2017 Presenter Biographies

 

AM Session 1 (9:45-10:45 AM)

 

Investing in Women (You Don't Have to be a Millionaire!)

Presenters: Janice Shade and Louisa Schibli – Milk Money VT 

Janice Shade is an entrepreneur and writer with over 25 years of experience in strategic planning, brand management and financial strategy. She gained valuable formal training with companies such as Procter & Gamble, Welch’s, and Seventh Generation before launching her own entrepreneurial ventures in 2006. She considers herself a “pathological optimist” and sees obstacles as opportunities. Creating order from chaos in pursuit of environmental and social improvement is her passion.

Louisa Schibli is a risk-taker who thrives on the ability to find creative solutions to any problem. Full of energy, ideas and connections, she makes things happen. She brings her enthusiasm to her many passions whether it's volunteering, technology, photography, Vermont or a variety of sports. Louisa lives in Charlotte with her husband, three children and dog Bailey.

Find a Career that Fits
Presenters: Rachel Kauppila and Neely Raffellini

Rachel Kauppila has experience as an employment specialist for adults with disabilities. In this role, she learned firsthand the empowering nature of work and she is excited to help Vermont Works for Women program participants achieve paid employment. Prior to finding her calling with vocational services, Rachel taught English in France, served as an AmeriCorps member for The DREAM Program in Bennington,  and spent several years at cafés baking pastries and serving espresso. Rachel graduated from Kenyon College with a bachelor’s degree in women’s and gender studies, and enjoys mountain biking, running, baking, and reading.

Neely Raffellini is the founder of 9 to 5 Project, which provides women with the tools they need to get the job they want. Before establishing 9 to 5 Project, she worked in public relations, sales and founded a number of start-up businesses. A proud graduate of Penn State, she received a master’s degree from Duquesne University and studied at Rutgers University and the Rhode Island School of Design. She also works as a career coach for The Muse.

 

Ask for More, Get More: The Art of Salary Negotiation          

Presenters: Lindsey Lathrop-Ryan and Elonda Beverly

Lindsey Lathrop-Ryan is a career coach and workforce development consultant. She has spent the last decade developing strong relationships with Vermont employers to provide opportunities for young people to “try on” careers and connect to professional mentors. Lindsey is also the community engagement advisor for Change the Story, a partnership focused on advancing the economic well-being of Vermont women.

 

Elonda Beverly is the President and CEO of EB Consulting, L3C. She is also Director of the eServices and Business Solutions teams with National Life Group. In addition to over 20 years of working experience as a leader in the financial industry, she is a motivational speaker, leadership coach, and trainer. Elonda specializes in motivating others to move out of their comfort zone, find their purpose, develop leadership skills, define their personal happiness and achieve it. Elonda has an MS in Managing Innovation in Information Technology, MA in

Organizational Leadership with a minor in Public Administration, BS in Business Management, and she is currently a PhD student for Industrial/Organizational Psychology specializing in Leadership, Development & Coaching.

Start Your Own Business

Presenter: Laurel Butler

Laurel Butler has more than 30 years of professional business and teaching/facilitating experience.  She spent many years working in the hospitality industry in operational and management positions. She now works in a full-time dual capacity with the Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) as a business advisor, and with Vermont Technical College as its STEM Outreach/Experiential Education Manager.  She also teaches in the Women’s Small Business Program and serves as the program director for the Governor’s Institutes of Vermont program in entrepreneurship.

 

Incorporating Personal Brand into Your Business Story         

Presenter: Kate Paine

Kate Paine helps executives and entrepreneurs stand out online so they become a recognized authority in their marketplace and a respected asset to their company and clients. She uses her journalism and marketing background to tease out a client’s compelling story and to position themselves as an expert or thought leader both online and off. She is an expert on using LinkedIn as a powerful personal branding platform, speaks at national marketing conferences and teaches LinkedIn for corporate sales training.

 

Making the Most of Your Money

Presenter: Becca Schrader

Becca Schrader manages business advisory services at the Vermont Community Loan Fund. An Accredited Financial Counselor™, she has over a decade of experience helping individuals, families, and small businesses achieve financial stability through financial capability, access to capital, and asset building.

Living and Loving the Gig Life

Presenter: Gwen Pokalo

Gwen Pokalo is director of the federally funded Vermont Women’s Business Center, a program of the Center for Women and Enterprise. She is experienced in supporting rural local economic development. Gwen developed one of the first student-run, microbusiness retail incubators in the country. She also worked in rural economic research and community facilitation in the U.S. and Central America, owned a business consulting & artist representation firm, and has supported entrepreneurs through technical assistance in a variety of capacities. She teaches at Vermont colleges and universities and holds a master’s degree in Community Development and Applied Economics from the University of Vermont.

