Ted Castle of Rhino Foods wins VBSR award

Tue, 04/14/2009 - 11:01am -- tim

Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR) will present Mr. Ted Castle, owner and president of Rhino Foods, the 2009 Terry Ehrich Award for Socially Responsible Business Practices at its annual awards dinner scheduled for May 4th. Rhino Foods of Burlington started in the 1980s as a small frozen custard stand in the Champlain Mill in Winooski. Now with sales over $20 million and over 100 employees, Rhino makes cookie dough for most major brands in the ice cream industry along with its ice cream cookie sandwich the “Chesster” and co-packing for numerous national and international companies. Steadfast in exemplifying Rhino’s Purpose, “to impact the manner business is done,” Ted created an innovative Employee Exchange Program as an alternative to layoffs nine years ago. He has also been an advocate and leader in the business community to support the hiring and retention of refugees. In a time of tightening budgets and reduced benefits, Ted also developed a Wellness and Health Awareness Team, and is piloting a program with the United Way called HELP (Helping Employees Live Productively). An environmental steward, he has created an environmental coordinator position at Rhino to manage the company’s waste reduction and facility efficiency efforts. Rhino adopted open book management 20 years ago in order to engage employees by providing financial information and share company priorities.
Outside of his business, Ted works with many local organizations and has been an active board member with The United Way since 2004.  He is heavily involved with Prevent Child Abuse, Shelburne Farms, and VT Special Olympics, and coaching local sports teams. An All-American UVM hockey player in the 1970s, Ted has coached in Vermont and Maine, and played professionally in Italy and Sweden.
“Ted is an excellent example for someone who lives and works his values every day,” said VBSR executive director Will Patten. “His tireless advocacy of the worker, the poor, and our community’s youth embodies Rhino’s community principle that recognizes the ripple effect of our actions and is dedicated to improving social and environmental conditions.”
The Terry Ehrich Award for Social Responsibility in Business is given annually to an individual who for a sustained period demonstrates exceptional socially responsible business principles in the workplace, political, social and natural environments. The Terry Ehrich Award, created in memory of the late Terry Ehrich, owner of Hemmings Motor News, founder of the First Day Foundation, and VBSR Board Member, honors Terry’s lifetime commitment to the environment, workplace and community.
VBSR is a non-profit, statewide business organization. Its members manage to a multiple bottom line by protecting the natural, human, and economic environments of the state’s citizens while remaining profitable. The oldest and largest regional association of values-led businesses in the country, VBSR members represent all sectors of the Vermont economy. Additional information on the Terry Ehrich award and VBSR’s 2009 Annual Conference can be found at www.vbsr.org.