2017 Summit Schedule

Thursday, June 1

Time

Session

Details

7:30-8:25 AM REGISTRATION, CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST – in the River Garden
8:30-10 AM PLENARY SESSION: Conscious Capitalism: How Business Can Uplift Humanity – The River Garden
We stand at a tipping point in the social and economic history of the world. Capitalism has been extraordinarily successful over the past two centuries at raising human living standards, life expectancy, and life satisfaction. But many see it is extracting too steep a price for the prosperity it has enabled.

Session details

Traditional capitalism elevates profit above all else and treats people and the planet as a means to that end. No wonder it has failed to capture the minds of intellectuals, the hearts of citizens, and the trust of society. Going forward, we need a better way, rooted in a higher level of consciousness, when it comes to the many ways business impacts the lives of people. Conscious Capitalism is an emerging paradigm that realigns business to the emerging realities of our world and the shifting hearts and minds of people everywhere. Driven by a higher purpose and built on love and care, conscious businesses deliver extraordinary financial performance while creating multiple kinds of positive value for all stakeholders: financial, intellectual, physical, ecological, social, cultural, emotional, and even spiritual.They bring joy, fulfillment, and a sense of meaning to all their stakeholders. Their very existence enriches the world.
Keynote Speaker: Raj Sisodia
10 – 10:25 AM

BREAK

10:30 AM – NOON BREAKOUT SESSIONS
How To Get Your Product on The Shelf – The River Garden

Session details

What do food and ag entrepreneurs need to know about getting their product onto the shelves? This panel is focused on helping entrepreneurs understand the process for getting their product into big distribution channels and on shelves. What are the key things you need to know as a food or ag entrepreneur about getting the attention of the retailers and distributors? Join us for this panel to find out.
Moderator: Jim Verzino

Presenters: Valarie Rozokat, UNFI; Steve Felton, Associated Grocers New England; Thomas Cain, Against the Grain; and Sean Buchanan, Black River Produce / Black River Meats.

Co-ops and their role in the Collaborative Economy and Growing a Conscious Business  – Brattleboro Food Coop
Co-operative businesses offer unique models for collaborative entrepreneurship — an effective tool for economic development that roots infrastructure in the community through member ownership and democratic governance.  Whether you are interested in starting a new business, considering converting an existing business to co-op ownership, or want to learn about alternative models for food system development, this panel is for you.  Join us as we hear perspectives from worker, farmer, and retail food co-ops on how co-operative business provides a vehicle for collaborative entrepreneurship and the role that co-ops play in building more sustainable, resilient and participatory food systems and economies.
Presenters:  Erbin Crowell, Neighboring Food Co-op Association; Sabine Rhyne, Brattleboro Food Co-Op; Kristin Howard, Real Pickles Co-op, Tony Risitano, Sales Manager at Deep Root Organic Co-op
NOON – 1:35 PM
ACCESS LUNCHES
“Access” lunches are designed to give attendees another opportunity to meet with speakers, network, and talk more about the various topics presented at the Summit.  Capacity is limited and seats are granted on a first-come, first-served basis when you check in at the Summit registration desk.
RESTAURANT ADDRESS SPEAKERS TOPIC CAPACITY
Restless Rooster 134 Elliot Street, Brattleboro, VT Thomas Moffitt and Cairn Cross Financing Your Business 12 people
The Works 118 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT Richard French Farm-To-Table 8 people
Thai Bamboo 7 High Street, Brattleboro, VT Mark Shepard Permaculture–What is it? 18 people
Whetstone Restaurant and Brewery 36 Bridge Street, Brattleboro, VT Tamara Stenn Conscious Business 14 people


1:45 – 3:00 PM BREAKOUT SESSIONS
Permaculture: What is it? Does it work?
Community College of VT, Room 271
What is permaculture? Is it a sustainable design method? A social movement? A world view?

Session details

Where people have access to land and little else, permaculture’s ideas have spread rapidly. In more affluent parts of the world, permaculture has become a cutting edge design alternative to extractive, industrial systems that erode the wealth of our communities and natural resources. Michael Burns will present an introduction to the history and core ideas of permaculture. Based on experiences of practicing, teaching and learning permaculture in Central America and the United States, he will offer his perspective on the strengths and weakness of permaculture in a food system dominated by industrial production. Mark Shepard will continue with insights learned from applying permaculture design on a larger scale and the opportunities he sees for permaculture farmers to succeed in our current market.
 
Presenters: Michael Burns, co-founder of the Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute and Mark Shepard, founder and President of Restoration Agriculture Development and CEO of Forest Agriculture Enterprises.
Slow Pitching – The River Garden
Pitching is a pain. It often feels like there are a million ways to do it wrong (true) but only a couple of ways to do it right (sorry, also true).