AM Session 2 (11AM-12 PM)

 

Making the Most of Your Money

Presenter: Becca Schrader

Becca Schrader manages business advisory services at the Vermont Community Loan Fund. An Accredited Financial Counselor™, she has over a decade of experience helping individuals, families, and small businesses achieve financial stability through financial capability, access to capital, and asset building.

 

Living and Loving the Gig Life

Presenter: Gwen Pokalo

Gwen Pokalo is director of the federally funded Vermont Women’s Business Center, a program of the Center for Women and Enterprise. She is experienced in supporting rural local economic development. Gwen developed one of the first student-run, microbusiness retail incubators in the country. She also worked in rural economic research and community facilitation in the U.S. and Central America, owned a business consulting & artist representation firm, and has supported entrepreneurs through technical assistance in a variety of capacities. She teaches at Vermont colleges and universities and holds a master’s degree in Community Development and Applied Economics from the University of Vermont.

 

You're (Al)ready Enough - Mindfulness in Leadership

Presenters: Kim Nolan and Tiffany Bluemle

Kim Nolan is the human resources director at City Market Co-op. Nolan holds a PhD in Leadership and Change from Antioch University, whose program focuses on understanding and leading change in workplaces and communities. Nolan was the founder and executive director of The Dignity Foundation, through which she taught self-care and mindfulness in schools and human service agencies and provided coaching to leaders seeking contemplative practice.

Tiffany Bluemle bio to come.

 

Navigating the Field When You are the “Only” One

Presenter: Rebecca EunMi Haslam

Rebecca Eun Mi Haslam is the founder of Seed the Way Consulting for Educational Equity and serves as the K-12 Equity and Inclusion Instructional Leader as well as the K-5 Social Studies Coach in Burlington, Vermont.  Rebecca taught elementary school in Burlington public schools for 12 years and is the 2015 Vermont State Teacher of the Year. She is an adjunct professor at St. Michael's College, ?and is currently pursuing an Ed.D. at the University of Vermont.  Her research is focused on anti-oppression pedagogy and equity literacy. This year, Rebecca is facilitating Vermont NEA's Racial Justice Task Force. 

 

AM Session 3 (9:45 -11:30 AM)

 

Start Here Before Jumping into the Social Media Mud Pit

Presenter: Lisa Wood

Lisa Wood is a mentor to female small business owners and the founder of Sprout New Media, a web design/development firm specializing in custom WordPress websites for small businesses. She focuses on teaching women how to build sustainable businesses, market them effectively and authentically, and reduce the often overwhelming aspects of being a solo business owner.

 

Beyond the Power Pose - Building Authentic Confidence

Presenters: Jen Roberts

Jen Roberts, Director of Girls’ Programs with Vermont Works for Women, specializes in helping girls realize their strengths and push their boundaries, whether mountain biking at Dirt Divas, using power tools at Rosie’s Girls, or practicing the work of scientists and heavy machinery operators at Women Can Do. Her experiences living in the backcountry, guiding whitewater trips and racing on the U.S. Telemark Ski Team taught her that technical proficiency is a sure route to self-reliance and independence. She previously taught at outdoor-oriented schools in Oregon, New Hampshire and Vermont, worked as trail director at Northern Forest Canoe Trail, and wrote the guidebook, AMC’s Best Day Hikes in Vermont.

Pitch the Story of Your Business Marketing

Presenter: Debra Boudrieau

Debra Boudrieau is the area business advisor for the Vermont Small Business Development Center in Windham and Windsor counties. She has an extensive background in both large and small business and the non-profit arena, with experience in marketing, operations management, and financial forecasting. Debra has owned her own business and has a “soft spot” for women-owned businesses and the creative economy.

 

Smashing Sexism - Movies and Mentors

Presenters: Emily Pecsok, Theo Wells-Spackman, Erik Remsen

Erik Remsen is a mentor teacher with What’s the Story: The Vermont Young People Social Action Team. He is a former Social Studies teacher at Rutland High School, where he also served as a Global Studies coordinator, Grading Committee co-chair, and Nordic skiing assistant coach. He is a former member of the UD #3 school board in Middlebury, Vermont and a current member of the Community Partnership Council for the Addison Central School District.

Theo Wells-Spackman is a 10th grade student at Middlebury Union High School in Vermont. He is a part of the program What's the Story and has worked with the Smashing Sexism team to perform in-depth research on gender bias. Through the research process, which has included interviewing many experts in the field as well a series of research blogs, he and his fellow group members have created a documentary about the topic and presented their findings to over a hundred students from around the state. More information can be found at smashingsexism.weebly.com. Theo's life revolves around connection with people, be it through performing arts, friendships, or family. His hope is to help foster and facilitate positive connections by achieving equality between all types of people.

