VBSR announces keynote speakers for 23rd annual Spring Conference

NEWS RELEASE — Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility
April 3, 2013

Scott Buckingham
(802) 862-8347

Burlington, VT – Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility’s (VBSR) 23rd annual Spring Conference is six weeks away. The day-long, educational conference, “Local Innovation, Global Inspiration: Leveraging Grass Roots and Global Action to Advance Social Responsibility,” is set to take place Tuesday, May 14 at the University of Vermont’s Davis Center in Burlington, Vermont, from 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM. Conference features include: over 425 attendees, 12-14 workshop panels, 30 exhibitors, networking and awards ceremonies, and Keynote Addresses by Judy Wicks and Bart Houlahan.

Judy Wicks founded the White Dog Café on the first floor of her Philadelphia row house in 1983. As the restaurant grew, so did her notion that the strength of her business relied upon the quality of its locally grown ingredients. She founded the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia in 2001 and co-founded the nationwide Business Alliance for Local Living Economies that same year. Judy also founded Fair Food in 2000, dedicated to building a local food system in the Philadelphia region. In 2009, she sold the White Dog through a unique agreement that preserves local, independent ownership and maintains sustainable business practices, including buying from local farmers, composting and using renewable energy. Chelsea Green published her book “Good Morning, Beautiful Business” in March 2013.

Bart Houlahan co-founded B Lab, a nonprofit organization dedicated to using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems, in 2006. B-Lab serves businesses interested in becoming more socially responsible through three primary initiatives: certification of “B” corporations, advocacy for adoption of Benefit Corporation legislation at the state level, and establishment of the Global Impact Investment Rating System (GIIRS). Prior to B Lab, Bart was President of AND 1, a basketball footwear and apparel company helping to finance, operate and scale the business to $250 MM in brand revenues with distribution in 80 countries. Bart is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute and an Advisory Board Member of the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE) at the Fuqua School of Business.

Registration for VBSR’s 23rd Annual Spring Conference will open in early April. Exhibit tables are now available to members on a first-come, first-serve basis, and include a 6×6 table set up in a high traffic area, as well as one free conference pass. For more information on the conference, the keynote speakers, exhibiting, sponsorship, and panels, visit www.vbsr.org, e-mail [email protected], or call (802) 862-8347.

VBSR would like to thank the 23rd Annual Spring Conference’s Keynote Underwriter, Vermont Community Loan Fund, as well as Conference Underwriters City Market, Front Porch Forum, and Business Energy Action. Media Sponsors include Vermont Public Radio and Vermont Business Magazine.

The conference is also proudly sponsored by A. N. Deringer, Inc., Black River Produce, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Vermont, Burton Snowboards, Business Culture Consultants, Cabot Creamery Cooperative, Champlain College, Chroma Technology, Concept2, Dealer.com, Dunkiel Saunders Elliott Raubvogel & Hand, FairPoint Communications, Goddard College, Gravel & Shea, Hubbardton Forge, KeyBank, Marketing Partners, Inc., McKenzie Country Classics, Merchants Bank, Merritt & Merritt & Moulton, Attorneys at Law, Middlebury College, National Life Group, People’s United Bank, Sugarbush Resort, SymQuest Group Inc., The Farmhouse Group, The Point (WNCS-FM), The Vermont Country Store, University of Vermont (UVM), Vermont Business Magazine, Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, Vermont Public Television, and Vermont State Employees Credit Union. Co-sponsors include Burlington Electric Department, Clean Yield Asset Management, Davis & Hodgdon Associates, and the Vermont Intern Program.

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