Future of Women in Food Entrepreneurship
Presented by Windham Grows
Thursday & Friday, June 6 & 7, 2019
Downtown Brattleboro, Vermont
How can we connect a community of like-minded individuals
seeking to expand women’s roles in farm and food systems?
The goal of Future of Women in Food Entrepreneurship 2019 is to bring together women and men in the farm and food industries and provide them with the tools, resources, and mentorship needed in growing socially responsible businesses. The Summit aims to create a positive change in our communities and revolutionize the future of food. This year has been an especially powerful year for women, and we want to invite you to partner with us in bringing voice to women entrepreneurs.
The Future of Women in Food Entrepreneurship Summit provides a forum for food and agriculture entrepreneurs to network and get focused resources and specialized expertise they need to build great companies. We know that deep, resilient, local, and regional economies weave a strong fabric of social and economic systems that bind together communities, markets, and ultimately the world.
Stacey Vanek Smith
Co-Host, The Indicator from Planet Money; Correspondent, Planet Money
Prior to coming to NPR, Smith worked for Marketplace, where she was a correspondent and fill-in host. While there, Smith was part of a collaboration with The New York Times, where she explored the relationship between money and marriage. She was also part of Marketplace's live shows, where she produced a series of pieces on getting her data mined.
Smith is a native of Idaho and grew up working on her parents' cattle ranch. She is a graduate of Princeton University, where she earned a bachelor's degree in comparative literature and creative writing. She also holds a master's in broadcast journalism from Columbia University.
Principal Founder, Breakthru Beverage Group
Heifer International, Head Farmer at Heifer Ranch
Abenaki educator, artist, and leader
Managing Director, Baldwin Investment Management, LLC
Entrepreneur, co-founder of MamaSezz Foods
Prior to MamaSezz, Lisa spent over 20 years as the pioneer owner and CEO of the Vermont Bread Company, supplying all-natural and certified organic breads, rolls and English muffins to supermarkets and natural product stores in the Northeast, including private label for Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. She sold a majority stake in the company to a large private equity firm and worked with them to create the first national certified organic bread company. Lisa went back to school to get her MBA and on one day in April 2014, her final paper was due at 9:00 am and at 9:01 it hit the WSJ that the business was sold to a public company.
Lisa is the co-author with Margot Fraser, founder of Birkenstock USA, of the book Dealing With the Tough Stuff: Practical Wisdom for Running a Values-Driven Business. She has served on numerous boards including Vermont Community Foundation, Vermont Smoke & Cure, Chittenden Bank, The White House Project, VBSR and the Women’s Freedom Center. She has an MBA from the UVA Darden School of Business and is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Owner-President Management Program. Lisa lives with her three generations of her family in Brattleboro, VT.
Former Vermont Secretary of Agriculture
Creator, Retail Ready™
Prior to launching her consulting business five years ago, Alli was essential in the development of the Bi-Rite Family of Businesses in San Francisco, sourcing product & consulting up-and-coming food businesses for years on 18th Street, and then as Head of Grocery & Store Manager at Divisadero, building and managing a team and operations to support the majority of the products in the store.
Outside of her consulting, Alli volunteers her time for The Good Food Awards, as an advisor for La Cocina and as a mentor for The Food Business School.
Communications Director, Cooperatives for a Better World
Founder and Owner, Emily Benson PhD, LLC
Co-Owner & General Manager, American Flatbread Middlebury Hearth
Udi Mandel Butler
Sustainable Development Program Chair, School of International Training
Udi Mandel Butler grew up in Rio de Janeiro and the United Kingdom, and is now a resident of Putney, Vermont. He is Chair of the Sustainable Development program at the School of International Training where he is co-developing a new MA program in Sustainable Development and Regenerative Practices. Udi’s work focuses on regenerative practices for ecologies and communities and the role and possibility of higher education to offer hopeful futures. This later work has included a critique of current higher education systems and a collaboration with alternatives that are emerging from social and ecological movements and indigenous communities across the globe offering innovative practices around sustainable development and regeneration. To this end Udi has co-founded with Kelly Teamey and others the Enlivened Learning project and the Ecoversities Alliance – an international alliance of places of learning and higher education committed to social and ecological justice and regeneration. Across these strands of work he has combined social research, historically contextualized and critically ethnographic, with more co-creative and collaborative methods of inquiry. At the same time, he has experimented with creative forms of communication, which, in addition to published articles and books, has involved such formats as documentary filmmaking, collaborative publications, and collaborative exhibitions. Udi received a PhD in Social Anthropology from Goldsmiths College (University of London), an MS in International Development from the University of Bristol, and an MFA from the University of Edinburgh and has held faculty appointments at EARTH University (Costa Rica), the University of Bristol (UK), and the University of Oxford.
