When a change of pace was needed for native New Hampshire farmer/homesteader and do it your-selfer, beer lover Steve Allman in the middle of The Great Recession AND the Craft Beer Revolution it was a no-brainer. . . start a brewery! The New Hampshire Nano brewery licensing law had just passed and that made it an even easier route. In 2012, Canterbury Aleworks became both a destination and a process. Self-built from the ground up the wood fired, water powered, showcase nano-brewery now includes a three year old organically managed three-quarter acre hops yard with over 11 varieties.
Business Consultant, Yankee Farm Credit
Elizabeth has experience assisting farm and farm related businesses with complex tax planning and compliance, business plans, budgeting, transition planning, estate planning, entity selection and benchmarking.
Director of Impact, Iroquois Valley Farms, LLC
John Steven Bianucci has long been passionate about food sovereignty, social justice, health, organic farming and agroforestry. He works to maximize the social and environmental impact of Iroquois Valley Farms. He has extensive corporate experience in branding, marketing and sales. As an entrepreneur, Mr. Bianucci has co-founded publications and been a successful independent trader and trading advisor. Computer User magazine was the country’s first regional computer publication and published monthly for 24 years. Mr. Bianucci graduated from Harvard College.
Iroquois Valley Farms LLC is a food and farmland company making impact investments in local and organic agriculture following triple bottom line principles. As Director of Impact, John Steven works to maximize the social and environmental impact of Iroquois Valley Farms. Iroquois Valley Farms website.
Coordinator, PVGrows Investment Fund
Rebecca Busansky is the Coordinator of the PVGrows Investment Fund, providing financing and technical assistance to farm and food entrepreneurs located primarily in Western Massachusetts through community investments. She has worked for PVGrows since 2013 and recently joined the FCCDC team to coordinate the PVGrows Investment Fund, specifically focusing on marketing and outreach, maintaining relationships with borrowers and investors, and liaising with the PVGrows network. She has an undergraduate degree from Brown University and has worked in community economic development for over 20 years.
Founder, Fare Resources
Gabriel was born in Vermont and currently resides in San Francisco. He has been a chef, entrepreneur and kitchen design/build specialist his entire professional career. He’s started eight food businesses and has a deep interest in architecture, agriculture, conservation, infrastructure development and human relations. He has worked at Google under the Bon Appétit Management Company, La Cocina, and for Slow Food Nation. From 2012-1015 he held the role of Global Food Program Director at Airbnb. In February of 2015 he rejoined Fare Resources, the consultancy he founded in 2009, to lead growth and strategy. Fare Resources is in the process of a milestone pivot; from food and farm consultancy, to a responsible food management company. Fare Resources website.
Partner, Collen IP
Jess Collen has more than thirty years experience representing clients across a broad array of industries in intellectual property matters. He is a regular contributing author for Forbes.com, where he writes about IP law and policy.
Mr. Collen has served on the Board of Directors of the International Trademark Association (INTA). He has chaired INTA’s Planning Committee; co-authored INTA’s Strategic Plan; and has served as chair and member of numerous committees and task forces. He participates actively in professional membership organizations outside the United States — including the Association Internatonaile pour la Protection de la Propriete Intellectuelle (International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property) and Consulegis. Mr. Collen serves on the New York District Export Council, to which he was most recently appointed in 2012 by U.S. Secretary of Commerce John E. Bryson.
Mr. Collen has been recognized by Trademark Insider magazine as one of the Top 50 trademark attorneys in the United States. Mr. Collen is a graduate of Boston College and Western New England University School of Law.
Program and Outreach Coordinator, Vermont Employee Ownership Center
Matt Cropp first developed an interest in the co-op model through the credit union movement, and wrote his MA thesis in history on the founding and development of the VSECU. He has since been involved in the establishment of several co-ops in the Burlington area, the organizing of a cross-sector co-op network in Vermont, and, in his work with the Vermont Employee Ownership Center, assists with the conversion of conventional businesses to employee ownership. He lives in Burlington, and can be reached via email@example.com.
Co-Founder and Managing Director, FreshTracks Capital
Cairn Cross is a co-founder of FreshTracks Capital in Shelburne, Vermont, and serves as a managing director of the Fund. He serves on the boards of FreshTracks portfolio companies Vermont Teddy Bear, NativeEnergy, Faraday, Budnitz Bicyles and Mamava. Prior to starting FreshTracks Cairn was a strategic and financial adviser to Vermont banks and growth businesses, the assistant general manager of Green Mountain Capital, L.P. from 1996 to 1998, and spent a decade working as a commercial banker.
In 2014 he created Road Pitch — a four day motorcycle tour around Vermont bringing investors and entrepreneurs to seven towns to listen to entrepreneurs pitch their ideas. He is a former member of the Vermont Board of Public Accountancy and was formerly a director and vice chairman of Opportunities Credit Union and formerly a director of the Vermont Community Loan Fund.
In 2011, the United States Small Business Administration named Cairn its Vermont, New England and National Financial Services Champion. He earned a B.S. (1981) from Montana State University and an MBA (1987) from New Hampshire College (now Southern New Hampshire University). He received a graduate certificate from the Stonier Graduate School of Banking in 1995.
Executive Director, Neighboring Food Co-op Association
Erbin Crowell serves as Executive Director of the Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA), a network of more than 30 food co-ops and start-up initiatives with a combined membership of more than 90,000 people across Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Prior to joining the association, Erbin worked with theCooperative Fund of New England and the Valley Alliance of Worker Co-ops and as an independent consultant. For more than a decade, he was a member of Equal Exchange, a worker co-operative and pioneer in the Fair Trade movement, and serves on the boards of the New England Farmers Union and the National Cooperative Business Association. Erbin holds a Master of Management: Co-operatives & Credit Unions from Saint Mary’s University in Nova Scotia, and is as an adjunct lecturer at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he teaches courses on the co-operative movement.
