VermontBiz and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce announced the winner of the prestigious and highly anticipated 2022 Outstanding Business of the Year award at the Vermont Chamber’s Vermont Economic Conference Monday, January 30. This year’s winner is Hickok & Boardman Insurance Group.
In 1821, William A. Griswold and Timothy L. Follett established Griswold & Follett Insurance Agency, the first Vermont division of the Aetna Insurance Company. Their small insurance agency has since endured, flourished and evolved into what we know today as Hickok & Boardman Insurance Group. Celebrating its bicentennial in 2021, Hickok & Boardman is the leading property and casualty insurance broker in the state of Vermont for individuals and businesses. Hickok & Boardman’s mission and values are the impetus on which the company has been able to operate for two centuries and display excellence in growth, prosperity and service to its employees and communities.
At the heart of its success is Hickok & Boardman’s commitment to the community, giving back both time and money. The list of financial contributions is long, but none is greater than the annual United Way campaign where, with the help of business partners and the dedication of campaign employees, to celebrate their 200e anniversary, the company exceeded its goal by more than 50%, raising a total of $310,000! The annual “Here When You Need Us” campaign, developed in 2014, is another example of a philanthropic opportunity in which employees engage and dedicate their time to organizations in need of volunteer work. While the company hosts several community service campaigns throughout the year, more than 25 employees volunteer with public organizations throughout the year, and more than half hold leadership positions.
Another common thread woven into the fabric of the company for 200 years is the dedication and commitment of employees, particularly in keeping with the company’s values statement: “Doing the right thing, with a sense of urgency, while exceeding expectations. This culture and the leading customer service provided by its employees is reflected in the results, having been recognized as one of the best places to work in Vermont from 2018 to 2022. Hickok & Boardman’s work environment is one that encourages frequent and honest feedback from the entire workforce, which helps us meet the ever-changing needs and demands of our employees and customers. The agency runs several programs that improve employee wellbeing and satisfaction, including an award-winning wellness program, tuition reimbursement and college debt repayment plans, and a variety of activities fun and regular to build relationships with everyone internally.
Hickok & Boardman also understands that environmentalism and awareness of natural resources is a key factor in supporting communities and improving workplace culture. While the insurance industry generally has a low environmental impact due to its business model, H&B participates in several energy and resource saving activities. Some initiatives include recycling bins at every workstation in offices, a hybrid work-from-home and remote-work program that helps limit employee gas usage for cars, an updated building exterior , improved temperature controls and significant paper reduction. printing when transitioning to virtual services.
Hickok & Boardman has met many challenges over two centuries. The company celebrated its bicentenary by honoring the history of generations who persevered and led the organization through two world wars, several economic depressions and the Spanish flu pandemic that occurred almost exactly 100 years ago. Navigating the second year of the coronavirus pandemic during its bicentennial, H&B celebrated with the Vermont communities that have been integral to their mission and values. Despite the hardships the community and the agency have experienced, overcome, and continue to face, they look forward to its next century of service, while remembering the humble beginnings of Griswold and Follet’s startup insurance agency. .
“Hickok & Boardman Insurance Group is very pleased to receive this prestigious Outstanding Business of the Year award, presented by Vermont Biz and the Vermont Chamber. This award recognizes the excellent work of our employees, both for their customers and for the communities they serve. This honor is also a recognition of those who have gone before us at H&B. For over 200 years, we have built a culture of service to others, working hard and innovating for the benefit of our customers, and as we enter our third century, we blend high-tech service capabilities with personal service. home. Thanks again to Vermont Biz and the Vermont Chamber for sponsoring this award. says Paul Plunkett, CEO and President.
“For many years, the Vermont Chamber and VermontBiz have presented the Deane C. Davis Award for Outstanding Business of the Year. Like most things in recent years, we have evolved and pivoted the recognition to be reinstated as the Outstanding Business of the Year award. We look forward to establishing a new tradition of presenting this annual award at the Economic Conference each year,” said Betsy Bishop, president of the Vermont Chamber.
“This annual award honors a Vermont company that shows an outstanding history of sustained growth while displaying a keen awareness of what makes Vermont unique. The award was established 33 years ago by VermontBiz and the Vermont Chamber to recognize and honor the best companies in the state,” said John Boutin, publisher, VermontBiz.
“The list of past winners (see below) is a virtual who’s who of Vermont businesses. We have so many outstanding businesses in Vermont that reflect much of what we see in our state’s economy,” said Vermont Chamber President Betsy Bishop.
VermontBiz is the state’s most respected business publication. Since 1972, VermontBiz published statewide business news, economic and political news and commentary, company and individual profiles, data, analysis and statistics.
The Vermont Room is youhe largest statewide private non-profit business organization, they represent all sectors of the state’s business community. Its mission is to create an economic climate conducive to business growth and the preservation of Vermont’s quality of life.
DEANE C. DAVIS OUTSTANDING VERMONT BUSINESS AWARD WINNERS
1990 WALLACE COMPANIES
1991 C&S WHOLESALE GROCERY
1992 MCKENZIE MEATS
1993 PERRY RESTAURANT GROUP
1994 GREEN MOUNTAIN COFFEE ROASTERS
1995 VERMONT HEATING AND VENTILATION
1996 MAC MOLDING COMPANY
1997 COUNTERBORDER’ NOTCH RESORT
1998 VERMONT COUNTRY STORE
1999 CABOT DREAMY
2000 WAITSFIELD CHAMPLAIN VALLEY TELECOM
2001 WILD APPLE GRAPHICS
2003 HUBBARDTON FORGE
2005 KING ARTHUR’S FLOUR
2007 SYMQUEST GROUP INC
2008 NATIONAL LIFE GROUP
2009 BIOTEK INSTRUMENTS INC.
2010 ELECTRONICS FOR SMALL DOG
2011 FOLEY FAMILY OF COMPANIES
2012 GW PLASTICS, INC.
2014 CHAMPLAIN CABLE
2015 COMPUTER BUILDING
2016 HEALTH MARATHON
2017 VERMONT MUTUAL INSURANCE GROUP
2018 GREEN MOUNTAIN POWER
2019 CHROMA TECHNOLOGY CORP.
2020 LAWSON’S BEST LIQUIDS
2021 HEALTHY LIVING MARKET AND CAFÉ
2022 HICKOK & BOARDMAN INSURANCE GROUP
Burlington, Vermont (January 30, 2023) – VermontBiz and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce