Sonnax Industries,by Kevin Kelley Vermont Business Magazine The co-founder of one of Vermont’s fastest growing manufacturing companies has sold the business to its top two executives.Sonnax, a Bellow Falls automotive parts maker recently named Vermont’s Exporter of the Year, changed hands for an undisclosed sum in a deal announced last week. Neil Joseph, who founded the company with his father in 1978, made the sale along with minority shareholder David Landa.The new owners are Tommy Harmon and David Bedard, who had worked, respectively, as chief operating officer and vice president of sales and marketing. Harmon, who becomes president and CEO, had formed a 50-50 partnership with Bedard, now the company’s chief operating officer.”We really saw this as a great opportunity for my partner and me to continue growing the business,” Harmon said.Sonnax has recorded double-digit growth rates for each of the past few years. And Harmon says he expects expansion to continue at a 10-12 percent annual pace. With 165 employees in Bellows Falls and business operations in 60 countries, Sonnax has revenues of about $36 million a year.It is this performance that led the Vermont Business and Industry Expo to honor Sonnax in May as its Exporter of the Year.The company makes automatic transmission components, including a governing device that Joseph designed around the time that Sonnax was launched.Joseph was unavailable for comment this week, but in an interview in April he attributed the company’s success partly to its recruitment of a multilingual sales staff. “Being able to speak to customers in their own languages helps us greatly in the markets where we want to be,” Joseph said then.He added that Sonnax was committed to staying in Vermont despite the difficulty of hiring locally for some positions. State economic development officials awarded Sonnax $725,000 in tax credits over five years in a successful attempt to persuade the company to expand in Vermont rather than in Tennessee, as it had considered doing. In return, Sonnax said it plans to add 75 workers in the next few years.The new owners told The Rutland Herald that they intend to sustain the company’s policy of paying livable wages. Harmon said no full-time worker makes less than $10 an hour, while the average annual salary exceeds $30,000.Joseph, 48, will stay on as a consultant for the next three years. In a prepared statement, he expressed satisfaction at having sold the business to Harmon and Bedard, “who I believe have the ability to take this company to the next level.”
The St. Louis Cardinals 7th Grade Volleyball team had a tough loss against the Greensburg Lady Pirates 19-25, 25-21, 15-0. Even though this was our best passing game in the 1st 2 sets, the Cardinals struggled in the 3rd set. Kate Weber led the team at the serving line with 18 points for the game followed by Maggie Beiser 3 points, Catherine Streator 2 points, Izzi Price, Rhea Miller and Isabelle Wonnell 1 point each. Ingrid Tuveson and Ava Owens passed solidly so the team could setup the offense. Weber had the only kill of the game as Lucy Abplanalp and Ella Moster each had strong hits in the game.The 8th Grade Lady Cardinal St. Louis Volleyball team fell short against the the Greensburg Lady Pirates 25-13, 25-18. Mary Hunter led the team with 7 points followed by Ryanna Phillips and Audrey Beiser with 3 points each and Megan Raab with 1 point. Emma Livers passed the ball well so Kate Weber could set the ball up for the 2 kills by Raab and Isabelle Wonnell.Courtesy of Cardinals Coach Jennifer Meer.
At 3, Hull will be relegated should they lose away to Tottenham, and Newcastle win at the already-relegated QPR.Leicester and Sunderland still have doubts over their safety – they meet at the Stadium of Light.Burnley play their final home game in the top flight, with Stoke visiting Turf Moor, and Everton go to West Ham. He plays his final home game for Liverpool before his summer move to LA Galaxy.Crystal Palace are the side looking to spoil the moment, and kick off in that one is at 5.30.A win for Aston Villa away to Southampton this lunchtime will see Tim Sherwood’s side secure their Premier League safety.
Photo Courtesy of Brookings Institute Caribbean-Americans fear of their children being hooked on illegal drugs has been allayed somewhat with the recent bust of 82 drug dealers and traffickers during a three-day crackdown by the Broward Sheriff’s Office.Police in Broward County said the sting operation was to help curb opioid abuse and the rise in related deathsDubbed Operation Bad Dose, the sting was carried out with assistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration, Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms, the U.S. Marshals, the High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, State Probation and the Fort Lauderdale Police Department.“This devastating crisis knows no bounds and affects individuals of every race, color, and socioeconomic status,” Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said in a statement. “It’s infecting our neighborhoods, poisoning our children and filling our morgues. We are committed to ending this alarming epidemic and saving lives.”29,6000 grams of narcotics off the streetsAuthorities said the drug sting took place over several months. Undercover detectives utilized tips from informants and the public to identify people who they said were bringing heroin into the U.S, The detectives also identified the dealers selling it on the streets of Broward County.Deputies said the arrests came after authorities executed 14 search warrants.Authorities said 29,600 grams of narcotics were prevented from being distributed on the streets, and 15 guns and more than $151,000 were seized.Heroin trafficking of 28 grams or more in the state of Florida carries a minimum mandatory sentence of 25 years in prison.