Founder, Hometown Foods LLC
Anna Dawson, Cornell Food and Nutrition graduate, brings her farm background, Family and Consumer Science teaching experience and ten years of Freezer Meal Kit creation to communities interested in using local food to create jobs and healthy consumers. Anna freezes and vacuum packages food individually. They are then combined to become kits or finished products for soups, stir fry meals, crock pot meals, fruit desserts, fruit sauces and more. A simple photograph of the finished product adorns a color laser printed label along with product usage directions.
Beginning Farmer Specialist, Intervale Center
Maggie grew up in New Hampshire and has been farming in Vermont since she graduated from the University of Vermont in 2010 with a degree in Community and International Development. As the Intervale Center’s Beginning Farmer Specialist, Maggie coordinates and assists the Incubator farms through our Farms Program, in addition to working with new farmers across the state to make their first few years in business as smooth and successful as possible. When she is not working with new farmers Maggie can be found raising poultry and pork, walking in the woods, learning about making sausage and salami, and spending time with family and friends.
V.P for Community Affairs, Google
A lifelong Vermonter, Matt Dunne lives with his wife, Sarah Stewart Taylor, and their three children Judson, Abe, and Cora in the same farmhouse in Hartland where he was raised.
At age 22, Matt was elected to serve in the Vermont legislature by his community and was re-elected three times. He later served two terms in the state senate representing Windsor County. In the legislature he focused on economic development strategies, including the first legislation dedicated to the redevelopment of downtowns and brownfields, deployment of broadband, and the creation of the Vermont Film Commission.
Matt served under President Clinton as the Director of AmeriCorps*VISTA, an organization where he oversaw 6,000 full-time people — almost the size of Vermont state government — dedicated to empowering people out of poverty.
Most of Matt’s career has been in the business world. He helped grow a Vermont-based company, Logic Associates, to over 100 employees. For the last eight years, Matt has worked for Google out of the Tip Top building (an old bread factory) in downtown White River Junction, where he has been a part of bringing gigabit speed internet and high speed wireless to communities across the country, guided carbon offset projects and affordable housing developments, led efforts to get small businesses online, and recently launched a program to train thousands of low income girls how to code.
Matt serves on the board of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, The Center for Cartoon Studies, and the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance. In the past, he has served on the board of the Vermont Arts Council, Windsor County Court Diversion, and the Vermont Infrastructure Bank.
Matt is a graduate of Brown University, from which he graduated with Honors in Public Policy.
Slow Living Coordinator & Mistress of Ceremonies
Shanta L. Evans-Crowley has a multi-faceted professional background that includes: management, development, event planning, visioning, strategy, and workshop and program creation/implementation. Some of the endeavors that Shanta has directed include creating and implementing Planned Parenthood of Southern New England’s statewide internship program and New Haven, CT’s citywide Visions of A Healthier New Haven. Evans-Crowley has an MBA and an undergraduate degree in Women, Gender and Sexuality.
Shanta wears many professional hats in Windham County and is the President of the Arts Council of Windham County. As an artist, she connects with other creatives around the globe through her website WildlyCreative.World, is a belly dancer, writer of prose/poetry/articles for various sites, a photographer, and loves exploring abandoned landscapes.
Founder & Executive Director, the BLK Projek
Tanya Fields is a food justice activist, educator, urban farmer, food blogger, and the founder and executive director of the BLK Projek. This Bronx-based food justice and health organization serves underserved woman of color by creating women-led economic development opportunities and is committed to urban farming and the elimination of food deserts. Fields and her work are gradually revolutionizing low-income neighborhoods in one of the poorest congressional districts in the country.
Fields also writes a twice monthly column on food and food justice for EBONY.com and contributed a chapter for the book The Next Eco-Warriors by Emily Hunter. Fields has appeared on numerous TV programs including MSNBC’s “Up With Chris Hayes” and “The Melissa Harris Perry Show.”
In her attempts to construct an urban farm on a piece of underdeveloped New York City Parks land as well as other underdeveloped land in the South Bronx, Fields is shaking up the New York City borough from the earth up. She is not only solidifying space for the Libertad Urban Farm but working on creating a women-led cooperative food business that would deliver locally sourced, nutritious meals to youngsters in group and family day care. These opportunities not only help create organic, nutritious and local food but give underserved woman the chance to build community with other women, learn in workshops and gain skills.
The group recently turned an old school bus into a clean energy vehicle using vegetable oil instead of diesel fuel and added solar panels to the bus. The bus, called South Bronx Mobile Market, will service the South Bronx with affordable, locally-grown produce and high-quality food, including food from the Libertad Urban Farm.
Fields’ inspiration came from her experiences as a single working mother of four, living in a marginalized community. She witnessed sexist institutional policies, structurally reinforced cycles of poverty, and harsh inequities in wealth and access to capital that result in far too many women being unable to rise out of poverty and sustain their families. In response, she founded the BLK ProjeK in 2009 and two years later, the organization was nominated for a 2011 Union Square Award which identifies visionaries responding to society’s most pressing social, political and economic issues.
She is also a Fellow with Green For All, a national organization working to build an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty. Fields is recognized for her effective strategies for engaging low-income communities of color in the So. Bronx in building healthy neighborhoods and climate solutions.
Prior to creating the BLK ProjeK, Fields earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Baruch College and worked with several high-profile environmental organizations in the South Bronx – Mothers on the Move, Sustainable South Bronx and the Majora Carter Group.
