WBON Spring Conference 2020 Agenda

WBON Spring Conference Agenda


Open Networking


Welcome and Opening Keynote Precious Williams of Perfect Pitches by Precious at the Main Stage


Small Group Breakout Workshops Session #1 – Three to Choose From


Small Group Breakout Workshops Session #2 – Three to Choose From


Peer-to-Peer Networking / Break for lunch / Visit Sponsor Booths / Feldenkrais with Gillian Franks


Small Group Breakout Workshops Session #3 – Three to Choose From


Peer-to-Peer Networking / Visit Sponsor Booths / Moving Meditation with Christine Badalamenti Smith of Yoga Oggi 


Endnote Interview Presentation at the Main Stage with Cassie Morse of the Northfield Farmers Market and Mary Catherine Jones of Voice Over Vermont


Virtual Happy Hour


The Main Street Alliance
NFP Insurance
Vermont Community Loan Fund
Community Capital logo


Conference Partner Clute Wealth Management
Conference Partner Marketing Partners
Link to Mercy Connections Women's Small Business Program
Conference Partner Runway Auto

Learn more about the fabulous women presenting at the WBON Spring Conference 2021. See the speaker bios. 


Kelly Klein


WBON Board Member and Treasurer

Kelly is the proud owner, founder, and CEO of Groennfell Meadery and Havoc Mead.


Precious Williams keynote speaker


Owner, Founder, Perfect Pitches by Precious, LLC

Converting Conversations into Currency and Profiting BIG!

Dare greatly!

Our keynote speaker, Precious L. Williams is the author of the #1 Best Seller Bad Bitches and Power Pitches helping women entrepreneurs solve their pitching, presentation, and communication challenges.

Your pitch is the single thing that could either get your business, brand, and/or career off and running or plunge it into the eternal depths of extinction. In other words, your pitch matters. Your message matters. Your conversations matter. Turn those conversations into currency by blending your unique story, authenticity, financial challenges, successes and opportunities into a “killer” pitch and/or presentation.

Every time you open your mouth, you have the potential to gain a new customer. Every. Single. Time.

Wherever you are in your entrepreneurial journey, this no-holds-barred, no-nonsense talk will focus on understanding the importance of the conversation and observation. As a 13-time national elevator pitch champion, the #KillerPitchMaster has been featured on “Shark Tank,” CNN, WSJ, Forbes Magazine, Black Enterprise Magazine, Essence Magazine, and the movie “LEAP,” and trains the sales teams at Fortune 100 companies.


Farm to Cable: Pivoting to an Online Farmers Market

Interview with CASSIE MORSE

Manager, Northfield Farmers Market

When the pandemic closed the venue for their winter farmers market, the Northfield market manager found herself pivoting from in-person markets to an online platform. Determined to preserve this vital sales channel for local farmers as well as access to an affordable healthy part of the food system for the community, this farmer-turned-coder created a platform that doubled sales year-over-year. This interview-style endnote features Cassie Morse from the Northfield Farmers Market and Mary Catherine Jones of Voice Over Vermont.


Owner, Voice Over Vermont

Mary Catherine Jones, Voice Over Vermont: Mary Catherine Jones is the owner and principal talent of Voice Over Vermont and has been bringing the written word to life for over 20 years. Her BA in psychology enables her to articulate the unspoken messages inherent in the scripts she receives. Mary Catherine makes her living by word of mouth.

Breakout Workshop Session #1 – Attend one of these three workshops

Business storytelling with Morgan Nichols and Sas Stewart


Panel Discussion

Business Storytelling with Impact – How to Engage Your Audience

You want your business storytelling to strike an emotional connection with your audience — customers, legislators, employees, investors, suppliers, friends, or family. Your goal is to engage and encourage your audience to take a desired action (like making a purchase, supporting a policy issue, calling a potential new hire, investing in the firm, subscribing to the newsletter, etc.). Learn how in this interactive session.

With Morgan Nichols and Sas Stewart

Sponsored by
NFP logo

Elizabeth Adams (left) and Bonnie Sanders (right)


Vickie Wacek
Director, BNI Vermont

The Evolution of Your Online Networking

Small businesses and organizations have one thing in common – limited quantities of time (staff) and finances (marketing). That’s why networking and word-of-mouth is so important – it can be incredibly affordable and productive. In this time of virtual business 24/7, many of us are still piecing together how to meet new people online in a viable and enjoyable way. We know that interacting virtually is much different than in person, so join us for this workshop where we discuss and practice the skills we need to bring word-of-mouth relationships back into our businesses and organizations.

Key Takeaways:

  • How to find online networking opportunities
  • How to prepare for an online networking opportunity
  • What to do in online networking opportunities to get the most bang-for-your-buck
  • How to follow up from an online networking event


Panel Discussion

Small Business Capital – What’s the Best Option for You?

The thought of growing your business with other people’s money can be intimidating, especially for rural small businesses far from Wall Street. But it doesn’t have to be scary. Whether you need $2,000, $20,000, $200,000, or more, our panelists will talk frankly about the pluses and minuses of four common sources of money for small businesses — bank loans, crowdfunding, investors/venture capitalists, and self-funding — and how to pick the best option for you.


Breakout Workshop Session #2 – Attend one of these three workshops

Pat Heffernan and Karen Wilkinson


Panel Discussion

Are You Holding Your Business Back?

