7:15 am Vendor Set-Up
8:30 am Attendee Registration Begins
9:00 am Welcome Address:
- Nicola Williams, Chair, Local Food Committee, Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts (SBN), President, The Williams Agency
- John Tobin, Vice President for City and Community Affairs at Northeastern University
- Introduction of Maria Moreira, Karen Spiller, SBN Board Member, Principal, KAS Consulting
- Keynote: Maria Moreira, Executive Director of World Farmers
Maria has mentored beginning farmers since 1984. She is a businesswoman, a farmer, a mother, a mentor and an advocate. Maria has been a leading force in identifying and establishing market opportunities for ethnic crops in Massachusetts, increasing access to culturally appropriate crops for immigrant and refugee communities. Maria is active on numerous organizational boards, and always prioritizes bringing the voice of the farmer to the table.
- Lexie Raczka, Local Food Program Manager, Sustainable Business Network
9:30 am Open Floor Trading Begins
9:30 am – 10:45 am Workshop 1 – Getting In and Staying In
9:30 am – 10:45 am Buyers Panel – Open to Food Buyers Only – Success Stories from The Field
10:00 am – 3:00 pm 1:1 Consultation Sessions Occurring
11:15 am – 12:30 pm Workshop 2 – Strategies for Building Equity in One’s Business
12:00 pm Lunch
3:00 pm Trade Show Closes
Buyers ONLY Panel – Success Stories from the Field
9:30 am – 10:45 am – Room 344 on 3rd Floor
This workshop is focused on buyers and will examine how to forge successful trade relationships between producers and buyers of local food that work. In sharing their stories, panelists will share discuss challenges, opportunities and lessons learned in building good trade relationships that mutually benefit the producers and buyers. They will provide insights into how they have learned from each other and offer tools and support for encouraging workshop participants to seek new ways of working with each other that advances the local food movement while bringing about healthy bottom lines.
- Jessy Gill, Assistant Director, World Farmers. Inc. (Moderator)
- Jeff Barry, Founder and President, Boston Organics
- John Aiken, Procurement Manager, Harvard University Campus Services – Dining Services
- Emily Kanter, Second Generation Co-owner, Cambridge Naturals
- Jennifer L. Allen, Regional Account Manager, Client Procurement Services, Sodexo
Getting In and Staying In: Marketing Strategies and Tools to Get Your Products Into Food Services/Stores and Sell Successfully Once You’re in!
9:30 am – 10:45 am – McLeod Room 3 on 3rd Floor
This workshop will provide practical suggestions about how to get your product into wholesale, institutional, and retail settings; how to build relationships with the buyers and procurement teams; and what you can do to ensure that your product is successful once you’re in. We’ll hear from retail, distributors, and marketing experts. The panelists will share strategies and tips for what buyers are looking for in their relationships with producers.
Topics covered include:
- How to manage and maintain your brand
- What you can do to ensure that the “eaters” are excited about and continue to buy your products
- What marketing tools you can use for planning
- Nicola Williams, President, The Williams Agency (Moderator)
- Ryan Voiland, Owner, Red Fire Farm, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Andrew Bauer, Strategic Account Manager, 88 Acres, email@example.com
- Mandilyn Beck, Sustainability Director, Sodexo at Partners HealthCare, Mandilyn.Beck@sodexo.com
Strategies for Building Equity in One’s Business
11:15 am – 12:30 pm – McLeod Room 3 on 3rd Floor
This workshop is focused on how core values of our businesses build the culture of the brand not only for its customers yet also for its employees. While an inclusive culture encompasses a commitment to workforce diversity, it is not limited simply to representation. Instead, an inclusive culture “…indicates a climate in which respect. equity and positive recognition of differences are all cultivated”. We will share strategies used, challenges experienced and unexpected outcomes and opportunities that have emerged for those who have made this commitment and priority.
