Events/

VSFA Annual Meeting

Date: Wednesday, September 11th, 2024
Location: Mountain Top Inn & Resort | Chittenden

Learn, connect, and grow

Each year the VSFA community comes together for a daylong networking and business education event, a valued opportunity for members to connect with each other while learning ways to sustain, grow, and manage their business. Sponsorship and donation opportunities can be accessed in the registration form.  

We are thrilled to announce this years' keynote speaker will be Adeline Druart the CEO of Lawson’s Finest Liquids, a B Corp certified leading craft brewery. Previously, Druart worked at Vermont Creamery for nearly 20 years, starting as a cheesemaker intern before progressing through the company to President and then Vice-President at Land O'Lakes post-acquisition. Druart is passionate about business ecosystems, inclusive team culture, and creating lasting social and environmental impacts. She is the executive committee vice chair and a board member of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility.

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Tentative Schedule:

9:15 AM REGISTRATION, REFRESHMENTS & NETWORKING

10:00 AM OPENING REMARKS

10:15 AM GENERAL SESSION:

                              Business Resources

Panel: Calley Hastings - Farm and Forest Viability Program, Trevor Lowell - Agency of Agriculture Food & Markets, Gwen Pokalo Hart - Center for Women & Enterprise, Louis Prue - Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center, Kevin Morehouse - SBA

11:00 AM BREAK | NETWORKING

11:15 AM MORNING BREAKOUT SESSIONS:

                               Breakout 1: AI & ChatGPT Bootcamp: Vermont's Recipe for Success

Unlock the future of your Vermont specialty food business with the power of AI and ChatGPT! Discover how to revolutionize your business operations. This dynamic and hands-on session, led by Mike Lannen, founder of Eternity, will guide you through the practical applications of AI technology tailored for the food and beverage industry. 

What You'll Learn:

  • Live Demos: Experience real-time demonstrations of ChatGPT in action, showing you how to enhance customer engagement, streamline operations, and boost your marketing efforts.
  • Practical Tips: Learn step-by-step processes to integrate AI tools into your daily business tasks.
  • Interactive Q&A: Get your questions answered and see how AI can solve specific challenges in your business.

                               Speaker: Mike Lannen - Eternity

                               Breakout 2: Developing the right financing path for your business and what to expect on the journey

Lawrence Miller of Five Vine Consulting will discuss critical strategies for securing the optimal financing for your business, emphasizing the importance of navigating predictable hurdles in business growth. Stressing the importance of a well-thought-out financing strategy and path for growing your business. He will highlight the significance of leveraging the right people and resources while staying true to your core values and understanding the reasons behind your growth ambitions. Additionally, He will cover the criteria for choosing the best financing option tailored to your specific business needs and growth plan, addressing predictable challenges that may arise along the way.

                               Speaker: Lawrence Miller - Five Vine Consulting

12:00 PM LUNCHEON & ANNUAL MEETING

                                Board Elections

12:30 PM KEYNOTE SPEAKER

                                Speaker: Adeline Druart, CEO Lawson’s Finest Liquids - Confirmed

1:15 PM AFTERNOON BREAKOUT SESSIONS

                                 Breakout 3: Wholesale Online Marketplaces - Faire, Mable, and Pod Foods

                                 Panel: Hadley Roy, Sales & Marketing Coordinator - Vermont Nut Free Chocolates | Kent Arnold, Co-founder - Mixed Up Foods | Mark Elvidge, President & CEO - Vermont Nut Free Chocolates

                                 Breakout 4: HR Policies & Compliance

                                  Speaker: Kristina Brines - Paul Frank & Collins

2:00 PM Closing remarks

2:15 PM Cocktails/Networking

Thank You to Our 2024 Sponsors! 

NETWORKING SPONSORS



EDUCATION SPONSORS



ANNUAL CHAMPION SPONSOR

ANNUAL SUPPORTING SPONSOR


Become an Event Sponsor

Receive recognition for your support of Vermont Specialty Food and Beverage producers. Reach out to karin@vtspcialtyfoods.org to claim your sponsorship.