• Green Mountain Coffee founder and wife honored
     | April 11,2013

    SAN DIEGO — The founder of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters has been honored for his philanthropy by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

    Robert and Christine Stiller and their Stiller Family Foundation were honored with the Most Outstanding Foundation Award of 2013.

    The award was made this month at the Association of Fundraising Professionals international conference in San Diego.

    The annual award honors a foundation that has made a difference through its philanthropy on a national, international and/or community level.

    The Stillers were honored for decades of leadership through their personal and foundational initiatives, as well as the corporate social responsibility programs started at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters in Waterbury.

    The company continues Robert Stiller’s initiative to encourage employees to give back to the community through volunteer efforts. The company also regularly sends employees to coffee-growing regions to meet their suppliers.

    The Stillers were instrumental in the fair trade movement, making GMCR the largest supplier of fair trade coffee in the world.

    The company also contributes 5 percent of its pretax profits to socially and environmentally responsible initiatives focused on coffee-growing communities as well as the communities where it does business in the United States.

    In 2012, that amount approached $30 million.

    The Stiller foundation initiatives are focused on Vermont and Florida. In Vermont, it supports the King Street Youth Center, Burlington City Arts, ReBuild Waterbury and Champlain College. Champlain College has been one of the largest beneficiaries of the foundation’s philanthropy, through grants of more than $10 million.

    The Stiller foundation recently announced a major grant for the creation of the Robert P. Stiller School of Business and the establishment of a permanent endowment to promote programs in Appreciative Inquiry and other positive psychology-based management approaches.

    In addition the foundation, primarily through Christine Stiller, has provided leadership, advocacy and grants to Champlain’s Single Parents Program, which is designed to lift single parents out of generational cycles of poverty by providing access to a college degree and financial support for their families.

    Previous award recipients include the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

    Robert Stiller was removed as Green Mountain Coffee chairman in 2012 because his stock trading to meet a margin call violated company policies.

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