- Karen Spiller, KAS Consulting and Food Solutions New England (Moderator)
- Boston Area Gleaners
- Kerry Bowie, Managing Partner, Msaada Partners, LLC
1:1 SESSIONS (10 am – 3 pm)
PR Guy – Sean Horrigan – 10 am – 12 pm
Sean is the Founder of PR Guy and is a marketing/PR consultant with a track record of helping clients grow and prosper through consistent media coverage, strategic social media campaigns, killer copy and better branding.
Janet Morgenstern Passani, Jute Marketing – 11 am – 1 pm
Janet Morgenstern Passani helps emerging brands and mission-driven organizations to increase their visibility, grow their community, and manage all the moving pieces in a comprehensive marketing program. As founder of Jute Marketing, Janet brings 25 years of experience growing fast-paced U.S. and international brands including Smartfood (now part of PepsiCo), Stride Rite and Nelsons Bach. She’s led marketing initiatives for food companies, healthy lifestyle brands, arts/culture organizations, educational nonprofits, and travel destinations. With an MBA from Babson College, Janet blends strategy and creativity to develop distinctive brands, marketing communications, digital marketing, events, community outreach, and strategic partnerships. Janet is a natural foodie inspired by nature and fresh ideas. www.jutemarketing.com
Harbinger – Sean and Joanna Widman-French – 11 am – 1 pm
Harbinger is a creative agency specialized in working with local companies and small businesses in creating food focused content. Services are incredibly adaptable and range from food styling, graphic design and photography to marketing, consulting, social media management and more. Ours services are geared towards elevating our clients and supporting the community. Harbinger is happy to provide consultations related to “East of Marketing on a Budget,” focusing on marketing strategy, branding, social media, and more!
The Williams Agency – Nicola Williams – 1 – 2 pm
Nicola Williams founded The Williams Agency in 1995. Nicola, with over 20 years of industry experience and international respect, is recognized for superior problem-solving, project management, relationship building, and strategic planning skills. She has a strong marketing background in marketing management, market research, brand development, advertising, public relations, sponsorship development, and event promotions. She is passionate about making a difference and is constantly sought after for public engagements. Williams was the producer and one of the founding organizers of the Boston Local Food Festival, Boston’s premier food event and top 10 food events in the City. She is the brainchild of Boston JerkFest and Vermont JerkFest, Caribbean-style foodie events that launched in 2013 and 2015 respectively. Nicola also developed the concepts for and produces Hyper-Local Craft Brewfest and Local Craft Spirits Festival in the Greater Boston area. Nicola was instrumental in building Cambridge Carnival International into the largest festival in Cambridge and one of the top 10 festivals in Boston.
Teak Media + Communications – Jackie Herskovitz Russel – 1 – 3 pm
Herskovitz Russell founded Teak Communications in 1997 in an effort to generate good news overall, and more specifically, to bring positive and profitable media attention to nonprofit organizations and socially responsible companies. As a former reporter for daily newspapers, including the Eagle-Tribune and Connecticut Post, she understood the power of the media and wanted to leverage it to help nonprofits and responsible businesses grow, raise money, change public policy, and continue their good work. Setting the pace for this progressive public relations firm, Herskovitz Russell accepts the promotional responsibilities of companies and organizations whose ethics and values are aligned with the Teak mission.
LAZ PR, Inc. – Lisa Lazarczyk & Reni Gertner – 1 – 3 pm
For more than 20 years, LAZ PR has helped food and beverage companies build brand
recognition through the power of PR, strategic marketing strategies and creative
initiatives. LAZ PR founder, Lisa Lazarczyk, works closely with consumer-product companies in the food and beverage space to raise awareness of their brands. LAZ PR’s media achievements include Good Morning America, CNN, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, INC. Magazine, Vogue, Rachael Ray, Food & Wine, local publications including Boston Magazine and Boston Globe, and many other print, broadcast and online sources. Lisa and her team have worked with companies of all sizes, including such brands as: Roche Bros. Supermarkets; Nelsons Homeopathy/Rescue Remedy; Seventh Generation cleaning products; Ian’s allergy-friendly foods; Peak Organic Brewing; Gen Sou En Tea House & Restaurant; Farmers To You; FlavaNaturals; Slade Gorton Seafood; Moosewood; and Vitasoy/Nasoya.
