Join SCORE Vermont on Friday, May 7th as we close out Small Business Week with a summit that any small business owner, or budding entrepreneur, will not want to miss - and it’s free!

With over 30 speakers and panelists, we are going to talk about managing change in your business - whether you're in the idea phase, start-up phase, have a few years in, or are a well-established business.

Concentrating on a few key areas in small business, we have lined up a lot of local small business owners, professionals, and entrepreneurs, to discuss methodology, tips, hacks, and even share some business horror stories. 

Come and be inspired by keynote speaker Steve Gagner of 14th Star Brewing!

If you've never had the chance to see Steve speak before, don't miss out on this opportunity. He's dynamic, he's real, and he tells it like it is.

Today’s business owners need to have a host of skills to start, adapt, sustain, expand or grow their businesses. They also need to understand accounting & finance, digital media, business planning, performance measurements, operations, bookkeeping, taxes, and e-Commerce. In other words, many of today’s business owners have to wear multiple hats. If that weren't enough, modern entrepreneurs also have to adapt to factors in today’s changing environment ranging from COVID-19 to innovations in technology, new competition, and changes in tax laws and government regulation.

This (more than) half-day virtual summit will educate new business entrepreneurs and existing business owners on how to start, sustain, adapt/change, expand, and/or grow their businesses.

While this summit is being held online, participants will also have the opportunity to engage with other attendees, speakers, and panelists, across the virtual format. We've taken your feedback to heart - each content area consists of a short mini-presentation by key speakers, followed by discussions with panelists, speakers, and other attendees.

What You Need to Know About this Event

  • Being hosted on Zoom, this event will be in "meeting style" not a traditional webinar.
  • This event is not a confidential meeting; use your discretion when sharing information.
  • Most sessions include a mini-presentation, followed by a lengthy Q&A portion with the speakers, panelists and other attendees.
  • Sessions are designed to run from the top of the hour for about 45 minutes, leaving you plenty of time to get up, stretch, grab a new notebook, or grab a beverage of choice.
  • Most sessions have content created based on the needs of 2 types of businesses - the start-up/young business owners and the more established business owner. 
  • The E-Commerce session is for all business owners at any phase of their business.
  • The Small Business Resources Meet & Greet, also for business owners at any phase, is a great opportunity to meet representatives from various agencies that provide assistance to small businesses. 
Agenda
  • 8:30a: Virtual doors open
  • 8:45a: Introduction to SCORE
  • 9:00a: Keynote Speaker: Steve Gagner of 14th Star Brewing
  • 10:00a: Finance Breakout Rooms
  • 11:00a: Marketing Breakout Rooms
  • 12:00p: E-Commerce Breakout Room -or- Small Business Resources Meet & Greet Breakout Room
  • 1:00p: The Entrepreneur Mindset Breakout Rooms
Speakers & Panelists:

Keynote Speaker: Steve Gagner

Steve Gagner is a Soldier, entrepreneur, and educator. He currently serves on active duty as the Battalion Commander of the Army's Mountain Warfare School and is the founder of 14th Star Brewing, Danger Close Craft Distilling, and Gagner Sa Vie Leathercraft. He holds an MBA in finance and lives in St Albans, VT with his wife Nicole and their two children.

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Cairn Cross: FreshTracks Capital

Session: Finance

Cairn Cross is a co-founder of FreshTracks Capital and serves as a Managing Director of the Fund.  Cairn presently serves on the boards of FreshTracks portfolio companies Vermont Teddy Bear, NativeEnergy, Faraday, and Mamava.  

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Cathy Davis: Lake Champlain Chamber

Session: Small Business Resources

Cathy serves as President of the Lake Champlain Chamber. LCC powers prosperity in the Lake Champlain region, seeking economic opportunity for all; celebrating business ownership and entrepreneurship; promoting a robust, diversified visitor economy; cultivating community leadership; and nurturing emerging talent. 

