Skip Main Navigation
Page Content

Save This Event

Event Saved

VBSR's 29th Annual Spring Conference

Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 from 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM (EDT)

VBSR's 29th Annual Spring Conference

Ticket Information

Ticket Type Sales End Price Fee Quantity
Member - Early Bird Rate May 1, 2019 $165.00 $4.29
Member - Early Bird Rate, Multi-Employee Discount
Save when registering two or more people from your organization!
May 1, 2019 $140.00 $3.79
Non-member May 15, 2019 $215.00 $5.29
Non-Member - Multi-Employee Discount
Save when registering two or more people from your organization!
May 15, 2019 $195.00 $4.89
Legislator/Government Official May 15, 2019 $65.00 $2.29
Full-time Student May 15, 2019 $65.00 $2.29
Champion Member
Five complimentary tickets per Champion.
May 15, 2019 Free $0.00
Conference Underwriter May 15, 2019 Free $0.00
Exhibitor May 15, 2019 Free $0.00
VBSR Changemakers
Must be a member of the 2018/2019 VBSR/High Meadows Changemakers cohort.
May 15, 2019 Free $0.00
Must be pre-approved by VBSR staff
May 15, 2019 Free $0.00
Workshop Presenter May 15, 2019 Free $0.00
Optional Donation
Consider donating to help VBSR offset the costs of the Spring Conference.
May 15, 2019 Enter donation ($)

Share VBSR's 29th Annual Spring Conference

Event Details


VBSR's 29th Annual Spring Conference

Conference Agenda

Twitter: @vbsr  #vbsrspring

Topic Area: C : Communications D: Organizational Development E: Energy & Environment HR: Human Resources I: Innovation & Technology P: Policy SR: Socially Responsible Business Practices

Best for: M: Medium Business L: Large Business A: Business of All Size

For complete, up-to-date information, or to register for the conference, visit





Sasha Mayer, CEO & Co-Founder, Mamava

Sascha MayerSascha Mayer is the CEO and Co-Founder of Mamava, Inc. in Burlington, Vermont. Mamava designs solutions for nursing mamas on the go, and since 2015 has placed over 550 lactation suites in locations as diverse as airports, sports stadiums, automobile factories, and military bases. Mission driven, women-owned, and a Certified B-Corp, Mamava created a category and is the leading expert in lactation spaces. In 2018 Sascha and her Mamava co-founder, Christine Dodson, were the SBA’s Small Business Persons of the Year from Vermont. Sascha also serves on the VBSR Board. 


Please visit our conference exhibitors!



1. Artificial Intelligence, Unconscious Bias, and the Power of Play - I | A
Artificial Intelligence is changing the world of work in ways we are only beginning to comprehend. And we are afraid. Afraid of the unknown. Afraid of change. And when faced with this level of uncertainty, it is difficult to let our best selves rise to the surface. Instead we often react, with our biases taking hold and impacting the path forward. What should we do to counter this? We should play.

CTC Logo

Maribeth Spellman, Director of Workforce Engagement, Hickok & Boardman HR Intelligence


2. The Impact of Culture & Engagement on Customer Satisfaction - D, HR, SR | M, L
How can you use cultural and leadership values, service standards, staff engagement, and process improvements to create a happier customer experience and repeat visits? Come learn from the pros -- Planned Parenthood of Northern New England has some of the highest patient satisfaction scores of any similar medical practice, not only in New England but nationwide.

Kai Williams, VP of Health Center Operations, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England
Brittany Parrish Totin, Training Manager, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England


3. Your Business Has a Mission: Do Your Employees? HR, SR | M, L GFC Logo
Leaders of high performing socially responsible businesses have a passionate “personal elevator speech” that describes why they do what they do. They know their "why." This session will give you tools and ideas for spreading that passion to employees at all levels in the organization and to meaningfully connect them with your organization's mission.

Douglas Wysockey-Johnson, Executive Director of Lumunos


4. Energy Transformation & Technology: Ensuring Access for All - E, I, P, SR | M, LCabot Logo
How do we ensure that underserved groups have access to renewable, clean technologies? Come learn from successful project case studies and lessons learned from around the country on how to ensure that low- and moderate-income households are part of the energy transformation. Businesses, financial institutions, governments, and communities all have a role to play in enabling equity in innovation and energy transformation.