Reni Gertner, MPH, Marketing & Branding Strategist, specializes in marketing, branding and strategic communications. She creates effective, targeted messages that connect your business with the right customers. Throughout her 16-year career in the publishing industry, Reni created and launched new products and developed and implemented strategies for growth.
Laury Hammel – 10 – 12 pm
Laury founded the Sustainable Business Network (SBN) in 1988, and has been leading the sustainable business movement in Massachusetts ever since. He is the owner and president of Longfellow Health Clubs – a group of health and recreation clubs in the Greater Boston area- considered to be among the greenest health clubs in the U.S. Laury has also been instrumental in founding numerous additional regional and national networks including Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) and the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE).
Good Egg Marketing – Myrna Greenfield – 12 – 2 pm
Good Egg Founder and “Top Egg” Myrna Greenfield has worked in the food and beverage, marketing, health care, and hi-tech industries. Greenfield was employee #1 at Equal Exchange, a Fair Trade coffee and food cooperative. She’s the former director of Communications and Campaigns at Oxfam America and served at many other non-profits, including the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, Fenway Community Health, and the Child Care Resource Center.
Morgan, Brown & Joy – Amy Carlin – 10 am – 12 pm
M. Amy Carlin is an attorney and partner with the Boston law firm of Morgan, Brown & Joy, LLP, where her practice is focused on employment law and counseling. Amy specializes in representing smaller, local businesses, and is committed to providing them with the legal and practical knowledge they need to manage employees and tricky employment issues with confidence. Amy is a frequent speaker on legal compliance in employment, and regularly trains her client’s managers and staff on harassment and discrimination prevention, how to manage employees with disabilities, and other HR related topics.
The Legal Food Hub – 11 am – 3 pm
The Legal Food Hub provides free legal assistance for income-eligible farmers, food entrepreneurs, and non-profit organizations through our network of local attorneys. During consultation sessions, conference attendees can find out more about the legal services and educational resources that the Legal Food Hub offers. Staff will start the case intake process for eligible participants with legal needs. You can learn more about the Legal Food Hub and eligibility requirements here: www.legalfoodhub.org
Signal Rock AG Insurance – Kevin P. McCarthy – 10 am – 11 am
Kevin and Marianne McCarthy run Signal Rock Farm, a 245 acre APR farm in Charlton Ma where they raise 100 lambs annually that they direct market and make over 12,000 bales of hay that they sell as horse, cattle, sheep and alpaca feed. Kevin also sells Crop Insurance. The USDA pays 40 to 80% of the cost of Crop Insurance policies, these policies can protect farmers from weather related losses such as hail, frost/freezes, droughts, too much moisture and floods. Kevin has written policies for farms of all sizes, from 20 acres of hay to large direct market/Pick Your Own orchards and vegetable growers. www.signalrockfarm.com
Eastern Bank – Charles Smith – 10 am – 12 pm
Charles works at Eastern Bank with a team of professionals to help Small Businesses gain access to capital through various financing programs, in particular the Small Business Administration (SBA) program.
Signal Rock AG Insurance – Kevin P. McCarthy – 1 pm – 2 pm
Boston Private – José Luis Rojas – 1 – 2 pm
José Luis has been with Boston Private since May 2016 as Small Business Lending Officer, focusing in CRA-targeted communities in the bank’s New England assessment area. Before that he was the Community Group Manager at Mass Growth Capital providing credit to small businesses located in disadvantaged communities of Massachusetts. José Luis was also the head of lending at Root Capital that focused on financing small and growing rural businesses in Latin America and Africa. He is bilingual in English and Spanish, is proficient in French and has some knowledge of Portuguese.
Msaada Partners – Kerry Bowie – 1 – 3 pm
The goal of Msaada Partners is to serve communities of color by providing technical assistance to promote entrepreneurship and innovation which lead to wealth creation and more sustainable communities. Kerry, the Managing Partner at Msaada Partners, holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in environmental engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of Michigan, respectively, as well as an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.