Session details

This workshop will provide perspectives, usable tools, and practice in telling people what you do, how you can help them, and why they should listen to you. It’s a new way to understand an old art.
Presenter: Joe Heslin
Investor & Funding Roundtable Q & A – Community College of VT, Room 248

Session details

Start-ups have many questions in regard to finding the right investor or funder for their ventures. For example:What are the best ways to attract investors? How are relationships maintained between entrepreneurs, founders, and investors? Where does your business fit within an investment firm’s portfolio? Engage with investors and funders to ask these and other questions you may have in regard to starting or maintaining your business.
Moderator: Jim Verzino

Presenters: Cairn Cross, Fresh Tracks, Janice St. Onge, Flexible Capital Fund, Karin Chamberlain, Clean Yield; Aaron Krone, Community Capital of Vermont, R.T. Brown, Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation; Rebecca Busansky, Franklin County Community Development Corporation/PVGrows; Raymond Lanza-Weil, VT Community Loan Fund

3:00 – 3:20 PM

BREAK

3:35 – 5:15 PM PLENARY SESSION: Permaculture and Economic Sustainability: Making It All Connect – The River Garden
Permaculture may be a buzz word or a trend that we are all hearing, but what does it all mean in relationship to economic sustainability?  Join Mark Shepard for this presentation that connects permaculture with the realities of economic sustainability faced by food and ag entrepreneurs.
Keynote Speaker: Mark Shepard
5:30 – 6:45 PM Ready, Set, PITCH! – The River Garden  – with heavy hors d’oeuvres and cash bar
Do you want feedback about a potential food or ag business? This is your opportunity to share your idea with potential investors and seasoned entrepreneurs! This is an opportunity to share your idea and vision with the judges and an audience.

Session details

The three entrepreneurs with the most compelling pitches will receive 3 hours of personal coaching from Windham Grows Entrepreneurs in Residence, Jim Verzino, and Cairn Cross! Pitching to investors is about communicating your value and values of your business. After your pitch, you will receive live feedback from judges about potential next steps. Each contestant will have a chance to share their idea with the audience and the judges. Here is what we will be expecting

  • Tell Us: 1 minute to communicate what you are doing;
  • Let’s Clarify: 4 minutes for the judges to exchange questions with you;
  • Our Advice: 3 minutes for judges to give feedback and share some insights into your next possible steps.
Event Emcee: Joe Heslin
7:00 – 8:30 PM Speed Dating for Entrepreneurs – The River Garden  – with heavy hors d’oeuvres and cash bar
We are here because there is something we all have in common — we want to try to get it right in regard to the food and ag business.

Session details

This event is an opportunity to exchange information and receive immediate feedback on your business idea from fellow entrepreneurs and investors in a fun, interactive “speed-dating” format designed to give everyone the opportunity to build relationships and connections.
Event Emcee: Joe Heslin

 

 

Friday, June 2

Time

Session

Details

7:30-8:25 AM REGISTRATION, CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST – in the River Garden
8:30-10 AM From Bootstrap to Public Funding: Three Case Studies on Financing Your Business – The River Garden
How do you fund a business at minimal cost? What do you need to present and quantify the value of your idea? What is the best way to utilize grant and other public funding sources?

Session details

This plenary panel will set the stage and answer some tough entrepreneurial questions about financing by offering three case studies and perspectives presented by Arnold Coombs, Director of Sales and Marketing of Coombs Family Farms; Chris Bailey, CEO, Vermont Smoke & Cure; and Thomas Moffit, President of Commonwealth Dairy.
Keynote Speakers: Thomas Moffitt, Commonwealth Dairy; Chris Bailey, Vermont Smoke and Cure; and Arnold Coombs, Coombs Family Farm

Moderator: Julie Lineberger

 

10:00 – 10:25 AM

BREAK

10:30 AM – NOON BREAKOUT SESSIONS
Building a social enterprise with the Sustainability Lens – The River Garden
Participants learn how to improve an existing social enterprise, or create a new one using the Sustainability Lens, a tool created by professor and CEO, Dr. Tamara Stenn, and featured in her book: Social Entrepreneurship as Sustainable Development (Palgrave, 2016).

Session details

This is a dynamic, hands-on, applied theory workshop where participants work in small teams using the Business Model Canvas and walk away with real results.All welcome – no experience necessary. Copies of Social Entrepreneurship as Sustainable Development will be on sale at the event. Workshop participants get a 25% discount off the retail price.
Presenter: Tamara Stenn
What Type of Capital is Right for Me Now? Community College of VT, Room 248
What is the right match of funding or capital for a new business, existing venture, or an expanding food or ag business? What are the different funding opportunities available to the different type of businesses?

Session details

Join the Cooperative Fund of New England, Milk Money, Flexible Capital Fund, Vermont Community Loan Fund, and Community Capital of VT to: Learn about the capital continuum. Various forms of financing that can be appropriate at different stages of business development. Case studies of existing food and ag businesses with details of where they fit on the capital continuum and what financing worked for them.
Moderator: Cairn Cross

Presenters: Maggie Cohn, Cooperative Fund; Raymond Lanza-Weil, VT Community Loan Fund; Janice St. Onge, Flexible Capital Fund; Kate Stephenson, Vermont Farm Fund, Aaron Krone, Community Capital of Vermont; Janice Shade, Milk Money

Entrepreneurship in the Beverage Industry – Is this a good time to jump in?  – Brattleboro Food Coop
While there are always easier and harder times to jump into an industry, what is it like today?