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Cheryl Stein: SCORE Vermont

Session: Marketing

Cheryl Stein has owned and operated a CMIT Solutions franchise in Rochester NY for the past 10 years and has recently expanded into other entrepreneurial ventures. Throughout her career, she's leveraged her marketing background to drive growth in highly competitive markets. Today, she resides in Vermont with her husband and their children while she continues to expand her own business and volunteers as a mentor with SCORE.

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Dan Winslow: VCLF

Session: Finance

Dan Winslow is a Loan Officer with the Vermont Community Loan Fund. He has been working at VCLF for ten years to help small businesses achieve their financing goals. Prior to this, he worked as a Loan Analyst for Vermont Student Assistance Corporation. He is a graduate of Saint Michael's College. 

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Darcy Carter: SBA

Session: Small Business Resources

Darcy Carter is the District Director of the SBA Vermont office since 2008. She is responsible for the delivery and management of the U. S. Small Business Administration’s financial and business development programs throughout the state of Vermont.

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Denise Dukette: SCORE Vermont

Session: E-Commerce

Denise Dukette, former Marketing Director, former admin, former “glue that keeps it all together,” is an insanely curious, super enthusiastic virtual assistant and serial entrepreneur. Working from her home office in Vermont since 2006, Denise works with select clients who make the world a better place and pass the “Is Awesome to Work With Test.”  When not working in her various business endeavors, Denise volunteers at SCORE Vermont helping small business take their digital marketing, branding and SEO to the next level.

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Erika Austin: Erika Austin Digital Marketing

Session: Marketing

Erika Austin had spent eleven years in e-commerce and digital marketing for OnLogic, one of Vermont's fastest-growing tech companies. Erika used her experience to start her own digital marketing consulting where she interprets data and information into actionable insights for business growth and specializes in search optimization and search advertising. Erika recently announced that she is joining Local Maverick to build a platform for shopping local and empowering small businesses through Maverick Marketing..

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Flip Brown: Business Culture Consultants

Session: The Entrepreneur Mindset

Business Culture Consultants serves entrepreneurs and their teams in terms of specific ways to work together better. We do this by decoding the patterns of communication, interaction, and behaviors so that what everyone experiences is in alignment with the company's values, mission, and vision. The outcome is better business results and a deeper sense of satisfaction.

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George Sales: SCORE Vermont

Session: Marketing, The Entrepreneur Mindset

George Sales is a small-business and managing owner of Pica-pica Filipino Cuisine in St. Johnsbury. He is a strong advocate for rebuilding downtown communities and promoting stronger, sustainable economic development. He brings more than 15 years of management consulting experience as an independent consultant and with Big 4 Consulting (KPMG), both with private and public sector clients. In addition, George volunteers as a business mentor at SCORE Vermont.

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Gwen Pokalo: CWE

Session: Small Business Resources, The Entrepreneur Mindset

In 2016, Gwen Pokalo joined the Center for Women & Enterprise's exciting tradition of developing & delivering high-quality programming and technical assistance to women in business. Gwen has worked in local economic development in a variety of capacities and environments. She holds an MS in Community Development & Economic Development from the University of Vermont, where she developed a microbusiness incubator to assist emerging Vermont value-added-food and artisan entrepreneurs through a retail store and academic technical assistance model.

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Heather Frechette-Crowley: Root Marketing

Session: Marketing

Heather is Principal and Founder of Root Marketing, a firm specializing in helping small and medium-sized businesses. Before jumping off the corporate ladder, she spent 20+ years in online and product marketing across industries. Heather uses the skills she honed working in Corporate America (plus healthy doses of wit and humor) to help clients increase visibility, expand reach, and grow revenue. A self-described coffee fiend, Heather lives in Essex Junction with her sassy tween, spirited rescue dog, and extremely patient husband.

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Jacob Dubois: Uptown Cow

Session: E-Commerce

Jacob is the owner of Uptown Cow which helps e-commerce store owners manage & grow their online store in order to spend more time on the things they enjoy. Their team uses a variety of tools (email marketing, ad management, SEO) to yield higher conversions for clients to scale their online store.