Emily Pecsok is a sophomore at Middlebury UHS and one of the three creators of Smashing Sexism, a project that demonstrates implicit gender bias in schools and society and teaches the audience how little actions can make a big change. She helped create Smashing Sexism through a course called What's the Story? Thanks to her work in this program, Emily has participated in the Rutland Global Issues Network (GIN) Conference, the Next Generation Leaders Network (NGLN) at the Breadloaf school in Ripton, and a student panel in the Green Mountain Capstone Symposium (GMCS). 


Women’s Car Care Clinic: What You Need to Know

Presenter: Amy Mattinat

Amy Mattinat owns Auto Craftsmen, a four bay automotive center in Montpelier. Her business is an ASE Blue Seal Shop, AAA approved Auto Repair and AskPatty.com Certified Female Friendly. In 2016 her shop won the best AAA shop in Vermont, and in 2012 she won the ‘Top Female Shop Owner of the Year’ award. Amy is the past-president of Women in Auto Care and has been teaching women car care clinics for nearly a decade. 

  

PM Session (1:15 – 2:45 PM)

 

Afternoon Full Group Workshop facilitated by
Change The Story Stories: Stories of Change — For Women, For Vermont

Lisa Ryan

Lisa Ryan, 28, was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but has lived in Rutland nearly all her life. She attended Rutland High School, then Temple University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She holds a master’s degree in mediation and applied conflict studies from Champlain College as well. She is employed at BROC Community Action as the Program Manager for the Rutland County Community Justice Center.  Her work focuses on re-integrating offenders back into the community utilizing restorative justice practices.  She is a board member of the Chaffee Art Center, a founding member and first vice president of the Rutland Area NAACP, and a community representative of Project VISION. Lisa was recently elected to the Rutland City Board of Aldermen.  She is engaged to be married and identifies as a Democrat.

 

Melody Walker Brook

Melody Walker Brook, Elnu Abenaki Tribe, is an educator, activist and artist. She is a member of the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association and is an adjunct professor at Champlain College and previously Johnson State College. Brook is serving her second term on the Governor’s Commission on Native American Affairs.

 

Prudence Pease

Prudence Pease of Tunbridge, VT, created a career dedicated to advancing the lives of others in her community and the state of Vermont. She is a certified Bridges Out of Poverty facilitator and has trained more than 5,000 individuals in Bridges work, including human service providers, HR professionals, and employers. Her personal story of growth and change as she traveled the road from welfare mom to judicial officer is extremely compelling and demonstrates beautifully the messages of Bridges Out of Poverty. Prudence is a graduate of the Vermont Leadership Institute.

 

Colin Ryan

Colin Ryan is a one-of-a-kind comedic speaker: a financial educator and author with the background of a professional comedian and storyteller. He is also a Commissioner on the VT Commission on Women. Colin was named one of the top 10 youth money presenters in the nation. To date he has spoken to over 200,000 students and adults across North America. He has collaborated with National Geographic Television, the Girl Scouts of America, United Way, numerous student leadership organizations, as well as banks, credit unions and colleges across the country. His comedy charity series has raised over $150,000 for good causes.

 

Judy Pransky

Judy Pransky has been an Educator for fifty years. She moved to Vermont in 1974, teaching at the Twinfield School and in the GEPFE Program at Goddard as well as raising funds for the Peacham School. In 1979 she was inspired to create CREEP (Caledonia Rural Early Education Project) an early prevention of school failure program serving Walden, Danville, Peacham and Barnet. That program is still going strong and supporting the early education and development needs of children and families in those four towns.

In 1984 she built Emerson Falls Hydro on the Sleepers River in St Johnsbury at the site of an old Federal Fish hatchery. In 1985 opened her first licensed child care center at Emerson Falls – she has owned and operated six centers over the past 32 years. She currently operates Cherry Street PlayCare for children 6 weeks to 14 years in St Johnsbury and Camp Laughing Turtle in Cabot, a ten week summer school-age program.

 

Muslim Girls Making Change

Muslim Girls Making Change (MGMC) is a youth led group created by Hawa Adam, Kiran Waqar, Lena Ginawi, and Balkisa Abdikadir. They are dedicated to social justice through poetry. Tired of having their voices shut out or ignored by an older generation, they turned to slam poetry to be heard and to make a change. Since forming these girls have competed at international levels, done shows all around Vermont, and have made real change.

Lena Ginawi

Lena Ginawi is a 17 year old senior at South Burlington High School. She is tired of staying silent on topics revolving around social, racial, and environment issues. She tries her best to allow youth to engage in these conversations, and go out to create change themselves. Lena is a member of Muslim Girls Making Change.

Balkisa Abdikadir

Balkisa Abdikadir is also a 17 year old and is a senior at Burlington High School. She is a leader in the community who continues to work on social justice issues wether it’s through poetry, having conversations, attending workshops she’s there. It’s important to her to stand up for all forms of oppression and injustice as well as influencing her fellow youth to get involved. Balkisa is a member of Muslim Girls Making Change.