Founder, Walpole Valley Farms & The Hungry Diner
The Organic Gourmet
Chef-Owner, The Perfect Wife Tavern
Clean Yield Asset Management
Karin started her career in sustainable investing in 1997 as a social research intern at Trillium Asset Management while pursuing her masters at Tufts University. After graduation she spent 10 years with KLD Research & Analytics, where during her tenure as Index Manager the number of sustainability indices grew from 2 to more than 30, and the assets under management licensed to those indices increased ten-fold to over $11 billion. Prior to joining Clean Yield in 2013, Karin worked as an independent consultant.
Karin is a vice president of the Vermont Community Loan Fund, council member of the Vermont Women’s Fund, on the executive committee of Slow Money Vermont. She enjoys being a guest lecturer on sustainable business and investing at local business schools and a judge for impact investing and social entrepreneurship contests.
From 1994-1997 Karin served as a livestock production volunteer with the U.S. Peace Corps in Ecuador. She holds a B.A. in international relations from Kenyon College and MALD in economics and environmental policy from The Fletcher School at Tufts University. Karin is trilingual in English, Spanish and German.
Karin is a recovering endurance athlete who now enjoys hiking and biking in the summer, telemark skiing and Nordic speed skating in the winter and Crossfit year round. Having grown up on an organic sheep farm in Etna, New Hampshire, Karin is thrilled to be back in the Upper Valley.
Founding Owner True North Granola
Chef/co-owner, Haymaker Bun Company & The Arcadian Restaurant
Caroline Corrente is the chef/co-owner of Haymaker Bun Company and The Arcadian restaurant in Middlebury, Vermont. After graduating from the University of Vermont, she worked in the non-profit sector for a few years, but the food industry seemed to be calling to her. In order to follow her passion for baking, she left her desk job in Burlington, Vermont to attend pastry school at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. Before pastry school, she had worked in the food industry for almost a decade in both front and back of the house. She now owns and operates a bakery and modern Italian restaurant with her husband, Matt Corrente, where they focus on creating delicious, unique food that celebrates the bounty of Vermont’s produce.
The Corse Farm Dairy
Co-Founder, Putney Mountain Winery
Founder and CEO of Bagel Works Inc
Freund's Farm Market
Social, Economic, Environmental and Racial Justice Activist
Business Advisory Specialist, Vermont Community Loan Fund
Deborah Leta Habib
Co-creator, Seeds of Solidarity
Distillery Manager, WhistlePig Whiskey
Former CEO of Vermont Electric Cooperative & 2018 Democratic Candidate for Governor of Vermont
Addie Rose Holland
Co-Founder, Real Pickles
Director of Investment & Philanthropy, Vermont Community Loan Fund
Quality Assurance Supervisor, WhistlePig Whiskey
Principal, Karlin Strategic Consulting LLC
Director of Operations, Redex Industries
Owner & CEO, Pete and Gerry’s Organics
Co-Founder, Partner, & Arts Director, Machina Kitchen & ArtBar
Danya Landis graduated from The Maine College of Art in 2011 with a Bachelors in Fine Arts in Sculpture. Danya specialized in metalworking, installation art, performance art, and jewelry. Although her studies focused on fine art, her passion, even then, was for craft, design. and curation. In 2013 Danya co-founded Machina Arts because she saw a need in our community for art based cultural activities and with their art-based business started offering art-based event management, experiential interior design, and curated interactive galleries. In 2018, a new chapter of Machina Arts was born- Machina Kitchen and ArtBar located at 9 Court Street, in downtown Keene New Hampshire. Machina Kitchen and ArtBar is a farm to table, small plate, craft cocktail restaurant that features visual art galleries and performance arts. Danya believes in building community through food and art. Danya has been a welder for over a decade, and has been an artist since childhood, and her work has been exhibited across the country. In addition to Danya’s work with Machina she teaches steel sculpture classes at The Carving Studio in Rutland VT, serves on the Governor's Millennial Advisory Council, and was a founding member for two non-profits- TEDxKeene and Keene First Friday ArtHop. Danya is an active voice for her community speaking out about her passion to create the opportunity for artists to showcase their work, building culture, and mission driven business. Danya is passionate, organized, and has a deep understanding of the need for art in our community and is excited to live, build, and create in Keene.