Olivia Campbell Andersen, Executive Director, Renewable Energy Vermont
Jennifer Green, Sustainability Coordinator, Burlington Electric
Geoff Martin, the Town of Hartford Energy Coordinator

5. Grow Your Business: Partnerships for Success - E, I, P, SR | M, L 
Learn how to expand your Vermont business in partnership with the State. Sean Lawson of Lawson's Finest Liquids will overview how collaborating with the State expanded their business. Some of the business growth tools we will cover are: The Vermont Employment Growth Incentive (VEGI) a cash incentive program available to encourage prospective economic activity in business recruitment, growth and expansion and the Vermont Training Program (VTP) a performance-based workforce grants program for pre-employment training, training for new hires, and training for incumbent workers

Brett Long, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Economic Development
John Young, Director, Vermont Training Program
Megan Sullivan, Executive Director, Vermont Economic Progress Council
Sean Lawson, Owner, Lawson’s Finest Liquids


10:30-10:45 - NETWORKING BREAK
Please visit our conference exhibitors!

10:45 - Noon - KEYNOTE Panel - “Hard Questions for Good Businesses” 
Sponsored by Mascoma Bank.

Join us for  a keynote panel featuring a Q & A with some of Vermont's most inspiring business leaders, underwritten by Mascoma Bank. The panel features Duane Peterson, CEO of SunCommon, Sarah Kaeck, founder of Bee's Wrap and Roberta MacDonald, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Cabot.

Mascoma Bank Logo

Mascoma Bank was founded in 1899 by community members seeking ways to establish a healthy local economy. For over 118 years, Mascoma Bank’s foundation of mutuality has continued to be a force for positive change supporting communities to reach thriving sustainability. Now as a Certified B Corporation® we continue our mission to be Best for the World®, a company where we don’t answer to stockholders, but respond to the needs of our communities.

About Our Panelists:

Sara Kaeck, Founder, Bee’s Wrap

Sarah KaeckSarah Kaeck founded Bee’s Wrap in 2012. Searching for an alternative to disposable plastics in her own kitchen, she developed an all natural, reusable food wrap designed to replace plastic wrap. Originally from Pennsylvania, Sarah settled in Vermont in 2007. Since founding Bee’s Wrap, Kaeck has grown the business to more than 35 employees, and Bee's Wrap is sold widely both nationally and internationally.

Roberta MacDonald, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Cabot Creamery

Roberta MacdonaldRoberta is nearing 40 years of consumer product marketing experience, the last 28 of which she has spent as SVP of Marketing for Cabot Creamery Cooperative. She has helped turn the small, farm family owned dairy cooperative into a national player through creative, award-winning and occasionally over-the-top campaigns. Roberta previously served as Vermont's first Marketing Director, a position created for her by Governor Kunin in 1984. She has been recognized with many awards for design, promotions, and high-impact public relations programs, including the highest individual award by B Corps. Roberta is a long-time champion of the co-op movement and speaks frequently on how Cabot rewards volunteers for an indelible brand connection with its farmers’ values. 


Duane Peterson, Co-President, SunCommon

Duane PetersonDuane has a varied background. A social entrepreneur, he’s on his 7th career with stints as a medic, police officer, non-profit manager, political campaigner, justice department official, legislative director and values-led business practitioner. He moved to Vermont in 1996 to help Ben use Ben & Jerry’s as a force for social change. After 12 years as Ben’s Chief of Stuff, Duane left to launch his latest venture — SunCommon — to make it easy and affordable for homeowners to help repower Vermont with clean, safe, in-state energy. A Benefit Corporation and a Certified BCorp, SunCommon is Vermont’s largest provider of residential, community and commercial solar business with over 100 employees. Duane has been a part of the VBSR community since 1996, is a member of the Social Venture Network and serves on the Board of Trustees at VPIRG and on the board at VBSR. In 2015 he received the VBSR Terry Ehrich Award for Lifetime Achievement in values-led business.