Establishing credibility and building trust are essential for your business to grow and succeed. Yet many new relationships are undermined before they begin by subtle negative signals sent by small business owners unintentionally to potential customers, lenders, colleagues, or the media. Are you projecting your business is credible and trustworthy or subtly signaling otherwise? Are you self-sabotaging your business and not realizing it? Join a panel of women who have seen common barriers to success play out over and over again in marketing, finances, and organizational basics.

Key Takeaways:

  • How to avoid holding your business back
  • A checklist of common “red flags”
  • Simple actionable steps to convey you and your business can be trusted


Elizabeth Adams (left) and Bonnie Sanders (right)


Devi Currier Momot
Twinstate Technologies

Cybercrime, Cybersecurity & Your Small Business

Twinstate Technologies are teaming-up to help start-ups and small business owners know what it takes to have an effective cybersecurity plan. Devi Momot, Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), GSLC, and GIAC Information Security Professional (GISP®), will dive into what cybercrime is, go over perpetrators and their attacks, some common misconceptions, and how to prevent your business from being a victim. We will also go over how remote work has impacted cybersecurity and threat trends. Join us and learn why your small business should care about cybercrime, some critical questions you should answer to understand your risk, why layering security solutions is so critical, and where you can start.

Key Takeaways:

  • Gain an understanding of the current cybersecurity threats & tactics
  • Understand the risks of these threats to small businesses
  • How to get started with a cybersecurity plan that supports your business


Gwen Pokalo, Director of CWE Vermont

Finance KPIs – What You Should Be Tracking & Why

You don’t know where you’re going unless you know where you’ve been. Knowing the key financial metrics for your business are crucial to know whether you’re running unsustainably, simply existing, or on track for healthy business growth. What are those KPIs? Why are they important? How do you dig deeper into your business’ finances and analyze whether it’s time to scale up, improve cash flow, or do something drastic? In this session, Gwen Pokalo from CWE, will discuss some of the most important KPIs for your business, why they are important, how to analyze them, and what actionable steps you can take to place your business in a healthier financial position.

Key Takeaways:

  • Why KPIs are important for your business
  • How to analyze KPIs
  • What actionable steps you can take to place your business in a healthier financial position

Breakout Workshop Session #3 – Attend one of these two workshops

Pat Heffernan and Karen Wilkinson


Marion Abrams
Owner, MadMotion.llc

Podcasting 101

Is now the time to launch your podcast? What does it take? How do you measure success? Who can you reach with your message? We’ll go over the 5Ps essential for success – Purpose, Point of View, Process, Practice and promotion.

Key Takeaways:

  • Attendees will leave the session knowing whether podcasting is right for them and an overview of the process to execute their vision successfully
  • This is not a technical workshop
Elizabeth Adams (left) and Bonnie Sanders (right)


Paula Diaco
Owner, Write Stories Now

How to Replace Sales Techniques with Relationship Building

What do you like least about sales? Is it cold calling? Is it the way it makes you feel kind of sleazy? A little bit too pushy? What if you looked at sales through the lens of relationship building? You start, form, and build relationships all the time–with your kids’ teachers, with your neighbors, with any number of service providers you use. Now let’s apply similar, if not exactly the same, techniques to your business where pushy tactics are replaced with friendly conversations. Feel too good to be true, yet higher sales would benefit your business? Join us in this workshop that turns your current negative beliefs about sales and how hard it is into something more akin to the way you already relate to people. And start to see the sales process as doable instead of scary and frustrating.

Key Takeaways:

  • You will see sales as a needed business activity that’s easy and fun to do
  • You will learn a process that’s repeatable and doesn’t involve old fashioned, pushy sales tactics
  • You will learn how both introverts and extroverts can use this process and be successful without becoming someone you’re not
  • You can start this process TODAY and it doesn’t involve sending out emails, doing Facebook Lives, or using social media the way you may be using it now

Refresher Sessions

Gillian Franks

Gillian Franks
Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner

Feldenkrais with Gillian Franks

Feldenkrais is a movement method that brings you in tune with how you move and helps change habitual things that can stress you. Find out how to relax your back so you don’t have Zoom shoulders. Discover ways to make your neck.

Gillian found the Feldenkrais Method so engaging that after 4 years of training it called her to open a business. This despite having been a business coach for both the Women’s Business Center and CVOEO’s Micro Business Development Program who’d always said she’d never open a business herself because it’s such a challenge!  “In the last year or so many people have found that finding ways to slow down, understand what is actually happening and change small things is incredibly valuable. I feel fortunate that I have a way that they continue to explore this, and retain the better part of the lessons we learned.”

Christine Badalamenti Smith

Christine Badalamenti Smith
Owner, Yoga Oggi

Energizing Moving Meditation

We will take a break from the conference to experience gentle, mindful movement and embodied meditation to enliven the spirit, reorient back to the self, and refresh!  Most people will be able to enjoy the experience without even having to look at their computer screen!  No special clothing or props are needed.  The practice can be done standing or sitting.  All are welcome!

Christine is a Yoga Alliance Certified RYT-500 Hour Yoga Teacher.  She has specialized training in numerous yoga disciplines, Yoga Therapy, Mindful Nature Connection, and Personal Coaching.  She has a Master’s in Environmental Studies from Antioch University New England and transitioned from a career in non-profit environmental advocacy to yoga, yoga therapy, and mindful connection to nature because she believes it’s the most direct and profound way to help people connect to their authentic power, feel comfortable in their bodies and confident in their life choices, and experience overall wellbeing that is in harmony with themselves, their community, and our natural world.


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