The Slow Medicine Doctor
Michael Finkelstein, MD has been featured in media including The New York Times and CNN; is a health blogger for The Huffington Post; has presented at venues including GE Corporation and Omega Institute; and is the author of Slow Medicine, endorsed by Andrew Weil, MD and Mehmet Oz, MD. Dr. Finkelstein has distinguished himself as a doctor in private practice and as the medical director of major hospitals and health institutes. He offers both a micro and macro point of view on today’s healthcare needs, providing a tried-and-true solution for healing individual patients and the medical system as a whole: Slow Medicine. Michael’s website.
Loan officer, Community Capital of Vermont
Since moving to Vermont, Leah Fury has worked in a number of agriculture-related small businesses, now supporting a range of food and farm-based small businesses at Community Capital of Vermont. Leah is currently working towards a Master’s degree in Community Development Policy and Practice at the University of New Hampshire’s Casey School of Public Policy.
VP, Economic Opportunity, New Hampshire Community Loan Fund
John Hamilton is Vice President of Economic Opportunity at the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, a 30-year old nonprofit that turns investments into loans and education to create opportunity and transform lives across New Hampshire. The Community Loan Fund has lent nearly $170 million for affordable housing, child care and economic opportunities. John leads the Community Loan Fund’s Business Finance program, which connects business owners with the capital and expertise they need to compete in a changing marketplace. His Business Finance team works hard to get to know its borrowers, then applies creativity and experience to get to “yes” on hard-to-get-done deals, and to find the right type of financing to help its borrowers succeed. Business Finance’s Farm and Food Initiative improves access to capital for farms, food providers and others that support the growth of healthy sustainable food systems in New Hampshire. John is also the founder and Managing Director of the Community Loan Fund’s Vested for Growth program, which has placed millions in growth capital. Vested for Growth uses a variety of deal structures, including debt, royalty financing and equity to enable high-growth businesses to accomplish their acquisition or new-product introduction strategies. John is a member of Granite State Angels, previously founded the Workforce Opportunity Council and Concord Area Trust for Community Housing, and is a past President of the NH Job Training Council. He was a Baldrige Examiner for the Granite State Quality Award in 2003 and 2002.
Co-owner/VP of Innovation & Social Impact, W.S. Badger Company
Rebecca Hamilton is co-owner and VP of Innovation & Social Impact at the W.S. Badger Company. She leads the company’s new product development from concept to market as well as their sustainability initiatives. Rebecca has nearly a decade of experience in the natural products industry, and she has served as an industry expert and public presenter at more than 30 conferences and events. Her background in economic botany and supply chain management coupled with her passions for organic living, safe products, and ethical commerce have led her to wider industry involvement and public service outreach. Rebecca has helped guide new cosmetic reform and recently spearheaded the passing of Benefit Corporation legislation in the state of New Hampshire. She has served as the chair of the Natural Products Association Natural Seal Steering Committee and as a member of the NSF Joint Committee on Natural Personal Care and the Safer Chemicals Coalition.
Author, Guerilla Marketing Goes Green
After finishing Antioch College at age 19, Shel had to come to terms with his own work history: career paths not only in writing and marketing/PR, but also in radio, teaching, arts, food service, office systems, community organizing, and environmental issues. Putting together his own first résumés led to a new career direction: résumé writing and career services. Shel quickly realized he had the ability to discover a job candidate’s best strengths and present them so those are highlighted while weaknesses are downplayed. In short, he turned résumé writing into a marketing function.
A native of New York City, he returned there to work at two literary agencies as a manuscript reader, and then worked for a year and a half as a VISTA Volunteer community organizer with the Gray Panthers. Pursuing poetry on the side, he became very active in the New York open poetry scene, and met Dina Friedman at an open reading in Greenwich Village.
The two left New York in 1980, spending a year in Philadelphia before settling in Western Massachusetts in 1981—and founding Accurate Writing & More with an initial marketing cost of $12 and a total start-up under $200 (most of it for a 13-year-old IBM Selectric typewriter). They married two years later. Daughter Alana was born in 1987—the same year Dina joined the business—and son Rafael followed in 1992.
Drawing on the marketing he’d practiced in and after college, Shel began marketing his own business locally, and grew it to the largest of its kind in a three-county service area. In 1985, he published the first of six books on low-cost, high-impact marketing. Gradually, he expanded his practice to marketing for other businesses and nonprofits. He began using e-mail as a marketing tool in 1994, set up his first website in 1996, and quickly developed a reputation internationally as a skilled copywriter and marketing strategist who knows how to stretch a marketing dollar. His client list now includes accounts in Europe, Asia, and all across the U.S.; his books have sold to dozens of countries, and have been republished in South Korea, India, Mexico, Italy, and Turkey.
And as an environmental and social justice activist since 1972, he has used these skills pro bono for a number of environmental and social change organizations—especially a group he founded called Save the Mountain, which mobilized thousands of people (in a rural county) and rapidly beat back an “unstoppable” poorly-planned development on a mountain abutting a state park; this was a campaign that combined everything Shel knew about marketing and community organizing, and drew on the skills of many others that he recruited into the organization. Following the success of this campaign, Shel looked at a bigger canvas, and founded the Business Ethics Pledge to make future Enron and Madoff scandals unthinkable. So far, he has signers in more than 30 countries.
Shel now offers not only copywriting and strategic marketing planning based in Green principles, but also helps unpublished writers become published authors. Five of his eight books have won awards and/or been republished in other countries, including his most recent, Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green: Winning Strategies to Improve Your Profits and Your Planet (John Wiley & Sons, 2010, co-authored with Mr. Guerrilla Marketing himself, Jay Conrad Levinson).
Shel’s website is ShelHorowitz.com.