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John Louchheim: SCORE Vermont

Session: Marketing

John Louchheim has twenty-five years' experience starting, growing, and selling IT Professional Services firms. Along the way, he sold multi-million dollar contracts, built and managed an effective sales force, established and maintained operational procedures, oversaw creation and implementation of a nimble systems development methodology, raised venture capital, negotiated credit with banks, hired hundreds of employees (and fired a couple), protected the company's service mark, trademarks, and intellectual property, and did whatever to grow companies into successful enterprises. Currently, John volunteers as a business mentor at SCORE Vermont.

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John Parmelee: SCORE Vermont

Session: The Entrepreneur Mindset

When not teaching Hospitality Financial Management, Lodging Operations Management, Field Experience, and restaurant operations labs in Samuel D’s at SUNY Plattsburgh, John also gives back to the community by volunteering as a business mentor at SCORE Vermont.

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Julia Scott: J.Scott Marketing

Session: Marketing

Before forming J.Scott Marketing, Julia worked as a newspaper reporter, contributing to a Pulitzer Prize and starting a website that was featured in the Wall Street Journal, Good Morning America, NPR, and more. Through these adventures, she discovered and mastered many marketing and communications solutions that her team now offers to clients. Julia relishes the unique challenge of building relationships with each of her clients and their teams and is proud that 75% of our partnerships continue beyond the initial contract. When Julia is not taking charge for her clients, she loves to be in the woods, grow (some of) her own food, and wake up early.

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Kelly Clements: Gordon's Window Decor

Session: The Entrepreneur Mindset

Graduating from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communication, Kelly joined Gordon’s on a part-time basis in 2003 and fell in love with the business. Now as president, she loves working in the family business that is based in design, manufacturing, innovation, and quality.

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Kerry Pfrimmer: SCORE District Director

Presenter: Introduction to SCORE

Progressing through the ranks as a driven coach and mentor to Sales & Marketing teams, Kerry has had a deep impact on successful business development campaigns resulting in dominant market position and exponential growth within multiple industries and segments. Kerry’s ongoing commitment to make contributions and serve in a public way has been long standing as exemplified by his current role at SCORE as District Director of the NH, VT & CFE area.

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Linda Rossi: VT SBDC

Session: Small Business Resources

Linda Rossi, State Director, is extremely proud of the cohesive and high-performing VtSBDC team. She joined the VtSBDC program in 2005 and has been a business advisor, Assistant Director and Associate State Director prior to becoming State Director in 2013. She is Chair of the New England region’s professional development program including Core Competency onboarding for new advisors.

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Lisa Wood: Mercy Connections

Session: Marketing, Small Business Resources

Lisa Wood is a certified life and business coach, champion for women entrepreneurs, and the Director of the Women's Small Business Program at Mercy Connections. She focuses on teaching women how to build sustainable businesses, operate them effectively and authentically, and reduce the often overwhelming aspects of being a solo business owner.

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Louise Coles: SCORE Vermont

Session: Marketing, The Entrepreneur Mindset

Louise Coles is a Certified Mentor at SCORE Vermont, specializing in helping those who want to start their own business. In addition, she is a Certified Professional Coach and owns her own coaching business specializing in leadership development as well as organizational Performance, by helping companies build bridges between groups. Instead of following her first passion of cooking and becoming a culinary entrepreneur, Louise became an engineer with IBM in Product Development.

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Matt Cleare: Davis & Hodgdon Associates CPAs

Session: Finance

Matt Cleare, CPA, is part of the team at Davis & Hodgdon Associates CPAs, specializing in accounting, business management and strategy, tax, and finance.

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Mieko Ozeki: Radiance Studios, LLC

Session: Marketing

Mieko Ozeki (she/her) is the owner of Radiance Studios LLC, a digital marketing consultancy, and cofounder of Vermont Womenpreneurs, an event production that supports a network of women-owned businesses in the Green Mountain. Currently, she is serving as a Commissioner on Vermont Governor Phil Scott's Future of Food Commission and is an Advisory Member of the Vermont Farmers Market Association. She is an advocate for small businesses, sustainability and sustainable agriculture.

