Event Calendar

Integrating DEI Into Strategic Planning @ Remote
Oct 19 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Integrating DEI Into Strategic Planning @ Remote
This session will help you to develop a strategic planning process that activates your organization’s DEI values.

About this event

This training is being offered by Nonprofit New York in collaboration with the Association of Nonprofit Specialists.

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is a key priority for many nonprofit organizations, but it can be complex to navigate fully integrating DEI into strategic planning. This session will help you to develop a strategic planning process that activates your organization’s DEI values and also to begin shaping the substantive questions about internal and external DEI priorities to be tackled in your organization’s strategic plan. We’ll use case studies, interactive exercises, and discussion to shape the learning experience.

Key Takeaways: 

  • Approaches for designing strategic planning process with DEI as cornerstone
  • Key questions to tackle in substance of strategic plan related to DEI priorities
  • Ways to ensure DEI focus continues in plan implementation
  • Examples of ways peer organizations have successfully integrated DEI into their strategic plans and planning processes

This workshop will be presented by Suzanne Elliott, Vice President at Envision Consulting.

Participants who complete the post-session evaluation can receive a PDF copy of the presentation.

Area of Excellence: Planning and Evaluation; Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Not sure if your organization is a member? Check out our member directory. If your organization is not a current member of Nonprofit New York, visit our website for more information on joining.

Please Note: This meeting is open to staff and board members of current Nonprofit New York member organizations and non-member organizations. Organizations may send more than one individual to participate, HOWEVER if the event sells out registration may be limited to ONE person per organization due to space constraints.

If your organization is not a current member of Nonprofit New York, visit our website for more information on joining.

Refund policy: Registrants who cancel their registration on or before 1 week will receive a full refund. Those who cancel on or before DAY PRIOR will receive a 50% refund. No refund will be made for cancellations made on or after DAY OF. All cancellations must be submitted in writing.

Virtual Workshop Series: From Surviving to Thriving: Renewing Your People-First Culture Post-COVID @ Remote
Oct 21 @ 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Since March, 2020, organizations have been navigating through the perpetual ups and downs of the pandemic. The focus was on survival: continuing business operations in the face of constant change and unknown. As Vermont returns to what could be termed as “normal”, now is the time to once again switch gears (we’ve all gotten good at that!) and strategically re-focus on your people and your culture.  Register for one or multiple sessions!

Creating Employment Culture That’s Post-COVID Relevant

Recognizing how employee values, priorities and outlooks may have shifted during the pandemic, it’s time to respond accordingly and continue your best efforts at renewing an employee-first culture. Join VBSR and NFP HR Solutions as we take the opportunity to discuss strategies for aligning your organization with your employee needs. Policies, programs and benefits that served your organization well prior to COVID might need a tweak. The tone and policies of your employee handbook might need revisiting. Organizations are in a unique position right now to not only embrace the change, but to use it to their advantage in offering a workplace that values its greatest asset: its employees.

Beyond Anti-Harassment: Focusing on Culture Over Compliance

No discussion of a people-first culture would be complete without mentioning commitment to a harassment-free workplace. Laws are clear on their employer mandates to develop policies and conduct timely investigations. While compliance is key, so is a culture that promotes human understanding and respect, and values diversity.

Join VBSR and NFP HR Solutions as we explore ways employers can go beyond developing a legally-compliant anti-harassment policy to focus on a culture that will thwart bad behavior long before it becomes a potential legal issue.

About the Trainers

Claire Raabe – Corporate Benefits Consultant, NFP HR Solutions

From management consulting to nonprofits and higher education institutions, Claire’s work across business sectors is diverse and grounded in the relationships she cultivates. “I believe successful organizations are people-focused; they take the time to develop a strong team, invest in employees, and foster a genuine culture unique to their environment. Identifying, implementing, and maintaining creative benefits solutions that actually work is critical to our clients’ success.”

As a benefits consultant, Claire brings industry expertise and creative solutions that meet the culture and budget of her clients. Claire’s approach is consultative, and her solutions are tailored to each organization while leveraging innovative resources and strategies within the benefits industry. “I look forward to working with your organization to develop a comprehensive benefits package that empowers your employees and drives your work forward.”