Herbalist and Acupuncturist
Brendan Kelly M. Ac. L. Ac. has been practicing Chinese medicine full-time for 12 years, most recently at the clinic he co-founded in Burlington, VT—Jade Mountain Wellness www.jademtwellness.com. He has also been a business owner for 20 years, including co-owning a western herbal business, an herbal medicine school, being a consultant to natural product companies and western medical practitioners, and founding and co-owning three Chinese medicine clinics. He is on the faculty at the Academy for Five Element Acupuncture in Florida and an adjunct professor at Johnson State College in Vermont. Brendan teaches about various aspects of Chinese medicine, herbal medicine and sustainability at schools, universities, educational centers and conferences around the US. In September 2015 North Atlantic Books published his first book The Yin and Yang of Climate Crisis, which looks at the underlying causes of our warming planet from the perspective of Chinese medicine.
Founder, CEO, Creative Director, Urban Moonshine Organic Herbal Apothecary
Jovial started Urban Moonshine in her kitchen six years ago and it has grown from a booth at the local farmers market to a national brand with a strong presence in the supplement industry. Her savvy marketing sense, eye for design and dedication to bringing back the popularity and use of bitters and tonics has helped the business become a leaded in a fast changing industry. Raised deep in the countryside of Northern Vermont, Jovial grew up on an off-the-grid homestead where she spent endless hours wandering in the woods, swimming in the creek, climbing trees, and digging around in the garden. It was a childhood deeply immersed in plants and exploration of the wild, uncultivated power of nature. She found she had a great love of plants and herbal medicine. Her goal is to bring herbal medicine out of the cupboard and onto the counter, into everyday life. She has appeared as an “herbal expert” blogger for Martha Stewart’s Whole Living website and co-authored a book on DIY Bitters, to be released in autumn 2016.
Daniel moved to Vermont in the late winter of 1995 and since then he has been an artist, a carpenter, and a community events organizer. He also holds the rank of San Dan (third degree black belt) in Shorin Ryu Karate Do. He describes himself:
“I am a creator. Ideas percolate and I strive to actualize or manifest them. I call myself a “plastic artist” because I shape and manipulate media to serve my creative expression. I have always seen the world from a slightly different perspective. Though I was trained, formally, as a painter and have cultivated a host of technical skills ranging from woodworking to automotive repair, I have never lost my openness to unfamiliar ideas or my unwavering dedication to experimentation, whimsy and challenging conventional wisdom. Ultimately, as an artist, community event organizer, martial artist, builder and wonderer, the primary asset I bring to any undertaking is creative – often non-linear – problem solving. My ability to draw from my hands-on experience and technical knowledge, while still allowing for inspiration and chance, is what distinguishes my contribution.”
Human Capital Strategy
Joy’s passions focus on increasing individual and organizational capability. Joy is a results-oriented human capital strategist with expertise in integrated talent management, organizational development, energizing and mentoring cross-functional teams, leadership development and collaboration. She serves as an adjunct faculty member at the Human Capital Institute, teaching human capital strategy and strategic workforce planning, and at The Dartmouth Institute (TDI) teaching organizational development. Joy has walked several miles in practitioner’s shoes in manufacturing, distribution, healthcare and technical settings, and implemented training on an enterprise scale for strategic business initiatives, as a consultant applying the Malcolm Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence. Joy has authored several curriculums in customer loyalty, service quality, change management, and process improvement for both on site and online delivery. Joy resides in Vermont.
Ex-CEO, Ben & Jerry’s
Fred “Chico” Lager was born and raised in New York City. He holds a BA degree from the University of Vermont (1975) and an MBA from the University of Southern California (1977). After receiving his graduate degree Mr. Lager returned to Vermont where he owned and operated Hunt’s, a successful Burlington nightclub. In 1982, he joined Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc. as the company’s general manager and CFO, with responsibility for managing the company’s operations and finances. He was named president and CEO in 1988.
During his tenure, the company grew from sales of under $1 million to over $77 million and was recognized as one of the most innovative and socially responsible businesses in the world. Ben & Jerry’s was named National Small Business of The Year in 1988 by the SBA and one of “The 200 Best Small Companies in America” by Forbes in November 1990.
Lager resigned from active employment with Ben & Jerry’s in 1991 to write the book, Ben & Jerry’s — The Inside Scoop … How Two Real Guys Built A Business With a Social Conscience and a Sense of Humor. Following the book’s publication in 1995, Lager was a featured speaker, making presentations at colleges and to business groups throughout the country about Ben & Jerry’s unorthodox approach to business. He also served as a member of Ben & Jerry’s Board of Directors from 1982 to 1997, and provided transitional leadership to the company from June of 1994 thru September of 1995 during the search for a new CEO.
Lager has been self-employed as a consultant since 1991, providing management oversight to a select number of emerging small businesses, and helping entrepreneurs develop and implement the marketing, operating and strategic plans necessary to grow their businesses profitably. He serves on the boards of FAM Funds, a mutual fund group based in Cobleskill, NY, Gardeners Supply, the country’s leading direct marketer of products for gardeners, Questech Metals, The Vermont Country Store and Butternut Mountain Farms. He also serves on the Board of The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Burlington, Vermont and was Chair of the Flynn’s Board from 2008-11. He has previously served on the Boards of Whole Foods Market, Working Assets and Seventh Generation.
Lager has been married to Yvette Pigeon since 1982. They live in Williston, Vermont in a farmhouse that was built in 1841, which they spent eight years restoring.
Marketing Director, Strolling of the Heifers
Martin spent 30 years in the media business, 28 in the Berkshires of Massachusetts and two at the Brattleboro Reformer, from which he retired in 2008. Earlier, he and his wife were innkeepers for three years in New Marlboro, Massachusetts.
While living in the Berkshires, Martin served two terms as chair and one as treasurer of Hancock Shaker Village. He was a founding trustee of the Colonial Theatre Association, a director of the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce and as director and treasurer of the Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association.
