April 21, 2016 • Barrett Art Center • 55 Noxon Street, Poughkeepsie, NY • 6:00 - 8:00 pm

RSVP required

Summit agenda

April 22, 2016 • Vassar College • Villard Room • 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Registration Required


Registration & Coffee in the Rose Parlor - 8:00am - 9:00am

Enjoy coffee from North River Roasters, Poughkeepsie's very own coffee roaster!


Part I - Plenary Sessions - 9:00am - 12:00pm

Opening Statement: #Poughtential: Building a Positive and Vibrant Poughkeepsie

Joint Welcome Remarks

Keynote Address - What is Community-Wealth Building?

Based in Cleveland, Ohio, the Democracy Collaborative is a national leader in equitable, inclusive and sustainable development through Community Wealth Building. This initiative sustains a wide range of Advisory, Research and Field Building activities designed to transform the practice of community/economic development in the United States. 

In this keynote address, Jessica Bonanno will introduce community wealth-building as a model and speak about successful examples


Community Wealth-Building and Local Economies

In this discussion, panelists will discuss the role that community wealth-building played in their city or institutions.

Panelists will discuss why anchor institution involvement in cities is important. As well as answer the question; how have other cities successfully collaborated to build community wealth? And what would the impact of a unified commitment of anchor institutions to the city of Poughkeepsie be?

Poughkeepsie Anchors

Representatives from hospitals, universities, nonprofits and arts organizations will share an overview of their institution’s vision of their involvement with the local community and economy.

Lunch - 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Price of lunch is included in the ticket registration. Enjoy!

Part II: Breakout Sessions - 1:00pm - 2:30pm

Please note that during each break-out session, panelists will present briefly before the dialogue will be opened to the audience. 
How could a more collaborative environment facilitate and expedite change? In what ways is each organization limited by the challenges in the city and what do we need to overcome these challenges?

Dining and Food Services

Agriculture is a major driving force behind the Hudson Valley’s economy. With over 5,000 farms that are largely family-owned and operated, the farming sector has a gross economic impact of $810 million.
Each local institution has undertaken initiatives to source a portion of food from local farms and businesses, while also reducing waste. With hundreds of meals of serve each day, institutions are unable to source all resources from the local economy due to their need for large quantities of products year-round.

In this discussion, panelists will touch on the following:

  • What percentage of food is sourced locally?
  • How is local sourcing measured and what targets have been set for the future?
  • What barriers prevent institutions from sourcing additional food products from within the Hudson Valley?
  • What food items are easiest to source locally and which items would institutions like to source locally if available?
  • What is the process for local farms and food producers to become a vendor for a college or hospital?

Buying Local: Purchasing on an Institutional Level

When hospitals, colleges, non-profit organizations and businesses make a commitment to source a percentage of their goods and services locally, they make an impact on the economy. 

Re>Think Locals’ Indie Impact study found that a market shift of just 10% from chains to independents would retain an additional $475 million in the regional economy every year.

In this session, panelists will discuss: 

  • How have minority and woman-owned business policies influenced how colleges and hospitals purchase?
  • Is any preference given to local businesses? Can preference be given to local businesses?
  • What supplies or services would purchasing departments like to source locally that they are currently unable to?
  • What is the process for becoming a vendor for each institution?
  • Where are local institutions currently banking? 
  • What are the barriers to banking with smaller banks? 
  • What would make it possible to overcome some of these barriers and to shift a portion of operating budgets to local institutions? 
  • If an institution is already banking locally, how was the transition to local banking made? 

Human Resources

Colleges, hospitals and nonprofit organizations are among the largest employers in the city of Poughkeepsie.

In this discussion, panelists will touch on the following:

  • What are the barriers that Human Resources officers experience in hiring from within the local economy? 
  • What positions and departments are most easily able to hire locally? 
  • What training and resources do we need to develop locally so that anchor institutions can more easily pull from the local workforce?

Community Engagement

Anchor institutions engage with the surrounding community in different ways.

In this discussion, panelists will touch on the following:

  • What are the best practices in community engagement?
  • What is missing from institution and student engagement in the community?
  • How can we overcome these barriers? 



From households to board rooms, sustainability movements have grown exponentially over the last few years. Each college and institution has a different approach to sustainability. Marist and the Culinary Institute both have volunteer committees, while Vassar has a full-time sustainability coordinator. 
In this discussion, panelists will touch on the following:

  • What are the goals and barriers of existing sustainability movements?
  • How can we overcome these barriers? 
  • What are the best practices for implementing future initiatives?

Coffee Break in the Rose Parlor - 2:30pm - 3:00pm

Enjoy coffee from North River Roasters, Poughkeepsie's Coffee Roaster. 

Part III: Workshops - 3:00pm - 4:30pm

During this final segment of the conference, attendees will participate in workshops on implementing.

Integrating Sustainability Practices into your Business

In this hour-long workshop, business owners, nonprofit and community leaders will learn to improve their bottom-line by integrating sustainability and community-consciousness into day-to-day operations.

Applying Open Hiring Practices: The Greyston Model

Based in Yonkers, NY, Greyston Bakery has established itself as an anchor of the local economy. The Bakery, whose goods you might have sampled in a pint of Ben and Jerry's ice cream, says that they don't hire people to bake brownies, they bake brownies to hire people. In this workshop, Patrick James, General Manager of Health & Sustainable Communities at Greyston, will share information on the businesses model of revitalizing the Yonkers economy by hiring at-risk individuals. 

Open-Topic Workshop: Building Strong Local Economies

Have a solution that wasn’t discussed or want to go even deeper? Join this session and discuss your topic in a focus-group setting. 

Part IV: Closing Session - Next Steps & the Way Forward - 4:30pm - 5:00pm