How Independent Businesses Can Survive and Thrive

A Virtual Gathering – October 8 + 9, 2020

About the event

Leaders from across the nation gathered for this ground-breaking, opportunity to learn, share best practices and expand the Local Economy Movement to play our role in the most pressing issues our communities face today.   

As the most personalized local-level providers of goods and services to our communities, independent local businesses have the greatest potential to impact the everyday life-experiences of the individuals in our communities.  Successful business owners come from all backgrounds, and they offer an extraordinarily diverse range of approaches and solutions.  As communities nationwide grapple with the dual challenges of a persistent pandemic and increasing awareness of racial inequities, local independent businesses can play a central role in reclaiming the health and inclusive resilience of our local economies — if they get the support that they need. 

With a fast-paced mix of speakers, breakout sessions, networking opportunities and pre-and post- conference strategy development, this conference equipped attendees to lead an effective Local Economy Movement – one that helps independent businesses from all backgrounds to survive and thrive in a new normal.

Watch Conference Replays

Missed the conference? You can still gain expertise from our line up of insightful speakers and local economy leaders.

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Keynote Speakers

Derek Peebles

Derek is the Executive Director of  the American Independent Business Alliance, taking over the role from AMIBA’s founders in July 2019.  

Derek is a leader in community economic development with extensive success moving organizations forward by building on cross-cultural and cross-sector collaboration….

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Segun Idowu
Keynote Speaker

 Segun, the Executive Director of the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts, was raised in Boston and is a proud product of the Boston Public Schools. Following his graduation from Boston Latin Academy, he earned his Bachelor of Arts in History from Morehouse College ….

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 MaryAnne Howland

As Founder & CEO of Global Diversity Leadership Exchange, MaryAnne is the visionary and executive producer of the forum designed to advance the mission and purpose of inclusive and global sustainability. …

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Frederick Miller

A past member of the board of directors of Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc., Miller currently serves on the boards of Day & Zimmermann, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Center for Automated Technology Systems, and Hudson Partners. In 2017, Fred was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from The Sage Colleges…

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Janus Adams

Emmy Award-winning journalist, historian, entrepreneur, keynote speaker, and  bestselling author of eleven books, Dr. Janus Adams is the host of public radio’s  “The Janus Adams Show” and podcast.  

A frequent on-air guest, she has appeared on ABC, BET, CBS, CNN, Fox News,  NBC’s The Today Show, and NPR’s All Things Considered.

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Peter Block

Peter Block is an author, consultant and citizen of Cincinnati, Ohio. His work is about chosen accountability, and the reconciliation of community.

Peter is the author of several best selling books… 

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 Katie Frank (ZingTrain)
Friday Keynote

In 2005, Katie  and joined Zingerman’s Bakehouse as a manager. She led a team of 12 people to create “The Zingerman’s Experience” at Zingerman’s ….

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Panel Speakers

Thomas Barr (Local First Arizona)

Thomas Barr is the Executive Director for Local First Arizona, the largest coalition of local businesses in North America. He advocates for a strong local business community that contributes to building vibrancy, equity, and prosperity across the state….

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Colin Murray (Dane Country Buy Local)

Colin Murray is the Executive Director of Dane Buy Local, an Independent Business Alliance based in Madison, Wisconsin.  

A former president of the organization and advertising manager for Isthmus Publishing….

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Nicola Williams (Sustainable Business Network of MA)

With over 20 years of industry experience and international respect, Nicola is recognized for superior problem-solving, project management, relationship building, and strategic planning skills. 

. Williams was the producer and one of the founding organizers of the Boston Local Food Festival…

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Karen Spiller (KAS Consulting)

Karen is the Principal of KAS Consulting based in Boston, MA and provides mission-based consulting with a focus on advocacy, resource matching, board development and strategic planning for health and equity-focused initiatives. With a focus on racial equity and intersectionality, Karen works with local, state, regional and national organizations committed to creating equitable public health and sustainable food systems. Involved in state-wide and regional food system work, Karen is a steering committee member of and Massachusetts Ambassador for Food Solutions New England… 

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