Friday, January 25, 2019
Entrepreneurs: Allison Hooper, Eleanor Léger, Sas Stewart, & Markey Read, featuring Janice St Onge, Kristine Michelson and Zoe Brickley
Calling all entrepreneurs! Join us for a one day seminar hosted by some of Vermont’s most well-poised women in business. The seminar is designed specifically for women who are considering taking the next leap in business development. The day will begin with Allison Hooper founder of Vermont Creamery, Eleanor Léger, co-owner and CEO of Eden Ice Cider and Sas Stewart, Co-founder and President of Stonecutter Spirits coming together to share their stories of blood, sweat, tears and joy. Markey Read from Career Networks will host an all star cast of characters that will also provide workshops covering business development, sales & marketing, finance and raising capital for you to choose from. The day will end in a culminating group discussion followed by a social hour. There will be plenty of time to network, share your personal stories and gain the confidence you need to take your business to the next level. Space is limited to allow for small workshop groups; coffee, snacks and lunch are provided.
Workshops to choose from:
Session 1 (choose one)
- Toolkit of a Successful Entrepreneur with Sas Stewart
- Business Economics with Eleanor Léger
Session 2 (choose one)
- Marketing & Branding with Allison Hooper
- Raising Capital with Janice St Onge
Session 3 (choose one)
- Legal Topics with Kristina Michelson
- Sales & Distribution with Zoe Brickley from Cellars at Jasper Hill
Need some more information before you register? Let us know!
Prerequisites: There are no formal prerequisites for this class. In order to take full advantage of this course students should have experience operating a small business and be well versed in the basic terminology of small business management.
Tuition & Fees: $130 covers the cost of the class, most course materials, and daily meals from our top-ranked Sterling Kitchen. Accommodations are not included in course pricing. If you would like to apply for financial assistance associated with course cost, please let us know.
Housing Availability & Fees: On-campus housing is not available for this course. For local recommendations please see our accommodations page.
Allison Hooper is a pioneer of artisan cheesemaking, entrepreneur and co-founder of Vermont Creamery, Allison Hooper was named one of the “most innovative women in food and drink” by Food & Wine and Forbes magazines in 2015. For more than 34 years, Allison has been at the helm of the artisan cheese industry, introducing goat cheeses, cultured butter, and crème fraiche to the American palate. In 2012 she and her business partner Bob Reese started Ayers Brook Goat Dairy in Randolph Vermont to supply goats’ milk to the creamery and practice improved genetics, nutrition, and goat husbandry as a resource for aspiring goat farmers. A former president of the American Cheese Society (ACS) and the founding president of the Vermont Cheese Council, Allison has been a voice for U.S. cheesemakers and a mentor to fellow entrepreneurs in the specialty food industry. Vermont Creamery was acquired by Land O’Lakes , a farmer owned Cooperative. Allison’s family retained ownership of the Ayers Brook Goat Dairy.
Eleanor Léger After graduating from Wharton, Eleanor began her 25-year career in business consulting. In 2007, after moving with her French-Canadian husband Albert to the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont where she began her transition from full-time consultant to full-time cider maker. In 2012, Eleanor along with her husband Albert and a number of investors purchased a former department store on Main Street in Newport, VT. Tenants leasing space in the building include: the Newport Ciderhouse Bar & Grill, Jocelyn & Cinta’s Bake Shop, Butternut Mountain Maple, Beans by the Border Coffee Shop, and the Tasting Bar for Eden Specialty Ciders, whose cider production facility is also located in the basement. The tenants manage the NEK Tasting Center on a cooperative basis adding to the vibrant foodie scene in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.
She maintains Cidernomics, a personal blog about her personal findings and reflections of the cider business.
Sas Stewart, Co-founder and President of Stonecutter Spirits, an award-winning craft spirits distillery making thoughtful, vibrant aged gin and whiskey in Middlebury, Vermont. Combining a background in fine dining and training in sustainable business development, Sas has chased her love of great food and drink around the world, living and working in Hawaii, New York City, Denmark and Italy before finding her home base and craft spirits community in Vermont. After moving to the Green Mountain State, Sas continued to sink her teeth deeper into the beverage world, consulting on business and brand development with emerging alcohol brands before launching her own company.
Sas’company and projects have been written up in Martha Stewart Living, Food and Wine, Sift, Outside, Edible Green Mountains, Eating Well, Bloomberg, Seven Days and other publications; she most recently launched Highball Social, a Stonecutter Spirits cocktail bar and tasting room in downtown Burlington. Sas holds a B.A. in English and Italian from the University of Michigan, and a M.S. in Sustainable Planning and Development from Pratt Institute.
Markey Read has 25 years of experience in coaching and training groups and individuals in developing and implementing sustainable Leadership Development and Professional Development programs. She develops and delivers workshops & trainings in the area of leadership, team, and professional development for small and large companies; individualized career/employment coaching programs for individuals; Outplacement and Spousal Assistance services throughout New England.
She has developed curriculum and has taught for the New England Culinary Institute Business Management Program, Champlain College, Woodbury College Professional Development Program, Vermont Women’s Business Center, and the Women’s Small Business Program. Markey is a regular presenter at international, national and regional conferences in the area of professional development, marketing for small businesses, and applications of Personality Type (MBTI) theory.
Janice St Onge is currently serves as President of the Flexible Capital Fund, L3C (the “Flex Fund”), a mission based investment fund providing royalty financing to growing companies in Vermont’s food system, forestry and clean energy sectors. Janice brings a 20+ years of experience in management, technical assistance and financing.
During her career, Janice served as the Director of the Vermont Business Center (VBC) at the University of Vermont and as the Technology Business Development Director for the Vermont Department of Economic Development. She received the 2001 National Tibbetts Award in recognition for her outreach work with the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program in Vermont.
Janice is a graduate of the University of Utah with a B.A. in Marketing and is an alumni of the Snelling Center for Government’s Vermont Leadership Institute. She serves on the Vermont Small Business Development Center Advisory Board, the Clean Energy Development Fund Board, the Energy Action Network Capital Mobilization Group, Vermont Women’s Investor’s Network, and is a member of Slow Money Vermont’s Organizing Committee. A Stowe, Vermont resident, Janice was co-founder of the Stowe Energy and Climate Action Network. A former freestyle skiing competitor, Janice was an International Ski Federation (FIS) World Cup / Olympic Freestyle Skiing Judge for 15 years.
Attorney Kristina I. Michelsen owns and manages the Law Office of Kristina I. Michelsen, PLLC in Hardwick, Vermont. Her practice areas include real estate, landlord/tenant, land use, employment, small business, and estates. Kristina works with small businesses in a variety of areas including formation, partner relations, financing, and employee relations. Kristina serves on the Board of Trustees of Heartbeet Lifesharing and has formerly served as a Trustee of the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium. Kristina was a founder/operator of Claire’s Restaurant in Hardwick, Vermont.
Zoe Brickley began exploring the world of cheese while attending culinary school in New York City. From there she took on the role of cave manager and American buyer at Murray’s Cheese after some time spent behind the counter. Currently, Zoe leads sales and marketing efforts for Jasper Hill Farm – a small network of dairies with an affinage facility, all dedicated to preserving the working landscape in northern Vermont through farmstead cheese production. Zoe loves to learn more about cheese through teaching, having presented hundreds of hours of content for many organizations throughout her decade of cheese work. She is member of the Guilde des Fromagers and an American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professional.
Disclaimer: Course descriptions on this webpage are for informational purposes only. Content may be updated or change as planning evolves. Sterling College reserves the right to alter the program specifics, including details about course content, instructors, collaborations, field trips and facilities at any time without notice.