Conference Agenda

7:30 am – 8:00 am


Morning Wellness: Embodied Breath Meditation for Personal Sustainability and Emotional Resilience

​Kick of your conference day by engaging in a mindful movement and breath practice to embody the skills that navigate stress, uncertainty, and trauma, and connect to your potential and personal power.  In addition, the practice aids in focus, shifts and elevates energy, and enables choice between unnecessary reactivity and thoughtful, wise proactivity. This practice is an individual one, but when done together as a group, it can build strength and wellbeing that translates into a healthy, functional workforce and community members that contribute to and elevate one another, and it can be a bonding experience for a remote team. 

-    Christine Badalamenti Smith, Yoga Oggi

8:00 am – 9:00 am

 

Keynote Address

-    Dr. Ellonda Williams, B Lab

Sponsored by:

 

9:00 am – 9:15 am

Break

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9:15 am – 10:30 am

 

Power & Privilege: Exploring Daily Manifestations of Systemic Oppression in the Workplace

A substantial investment in where we’ve been is foundational to achieving our vision for a more equitable world. You will learn to recognize racism, white supremacy, and their everyday occurrences -- with special attention to orientalism, xenophobia, and anti-Blackness. Together we will unpack buzzwords and dive into the theoretical understandings of systemic oppression, and empower you to take meaningful action to support marginalized groups in your workplace.

-    Kadijah Means, Kadijah Means Consulting

Sponsored by:

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Building a Hybrid Team Culture

Vermont companies and organizations have worked swiftly and creatively to maintain a strong office culture in remote and hybrid work environments throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and are now looking toward the future where hybrid in-person/remote workplaces will remain prevalent. Hear from three companies who will share the tools and strategies they have employed to create strong team cultures that value creativity, collaboration, open communication, and wellness. This will be a participatory workshop where we will all learn from our collective experiences.

-    David Epstein, TruexCullins

-    Daron Byerly, Burton

-    Lisa Yaeger, Vermont Foodbank

Sponsored by:

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Carbon Reduction in Businesses Large and Small
From running an office to manufacturing products and shipping packages, businesses are responsible for climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions. These emissions must decrease steeply in order to halt climate change. But what is a business leader to do about it? Brands can and must lead by choosing to measure, offset, and reduce their emissions. Every company should know its carbon footprint and every company should invest in offsetting and reducing that footprint. In this workshop we’ll discuss strategies for businesses large and small to make a dent in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions so that net-zero can become a reality. 

-    Austin Whitman, Climate Neutral

-    Cyrus Schenck, Renoun Skis

Sponsored by:

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10:30 am – 10:45 am

 

Break

10:45 am – 12:00 pm

Organizational JEDI Strategies: Sharing Experiences, Challenges, and Lessons Learned

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion efforts are becoming a greater priority in the business community, and now more than ever, companies and organizations are re-evaluating their policies, communications, and practices with the goal of creating more diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplaces. At last year’s conference, VBSR brought together a group of business leaders to discuss the beginnings of their Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion journeys. This year, we’re bringing together another group of leaders to share their strategies, efforts, and challenges, and discuss what comes next.

-    Sandrine Kibuey, CVOEO

-    Hallie Picard, The Alchemist

-    Sarah Barrett, PC Construction

-    Howard Harris, DCSEU / VEIC

-    Moderated by: Jude Smith Rachele, Abundant Sun

Sponsored by: 

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Divest/Invest: Free Your Employee Retirement Plan from Carbon Pollution

The Divest/Invest movement already has moved $14 trillion out of investments that are harming our air, water, land, ecosystems, and people.  Learn how your business too can align your efforts to promote employee wealth with the need to protect our planet - with fiduciary rigor! It’s the right thing to do, what employees want, increasingly what customers expect, and easier than ever.

-    Duane Peterson, Suncommon

-    Shaun King, Hickok & Boardman Retirement Solutions

-    Leslie Sameulrich, Green Century Funds

Sponsored by:

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Building a Culture of Purpose

Successful purpose driven brands build strong and deep corporate cultures. Those cultures must be systemically and holistically aligned with the businesses mission, vision and values. Purpose based cultures impact and influence all aspects of the business and must be invented and reinvented as a business grows and evolves. Seventh Generation Co-Founder, Jeffrey Hollender, will share how to build and maintain a culture that creates an outstanding place to work, support a brand that engenders tremendous customer loyalty, and create significant financial value.

-    Jeffrey Hollender, American Sustainable Business Council

Sponsored by:

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12:05 pm – 12:35 pm

Visit our Virtual Exhibitor Hall to Meet Our Exhibitors

Catch up with colleagues and visit each of our exhibitor's booths in our virtual exhibitor hall. Each exhibitor will have their own Zoom breakout room, so you'll have the opportunity to have private conversations each exhibitor who you're interested in connecting with. 