Global Director of Social-Purpose Impact, Ben & Jerry’s
Christine Ng, Ph.D.
Manager & Principal Engineer, Nutrition & Technology Solutions, General Mills
Co-Owner, Sugar Bob’s Finest Kind
Andrea joined Sugar Bob’s Finest Kind officially when the company purchased Vermont Maple Sriracha in 2017. She had been a brand advocate for many years as Sugar Bob grew his Smoked Maple Syrup business from the farmer’s market stage to selling throughout New England. Her history includes a BA from Dartmouth College (1988), a wide range of employment and volunteer experiences and most notably, three college age children. Jumping full tilt into a dynamic and growing specialty food business has been a wild ride that wasn’t on the white board of ideas of how to keep mentally sharp as an empty nester. However, the partnership between Andrea and Sugar Bob is strong – she is the excel spreadsheet to his cocktail napkin. Sugar Bob’s Finest Kind has 11 different savory maple products (including 3 prestigious sofi award winners) and they are sold throughout the United States, Japan, Switzerland, Australia, and Taiwan.
Center for Women & Enterprise, Vermont Director
Alessandra (Ale) Rellini
Co-Founder, Agricola Farm
Alessandra (Ale) Rellini is a farmer and a butcher. She started Agricola Farm, a small diversified livestock farm that focuses on Italian traditions for farming and processing meat. Ale started out raising a few pigs and sheep while working as a professor at UVM, but the complexity of farming became an addictive and energizing challenge. Orchestrating pasture rotations for pigs, sheep and chickens, while being sensitive to the needs of each animal and without loosing focus on soil health is a constant challenge that acts as the core engine underneath everything that is going on at the Farm. Ale is also the farm butcher and has trained many farm assistants in the arts and the importance of butchering the animals you raise. Once a month, Ale puts on her chef's hat and hosts and leads groups of 20 to 40 guests through a multicourse meal where she and her partner Stefano share traditional family recipes from the home country. Recently Ale and Stefano decided to coordinate the efforts of small family farms spread around Vermont to bring the best cured meat one can find to New England's top stores . This new and exciting project is supported by Windham Grows business incubator, the Working Lands Grant and NOFA marketing project.
on the diversified family farm that includes Jersey cattle, maple syrup, and split rail fence. Amy works daily with cows and hosts the farm's Instagram account @richardsonfamfarmer. Besides farming, Amy works with several local schools to integrate sustainability, agricultural literacy, and place based education across grades and disciplines.
Jaquelyn Fernandez Rieke, Martina Anderson & Liz Knapp - Nutty Steph's
Martina Anderson is a nomad coming all the way from Austria that finally settled with her two children in Vermont. She has a background in Special Education and is all about Inclusivity and building community through relationships.
Liz Knapp lives in Adamant with her two kids and a dog and a cat. She has been intimately involved with the local food movement in Vermont in a variety of ways for over 15 years, including (but not limited to) running her own farm, advocating for policies that would strengthen family farms, and building relationships between local farmers and small businesses.
Founder, Vernal Ventures
Dr. Amber Sciligo
Manager of Science Programs, The Organic Center
Founder, Blue Ledge Farm
Co-founder, Milk Money
Co-founder, Milk Money VT
Lynn Ellen Schimoler
Agricultural Development Division, Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets
Business Resource Manager, Vermont Community Loan Fund
Co-Founder and President, Stonecutter Spirits
Sas Stewart is the Co-Founder and President of Stonecutter Spirits, an award-winning craft spirits producer that proudly combines heritage barrel aging techniques to age gin and whiskey in Middlebury, Vermont. She was recently named one of the top 50 entrepreneurs to watch in the US, and is adept at brand and business strategy with a specialization in activations, partnerships and engagement.