Currently, he serves on the boards of SeVEDS (Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies), the Windham-Windsor Housing Trust, Brattleboro Community Television, the Resilient Design Institute, and on the Vernon Planning Commission.
Martin has an MA from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an Master of Professional Studies degree in Hotel Administration from Cornell University.
Conservation Law Foundation
Annie Lemelin is a Legal Fellow working in the Healthy Communities and Environmental Justice Program at Conservation Law Foundation. She is involved with Conservation Law Foundation’s Legal Services Food Hub and transportation policy work. Annie holds an LL.M. in Environment from McGill University Faculty of Law, a J.D. with a Certificate in Environment from Tulane University Law School, and a B.A. in Environmental Biology from Colgate University. During law school she interned for the Alliance for Affordable Energy in New Orleans and CLF in Vermont. She is admitted to practice in Massachusetts.
Lisa Lorimer spent most of her adult life 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. 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. In 2014 the business was sold to a public company and Lisa is now officially an entrepreneur-on-the-loose. She is in the midst of launching MamaSezz, a company that prepares and delivers delicious raw organic meals to homes nationwide, with the tagline “MamaSezz eat your fruits and vegetables then go outside and play.” 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 and VBSR. 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 family in Brattleboro, VT and Sarasota, FL.
Food Business Development Specialist, Franklin County Community Development Corporation
Nico Lustig is a professional foodie with a lifetime of experience growing, cooking and selling food. With 12 years of managing regional food co-ops, Nico is an expert at promoting local, specialty foods. Now at the Western MA Food Processing Center, Nico utilizes her retail experience and connections to help farmers and food entrepreneur navigate the stages of business growth in both the manufacturing and marketing aspects of the food industry. Nico is a fan of business planning and market research, who reads the food code for fun.
Jacqueline Maisonpierre has worked as organic farmer in New England for the past five years, with experience farming in both traditional rural landscapes and unconventional urban settings. She works at New Haven Farms, an urban non-profit farm, where she manages food production and delivers garden education in both Spanish and English. Jacqueline earned a B.Sc. from the University of Vermont in Environmental Science. She has worked in conservation and environmental education. Jacqueline brings her passion for farming, community development, and food system change, to her work in the diverse community of New Haven, CT.
Global Director of Social Mission, Ben & Jerry’s
Rob Michalak is the Global Director of Social Mission for Ben & Jerry’s. Rob sits on Ben & Jerry’s Global Leadership Team and is the lead advocate at Ben & Jerry’s to keep its Social Mission vigorous and in balance with the company’s Product Mission and Economic Mission. Ben & Jerry’s Social Mission works to create innovative ways that the business can apply its many resources to achieve positive social change in the world and make progress on the company’s sustainable corporate concept of “linked prosperity,” which is the ambition that as the company prospers, its stakeholders prosper too.
“We work to advance our model of linked prosperity by constantly exploring a systems-based approach throughout our entire value chain in designing innovations that can deliver positive social, economic and environmental change,” Michalak said.
Rob has been with Ben & Jerry’s twice. His first role at the company was as its PR Czar from 1989-1998. He came back to the company to serve as its Social Mission Director starting in 2006. Before that, and in between his Ben & Jerry’s days, Rob worked in broadcast media holding a variety of jobs in news, public affairs and independent productions.
Founder, CEO of A Connected Leader
A dedicated soil builder, Mark Morey lives in Putney, Vermont, with his partner Krista, and teenage daughter, Lucia. For the last 20 years he has been developing community initiatives and speaking on the topics of human connection, culture change and nature-based leadership.
He has co-founded four companies, and currently leads A Connected Leader. He has organized high-performance teams in a dozen US locations as well as Canada, England, Germany, Scotland, Austria and France. His background includes initiating international study teams at the INSEAD School of Business Executive MBA program and corporate Outward Bound. Through 100’s of offsite events, he has deep experience with practices that reinvent company cultures and the individuals who lead them. He knows that business can be more human, more relational, and kinder to the environment. In the past 5 years alone, Mark has personally mentored 200 organizational leaders to become highly skilled at creating connected and conscious cultures.
Founder & Executive Director, Strolling of the Heifers
Orly is the founder and executive director of Strolling of the Heifers. Previously, she served as a learning specialist with the Windham Central Supervisory Union for 24 years. She has a BA in Psychology and Education from Boston University, and Master of Education degree in Psychology and Special Education from Keene State College. She also built a profitable private consulting business, training teachers in cutting-edge educational techniques.
Drawing on this background, she gathered a group of volunteers in 2001 to help focus attention on the difficulties of small family farms in the Brattleboro region. Building an organization with no startup funding, under Orly’s leadership they organized the first annual Strolling of the Heifers in 2002. Orly attracted corporate sponsorships ranging from national brands to local businesses, and with the growth in the local foods movement since then, “the Stroll” has expanded to a full weekend which is annually rated one of Vermont’s Top Ten Summer Events (and was rated one of America’s Top 10 Summer Festivals in 2013, and one of North America’s Top 100 Events in 2014).
Over the years, Strolling of the Heifers also launched educational programs, a microloan fund, and farm internship program for youth, which are now all carried on by other organizations; the farm/food business planning competition; the Locavore Index; and now the Farm/Food Innovation Center at the River Garden.
Orly was named the Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce Person of the Year in 2010, and in 2013 she received the Vermont Community Leadership Award from the Vermont Council on Rural Development. Under Orly’s leadership, in 2006 Strolling of the Heifers received the Harvest Wave of the Future Award from Glynwood.
Alchemy & Science
Alan Newman is the President of Alchemy & Science, a craft beer collaboration. The mission of Alchemy and Science is to increase awareness of craft brewed beers by exploring and managing a broad range of opportunities, from creating and/or incubating new breweries to providing legacy solutions to craft beer/brewery founders. Alan is also a founder of Seventh Generation and Magic Hat Brewing Company.
