Men in sweatshirts building a model bridge

Training & Teamwork Within Our Own Community

Teams Building Bridges

We had a company training session in May for our entire team at our new headquarters in Pittsford. We do these periodically throughout the year to keep everyone sharp and in tune to our mission – and to our team.

Each training session has some fun and creative team-building exercises that everyone seems to enjoy.

Men in sweatshirts building a model bridge

Learning Valuable Skills

One of the events was building bridges with a very limited set of materials with which to work, as you can see in the photos.

The sparse materials consisted of string, sticks, paper, and a hot glue gun. All that was needed to build a strong bridge was teamwork, planning and a very healthy dose of creativity!

No problem. We’ve got this!

Men & women posing with bridge and toy truck

Collaboration is the Key

All four teams had a great time collaborating and gathering ideas and input from all members, on how to design and then build a bridge that met the length requirements and could bear the weight of the dump truck loaded with bricks.

If it sounds or looks difficult, it’s because it was! Fortunately nobody was deterred by the challenges that lie ahead!

Man using hot glue to build a wooden bridge

Accomplishing Goals

I have to say there was some nail biting as we watched those dump trucks easing their way toward the middle – the most vulnerable spot on all the bridges. In the end, however, it was exciting and rewarding to see the accomplishments and the pride of ownership of the teams whose bridges passed the test. I am proud to say that ALL FOUR TEAMS BUILT BRIDGES THAT PASSED THE LOAD TEST! That’s a pretty remarkable accomplishment in my book.

Congratulations and thank you TEAM Carpenter & Costin! You’ve proven once again that you understand and value the importance of relationship building – and we all had a little fun.

People building a model bridge

Faith in the Team

People dancing downtown Middlebury

Green Streets Challenge Middlebury

People dancing downtown Middlebury
People at a block party
Before-During-After at Middlebury Come Alive Outside Green Streets

Better Middlebury Community Comes Alive Outside!

The possibilities seem endless when creative volunteers come together to plan and execute a family-friendly event in Middlebury Vermont. The effort was led by Come Alive Outside, the Better Middlebury Partnership and Carpenter & Costin. Come Alive Outside, a non-profit organization based in Rutland, inspires collaborative community systems that create the awareness, intention, and opportunity for people to live healthier lives outside. The purpose was not only to create a fun event, but also to raise awareness of the downtown and encourage people to come downtown and shop.

On a beautiful Wednesday afternoon in August, Carpenter & Costin rolled out six thousand square feet of fresh sod to carpet Middlebury’s Battell Bridge on Main Street, transforming into a barefoot-friendly block party for all ages. There was food, games and demonstrations throughout the event. While the music played, the adults danced and the children enjoyed each other, friends and families.

The sod was generously donated by Saratoga Sod Farms and the labor was donated by Carpenter & Costin’s team. After the event the sod was donated to the School District to refurbish part of their athletic fields, an excellent way to reuse the natural resource to bring smiles to hundreds of Middlebury families.

The event was the 2nd annual block party presented by the Better Middlebury Partnership and it was such a huge hit it will be back again next year!

Kids playing in street with foam toys

Green Street Challenge Rutland

Transforming Downtown Rutland into a Come Alive Outside Playground

Carpenter & Costin and Come Alive Outside recently transformed Center Street in Rutland into an urban playground in a pretty creative way. We captured the process in a time-lapse video so you can see what it takes in just about two minutes.

“We laid down 6,000 square feet of sod in the morning and then removed it in the evening thanks to a small army of volunteers who helped roll it up,” said Russ Marsan. “In between setting up and tearing down, Come Alive Outside and WonderFeet Kids Museum hosted many games and fun events for the kids to enjoy.”

Marsan continued, “The sod was generously donated by Saratoga Sod Farms, so after our event, we donated it to Habitat for Humanity’s newest home in Rutland. Now that’s what we call a win-win for our community!”

Shriners Carpenter & Costin

Freezin’ for a Reason for Kids

Team Carpenter & Costin “Freezin’ for a Reason”

Vermont’s Cairo Shriners hosted the annual Freezin’ for a Reason Polar Plunge and Team Carpenter & Costin took the plunge for the kids once again!

Hundreds gathered to watch the Polar Plungers strip out of the cozy warmth of winter coats and into spirited team uniforms and bathing suits. The plungers dashed into the water with gusto until they realized just a few seconds later how cold it really was. The exits from the icy waters of the lake were even faster than the entries!

Carpenter & Costin is proud to have co-chaired this event for 5 years running, which raises thousands of dollars for the benefit of our local Shriners Hospital for Children located in Springfield, MA.