6. How (and Why) To Talk About Class at Work - D, HR, SR | M, L UVM CDE
Though economic class is a huge part of workplace diversity, it is hidden, and many of us struggle with how to communicate about it. Come learn why it's hard, and practice strategies for talking about economic realities and bridging economic differences in your workplace. We’ll use trauma-informed tools like practicing vulnerability, interrupting bias, and accountability. Build toward workplace equity and inclusion by learning more about authentic cross class communication.

Deb Witkus, Equity Solutions 
Angela Berkfield, Equity Solutions


7. Finding Solutions: Personal Tech & Social Media Policies for the Workplace - C, HR | A
Should you have concerns about employees using personal tech or engaging with social media in the workplace? We will review sample policies from VBSR member businesses, and discuss solutions and work together to draft sample language for policies you could adopt for your business. Topics of discussion will include productivity, safety, appropriateness, a family friendly approach, and exploring age and other biases to shape inclusive policies that support co-generational workplaces.

Joshua Levy, President, Phantom Labs
Samantha Sheehan, Communications Manager, VBSR
Sas Stewart, Co-Founder, Director of Strategy, Stonecutter Spirits


8.Innovative Benefits + Practices for Family Friendly Workplaces - D, I, HR, SR | M, LVT PBS Logo
Peek behind the curtain of Let's Grow Kids newly launched pilot program, in consultation with Thrive LLC. Created in response to the Vermont business community's desire to address their employees' child care needs through improved benefits and practices, this new approach to benefits and practices is crucial to Vermont’s economic development. 74% of highly-qualified women who left the workforce said childcare was the triggering factor. High-quality, affordable child care is a crucial two-generation support to our workforce, allowing parents to work and building the next generation of skilled employees. Access to reliable, high-quality child care creates more productive employees and decreases absenteeism. This workshop will include real-life case studies of Vermont businesses that are acting to address the childcare and family needs of their employees, and concrete actions businesses can take to improve their own benefits and practices.

Emily Blistein, Director of Business Strategy, Let's Grow Kids
Jennifer Jacobs, HR Management Consultant, Thrive LLC


9. Using Metrics for Change - D, E, HR, I, SR | M, L VT Creamery Logo
"Measure what matters" is well known business knowledge, but how do you know what matters when it comes to your sustainable business? Dive in to the field of sustainability metrics and discover how measurements can drive strategy, innovation, profitability, satisfaction, and more. This workshop will be participatory and it is recommended to bring current sustainability metric scorecards used in your organization and/or take the B-Corp Quick Assessment and bring the results.

Simeon Chapin, Director of Community and Social Development at VSECU
Chris Lyon, Manager of Community and Environmental Impact at Seventh Generation
Emily Gaynor, Business Manager at Bee's Wrap


10.Supporting Employees with Substance Use Disorders: A Toolkit for Employers - D, HR, SR | AVT Business Magazine Logo
Employers may find it difficult to support employees who present with substance use disorders. Sometimes alternative approaches are needed to support employees, but employers aren’t always confident about the best approaches. The Chittenden County Opioid Alliance, in partnership with the Governor’s Opioid Coordination Council, has created a Toolkit for employers with best practice recommendations, resources, and hiring and retention strategies. Come learn about the launch of this new tool and how it can support your business, your managers, human resource staff and employees.

Christine Johnson, Executive Director, Chittenden County Opioid Alliance, @OpioidAlliance
Ron Stankevich, Community Relations Coordinator, Dominion Diagnostics 


2:15 - 2:30 - NETWORKING BREAK
Please visit our conference exhibitors!



11. Driving Results while Delighting Employees & Customers: The Role of Love in Business - D, HR, SR | AUVM Medical Center Logo

What’s the role of love in business? How might your business, our economy and our planet transform with love as our focus? And what does love tangibly look like at work? In this applied experience, participants will hear examples to create a vision for love in their businesses. Join Duane Peterson, Co-Founder of SunCommon, and his colleagues Lori Hanau and Julie Fahnestock from The Love Economy Team as we explore love in business. Expect authentic connection, interactive group activities, storytelling and more.

Duane Peterson, Co-founder of SunCommon
Lori Hanau, Founder Global Round Table Leadership
Julie Fahnestock, Founder, B Storytelling


12. Developing Multigenerational and Culturally Diverse Teams - HR, SR | M, L
Dunkiel_Saunders_LogoToday’s workplace is changing, is your business evolving with it?  Learn to identify how stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination can undermine team cohesion within your workforce.  Explore how to expand a limiting perspective of what everyone can offer. Begin to examine your own generational and cultural ‘default settings’ and learn about how more inclusive teams can build stronger, more creative and resilient organizations.