Founder, Gardener’s Supply
Will serves as chairman of Burlington, Vermont-based Gardener’s Supply Company, which he founded in 1983. The 300-person, employee-owned firm, now among the world’s largest online and catalog gardening retailers, has won national and regional awards for its products and services, as well as for its socially responsible business practices.
Will is engaged in creating positive social, environmental and economic change by employing the power of markets and enterprises. He focuses on local food, renewable energy, and land restoration enterprises that support a more resilient economy and more sustainable future. These efforts extend from the mountains of Vermont to the dry tropical forests of Costa Rica.
Will founded and was past chairman of the Intervale Center, a non-profit organization also located in Burlington, Vermont. Since 1987, the Intervale Center has been developing farm- and land-based enterprises that generate economic and social opportunity while protecting natural resources. The Intervale Center currently supports the Intervale Conservation Nursery, Intervale Agricultural Consulting Services and the Intervale Food Hub, plus 12 small, privately owned farms that participate in the Center’s nationally acclaimed farm incubator program.
In 2000, Will adapted the Intervale Center’s mission to Guantacaste, Costa Rica. There, he cofounded El Centro Verde, a sustainable gardening, farming and agroforestry education and demonstration center. A non-profit organization, Restoring Our Watershed, was founded in 2009 and is dedicated to restoring the Nandamojo River and its surrounding 28,000-acre watershed through community and business engagement. Recently, Will co-founded Mi Tierra, a cooperative of organic farms, nurseries and food processors that produces and distributes local products in Guanacaste under the Mi Tierra brand. He is also a partner in two local conservation developments, Tierra Pacifica and Pueblo Verde, both committed to sustainable design and practices that support watershed restoration.
Some of Will’s other initiatives include Reforest Teak, a line of forest-friendly teak furniture and furnishings that supports reforestation in Costa Rica ; The Earth Partners, an organization of environmental experts that is restoring 100,000 acres in the US with “conservation biomass”; South Village Community/Farm at South Village, a new kind of suburban development and planned community with on-site food and energy production and clusgtered land use that enables restoration of the majority of this depleted dairy farm; and the Transverter, a new solar technology that allows the creation of neighborhood-scale mini-electric grids to produce more reliable and cost-effective power.
Will is a member of the New Economics Institute Board of Directors and has served on numerous non-profit and corporate boards including Vermont Natural Resources Council, Vermont Business Roundtable, Vermont Land Trust, Champlain Valley Greenbelt Alliance, Intervale Center, Vermont Sustainable Agriculture Council, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, University of Vermont School of Environment and Natural Resources, Champlain College, Living Technologies and Seventh Generation. Will holds a BA in Economics from UC Davis and a Master’s degree in Business and Urban Planning from UC Berkeley.
Maggie Riche coordinates green programming at two alternative high schools in New York City where she works with students to grow organic food as well as improve school recycling and promote healthy eating. She began working with Libertad Urban Farm in 2012 after she heard Tanya Fields as the keynote speaker at the Just Food Conference that she was covering for the Ecocentric blog. Inspired by the idea of urban agriculture as economic development, especially in the Bronx where her father was raised, Maggie became a dedicated volunteer, bringing friends and students to Libertad Urban Farm to plant, weed, build raised beds, create vertical pallet planters, and help run community workshops. Maggie loves all plants, but especially the ones- aka weeds!
President, Manhattan Holistic Chamber of Commerce
CEO & Founder of Beyond Body Mind Spirit, Risa offers a holistic approach to preventative medicine, combining nutrition, yoga, meditation, and emotional intelligence with self-love at its core. Risa is an expert providing private consultations and Corporate Wellness Programs for companies like the New York Stock Exchange, Viacom, Forbes and Mitzubishi.
She has co-authored the book, “Conscious Entrepreneurs: A Radical New Approach to Purpose, Passion & Profits”, Winner of the National “Best Books 2008” Awards. She is a TV producer, very popular radio guest, in demand speaker and known as America’s Mindfulness Expert.
Risa has a B.A. from New York University and an M.A. from Columbia University in Psychology.
As the President of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, Risa is expanding our healthcare system to include Integrative Holistic Practitioners so self-care, prevention and healing is more accessible to mainstream America.
Her passion includes long bike rides along the water and parks of Manhattan, exploring the world- next is Cuba, and building collaborations that create miracles.
Co-founder, Milk Money
Louisa is a risk-taker who thrives on the ability to find creative solutions to any problem. Full of energy, ideas and connections, she makes things happen.
She brings her enthusiasm to her many passions whether it’s volunteering, technology, photography, Vermont or a variety of sports. Louisa lives in Charlotte with her husband, three children and dog Bailey.
- Entrepreneur with 15 years experience in high tech and business development
- Startup consultant/business development director for fashion/sizing app
- Founder of Moogle Vermont “promoting Vermont one cool thing at a time”
- Founder/CEO of first web platform & database for expatriates living in Switzerland
- International commodities shipping specialist at Glencore
Founders, New Chapter
In 1982 Paul and Barbi Schulick founded New Chapter, the leading supplement company in the natural products channel known for its fermented whole-food supplements and paradigm-shifting nutraceutical formulations. Since the company’s inception the couple has stewarded their mission to bring a new chapter of healing into people’s lives.
Paul, as Master Herbalist, and Chief Formulator holds multiple patents, and has been at the forefront of the herbal field for over thirty years as a researcher, health educator, and entrepreneur. In 2000 he formulated Zyflamend, an extensively researched, recommended, and widely used supplement for inflammation and is the author of the book Ginger: Common Spice & Wonder Drug (Holm Press, 1996), and coauthor of Beyond Aspirin (Holm Press, 2000) and The Life Bridge (Herbal Free Press, 2002).
