Taking Williston by Storm

Taft Corners might take all the attention in Williston, but Hurricane Lane, developed by Bill Dunn of Hillside Properties, has grown by leaps and bounds since Dunn broke ground in the mid '80s. Twenty-one businesses call Hillside East home.

by Craig Bailey & Edna Tenney

Photos: Craig Bailey

Residence Inn by Marriott

35 - Kimberly McDonough, general manager
The 96-suite inn opened in March 1988. "Residence Inn is geared more toward the extended stay traveler staying five nights or more," says McDonough, drawing the distinction between the inn and its newer neighbor, Courtyard by Marriott, at 177 Hurricane Lane. "Most of our travel is largely corporate." The inn serves a complimentary buffet breakfast seven days a week, and offers hors d'oeuvres and/or a light meal during evening hospitality hour.

Spine Institute of New England

158 - Martin Krag, medical director
This division of Fletcher Allen Health Care was known as the New England Back Center before it moved to Hurricane Lane prior to 1990. The five doctors deal in orthopedic surgery for spine disorders and trauma.

Hurricane Lane

Courtyard by Marriott

177 - Bryan Woodhouse
The latest addition to Hillside East is the three-story, 90-room Courtyard by Marriott. The facility will be managed by New Castle Hotels of Shelton, Conn., with Hillside East Corp. of Shelburne and The Widewaters Group of DeWitt, N.Y. It's slated to open in March. A general manager hadn't been named at press time. Woodhouse, vice president/corporate controller at New Castle, says a decision should be made by late September or early October.

Vertek Corp.

208 - Tom Nold, general manager
This telecommunications consulting business is based in Murray Hill, N.J., with satellite offices in Colchester and Williston. The company's clients, mostly Fortune 100 telecommunications firms, are serviced by Vertek's 110 employees at the Hurricane Lane office, which has been open a little more than a year.

KBA North America

291 - Allan Malachuk, president/CEO
KBA North America sells and services offset printing equipment manufactured by KBA in Germany. The firm relocated from Great Neck, Long Island, in 1992.

New England Coffee Co.

310 - Michael Page, national account manager
The New England Coffee Co. office in Williston is one of four regional distribution centers in New England and was the original tenant at 310 Hurricane Lane. "It was dirt on the floor and steel beams when we signed the deal," recalls Page. With headquarters in Massachusetts, the company imports, roasts, blends and distributes coffee under the Winslow's and New England brands to local restaurants, convenience store chains, offices, institutions, and health care facilities. Before moving to Williston, the Vermont office was in Fort Ethan Allen, Colchester. "Bill Dunn is the best landlord we've ever had," says Page. "He helped us make the place just like we wanted it so we could park the trucks on the inside. I plan on staying there."

Laborie Medical Technologies Corp.

310 - Ray Laborie, president
The company, founded by Ray Laborie, distributes computerized equipment for the diagnostics of incontinence. Twenty-five people are employed at the headquarters, which moved to Williston approximately five years ago from Green Avenue in South Burlington. The company maintains other offices in Canada, Belgium and China.

Ko-Pack Corp. of America

310 - Susan Bowers, general manager
Ko-Pack moved from Chicago to Vermont in 1994, temporarily sharing space with sister company KoBel in Milton, before taking up residency on Hurricane Lane. The office sells and services rotary letterpress equipment manufactured by Ko-Pack International in Tokyo, Japan. The heavy equipment prints labels and tubes.

Simplex Time Recorder Co.

310 - James Plante, plant manager
The 17-person staff at Simplex installs and services fire alarms, nurse call buttons, school bells and the like throughout the state. It's the only Simplex branch office in Vermont and it's been on Hurricane Lane for three years.

Allstate Insurance Co.

312 - Joyce Novelli, office manager
The Williston office of Allstate handles all of the company's insurance claims for Vermont. Approximately 45 people, including some resident adjusters who work from their homes, are employed at the office, which has been on Hurricane Lane for a decade.

Advantest America Inc.

312 - Brian Whitehead, account manager
Advantest America's Williston office is one of several sales and support offices throughout the country. Its Japanese parent company manufactures test and measurement systems for the semiconductor industry. The 10-person staff services accounts in Canada and along the East Coast, including IBM in Essex Junction, the reason the office was located in the Greater Burlington area. Advantest America was in Blair Park before moving to Hurricane Lane.