Learn more about our Conference Exhibitors.

 

12:35 pm – 12:45 pm

 

Break

12:45 pm – 2:00 pm

Building a Diverse and Inclusive Culture 

How do we sustain our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts over time? What is necessary to ensure your DEI initiatives aren’t “check the box” activities? This training will establish a shared meaning and focus on foundational concepts and strategies to foster a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture. Topics to be discussed will include foundations and awareness of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, DEI initiatives that work, and identifying actionable strategies to help foster a more diverse and inclusive organization. We’ll also hear from Northeast Delta Dental about their experience with this training and its impact.

-    Jermaine Moore, The Mars Hill Group

-    Connie Roy-Czyzowski, Northeast Delta Dental

Sponsored by: 

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Cohesive Actions to Avert Climate Change, Make Money, Power Our State with Clean Energy, and Nurture Thriving Communities​​

How can businesses bring their companies to the next level of environmental and social regeneration? How can the inherent synergies between affordable Net Zero and Positive Energy building and workforce housing, renewable energy, low carbon materials, and profit link together? We have an immense opportunity to look at how businesses can create new connections, synergies, jobs, and profits while supporting employees and their community (triple bottom line and beyond). The panelists will share solution-based examples, expertise, and insights from the field to generate a foundation for the conversation. Then we will wrap participants into a brainstorming session and collectively connect disparate parts of our economy in ways that will find the untapped potential within our existing systems, elevate everyone, and generate a pathway forward. Let’s dream big!

-    Bill Maclay, Maclay Architects

-    Eveline Killian, Cx Associates

-    Chad Farrell, Encore Renewables

-    Laura Bailey, Maclay Architects

Sponsored by:

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Mind the Gap! Pay Equity Tools for Vermont’s Small to Mid-Size Employers​​

So, you are committed to paying your employees equitably, but can you be sure that your compensation system is supporting that goal rather than working against it? If you employ fewer than 400 people, you might struggle to calculate job-to-job wage or salary comparisons that are statistically significant. And you may not have a lot of room in your budget for an outside auditor. Help is here! Over the past year, the Change The Story VT initiative partnered with Sadowski Consulting Services and seven Vermont employers—including a number of VBSR members—to create a methodology and the tools employers need to conduct their own periodic pay equity reviews. In this workshop, we will use a diverse set of case studies to explore how the free Leaders for Equity and Equal Pay (LEEP) Toolkit can turn your pay data into illustrative charts tailored to your organizational structure and equity framework. You will leave with deeper knowledge about the complexities underlying pay inequity and with the tools to look deeply at your own compensation data, to course correct if necessary and to “mind the gap” in years to come. The LEEP Toolkit will be released to the general public in early June, and will be free of charge to encourage Vermont employers to conduct their own gender and racial pay equity audits and lead the way to pay equity.

-    Jessica Nordhaus, Change the Story

-    Alison Lamagna, Vermont Works for Women

-    Al Johnson-Kurts, Change the Story

-    Frank Sadowski, Sadowski Consulting Services

Sponsored by:

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2:00 pm – 2:15 pm

 

Break

 

2:15 pm – 3:15 pm

Moving Into Action: Turning Today’s Inspiration into A Powerful Action Plan

A VBSR conference can leave you inspired with many ideas. This interactive workshop will help you identify both what you want to move forward and how through a variety of individual exercises, distinctions, and reflections. Leave the conference with a concrete course of action that feels inspiring, clear and manageable! There will be an opportunity to connect around similar goals, and to build in some accountability support for those interested. An optional follow-up session will be offered one month later.

-    Kerry Secrest, Watershed Coaching

-    Samantha Pause, Mascoma Bank

Businesses at the Forefront of Policy Change: Stories, Strategies, and Impact 

Join VBSR members and policy leaders for an in-depth discussion on how businesses can leverage their influence to advance legislation and policies that support positive social and environmental impact. Hear stories from business advocates from across the state about how their advocacy has helped drive Vermont toward a new paradigm — one that promotes a healthier and mutually beneficial relationship between businesses, employees, local communities, and our planet. This workshop is for everyone and anyone seeking to influence positive change. No experience necessary!

-    Sascha Mayer, Mamava; Chair, VBSR Public Policy Committee

-    Alex MacLean, Leonine Public Affairs

-    Nick Sherman, Leonine Public Affairs

-    Meredith Roberts, American Nurses Association - Vermont

-    Sas Stewart, Adventure Dinner

-    Mickey Wiles, Working Fields

 

3:15 pm – 4:00 pm

 

Virtual Networking

Participate in four ten-minute rounds of small group networking to debrief the day, discuss highlights, and connect with the VBSR community!