Barbi has served as a grounding, discerning and healing force in the company, bringing her attention to executive mentoring and leadership development, facilitating personal growth and safeguarding cultural values. A writer of many years, she has published in notable literary journals and is the author of the novel Ethel Katz Finds Her Guru, An Unlikely Tale of Awakening (Epigraph, 2014).
Paul and Barbi will share the story of shepherding their business (and their marriage) from a kitchen sink laboratory to the sale of New Chapter to the largest consumer goods company in the world and how practicing “slow living” has aided their success. “We founded New Chapter over 30 years ago out of a desire to bring the healing value of nature’s botanicals into people’s lives. Nature, in its wholeness, offers a profound opportunity for healing. Our mission then was the same as it is today: to Deliver the Wisdom of Nature to all those seeking natural wellness.”
Co-founder, Milk Money
Janice loves the definition of entrepreneur as “pathological optimist.” She sees obstacles as opportunities. Creating order from chaos in the pursuit of environmental and social improvement is her passion.
When she’s not trying to change the way the world does business, she co-chairs the Four Winds Nature Program at Jericho Elementary School and is vice president of Browns River Soccer Club. She’s an avid skier, hiker, cyclist, triathlete, youth soccer coach, and experimental cook. Janice lives in Jericho, VT, with her husband and two daughters.
- Entrepreneur and marketing/finance professional with 20 years experience in brand management, strategic planning, and financial analysis
- Founder/CEO of TrueBody Products
- Founding board member/Executive Director of Local First Vermont
- FO/VP Operations of Mamava, Inc.
- Management level positions with Procter & Gamble, Welch’s, Nelson Bach USA and Seventh Generation
Head Brewer, Harpoon Brewery
Scott R. Shirley served seven years in the U.S. Navy as a Nuclear Welding Inspector before deciding on a career in brewing. He is a graduate of the American Brewers Guild 1996 Diploma Course and of the University of California, Davis, General Certificate in Brewing and Packaging. His brewery experience includes Production Manager at Long Trail Brewing Company, Brewer at Tuckerman Brewing Company and for the past 15 years has been the Head Brewer for Harpoon Brewery in Windsor, Vermont.
Founder & Executive Director, Lovin’ Spoonfuls
Ashley is a born and bred Bostonian. Since founding Lovin’ Spoonfuls in 2010, Ashley and her team have rescued and distributed more than 3 million pounds of fresh, healthy food into the social service stream. She has created unparalleled awareness for food rescue, with dedication to addressing the significant consequences of food waste. In 2011, the Boston Business Journal named her an ‘Emerging Leader.’ In 2012, Lovin’ Spoonfuls was a two-time winner of the Mass Challenge competition, which is the largest global start-up accelerator. In 2013, Ashley was selected as one of the BBJ’s ’40 under 40,′ which recognizes Boston’s most innovative business leaders. In 2014, Ashley was recognized by The Boston Globe as a ‘Game Changer,’ and in Boston Magazine‘s ‘Power of Ideas.’ She serves on the Boston Food Policy Council, and is one of Oxfam International’s Sisters of the Planet Ambassadors. A Fellow at The 2013 Nantucket Project, she’s also a member of TEDWomen, and a TEDx community speaker.
Author, teacher, entrepreneur
Dr. Tamara Stenn is scholar of sustainability and owner of KUSIKUY, a Fair Trade eco-fashion brand that specializes in Andean alpaca knits. She is a Guest Lecturer of Social Marketing and Social Enterprise Development at Mount Holyoke College and the SIT Graduate Institute, and is a Fulbright scholar/researcher working on women’s leadership and sustainable development amongst Bolivian quinoa farmers. In 2013, Tamara published The Cultural and Political Intersection of Fair Trade and Justice. Her next book, Anatomy of a Social Entrepreneur: Building justice & sustainability in today’s global world, is due out June 2016. More information about her is on Tamara’s website.
NYC Service Corps Member, NYC Compost Project hosted by Earth Matter NY
Infinitae is a Bronxite whose farm roots stem from her grandfather, an agricultural-wise Jamaican. Her life transformed once she became a wife and mother, making her children the center of her creativity, and their optimal health her priority. Today, Infinitae is a NYC Service Corps Member at the NYCCP hosted by Earth Matter. Some of her work includes education with student interns from the New York Harbor School. She works with them on topics such as Hydroponics, Compost Tea, Gardening and Organics Collection. Infinitae enjoys working with various populations and multi-generations and is a visionary with nature as a concentration. Infinitae was invited to Libertad Urban Farm by Imani Vidal March of 2014. Since, Infinitae and her children have been active volunteers participating in volunteer workdays, planting herbs, community outreach, composting, and assisting Executive Director Tanya Fields with her cooking demo’s for the BLK PROJEK. Infinitae is extremely excited for this year’s programming and growing season where she will embrace her leadership role as the Community-Based herbalist and Beekeeper.
The Carrot Project
Dorothy Suput is the founder and executive director of The Carrot Project. Dorothy’s commitment to a sustainable food system grew out of the incredible contrasts between Midwestern agriculture, with which she grew up, and the locally focused food and farming system in Switzerland, where she lived after graduating with a BS from Purdue University. Dorothy formalized her commitment when she returned to the U.S. to complete her Master’s degree, from Tufts University’s Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning program, by focusing on sustainable agriculture and non-profit management. Following graduate school, she worked as the first regional organizer on the 1995 Farm Bill for the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group under the auspices of the Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture, and subsequently, as a consultant for the Hartford Food System, Red Tomato, and The Food Project.