Electronic Data Systems

312 - Barbara Davis, program director
EDS employs approximately 140,000 worldwide handling business process management, e-solutions, outsourcing and consulting; 53 work in the Williston office processing Vermont Medicaid claims. The office has been on Hurricane Lane since 1992, after it moved from Green Mountain Drive, South Burlington. Company headquarters are in Texas.

Hurricane Lane

New Generation Communication

432 - Arnold Griggs, owner
New Generation Communication moved from Blair Park to Hurricane Lane five years ago. The 12-person operation installs telephone systems and computer networks for clients across the globe, including Cellular One and New England Federal Credit Union locally. "We're close to the interstate and the airport: two things that are vital to our industry. A lot of other places in town," says Griggs, "you're dispatching technicians to go on site, and yet they spend 20 or 30 minutes fighting Main Street traffic."

Mutual of Omaha

372 - Andy Higgins, general manager
This location is the Vermont sales office for the national full-service financial company with 15 agents statewide working out of Williston. Higgins, who has been with the insurance company for 10 years, says the office was moved to Hurricane Lane in December '97 from the Merchants Bank building on Kennedy Drive in South Burlington. He likes the convenient location, he says, and the fact that it reduced expenses.

Hewlett-Packard


372 - Bob Hinman, sales representative
The contact person at this Hewlett-Packard sales office is Bob Hinman.

Avalon Medical Corp.


372 - Stuart K.J. Smyth, CEO
Avalon is the exclusive distributor of a system for female surgical sterilization, specifically a titanium clip that is used extensively worldwide on three million women. The system is manufactured by Femcare of Nottingham, England. Avalon was established in 1996 to address the United States market. This office is the national headquarters, overseeing 60 sales representatives around the country. Smyth came to Vermont from Canada in 1992 with Laborie Medical Technologies, now his business neighbor.

SUI International

380 - Rob Rothman, president
The SU part comes from Specialties Unlimited (Business Digest, May 1994), the original name of this busines that sold promotional items — the cap, pen or pin imprinted with a company name or logo. The company is now made up of three specialized divisions. There's PinSource, providing custom lapel pins; Heads Up Sportswear, selling custom imprinted sportswear; and Magnetic North (formerly Specialties Unlimited), selling imprinted promotional items and corporate gifts. Magnetic North's slogan is "It's a big world out there ... better put your name on it." PinSource does business in every state and 50 countries by advertising regularly in six airline magazines. Lorrie Rothman, who owns the business along with her husband, Rob, says the company moved to Hillside East from Shelburne in January 1999. "The space is well organized, and we like the location," she says. "We live in Waterbury, so this is much more convenient for commuting, too."

Dynamic Business Systems

380 - Darci Smith, president
Dynamic Business Systems provides business systems and software consultation for businesses to get the most out of their information systems — from software and networking configurations to updates, upgrades and system overhauls. The principals of the firm, Darci Smith and Rick Lunt, have extensive backgrounds in accounting and manufacturing respectively. Formerly known as N.E. Business Systems, the firm moved to Hillside East in November '98.

Meta Group

380 - Susan Cram, manager
Meta Group is a 10-year-old information technology company headquartered in Stamford, Conn. The Vermont office opened in Hillside East in the summer of 1998, and has already moved to a new location, still on Hurricane Lane. The firm provides research and consultation about information technology decisions for businesses. With 1,900 clients worldwide, Meta Group offers advisory services, consulting/benchmarking and publications and addresses the latest technologies and industry trends.

American Heart Association

434 - Wendy Bourland, senior director
According to Louise St. Amour, the Champlain Valley program and development coordinator for the New England Affiliate, the organization constructed the building in Hillside East in 1989. It is the only office in Vermont. A staff of seven oversees fund-raising events, communications and advocacy and educational programs for all of Vermont. Some programs, like CPR training sessions, are organized and scheduled by this office for all of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. An up-coming event is the Second Annual Stroke Conference, Nov. 10 at the Sheraton Burlington Inn, an all-day open program for survivors and their families, caregivers and professionals. For reservations and fee information, call 878-7700.

Cornell Trading

458 - Chris Cornell, president
Founded in 1969 by Chris and April Cornell, (Business Digest, Feb. 1999) this business that imports textiles, clothing and home accents boasts 80 retail stores in the United States and Canada, with more to come. Chris Cornell is pleased with the headquarters and warehouse building on Hurricane Lane that was built in 1996. Cornell's agreement with Bill Dunn for the purchase of the building was "what Bill called a 'build to suit with a sell at the end,'" Cornell says. "He built to our specifications and then sold us the finished product. Initially it was 30,000 square feet, but we added on last winter and now it is closer to 50,000."