After a decade in fine dining world, Sas cut her business teeth in urban agriculture and food systems before moving to the bucolic Vermont countryside. Passionate about design, good food, and bringing back the cocktail hour, Sas creates spirits and cocktails to be enjoyed by people who care about the quality of their tipples and sustainability of their origin. Sas’ cocktails and projects have been written up in Martha Stewart Living, Food and Wine, Outside Magazine, Sift, Bloomberg, Imbibe and other publications. Sas holds a B.A in English from the University of Michigan and a M.S. in Sustainable Planning and Development from Pratt Institute.
Vermont Secretary of Agriculture, Food, and Markets
Founder, The Williams Agency
Attorney, Wright Jones PLC
Founder, Strolling of the Heifers
Executive Director, Strolling of the Heifers
Erin O’Connor is thrilled to join Strolling of the Heifers as its new Executive Director. She spent over 20 years in both secondary and higher education, holding a variety of positions in both in America and Japan.
At Simmons University, she worked with the Boston Redevelopment Authority, the Boston Mayor’s Office, the U.S. Department of State, multiple colleges and hotels, event venues, charities, and corporations on behalf of the University. She has planned and successfully executed several large-scale events at various institutions: orientation, advising, Family Weekend, and commencement among them. During her time as the Dean of Students for a preparatory school in Washington, D.C., she designed and fundraised a residential curriculum, partnering with community members, businesses, and parents to provide the best education and opportunities available for the students in her care.
Each morning for the past several years, Erin has passed a small farm on her way to work. Having lived in cities and been raised in the suburbs, farms and farming were relatively new to her though she has been a regular at her local farmers’ markets and spent weekends visiting the local farms across the region. She had never considered either the origin of our food or the dignity and beauty of each animal. An open invitation from a local farmer changed her life. She was able to experience, first-hand, how farms and our food contribute to each season, how farmers mark the time through the growth and harvesting of our food: how every facet of our nation depends on the American farmer.
Born in Chicago, IL, and raised in Houston, TX, Erin has roots in New England. Her family is from Central, MA (Barre and Hardwick). Her maternal grandmother was born and raised in Kirby, Vermont. Erin holds degrees from Smith College and The University of Virginia.
Strolling of the Heifers %22Windham Grows%22 Director and Entrepreneur-in-Residence
Co-Founder and Managing Director, FreshTracks Capital
Slow Living Summit Coordinator
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Come and discover Brattleboro!
The Summit takes place in the non-traditional conference surroundings of Main Street, Brattleboro — a small community in southern Vermont, long renowned for its commitment to healthy, local, sustainable living and technology, for its vibrant communities of visual and performance artists, craftspeople, poets and writers, and for the diversity of its shops, restaurants and galleries. In turn Brattleboro is a gateway to the Green Mountains and Vermont.
Strolling of the Heifers, the organizer of the Summit, is a non-profit organization based in Brattleboro, with the mission of supporting
and sustaining family farms and local food systems by connecting people with healthy local food. We do this through a variety of year-round programs. Best known is our annual Strolling of the Heifers Parade and Slow Living Expo, which takes place during “Stroll Weekend” immediately after the Summit. We also organize a Vermont Farm/Food Business Planning Competition, and we publish the annual Locavore Index ranking the 50 states in terms of their commitment to local food, and other projects and events.
Strolling of the Heifers, the organizer of the Summit, is a non-profit organization based in Brattleboro, with the mission of connecting people with healthy local food, encouraging and facilitating innovation and entrepreneurship in the farm/food sector, and supporting the development of stronger local food systems and healthy, sharing, connected and resilient communities. We do this through a variety of year-round programs. Best known is our annual Strolling of the Heifers Parade and Slow Living Expo, which takes place during “Stroll Weekend” immediately after the Summit. We also publish the annual Locavore Index ranking the 50 states in terms of their commitment to local food, and other projects and events.
In a major new initiative to further our mission, in November 2013 we acquired a prominently-located downtown Brattleboro building, the Robert H. Gibson River Garden (where Summit lunches and receptions take place), which has 4500 square foot of open space used since 2001 for public events, performances, lectures and exhibits. Under our stewardship of this community resource, we plan to maintain the public uses of the building, but also to create exhibits and programming that are related to our own focus areas of local food, food systems, and healthy sustainable living — a Farm/Food Education Center.