A community supporting the community:
On a quiet side road near downtown Rutland, a 14,500-square foot building houses The MINT, Rutland’s Makerspace. Once inside, there is a bustling hive of activity and creativity where members learn and practice their craft, and often their livelihood. The space opens to a vast variety of shops: wood, pottery, metal, stained glass, and jewelry, just to name a few.
Beyond a shared workshop with all the tools and equipment one doesn’t have space for, or couldn’t afford, The MINT is a community of people sharing their knowledge, experience, and ideas. Classes, mentoring, and sharing opportunities abound. More than 130 members include hobbyists, DIY enthusiasts, educators, students, entrepreneurs, non-profit, and for-profit companies. The MINT serves as a unique space for community and families as well as a business incubator.
Poised for growth…
When The MINT applied for a technical assistance award as part of the Community Navigator Pilot Program (CNPP), they were at a precipice of growth: their space and resources were expanding, and they needed to make other changes to maintain their momentum, and to continue to impact the community.
Founding member and volunteer Executive Director Karen McCalla decided to hire The MINT’s first-ever full-time employee, a paid Executive Director, Kim Griffin. But there was still work to be done.
Community Navigator Pilot Program received…
The CNPP award was critical in the hiring Jim to streamline financial processes and integrate new bookkeeping and QuickBooks practices to support the organization’s growth.
Jim’s work enabled The MINT to transition years of financial reports into cleaner formats that are easier to understand. They were also able to bring payroll in house. As a former executive director of two successful nonprofits as well as being a CPA, Jim was very knowledgeable about what The MINT needed to grow.
On Aug. 12, 2022, Melissa Bounty, Assistant Director of the Central Vermont Economic Development Corporation (CVEDC) and Phyllis Ershowsky, Marketing & Communications Specialist for Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) visited The MINT on behalf of CNPP to learn more. They met with consultant Jim Flint, founding member and former executive director Karen McCalla, and executive director Kim Griffin.
Here’s what the team had to say about CNPP:
“Thank you both so much for your visit last week. It was wonderful to show you around and show/tell you the story of The MINT! I will… celebrate this grant work! Jim’s assistance and expertise and knowledge (financial and nonprofit knowledge) is hugely beneficial to us.I look forward to our relationship with Jim continuing. And I look forward to the same with the CVEDC, SBA, and future CNPP programs.”
Kim Griffin, Executive Director, The MINT
“Thank you for the partnerships that make the CNPP grant program mutually beneficial for grantees and technical assistance providers, and ultimately for the people and communities that we serve. Glad to be a part of this dynamic work in Vermont!”
Jim Flint, Consultant, The MINT
This story is part of the Community Navigator Pilot Program. Learn more at vtsbdc.org/find-cnpp.
Funding (in part) through a grant with the U.S. Small Business Administration.