Announcing Building Executive Business Skills Program for Working Lands Businesses

We have extended the deadline to enroll in this program to May 31, 2022.  The first training will occur in early June.   Additional details regarding dates and topics are below. 

Paul Frank + Collins has partnered with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets to provide a Building Executive Business Skills (BEBS) program to Vermont working lands businesses.  The focus of the program will be enhancing human resources skills and compliance.  The program will be provided at no cost to participants and is made possible by the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative (Home Page | Working Lands Enterprise Initiative (

The BEBS program will be a training and compliance series that will provide business owners in Vermont’s agriculture, food, forest, and wood products sectors with an increased awareness and understanding of executive business skills.  The trainings will emphasize the development of basic human resources skills for managers, including: employment law and compliance, hiring strategies, and management skills that enhance employee performance and retention.  Participants will also receive individualized legal services to ensure compliance with various employment laws.

Program Details

  • Program Dates. The program will run for two consecutive six-month periods.  Participants choose one session to attend.  
    • Session 1: June through October 2022 
    • Session 2: November 2022 through April 2023
    • Trainings.  Each session will have monthly trainings for all participants.  The tentative schedule for Session 1 trainings is as follows:
      • Recruiting and hiring basics. June 2 or 6, via Zoom (2 hours)
      • Basic legal requirements related to human resources, including recordkeeping, I-9 forms, wage and hour, earned sick time, and non-discrimination.  June 27, in person (3-4 hours)
      • How to handle disabilities (including reasonable accommodations), medical leave, COVID-19, and similar reasons for leave. July 29, via Zoom (2 hours)
      • Managing employee performance (including discipline and termination). August 19, via Zoom (2 hours).
      • Creating a respectful and inclusive work environment.  September 21, in person (3-4 hours)
      • Legally required policies and best practices in human resources management. October 26, via Zoom (2 hours)

Live sessions will have a remote option available, and location is TBD.  None of the sessions will be recorded.  

Session 2 will cover the same topics and general scheduled, but specific dates are TBD.

    • Individual Review.  Each participant will engage in an individual meeting at some point during the six-month session.  This can be scheduled at a time that is most convenient for your business.  
    • We will provide feedback on how to apply human resources concepts, and we will review and discuss the participant’s business practices and protocols, including job descriptions, management structure, personnel documents such as leave paperwork, I-9 forms, recordkeeping methods, and employee evaluation processes. 
      • We will also review payroll topics, including Fair Labor Standards Act exemptions and overtime issues.
      • Employee Handbook.  Each participant will be provided with a set of draft policies or recommended revisions to existing an employee handbook.  Policies will reflect applicable laws and best practices.

The program will be led by Kerin Stackpole and Kristina Brines of the labor and employment law team at Paul Frank + Collins.  (Bio information: Kerin E. Stackpole, SPHR | Paul Frank + Collins ( and Kristina Roomet Brines, PHR, SHRM-CP | Paul Frank + Collins (  

Participant Eligibility

All businesses in Vermont’s farm and forest economy are welcome to participate.  BEBS program participants will be clients of Paul Frank + Collins P.C. but costs for the program will be covered by the State of Vermont.  In the unlikely event that our firm has a conflict of interest with respect to a participant, that participant will be ineligible for the program.  


Participants for Session 1 must enroll by May 31, 2022.  Participants can sign up for Session 2 at any time prior to October 15, 2022.  Each session will be limited to 25 participating businesses and will be filled on a rolling basis.

To enroll, please email Laurie Noyes at with the name of your business, your location and your preferred session.