Farm Manager, Libertad Urban Farm
Imani Vidal is originally from Bronx, New York however her mother moved she and 4 siblings to Florida in the late eighties. She returned to the South Bronx in 2011 and began to act on her interests of working with the earth in 2014. Her interest in growing naturally and eating holistically was inspired by the years she spent in Florida watching her grandfather tenderly pick green beans and lettuce in his back yard and wanting to provide her mother and she with holistic alternative eating shortly after her mother’s diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. Although she didn’t hone her skills in Florida she thinks back to those days often, as she feels she is following a family lineage of growers. When she moved back to the Bronx she took the opportunity when presented to help Bronx based Food Justice organization The BLK PROJEK receive an empty lot upon meeting Executive Director Tanya Fields at a demonstration for slain Florida African-American 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. She spent 2013-2014 meeting and petitioning for the the Bronx vacant lot to be released to the BLK PROJEK. Upon their success she spent 2015 challenging herself as a new growing and farm manager of Libertad Urban Farm.
Jim Verzino helps green businesses get booked solid. Jim has been a founder of three socially conscious businesses. As a green business consultant he focuses on two areas. First he helps socially conscious entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Second, he helps Fortune 1000 manufacturers reduce environmental footprint. Over the past three years he has helped 35 large manufacturing firms create and implement environmental and quality improvement systems. Jim serves on the board of Strolling of the Heifers. Jim’s website.
Sr. Vice President for Economics, Communications and Legislative Affairs, Agri-Mark Dairy Cooperative
Robert D. Wellington has served as Senior Vice President for Economics, Communications and Legislative Affairs for Agri-Mark Dairy Cooperative since 1989. Prior to that, he was Senior Economist and Chief of Research and Market Information in USDA’s Federal Milk Marketing Order Program for 11 years.
He has B.S. and M.S. degrees in Agricultural Economics from Rutgers University and taught at Rutgers for several years. He currently resides in Hooksett, N.H.
Wellington has testified as an expert witness in dairy economics and marketing before the U.S. Congress, USDA and many state legislatures and agencies. He has served as a member or advisor to many national and regional agricultural organizations, including the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, National Milk Producers Federation, the Northeast Dairy Farmers Cooperative Association, the Greater Northeast Milk Marketing Agency and the Northeast Dairy Compact Committee.
Agri-Mark is a dairy farmer cooperative which markets the milk of nearly 1,200 dairy farm families throughout New England and New York State. Its farmers own the Cabot and McCadam cheese and dairy product brands along with five manufacturing facilities in Vermont, New York and Massachusetts that turn their milk into award-winning dairy products.
CEO & Founder, W.S. Badger Company
Bill Whyte is the CEO and Founder of the W. S. Badger Company. A former carpenter and a self-taught entrepreneur, he and his family started Badger in the back room of their home some 20 years ago. Today the company makes over one hundred all natural and certified organic body care products using botanical ingredients sourced from the far reaches of the earth. Badger is a certified B Corporation and New Hampshire’s 2014 SBA Exporter of the Year. The company is known for its family friendly work practices and innovative programs such as “babies at work,” childcare, and an Ecology Center. Badger donates 10 percent of before-tax profits to charity, with a focus on children and the environment.
President & Founder of the Clark Wolf Company
Clark Wolf has more than thirty years of experience in the food industry and is founder and President of Clark Wolf Company.
Wolf is a member of Linkedin’s Influentials, is a columnist for forbes.com, and has been contributing editor to COOK’S Magazine. He has written a book American Cheeses, for Simon & Schuster, about his long history with American artisan cheesemaking and Co-Edited 101 Classic Cookbooks: 501 Classic Recipes for Rizzoli.
In addition to appearing on CBS Sunday Morning, he has appeared on CNN, the TV Food Network, and as a regular contributor on CNBC’s The Real Story. Wolf has been the creator and host of two broadcast television series, The Food Show with Clark Wolf and The Big Dish. He is currently co-host of the weekly radio program At the Table with Wolf and Smothers.
Traveling extensively, he lectures and gives seminars to chefs’ associations, food professionals, cooking students and industry groups from California to Paris on food trends, specialty foods, restaurants, marketing, and restaurant real estate and finance.
Wolf created of a successful line of tableware that is utilized in hotels and restaurants around the country and sold in select retail environments, including Crate & Barrel.
In 2009, Wolf was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the James Beard Foundation. Clark’s website
The Greenup Girl
The Greenup Girl is a Podcaster, Green Movement Marketing Advisor, Sustainability Consultant with 25 years of experience and extensive training in helping animal/nature organizations showcase their green initiatives and conservation efforts for the world to see, experience, and unite. C S has personally assisted hundreds of organizations worldwide build and market profitable, successful marketing campaigns and websites that rank high in the most popular search engines including Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
C S is the podcast host for Greener by Choice. A podcast series that spotlights people, products, and organizations involved in going green to protect the planet. In the first 6 weeks the podcast had 40,162 downloads from over 75 Countries and was featured #3 as a Top Mover by Stitcher and highlighted in iTunes in their New & Noteworthy section.
Also, C S is well versed in the animal niche as a former owner of a Llama touring company, owner/operator of a summer camp for children and director of a 150 acre, 300 animals, USDA licensed petting zoo. She participated in the joy of bottle-raising many animals including; Walter the Wallaby, Melissa the Mule-Footed Hog, Ted the Cheviot lamb, Andy the Aoudad, and numerous others.
C S is also an in-demand web educator and shares her green marketing expertise with a variety of business organizations, including SCORE®, several professional organizations including Center for Women and Enterprise, Boston, NAVC (North American Veterinary Community and Conference ) and educational institutions such as Simmons School of Management, Boston, and an MBA instructor for Interise, Boston.
She is a Board member of Magical Earth Retreats, a non-profit that connects children and adults to nature. Plus, C S is the Southern Vermont Chapter Coordinator for Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility.