Windham Grows, a project of Strolling of the Heifers, is a farm and food business accelerator ready to give the mentorship, education, tools, financing that promotes sustainability to help farm and food businesses grow in a renewable way.
The program is led by our Entrepreneur-in-Residence and a team of farm and food industry consultants that work one-on-one with entrepreneurs to help improve sustainability-focused business growth and viability.
We meet each business where they’re at, and work as a team to create specific goals and plans that help achieve desired results.
Windham Grows Leadership
Founder, Strolling of the Heifers
Orly is the founder and executive director of Strolling of the Heifers. Previously, she served as a learning specialist with the Windham Central Supervisory Union for 24 years. She has a BA in Psychology and Education from Boston University, and Master of Education degree in Psychology and Special Education from Keene State College. She also built a profitable private consulting business, training teachers in cutting-edge educational techniques.
Executive Director, Strolling of the Heifers
Lissa is the Executive Director of Strolling of the Heifers. Prior to joining the Stroll, Lissa was the Director of Capacity Building at the Windham & Windsor Housing Trust where she was responsible for marketing, fundraising, and more. She has worked in the non-profit sector for over 15 years, working for national organizations like the American Cancer Society and Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Lissa also worked as a staff reporter for a local newspaper in New York. She moved to Vermont in 2017 with her husband, two children, and four pets and loves the country life!
Program Manager, windham Grows
Peter comes to the Strolling of the Heifers after many years working as a landscape construction project manager. He is also an experienced bike tour planner, and has organized and run many successful charity bike events. As project manager for Windham Grows he is looking forward to using his skills to help our farm and food cohort participants thrive and create new jobs in our community and statewide.
As Windham Grows program manager Peter will also be working on the Farm to Table Culinary Apprenticeship Program, Slow Living Summit, Tour de Heifer, and the small business accelerator. In his role with the Strolling of the Heifers he enjoys contributing to an organization that provides so many benefits to the Town of Brattleboro and the State of Vermont.
Entrepreneur-In-Residence, Windham Grows
Jim co-founded three socially responsible businesses focused on energy and waste management automation systems, and workforce development. Jim was a co-founder of Ruralogic, a “re-shoring” firm created to counter the trend in outsourcing US jobs to third world countries, He helped bring 2,900 high-tech jobs to rural Louisiana and Pennsylvania that would have otherwise gone overseas.
Strolling of the Heifers General Manager
Anne works enthusiastically with the full range of the Stroll’s work, from the annual parade and festival to the Farm-to-Table Culinary Apprenticeship Program, to the Slow Living Summit, Windham Grows and our River Garden events. Anne is particularly excited about the Stroll’s emphasis in supporting local farm and food-related entrepreneurship and internship programs.
Windham Grows Outreach Coordinator
Outreach Coordinator, Jennifer Brandt, brings years of marketing experience for a variety of clients ranging from Sony to small non-profits. Jennifer’s extensive marketing experience gives her access to a vast professional network of marketing and creative heavy-hitters that can be assembled for projects with even the most daunting marketing and creative challenges. Her passion for sustainable food systems makes her work with Strolling of the Heifers more like a dream than a job. While not working on organizing spectacular events or creating new marketing materials for clients, you can find her exploring new food around the world whether it be via food stall, beach shack and even the occasional high-end meal.
Farm Cohort Business Consultant
Annie Harlow has spent the past 35 years rooted in food. Fifteen of them as a buyer and seller in Vermont where she helped create a foundation for local food demand at City Market/Onion River Coop, Black River Produce and at area institutions. As an independent retail and operations consultant, Annie has helped farm and food businesses grow to understand food operations, marketing and distribution variables for scaling up supply to meet market demands or vice versa.
Current work includes expanding sales for farmers, independent grocery and coop stores with various types of training: on-farm and in-store support, and a monthly e-newsletter highlighting a stream of consciousness approach to improving operations and profitability. Annie specializes in organizing workshops, seminars and forums designed to increase food-business acumen and relationships among producers, buyers and distributors.
She has served on many local and regional boards and in advisory roles including the Addison County Relocalization Network, Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont, The Vermont Agency of Agriculture Food and Markets, Healthcare Without Harm and the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund. She lives in Bristol, Vermont and is an avid gardener in the Alan Chadwick tradition.
Farm Cohort Business Consultant
Rose Wilson has provided market development and business strategy services for more than 15 years to the farm and food sector. Over 350 clients ranging from national NGO’s such as Healthcare Without Harm to state agencies, established companies such as CROPP/Organic Valley to emerging brands such as Kingdom Creamery of Vermont, and small, mid and large scale farms of all varieties have hired Rose for market development, enterprise analysis, feasibility studies, and business planning and valuation. In addition, Rose is an excellent grant write and has secured more than $4 million in financing and grant funding for her clients.
Rose brings a broad set of hard and soft skills to each client and project. She is a member of the NOFA VT Revolving Loan Fund Advisory Board, the Vermont Farm Fund Advisory Board, and the Vermont First Advisory Board.
Rose’s mission is to make a difference on a local level: building strong, sustainable, local economies; encouraging a sense of community; and minimizing our collective impact on the environment. Rose’s passion is seeing her clients succeed. Prior to launching her consulting business, Rose was Business Development Manager for Harpoon Brewery; a National Sales Manager for Geographic Data Technology, Inc. (Tom Tom); and the Main Street Manager for Windsor, Vermont, a nationally designated Main Street Community.
Strolling of the Heifers prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation,
religion, age, disability, marital or family status. Strolling of the Heifers is an equal opportunity employer.