Susan Graham, SPHR, SHRM-SCP – Sr. Human Resources Consultant, NFP HR Solutions

Susan Graham has been an HR professional for over 30 years. Her move to Vermont 20 years ago shifted her focus from corporate HR management to the unique HR needs of the state’s relatively small employers. She established her own consulting business, taking on interim HR management roles that often involved leading organizations through significant HR transitions. In 2016, she joined NFP in South Burlington, where she continues to assist brokerage clients and other businesses throughout the area to develop and maintain sound and effective HR practices.


Senator Leahy’s 24th Annual Women’s Economic Opportunity Conference @ Remote
Oct 23 @ 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Senator Leahy's 24th Annual Women's Economic Opportunity Conference @ Remote

Senator Leahy has proudly hosted the Women’s Economic Opportunity Conference (WEOC) since 1996. Each year this highly anticipated event brings together hundreds of Vermont women for presentations on how to navigate workplaces, grow businesses and succeed in a modern economy.

Xusana Davis, the State of Vermont’s first Executive Director of Racial Equity, will deliver the keynote address at Vermont’s 24th Annual Women’s Economic Opportunity Conference (WEOC), to be held on Saturday, October 23, 2021. This year’s virtual conference will run from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

In addition to Xusana’s compelling keynote message, the morning event will feature a panel discussion, Evolving in a World of Change: Best Practices for a Business Refocus. This session will be led by three Vermont women who will share personal stories of how they adapted their businesses, or even changed direction, to meet the challenges of the pandemic. The panelists include Abby Lechthaler of The Downtown Grocery in Ludlow; Akshata Nayak, founder of Little Patakha and owner of Alternative Roots Wellness; and Julia Birnn Fields, president of Birnn Chocolates of Vermont.

We are grateful to host this important event once again, even in its more abbreviated version. We are already looking forward to WEOC returning in person next year, when we will celebrate 25 years of this great tradition.

Learn More & Register

Keynote Speaker: Xusana Davis

Xusana Davis, Vermont’s first Executive Director of Racial Equity, will be this year’s keynote speaker. Xusana was appointed to the position in June 2019 by Governor Phil Scott. In her role, she works with state agencies to identify and address systemic racial disparities and support the state’s efforts to expand & diversify Vermont’s population. She relies on data to inform this work, and on the State Strategic Plan to guide it. Learn more about the duties of the Executive Director of Racial Equity here.

Prior to joining the State of Vermont, she served as Director of Health & Housing Strategic Initiatives at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and as the Director of the Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus of the New York City Council.

She holds a Juris Doctor with a concentration in International Human Rights Law from New York Law School, where she also directed a civil liberties education program for low-income and minority youth. She studied Anthropology and Philosophy at Fordham University, earning the Rev. J. Franklin Ewing, S.J. Award for writing on the relationship between global human rights violations and the proliferation of HIV/AIDS.

Xusana is a first-generation U.S.-born Latina and has always been passionate about promoting open access to government for all people, regardless of their background or place of origin. She is fluent in Spanish, and her name is pronounced like the phrase “Seuss on a”.


9:00 am: Opening introduction

9:05 am: Welcome from U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy

9:15 am: Keynote Address by Xusana Davis, State of Vermont Executive Director of Racial Equity

9:30 am: Audience Q and As (moderated)

9:55 am: Panel member introductions

  • Abby Lechthaler – The Downtown Grocery
  • Akshata Nayak – Little Patakha
  • Julia Birnn Fields – Birnn Chocolates of Vermont

Speaker bios.

10:00 am: Evolving in a World of Change: Best Practices for a Business Refocus discussion led by three Vermont women who will share their personal stories on how they adapted, and in some cases, changed the directions of their business plans as a result of the pandemic.

10:30am: Audience Q and As (moderated)

10:55am: Wrap up

Compassion fatigue for the whole community. @ Zoom
Oct 28 @ 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Thank you to the Howard Center for sharing this workshop — 

Typically a talk on Compassion Fatigue is designed for professional caregivers. Beth has reinvented the discussion so that it is applicable for all of us. As we each continue to navigate a once in a life-time pandemic— each with our own unique set of circumstances – why do we feel as if we are running on empty? Beth will discuss signs of burnout and other risk factors and help us to identify practical ways to protect and nurture our strengths, better manage our stressors, and find balance in our lives.