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Mike Furst: SCORE Vermont

Session: The Entrepreneur Mindset

With decades of experience as a banker (both commercial and investment) as well as a manager and board member for emerging entrepreneurial companies and non-profits, Mike has been a serial entrepreneur in both the service and manufacturing sectors and have extensive international business and international trade experience. Today, Mike is a certified business mentor at SCORE Vermont putting that experience to help clients realize their dreams.

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Nick Grimley: State of Vermont: Department of Economic Development

Session: Small Business Resources

Nick is an experienced business professional with a passion for growing Vermont's entrepreneurial ecosystem. Co-Founder of LaunchVT, the state's largest business pitch competition, helping entrepreneurs connect with the people and resources they need to succeed. 

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Dr. Pelin Kohn: SCORE Vermont

Session: The Entrepreneur Mindset

Dr. Kohn is currently working as a Leadership Program Coordinator at the Psychology, Education, and Leadership Department at Norwich University. Having both business (practical) and theoretical knowledge on leadership development allows her to bring real-life experiences in her class and integrate practical and theoretical knowledge during her teachings. In her spare time, Dr. Kohn volunteers at SCORE Vermont to help coordinate and put on amazing workshops and summits.

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Ray Stahl: SCORE Vermont

Session: Marketing

Currently VP of Marketing at Kotem, Ray has been in various roles in sales, business development, and marketing roles in the IT and software markets for 30+ years. Cofounded (and sold) a SaaS business. As a former SCORE client, Ray chose to become a SCORE Vermont mentor to provide the same experienced, objective, and practical advice to small businesses as his way to give back to the local community.

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Rob Miller: VSECU

Session: Finance

Robert Miller is President and Chief Executive Officer for VSECU, a member-owned cooperative and not-for-profit credit union in Vermont. VSECU serves over 70,000 members with more than $1 billion in assets, 200 employees, and 9 branch locations statewide. Rob graduated from the University of Vermont and started a career in financial services with Citibank in New York and Chicago. He relocated back to Vermont as a state employee and public servant; working for the Vermont Department of Economic Development where he ultimately served as Commissioner.

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Rosemarie White: Northfield Savings Bank

Session: Finance

Rosemarie is currently a Vice President of Commercial Banking at Northfield Savings Bank, the largest bank headquartered in the state of Vermont. I have been a commercial lender for over 25 years and during that time provided financing for businesses of all sizes and industries. My greatest job satisfaction comes from helping business owners achieve their dreams and creating good-paying jobs in the state.

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Ross Miller: SCORE Vermont

Session: Finance

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Sarah Beal: Common Deer

Session: The Entrepreneur Mindset

Founder & Business Development and Strategist at Common Deer, Sarah's business is a marketplace for American Made goods from the ground up with over 1,000 small brands supported.

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Steve Greenfield: SCORE Vermont

Session: Finance

With a long career at VEDA, Steve's background includes deep experience in lending to commercial and agricultural businesses of all sizes, analyzed business plans and strategy, and in present-day, mentors at SCORE Vermont.

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Tim Smith: FCIDC

Session: Small Business Resources

Tim Smith is the Executive Director at the Franklin County Industrial Development Corp. (or FCIDC, for short). FCIDC provides financing to small, value-added businesses through its Revolving Loan Fund. Loans range from $25,000 to $250,000 and are typically leveraged with a commercial bank loan. Revolving Loan funds are available to start-up and established value-added businesses located in Franklin and Grand Isle Counties.

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Will Carlson: Will Carlson Consulting, LLC

Session: Finance

Will Carlson Consulting, LLC is a small financial services company based out of Burlington, VT, focusing on bookkeeping, payroll and other systems to keep your business healthy. Our goal is not only to provide these key services, but to build an education and awareness around making smart fiscal choices for your business.

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Additional Speakers Coming!

We are continually adding speakers so check back daily!

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Keep up to date with our upcoming freeworkshops by joining the SCORE Vermont mailing list!

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Event Sponsors

A big thank you to the sponsors for this event!

NSB: Northfield Savings Bank

FCIDC: Franklin County Industrial Development Corp.