Rain Banbury, Consultant and Professional Trainer, Vermont Panurgy  


13. Messaging Your Mission: Content to Amplify Your Online Presence - SR | AVPR Logo
Can you include your organization's social responsibility in your marketing and be authentic? Using infographics to grab people’s attention and illustrate socially-responsible programs and their benefits and impacts, we’ll discuss ways of showing your organization’s environmental, cultural and community-oriented achievements. Together, we will create an online strategy for a social responsibility campaign using ideas from the group.

Craig Chevrier, Founder/Web Strategist, Answer Media
Jess Graham, Art Director, The Alchemist Brewer


14. Vermont Businesses for #Resistance - Companies Champion Policy Change - E, P, SR | A
Bring your ideas and your voice. Vermont values are threatened by actions taken in Washington, D.C., and it’s more important than ever for socially responsible businesses to talk about what matters to them and their communities. Business leaders lend valuable expertise to conversations in Vermont’s State House, influencing state policy decisions that value sustainable economic development, clean water, environmental protection, workplace quality, and healthy communities. This interactive workshop will feature the work of business leaders in developing and implementing policy solutions to ensure the economic security of Vermont’s workforce and the prosperity of the state.

Daniel Barlow, Public Policy Manager, Daniel Barlow
Kelly Ault, Public Engagement Director, Vermont Early Childhood Advocacy Alliance

Sascha Mayer, CEO and Co-Founder, Mamava
Sas Stewart, Co-Founder and Director of Strategy, Stonecutter Spirits
Bram Kleppner, CEO of Danforth Pewter


15. Legal Quiz Bowl - Issues and Challenges for Growing Businesses - HR | S, MVT Digger Logo
Hear about the latest important legal (and non-legal) issues and challenges facing growing businesses, in a fun, interactive, gameshow format. From human resources, trademarks and other intellectual property, corporate/organizational, marketing/claims and others -- this workshop is your opportunity to test your knowledge and get answers to your burning legal questions.

Justin McCabe, Partner at Dunkiel Saunders
Heather Wright, Partner at WrightJones
Zoe Sajor, Attorney at Dunkiel Saunders


The Honorable Governor Phil Scott (invited)


Come and unwind while sharing your news and insights from the day with colleagues, peers and friends. Enjoy great food and a cash bar featuring VBSR Members.



Topic Area: C : Communications D: Organizational Development E: Energy & Environment HR: Human Resources I: Innovation & Technology P: Policy SR: Socially Responsible Business Practices

Best for: M: Medium Business L: Large Business A: Business of All Size


A. N. Deringer, Inc.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Bee's Wrap
Black River Produce
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Vermont
Burton Snowboards
Business Culture Consultants
Cabot Creamery Cooperative
Casella Resource Solutions
Champlain College
Chroma Technology
Community Bank, N.A.
Cx Associates
Delta Dental
Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC
Downstreet Housing and Community Development
Dunkiel Saunders Elliott Raubvogel & Hand
Gardener's Supply
Ivy Computer, Inc.
Leonardo's Pizza, Inc.
Marketing Partners, Inc.
McKenzie Country Classics
Merritt & Merritt, Attorneys at Law
Middlebury College
Montgomery & Granai, PC
MRG, Inc.
New Chapter
Norwich Solar Technologies
NRG Systems
Phoenix Books and Cafe
Sheehey, Furlong & Behm P.C.
Third Place Inc.
TruexCullins Architecture and Interior Design
Union Mutual
University of Vermont
Vermont Department of Economic Development
Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA)
Vermont Gas Systems, Inc.

Have questions about VBSR's 29th Annual Spring Conference? Contact Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility

Save This Event

Event Saved

When & Where

University of Vermont Davis Center
590 Main Street
Burlington, VT 05405

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 from 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM (EDT)

  Add to my calendar

Please log in or sign up

In order to purchase these tickets in installments, you'll need an Eventbrite account. Log in or sign up for a free account to continue.