Virtual Workshop Series: Inclusive Workplace Practices: A Focus on Economic Stability @ Remote
Nov 18 @ 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Join us for a two-part virtual workshop series exploring inclusive workplace practices, from recruitment to retention, presented in partnership by VBSR and the United Way of Northwest Vermont. This workshop series is a great fit for mid-size employers, HR professionals, and supervisors/managers.

Part 1: Open Hiring: Expand Your Workforce Through Inclusive Employment

October 14th, 2021 | 1 – 2:30 PM


According to Greyston’s Center for Open Hiring annual report, it takes an average of 36 days and $4100 to fill the typical job opening across the U.S. and yet there are millions of open jobs waiting to be filled. Open Hiring is a transformative practice for employers, employees, and community. It offers opportunities to those hardest to employ and allows companies to access a broader pool of talent while creating positive change and promoting equity.  Employers find inclusive hiring decreases employer’s time and cost-to hire, increasing revenue and productivity, and unlocks the power of human potential through inclusive employment.

This workshop will focus on communicating best practices around recruiting and retaining employees that commonly struggle to find and keep work because of justice involvement, language barriers, housing instability, recovery from substance use disorder, limited education or qualifications, lack of work experience, and/or low or no job skills. Experts will discuss the framework of Open Hiring, share specific examples and lessons taken from the Open Hiring pilot with Rhino Foods, and introduce key community-based supports essential to employee retention, success, and community partnership.

Workshop Presenters:

  • Abigail Saunders, Director of Human Resources, Greyston Bakery
  • Caitlin Goss, Director of Human Resources, Rhino Foods
  • Heather Newcomb, Program Manager, VT Works for Women
  • Lisa Lord, Director of Workforce Development, Recovery Vermont
  • Maia Hanron, Working Bridges Resource Coordinator, Rhino Foods
  • Connie Beal, Working Bridges Initiative Director, United Way of Northwest Vermont

Part 2: Concepts from Working Bridges: Navigating Economic Diversity in the Workplace

November 18th, 2021 | 1 – 2:30 PM


United Way’s Working Bridges is an innovative program designed to improve job retention, productivity, and advancement by supporting employees with available community resources. Using the workplace as a platform for services and support, Working Bridges helps working Vermonters achieve stability and thrive while supporting human resource departments and reducing employee turnover.

When individuals experience scarcity of essential life resources, over time or in the short-term, it is hard to maintain stability, at work and in life. This training is designed for employers who wish to better support staff across economic diversity and resource stability. Many of the concepts can help participants examine how processes, systems, and supports are either disrupting poverty or exacerbating resource instability. Join us to:

  • Develop familiarity with Working Bridges, specifically Resource Coordination as well as community-based information & referral resources such as Vermont 2-1-1.
  • Define poverty, tyranny of the moment, scarcity, bandwidth tax, slack, tunneling, & abundance.
  • Learn about how mental models and hidden rules can interrupt or facilitate dialogue and trusted relationships at work and in community.
  • Discuss essential resource categories, issues of equity, and how scarcity of resources plays out at work and in community.
  • Experience and learn about the impact of scarcity through a virtual activity

Workshop Presenters:

  • Sarah Allerton, Senior Working Bridges Resource Coordinator, United Way of Northwest Vermont
  • Connie Beal, Working Bridges Initiative Director, United Way of Northwest Vermont

Register Here

About the Trainers

Abigail SaundersAbigail Saunders – Director of Human Resources, Greyston Bakery / Center for Open Hiring

Abigail Saunders Director of Human Resources for Greyston Bakery in Yonkers, NY. Greyston Bakery is a world-class commercial operation, producing 40,000 plus of award-winning brownies daily for customers such as Ben & Jerry’s and Whole Foods Market. As the Director of HR, Mrs. Saunders is responsible for the Open Hiring program. The Open Hiring program is no questions asked, no resumes, no interviews, no background checks regardless of people’s past, educational background, or experience. Abigail has been with Greyston since 2015. She is responsible for providing leadership for all aspects of the Human Resource function at Greyston Bakery.

