VBSR’s 29th Annual Conference – Champion Change in the Workplace & Marketplace

Event Details:
When: May 15, 2019 7:30 am – May 15, 2019 5:00 am
Location: UVM Davis Center, 590 Main St, Burlington, VT

Cost To Attend:
Nonmembers – $215
VBSR Members – $190

Registration is closed

ONLINE REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED. A limited number of walk-ins will be accepted at the UVM Davis Center.

Join us for the 29th Annual VBSR Spring Conference “Champion Change, in the Workplace & Marketplace” May 15th at the LEED certified UVM Davis Center. Throughout the day, you will engage in workshops designed to help CSR-minded professionals find new opportunities through values-led work. Attendees will enjoy a localvore menu, visit with 40+ exhibitors, and enjoy a cocktail reception and networking opportunities with more than 300 forward-thinking business professionals. This year, we are thrilled to present 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 Creamery.


 Workshop Key

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


Champion Change in the Workplace & the Marketplace


Light breakfast, Networking



Sascha Mayer, CEO & Co-Founder, Mamava, Inc.

Sascha Mayer, Mamava

Sascha 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. Mamava’s smartlock-enabled lactation suites and mobile app are designed with consideration of the biological, physical, and emotional needs of nursing mamas (and babies) on the go.

Sascha started with Solidarity of Unbridled Labour (Mamava’s birthplace) in 1995. She helped to develop the Living Brand®, Solidarity’s philosophy on brands and brand creation. As Strategy Director, Sascha participated in the creation of many brands, including HP, Levi’s, Lululemon, Merrell Apparel, Nike Women. Before joining Solidarity, Sascha worked for the office of Congressman (now Senator) Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.), where she served as staff assistant and assistant press secretary. In 2018 Sascha and her Mamava co-founder, Christine Dodson, were the SBA’s Small Business Persons of the Year from Vermont.



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 beginningCTC Logo 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.

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

2. The Impact of Culture & Engagement on Customer Satisfaction – D, HR, SR | M, L

BIA Diagnostics Logo

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, LGallagher Flynn 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 – D, SR | A LGK Logo

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



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 Creamery.

Mascoma Bank LogoMascoma 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 traveled extensively before settling in Vermont in 2007. In the six years 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 for B Corps. Prior to moving to Vermont, Roberta provided marketing consulting and/or staff services for the San Francisco Opera, National Endowment for the Arts, Ford Foundation, American Express, Information Industry Association, NYU, CBS, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. 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. In her free time, she volunteers for hospice services in Burlington, Vermont.

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. The common thread: organizing people to take meaningful action towards positive change. He moved to Vermont in 1996 to help Ben use Ben & Jerry’s as a force for social change. After 12 years there 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, and his wife Laura served as VBSR’s Program Manager back in the day. He’s a member of the Social Venture Network and serves on the Board of Trustees at VPIRG. He was recognized by VBSR in 2015 with the Terry Ehrich Award for Lifetime Achievement in values-led business.


12:00 – 1:00


1:00 – 2:15


6. How (and Why) To Talk About Class at Work D, HR, SR | AUVM CDE logo

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 | AVT PBS Logo

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, HR, I, SR | M, LVermont Creamery Logo

Peek behind the curtain of the Let’s Grow Kids pilot program, newly launched 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 hearing real-life case studies of Vermont businesses who are acting to address the child care 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
Shelley Sayward, Vice President and Assistant General Council, Casella

9. Using Metrics for Change – D, E, HR, I, SR | M, LDunkiel_Saunders_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 | AVBM 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

Please visit our conference exhibitors!


2:30 – 3:45UVM Health Network Logo

11. The Love Economy Presents a VBSR  Love in Business Experience: An Invitation to Explore Love for Yourself, Company & Community– D, HR, SR | A

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, SunCommon
Lori Hanau, Founder Global Round Table Leadership
Julie Fahnestock, Founder, B Storytelling

12. Developing Multigenerational and Culturally Diverse Teams – HR, SR | M, LTruex Cullins Logo

Today’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 – C, 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 MediaVRV Logo
Jess Graham, Art Director, The Alchemist Brewery

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

Sivan Cotel, Co-Founder & Director of Operations, 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, game show 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.




Twitter: @vbsr  #vbsrspring

Click here for more information about our Underwriters.

Thank you to our sponsors:

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.
Union Mutual
University of Vermont
Vermont Department of Economic Development
Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA)
Vermont Gas Systems, Inc.


Thank you to our 2019 Champion Member Underwriters  

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