for deciding to grow its manufacturing business in Middlebury, their charitable contributions, and their commitment to job security.
“Their decision to stay in the community when they could have left was huge,” she said. “They’re incredibly generous with their time and with their resources toward nonprofits and our endeavors. They’re very proud of the addition of new employees.”
Donahue added that the company strikes a balance between business and outreach.
“We’re looking at a sense of community as well as economic development and that’s what they combined,” she said of the firm and of its CEO Bret Williams, who accepted the award.
John and Roch MacIntyre won the Outstanding Citizen Award. MacIntyre Services LLC, a family business, has been active in the community for several years, explained Donahue.
“They’ve done a lot of helping with no publicity about it,” she said. “They silently step up to the plate when people need them to.”
Ben Wilson, newly elected BMP president, added that the MacIntyres have frequently helped out with local athletics, and many people don’t realize the extent of their generosity.
“It was a longstanding thing that didn’t get the attention it deserved over the course of those many years,” he said. “You almost take them for granted because they’re so regular in their support for the community.”
Wilson, the assistant director of prospect research at Middlebury College, was elected as BMP’s new president and will be replacing Donahue. 
He acknowledged that filling Donahue’s shoes will be a hard task because she has achieved so much in her terms as president.
“Donna Donahue has done an amazing job,” he said. “I’m hoping to build on what Donna has done over the past couple of years.”
Wilson wants to contact local business and find common interests.
“The BMP is uniquely positioned to work with all the different stakeholders in town to try and find common ground where we all move forward together,” he said. “The first thing I’m going to do is reach out to the members of the business community, to sit down with them more to listen than to push any sort of agenda. I’m interested to see what projects or what initiatives would make sense for them.”
Wilson and the BMP want to figure out the steps local businesses can take to move forward and enhance the Middlebury community.
“We’re all in it together,” he said. “It’s something where, with all the difficult economic times, the community will be better if we are all trying to work together on the same page.”
New board members elected were: Ariana McBride, Lauren Taddeo and 

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