Vermont Advisory Board Video Series

Learn How an Advisory Board Can Help You and Your Enterprise Thrive

Join a thought leader and three entrepreneurs to explore the why, what, how, and when of Advisory Boards—a hidden gem on the path to a thriving business and effective entrepreneurial leadership.

Why should I have an advisory board?

  • Having a sounding board of seasoned professionals who care about me and my business will lead to better decisions and outcomes
  • It will be much easier and more efficient to access the right capital at the right time if I develop an advisory board

As small business leaders, we’re always learning something new about what’s working and what’s not working in our business…This is another opportunity to learn new things that will help us be successful.

Eleanor Léger
Eden Ciders

The next thing we needed to do was not something we had experience in. The more your business grows, once you cross over that line, you’re kind of permanently in that place. And we really felt like an advisory board was necessary to give us the guidance, to help keep us honest, to inspire us, to help us ask difficult questions, just to bounce things off of.

Jonny Adler

Get in Touch

Contact Jake Claro
Farm to Plate Director

Vermont Farm to Plate Program

Learn more on the Farm to Plate website.

Advisory Board Video Series

A Guide to Advisory Boards Part 1: What is an Advisory Board?

Get a clear sense of what an advisory board is, and how it differs from other resources for entrepreneurs. This video clarifies the role of the entrepreneur in relation to their advisory board. Gain insight into the unique value of advisory boards. See how advisory boards are an asset, and the outcomes that advisory boards make possible. Hear from entrepreneurs about how they got value from having an advisory board. Business owners describe what specific skills, roles, and perspectives advisory board members can bring that complement their expertise and view.

A Guide to Advisory Boards Part 2: What would you say to Advisory Board skeptics?

Hear common reservations that entrepreneurs have about forming an advisory board. Learn the kind of helpful focus that advisory boards bring. How do entrepreneurs feel after working with an advisory board? Understand the constructive priorities that advisory boards have. See how advisory boards help entrepreneurs learn in relevant ways. Hear why finding the time for an advisory board is worth it. Get insight into the leverage that advisory boards bring to entrepreneurs. How would you know if an advisory board would be helpful for you and your business?

A Guide to Advisory Boards Part 3: Is there a right time to start an Advisory Board?

Learn when to start an advisory board. See what an advisory board brings to any entrepreneur. How did entrepreneurs make their way to forming an advisory board? What common entrepreneurial challenges can an advisory board help address? What stage of development led business owners to pursue forming an advisory board? What insights have entrepreneurs gained about the best time to activate an advisory board?

A Guide to Advisory Boards Part 4: How do you start an Advisory Board?

You may be interested in forming an advisory board, but: Where to start? Learn how an entrepreneur can set the stage for a starting a complementary and focused advisory board. How investors and business technical assistance providers can be helpful in getting going. See entrepreneurs describe how they zeroed in on what they needed from an advisory board. What conversations are important to have with people considering joining your advisory board? What can you do to support team building at your advisory board meetings? Expressing appreciation for your advisory board: how do entrepreneurs handle it? What’s most important to advisors and why would they want to join your advisory board? What keeps advisors coming back wanting to give their best? Get into the nitty gritty of operating your advisory board, including how to get it established. What are you looking for in an advisory board meeting?

A Guide to Advisory Boards Part 5: How do you help your Advisory Board prepare prior to a meeting?

What do you give to your advisory board as a meeting approaches? What makes for a well-structured agenda? What do you want to focus your time on when your advisory board gets together? How do you help people be ready to give their best as a meeting gets rolling? What aspects of agenda design might stifle ideas? How do you keep the momentum going across meetings? What helps entrepreneurs get the most out of their advisory board meetings?

A Guide to Advisory Boards Part 6: Where does the Advisory Board sunset?

Themes addressed include: Advisory boards as a gift to the entrepreneur. How to set expectations about timeframe for serving on an advisory board. Entrepreneur responsibilities in relation to an advisory board. The range of support entrepreneurs can get from advisory boards. The value of hearing diverse perspectives advisory board members may have. The main focus of an advisory board in relation to you and your business.

Additional Business Assistance Resources:


Vermont’s Food System

Vermont’s food system generates more than $10 billion in economic output and supports more than 64,000 jobs and 12,000 businesses. Dairy and its by-products remains the largest agricultural product with 65% of all farm-gate sales and annual sales of more than $1.3 billion. Food and beverage manufacturing employment increased 47% (2,182 jobs) from 2009 to 2015, while also becoming the second largest manufacturing sub-sector in the state with over $982 million in annual sales (2013).

Our Role

The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund serves as the administrator and backbone organization to the Farm to Plate Network and executes the analysis and goal tracking of the Farm to Plate Strategic Plan implementation. As a backbone organization, we guide vision and strategy; support aligned activities and facilitate dialogue across the network; establish shared measurement practices; mobilize funding; manage communication; provide professional development and leadership training opportunities; build public will; and coordinate community outreach.

More than 350 members of the Farm to Plate Network are working together to create a viable, sustainable, and resilient food system which produces and distributes our food and generates positive economic, environmental, and social impact in Vermont’s economy.

The Vermont Advisory Board Video Series is supported by the Vermont Farm to Plate Initiative.

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Are you interested in becoming a client to grow your business, industry sector, or replicate one of our approaches? We offer a suite of services for businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies.
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Are you interested in partnering with us to build a thriving economic, social, and ecological future for Vermont? We invite collaboration from diverse stakeholders in all areas of our work.
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