Fostering, celebrating and advancing
women’s business ownership in Vermont.

Morning Workshops - 2019 Spring Conference


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Connect, Collaborate & Thrive

Morning Workshops (Choose one) 

Communication and Creativity through Improv

In this fun and interactive workshop, participants will learn to ignite creativity through the concept of “Yes And” and enhance communication through active listening. These skills will make collaboration and innovation a breeze. People will love working with you (more than they already do)!

Natalie Miller & Julia DiFerdinando of Vermont Comedy Club

Connect with Vermont Comedy Club on the web, and on Facebook and Instagram.

Natalie Miller is a comedian, producer, actor and entrepreneur who hails from northeastern Vermont. Since 2009, she and her husband Nathan Hartswick have produced comedy events throughout New England (including the annual Vermont's Funniest Comedian contest and the Green Mountain Comedy Festival), and taught classes in standup and improv to teens and adults. Connect with Natalie on Instagram.

Julia DiFerdinando is the Creative Director of the Training Center at Vermont Comedy Club. She spent 7 years in Chicago teaching and performing with The Second City. She is a Conservatory and Music Conservatory Program graduate and has completed both Improv and Music Improv Ensembles in The Second City’s Severn Darden Graduate Program. Julia has performed on stages throughout the country and even on cruise ships around the world. She has a degree in Theatre from The University of Vermont. Connect with Julia on Instagram

Building Referral Networks

You know your business doesn’t exist in a vacuum. You have an inflow and outflow of engagements with the community, and managing them can be a key factor in your effectiveness as a business owner. In this session, Gwen Pokalo from CWE will explore ways you might work with the key partners surrounding your business so that you can operate more efficiently, effectively, and enjoyably. We’ll take a look at best practices for building partnerships with complementary businesses to increase your own business, how to build a reputation as a good referral source, and how to create networks upon which you can rely as you grow your business.

Gwen Pokalo, Director of the Center for Women & Enterprise - Vermont

Gwen Pokalo is the Director of the Center for Women & Enterprise Vermont which provides statewide individual business counseling, training, and certification to help entrepreneurs start, grow, and expand their businesses. She got started as an entrepreneur when she developed one of the first student-run retail incubators in the country featuring products from emerging Vermont entrepreneurs. She owned an artist representation and business consulting firm and has worked in rural development research and held teaching positions at Vermont colleges around the state. In addition, Gwen serves on the boards of LaunchVT, the Vermont Community Loan Fund, and the Women’s Business Owners Network (WBON).

Exploring Alternative Business Models. Connecting, Collaborating and Thriving in a Worker Cooperative

Many people have aspirations of owning their own business but are too fearful to take the plunge. By connecting, collaborating, and combining your resources, time, and talents you may be able to form an employee-owned business. Come and learn about alternative business models that could make your dreams a reality. This workshop looks at the worker cooperative business model and the success story of PT360, a local employee-owned physical therapy worker cooperative.

Deborah Harris, Owner/Member, Site Manager, PT360

Deb Harris has over 25 years in healthcare obtaining Bachelor’s Degrees in General Dietetics (1992) and Physical Therapy (1998). She has worked in outpatient orthopedics for the past 20 years, specializing in Lyme Disease Rehabilitation, Lymphedema Rehabilitation, Postural Restoration, and general orthopedics. Deb is one of the founding owners of PT360 and currently oversees the activities of the Williston clinic and 15 employee/owners. She is also active in the Vermont Employee Ownership Center conferences, Vermont Lyme Support Group, and other community organizations. Connect with PT360 on Facebook and Instagram

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