Contact Russ Marsan if you’d like your organization to join the Freezin’ for a Reason Challenge and you too can be Freezin’ for a Reason – the kids!

Shriners Carpenter & Costin
Sunflower Field

Kids Come Alive Outside to Learn

Men after tilling the soil for planting
Kids learning about planting sunflowers and pumpkins
Sunflower Field

Rutland Regional Medical Center Partners with Come Alive Outside and Carpenter & Costin

For the third year in row, over 350 elementary school children from the Rutland County Supervisory Union enjoyed a fun and educational day thanks to Come Alive Outside and dozens of volunteers from RRMC, Rutland Rec, Wonderfeet Kids Museum, GE & Carpenter & Costin to name a few.

In April, Team Carpenter & Costin laId out a plan, tilled the soil and prepared several acres to ensure a successful growing season. Kids then gathered in June to plant a huge pumpkin patch and over an acre of sunflowers under the guidance of instructors and volunteers from RRMC. The growing ‘farm’ was then monitored and periodically watered to ensure it stayed healthy.

In the Fall, the kids came back together to harvest the pumpkins, test their skills in the sunflower maze and learn more about sunflowers and growing foods sustainably.

Once again, the smiles on the kids’ faces made it all worth it!


Elementary school children planting pumpkins and sunflowers at Rutland Regional Medical Center.
snow sculpture of Minions by Team Carpenter & Costin

Rutland Winterfest Snow Sculpting

snow sculpture of a fire
snow sculpture of whales
snow sculpture of Minions by Team Carpenter & Costin

Snow Sculpting Competition

Rutland’s Winterfest was a big hit once again thanks to many volunteers who helped make things happen, and the large crowds that came to enjoy the events.  With events spread out over all 9 days of Presidents’ Week, there is definitely something of interest for everyone and every age group.

Pictured here are three amazing snow sculptures from just one of the events that has been a big hit in recent years. The entire day is made up of teams racing against the clock to create a winning sculpture and take home the bragging rights along with a cash prize.

Carpenter & Costin provides the manpower, snow boxes and of course the front-end loader to create the large 4’x8′ blocks for the teams. We’ve set these up for the past few years, and especially appreciate when Mother Nature helped out with some fresh powder.

At the end of the day, nothing is as enjoyable as seeing the kids watching in awe as giant snow blocks are transformed into some very creative works of art, and sometimes even some of their favorite cartoon characters!

Men wearing safety vests standing on bulldozer

Governor Phil Scott’s Wheels for Warmth

Men wearing safety vests standing on bulldozer

A few members from the team at Carpenter & Costin were happy to help out Casella Construction while they facilitated Governor Scott’s Wheels for Warmth fundraiser to assist those who needed assistance with their heating expenses during winter months.

It was an amazing display of community support, from the number of volunteers that came out to accept the influx of tires from many of our neighbors, as well as those that came out to get a great deal on tires while supporting a good cause.

We live in an amazing community!

Russ Marsan Portrait

Russ Marsan Business Leader of the Year

Russ Marsan named business leader of the year by Rutland Chamber

Vermont Business Magazine: 9/18/2018

The Staff and Board of Directors of the Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce are excited to announce that Russ Marsan of Carpenter & Costin has been named the 2018 Chamber Business Leader of the Year.  Russ is a very supportive member of the Chamber and gives his time and resources to several community organizations and fundraisers including Winterfest, Dancing With The Rutland Stars (benefiting Friends of Pediatric Care at the VNA & Hospice of the Southwest Region), Rutland’s Newlywed Game (benefiting BROC-Community Action, Rutland Community Cupboard and The Salvation Army) and he is the force that brought Come Alive Outside, not only to Rutland, but to the state of Vermont, just to name a few. Also, in the next few days one thousand Shriners will descend on Rutland, Russ was one of the driving forces for the Northeast Shrine Association to choose Rutland, which will be a huge economic boost for our region.  Russ and his business partner Matt Cataldo own Carpenter & Costin, which specializes in providing a full range of landscape design, construction services and snow removal services to residential, commercial and institutional properties throughout Central Vermont and New Hampshire.

Join us on October 4th at The Paramount Theatre (5-7pm) for the Chamber’s Annual Meeting (sponsored by Cape Air) where we will officially recognize Russ Marsan as the Chamber’s Business Leader of the Year.  The cost to attend the meeting is $20 per person. RSVP by going to is external) or call 802-773-2747.

The 2018 Chamber Annual Meeting is sponsored by Cape Air with support from The Paramount Theatre.

Russ Marsan Portrait