Welcome to the interactive web schedule for the 2019 Vermont Tourism Summit! The schedule is subject to change (as of March 27, 2019). Please check back for updates.

  • The conference schedule is hosted in SCHED which allows you to search within the schedule, and filter the schedule to show items only occurring on a certain date or within a track.
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All Agenda Items [clear filter]
Thursday, April 4

2:00pm EDT

(CASE STUDY) Building Your Brand with Local Talent
Learn how the regional chamber representing the Shires of Vermont brand has aligned writers, social influencers, photographers, videographers and more the create a hyper regional brand in a world of noise.

Target Audience: Small business owners, nonprofits and community organizations


Matt Harrington

Bennington Area Chamber of Commerce
Matt Harrington is the executive director of the Bennington Regional Chamber of Commerce in charge of The Shires of Vermont brand. Matt has transformed the brand into a social, digital, content-rich powerhouse growing their website visits, Instagram followers, Facebook friends and... Read More →

Thursday April 4, 2019 2:00pm - 3:30pm EDT
Emerald Ballroom 1

4:00pm EDT

(CASE STUDY) Building Cross-Border Partnerships: Lessons from the Lake Champlain Tasting Trail
Strong partnerships across international and interstate borders are critical for attracting tourists willing to travel long distances for unique and memorable destinations – and they encourage visitation from nearby states and Canada. The first international culinary trail, the Lake Champlain Tasting Trail, is an emerging partnership linking farm, food, and drink experiences around the Lake Champlain Basin. Collaborators from Quebec and the Adirondacks will share their experiences developing this partnership, including challenges around branding, marketing, funding, and border crossing issues. Learn how you can benefit from this new initiative and how to develop these types of collaborations in other parts of Vermont.

Target Audience: Tourism professionals and businesses with an interest in culinary experiences and developing trails


Lisa Chase

University of Vermont
Lisa Chase is the Director of the Vermont Tourism Research Center and a Natural Resources Specialist with University of Vermont Extension. She has worked with tourism and recreation enterprises in Vermont for the past 16 years. Prior to working in Vermont, Lisa conducted research... Read More →

David Gillespie

Canadian/American Exchange
David Gillespie is a farmer on Allumette Island in the Pontiac region of Quebec. He is also Chair of the Canadian/American Exchange (CANAMEX), an initiative with the goal of promoting sustainable agriculture, the first phase being agritourism. Dave has been involved in agriculture... Read More →

Hilary DelRoss

Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing
As the cultural heritage and outdoor recreation specialist at VDTM, Hilary works with organizations to develop and promote their cultural, historic, artistic, recreational and agricultural tourism experiences while providing technical assistance to partners navigating marketing tools... Read More →

Thursday April 4, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm EDT
Emerald Ballroom 1
Friday, April 5

10:00am EDT

(CASE STUDY) Farms & Forests: Sharing the Stories of Vermont's Working Landscape to attract Tourists to Vermont from Tree to Table
Vermont's working lands and our green mountains is what brings people to our wonderful state. Eating locally grown food while visiting a farm, drinking craft brews, or sipping wine at a cheese tasting are all obvious allures to tourists. We would like to take that one step further, a step into the forests of our state and how some of the initiatives that Vermont woodworkers are doing can attract more tourists into the state with positive stories, focused on the tree. The Naked Table Project, formed by Shackleton Thomas, is a key example. “The Naked Table is naked of ego, stripped to its essentials as the centerpiece of the home — and is made in the most simplistic and time-tested manner. We invite friends and families to our workshops to make tables for themselves to last for ages to come. Each piece in the Naked Collection is made from the iconic Sugar Maple harvested from the Marsh Billings Rockefeller National Park tree farm we visit during the workshops — inverse from conventional methods of deforesting and sourcing wood from anywhere in the nation, or the world. Using Vermont Natural Coating’s whey-based finish in our workshops, the table is completely non-toxic with the most minimal environmental impact. Since the start of the project in 2008, the table has come to symbolize our community’s connection to our local environment and our ability to make something of it.” This example, and others can be shared to demonstrate how to connect tourists to our beautiful working lands of farms and forests.

Target Audience: All attendees welcome


Charles Shackleton

Charles Shackleton is a renowned Vermont furniture maker and designer who was born and grew up in Dublin, Ireland. Trained in the traditional styles of handmade furniture making, Charles has been recognized by the Vermont Senate as Vermont Woodworker of the Year, is one of the founding... Read More →

Ben Machin

Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park
Ben received a Bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College in 1996 and a Master’s in Forestry from the University of Vermont in 2003. Prior to joining Redstart Forestry in 2001, Ben was employed as a firefighter/smokejumper with the USDA Forest Service, parachuting and fighting fires... Read More →

Brent Karner

ClearLake Furniture
In 1985, Brent Karner graduated from North Bennet Street School in Boston where he learned the art of fine woodworking. After graduating from North Bennet, prior to starting ClearLake Furniture, he spent many years crafting 18th and 19th century reproductions as well as contemporary... Read More →

Peggy Farabaugh

Vermont Woods Studios
After weathering Hurricane Katrina and losing her job teaching a distance learning program at Tulane University, Peggy did what any social entrepreneur would do: start a company to help save the planet. Her passion for forest conservation and the Vermont furniture industry inspired... Read More →

Friday April 5, 2019 10:00am - 11:00am EDT
Diamond 2

11:30am EDT

(CASE STUDY) Tourism and the Creative Economy: Creating a Virtuous Circle
The creative sector is a vital part of the state's identity, economy, and the quality of life of its residents. The creative sector –including arts experiences, artistic goods for sale, artisanal foods, and cultural sites— drive significant tourism to the state. And likewise, much of the creative sector relies heavily on the tourist market. In this session, we'll explore the role of the creative economy in Vermont—specifically new research on the creative economy in the NEK, the challenges it faces, and some the strategies to connect the creative sector with the tourism market.

Target Audience: Attendees interested in the arts and culture as an economic driver and/or residents of the Northeast Kingdom


Amy Cunningham

Vermont Arts Council
Amy is in charge of the day-to-day operations of the Council, working to bring the organization’s strategic goals to fruition. She directs the programs team and manages the Vermont Creative Network. Amy has worked for more than 15 years in leadership positions in Vermont cultural... Read More →

Jody Fried

Catamount Arts
Jody Fried has led Catamount Film and Arts in St. Johnsbury since 2009, just after the opening of a new space in the Masonic Temple. Under his leadership, the Catamount has become a vibrant community arts center with partners reaching through Vermont and into New Hampshire. Fried... Read More →

Friday April 5, 2019 11:30am - 12:30pm EDT
Diamond 2