Session details

These industry veteran’s will tell you some of their war stories about getting started and what trends they see coming in their respective categories over the next 3-5 years.
Moderator:  Alan Newman
Presenters:  Raj Peter Bhakta, WhistlePig; Kevin Cleary, Vermont Wine School; Justin Heilenbach, Citizen Cider; Charles Merinoff, Breakthru Beverage Group
NOON – 1:35 PM

NETWORKING LUNCH — Join fellow Summiteers at one the fine nearby eateries in downtown Brattleboro!

1:45-3:00 PM BREAKOUT SESSIONS
Fail Friday: Turning Failure into Opportunity – Community College of VT, Room 248
You’re not alone! Learn from the experiences and challenges of emerging and seasoned entrepreneurs and hear others’ tales of failure.

Session details

This session will also feature some key lessons from emerging entrepreneurs participating in the Windham Grows Hatchery. Ask questions, avoid the pitfalls of fellow entrepreneurs, and take home some sage advice you can apply to your business!
Moderator: Jim Verzino

Presenter: Keith Arnold, duo Restaurant

The Journey of a Permaculture Entrepreneur – From Idealism to Depression and Back Again – Brattleboro Food Coop
In this session, entrepreneur Diego Footer will share his real life struggles, failings, and flailings that came at him full force when he started a business.

Session details

It’s a true story that almost destroyed his marriage and left him depressed. But despite the early and extreme hardships, lessons were learned, successes were had, and the situation has turned around leaving him with a high quality of life. This session will cover the common things that all entrepreneurs (will) find themselves struggling with: expectations not lining up with reality, balancing work with life, defining your life by your work, and dealing with a cold, hard world that doesn’t give a damn if you fail or succeed. This session will be a reality check for anyone looking to start a business, while providing a message of “you aren’t alone” to current entrepreneurs. You will leave the session knowing what to really expect when you start a business, how to manage expectations, how to balance time across all aspects of your life, the importance of knowing your whole life context, and maybe most importantly, when to say no.This session will be loaded with practical tips and methodologies to help new entrepreneurs with what lies ahead and help current entrepreneurs improve their work, life balance, and thereby their quality of life.
Presenter: Diego Footer
Shared Leadership For Entrepreneurs – Community College of VT, Room 271
Whether you are building the team of your company or considering collaborating with other teams, this interactive session will offer you experience in building the muscles of shared leadership.

Session details

We will identify the foundations of the Shared Leadership Framework and model the process by embodying a “jazz ensemble” flow, bringing all voices and perspectives to co-create the conversation. After building the framework, we’ll begin practicing this new way of leading, touching on shared leadership skills and techniques that offer ways to begin building group awareness, empowerment, collaboration, wholehearted communication, positive risk taking, and collective creativity. Participants will leave with the groundwork to begin to understand their own leadership mindset and how to guide teams toward greater excellence and outcomes from the inside out.
Presenters: Jodi Clark and Lori Hanau, Marlboro College/Global Round Table Leadership
3:00 – 3:20 PM

BREAK

 3:45 – 5:15 PM PLENARY SESSION: Farm-to-Table  Entrepreneurship:  Do Good and Do Well? – Brooks Memorial Library Community Room
What does it mean to be a food entrepreneur and source locally?  It means buying and selling your goods where they are created.

Session details

Restaurant owners Kevin Cleary, former owner of L’Amente and Founder of the Vermont Wine School; Stephanie Bonin, owner of Duo Restaurants (in Denver, CO and Brattleboro, VT); and Richard French II, owner of The Works (in several locations) will tell you what they look for and what problems they have when buying locally sourced products. Joanna Benoit, Food Business Development Specialist at Franklin County Community Development Corporation will give you tips and tricks on how to run your business so you can be a supplier to these kinds of amazing locavore restaurants.
Keynote Speakers:  Kevin Cleary, Vermont Wine School; Stephanie Bonin, duo Restaurant; Richard French II, The Works; Joanna Benoit, Franklin County Community Development Corporation

Moderator: Tamara Stenn

5:30 PM-8:30 PM Gallery Walk and Strolling of the Heifers Street Festival, Main Street & Downtown Brattleboro

 

SATURDAY, JUNE 3:

SUNDAY, JUNE 4:

  • 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.: Farmers Breakfast, The Marina Restaurant, Putney Road
  • 8 a.m through the day: Tour de Heifer 15, 30 and 60-mile farm-to-farm, dirt-road cycling rides, beginning and ending at Lilac Ridge Farm,West Brattleboro
  • 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.: Farm Toursself-guided exploration of five unique and varied farms in the region