Caitlin Goss

Caitlin Goss – Director of Human Resources, Rhino Foods

Caitlin Goss is the Director of People & Culture at Rhino Foods where she works to support employees, grow a culture of mutual trust and champion workplace practices that create a positive impact at Rhino and beyond. She joined Rhino in 2017 after graduating from the Sustainable Innovation MBA at the University of Vermont. Caitlin started her career in Boston working at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government focused on social entrepreneurship and innovation in government. She then moved into the private sector and worked at Bain & Company, a management consulting firm, in both Boston and Shanghai. While at Bain, Caitlin worked on internal human capital strategy, focused on people analytics, employee engagement and leadership development. Caitlin studied political science and East Asian studies at Dickinson College and is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.

Connie Beal

Connie Beal  – Working Bridges Initiative Director, United Way of Northwest Vermont

Connie Beal (she/her) is United Way’s Working Bridges Initiative Director and leads a team of skilled and caring Resource Coordinators. Her work includes innovation, training development, and community partnerships. Connie convenes the Working Bridges employer network to design and test strategies to elevate resources and identify gaps in supporting the ever-changing needs of Vermont’s diverse workforce. She provides resource coordination and helps employees navigate various community resources related to housing, childcare, transportation, health care, and more. She believes it is a great privilege to develop trusted relationships with employees as they find stability, thrive, and reach their goals. Prior to Working Bridges, Connie was the Senior Resource Coordinator at Vermont 2-1-1, a 24/7 health and human service helpline. She has experience in both nonprofit and public sectors, anti-violence, substance use prevention, and community public health. She holds a Bachelor of Psychology from Colby College (2003) and Master of Public Administration from the University of Vermont (2008), and is a graduate of Leadership Champlain, class of 2019.

Heather Newcomb

Heather Newcomb – Women’s Program Manager, Vermont Works for Women

Heather jointly coordinates employment and career services at VWW with other program staff. She passionately serves women experiencing barriers to succeeding in the workforce. Heather plays a leading role with VWW programs for incarcerated women both during incarceration and their re-entry transition. Heather has overcome many of the same barriers our clients face and brings that lived experience to her clients to ignite motivation and manifests hope. She’s an advocate for strong communities where all members thrive, and advocates for those who lack a voice of their own. Heather recently joined the Board of the Women’s Justice and Freedom Initiative, a new non-profit that serves incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women.

Lisa Lord

Lisa Lord – Director of Workforce Development, Recovery Vermont

Lisa Lord (she, her, hers) is the Director of Workforce Development at Recovery Vermont.  Her work focuses on creating a state-wide network of Recovery Friendly Workplaces and supporting the professional development of Vermont’s Recovery Coaches and the life-changing work they do as they gain and maintain their nationally and internationally reciprocal Recovery Coach Certification.  She is inspired daily by the transformative nature of recovery and how transferable the skills learned through a recovery journey are to the workplace.  She dreams of the day that there is no longer SUD-related stigma.

Maia Hanron

Maia Hanron – Working Bridges Resource Coordinator, United Way of Northwest Vermont

Maia Hanron (she/her) is a Resource Coordinator at United Way of Northwest Vermont and works with Rhino Foods as their Resource Coordinator, through their Open Hiring pilot program. Maia has experience working for the State of Vermont as a Reach Up Case Manager where she helped low-income families address barriers such as housing, transportation, substance use, physical and mental health, childcare, and transportation, in order to obtain and maintain employment. In addition to her State work, she also worked in higher education at both the University of Vermont and Green Mountain College. She holds a BA in English from the University of Maine at Orono and an MA in Education from Castleton University, in which she focused on career and personal development.

Sarah Allerton

Sarah Allerton – Working Bridges Senior Resource Coordinator, United Way of Northwest Vermont

Sarah is the Senior Resource Coordinator for the Working Bridges Program of the United Way of Northwest Vermont, helping to lead the team that connects people with what they need to address challenges in their personal lives so that they may be more successful in their work lives. She is a certified Community Resource Specialist and Financial Coach, using the workplace as a platform to support the stability of hardworking employees while elevating the resources of community partners and supporting employers with retention strategies. She also creates and facilitates workplace supervisor trainings related to economic diversity and is the data and evaluation manager for the program. Her extensive experience with librarianship, literacy, education, environmental science, and relationship development is a foundation she relies on to inform effective and meaningful community service.