Business Management Coaching
Express your values and see around corners while building a stronger company. Access new networks of professionals and capital. Navigate critical transition periods successfully with the help of our team of successful entrepreneurial coaches who have been in your shoes.
The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund provides tailored business management coaching, entrepreneurial support, and training to position Vermont entrepreneurs for growth and long-term success. Our clients include Vermont-based, value-added food and agricultural, forest-related, renewable energy, waste management, and environmental/clean technology enterprises that are supplying products and services to a diverse marketplace.
Four Types of Coaching Services
We offer four types of services, each designed to meet the different needs of our clients and their desired depth of engagement. Not sure which service is right for you and your business? We will help find the right fit to suit your needs.
- Deep Dive Business Coaching – Our deeply experienced business coaches combine their collective expertise by working together intensively as two- or three-person cross-functional teams to help you through structured monthly sessions over 12-18-month engagements. A mutually agreed upon scope of work is designed to take your business to the next stage of development and profitability.
- Focused Business Coaching – One lead coach provides highly focused, 9-12-month long coaching services based on a mutually defined scope of work geared towards solving challenges to your business’ development, including access to the right match of capital. The Community Navigator Pilot Program helps make this offering possible.
- Short-Term Intensive Coaching – When emergencies arise within your business or specialized short-term coaching is best suited to your needs, we will deploy a coach to work intensively for three to four months with you. This coaching support may lead to a longer-term deep-dive business coaching engagement, or may be used as a follow-on/tune-up support if we’ve worked with you as a client in the past.
- Small Group Coaching – When funding exists, cohorts of 6-8 companies each meet monthly for at least one hour, during which time a short presentation on a core business practice (e.g., marketing, strategic planning, product pricing, organizational advancement, and workforce development, etc.) is delivered, followed by a group discussion/Q&A and general check-in for peer support. In addition, each company receives two hours of 1:1 coaching support from the coach leading their cohort (supplemented as needed with our other coaches depending on your specific needs). Each cohort runs for 12 month.
Our business management coaching and training services are designed to accelerate the growth of the enterprises we work with and expand the leadership capacity of the entrepreneurs who own and manage these businesses.
We work with businesses with the following characteristics:
- Vermont-based sustainable agriculture and food-related, forest products, renewable energy, environmental technologies, or waste systems businesses;
- Businesses operating for 3+ years;
- Businesses with a gross income of at $250,000+;
- Owners/operators with at least three years of experience in this or a similar role;
- Businesses expecting or experiencing a significant transition (e.g., revenue and/or employment growth, expanded facilities, entering new market channels, developing or expanding their management team, succession planning or implementation); and
- Business owners who value an outside perspective and a collaborative approach to their business and their own leadership development.
Let Us Help You and Your Business
As a first step in working with us, please fill out a brief questionnaire (less than 10 minutes of your time) so that we can gauge which opportunity will best suit your needs. For questions about the process or difficulty filling out the form, email Ellen at ellen[at]vsjf.org.
Peter ColeBio +
Carolyn CookeBio +
Beth has had the good fortune to work with clients across a diversity of industries, including: consumer products (food, furniture, technology, and clothing); hospitality; technology services and products; and professional services (IT, accounting, and wealth management).
Before running her own consulting practice, Beth served as HR Manager for Rossignol Ski Company and Skis Dynastar; Merrell Footwear and Karhu/Trak Skis; and Vermont Country Cyclers (d.b.a. Travent and Four Seasons Cycling). Beth keeps a foot in the outdoor product/activity side of her career by introducing others to the beauty of backcountry skiing through weekend clinics and tours at Bolton Valley.
Jean KissnerBio +
In her VP roles, Jean successfully positioned organizations to grow smoothly by defining and implementing a wide variety of operational/IT projects, including enterprise/web systems, cloud, plug-in and custom applications, systems integrations as well as numerous process improvement efforts. Throughout change initiatives, Jean mentored and supported staff to improve their skills and increase throughput at the same time.
Jean’s consulting practice, Excellence in Operations, focuses on collaborating with growing or changing organizations who want to improve the quality, effectiveness & efficiency of their operations by improving staff skills, updating processes and/or selecting/implementing new tools and systems. Recent projects have included selecting/implementing enterprise computer systems, roles/responsibility and process reviews as well as department assessments. She has also trained organizations on converting strategy into solid tactical plans through the use of cascading goal setting.
Her education includes a MBA from University of Vermont and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Cornell University. Certifications include: Project Management Professional (PMP) and Certified Manager of Quality & Organization Excellence (ASQ).
Most recently Linda was Chief Financial Officer of Preservation Trust of Vermont 2017 through 2021. There she reorganized the general ledger and financial statements, revised the budgeting process and coached the new President in understanding the organization’s finances. Linda served as CFO during her 22 year career at Concept2 from 1988-2011. She was a key leader in transitioning the international distribution system from a dealer network to direct sales; implemented, with a team, two software system changes to enable growth and provide for increasing complexity; and developed a system for selling in foreign currency and hedging the risk. Linda also served as Director of Finance and Administration at the Vermont Community Loan Fund from 2011 to 2015 and Business Manager for Wall/Goldfinger, a custom furniture shop, from 1980 to 1988.
Linda has coaching and teaching experience as the financial professional on a team for the Women’s Small Business Program, as instructor of personal finance for Woodbury College, and for VSJF’s Peer-to-Peer Collaborative. She works best in a collaborative environment and knows that diversity of skills, lived-experience, and opinions creates the best outcomes.
Linda has always found time to volunteer for community boards including the High Meadows Fund, Vermont Works for Women, Center for an Agricultural Environment, Public Assets Institute, and Samara Fund at VCF (formerly Samara Foundation of Vermont).
Lawrence MillerBio +
Victor MorrisonBio +
Victor currently works locally as a financial and management consultant, focusing on sustainable business strategy development and executive management coaching. Victor has enjoyed being part of the VSJF business coaching team and working with companies to help them address business strategy and management skill building. He has authored articles on a wide range of subjects such as: “Emotional Self-Control: A Leaders’ Perspective on Staying Cool under Pressure.” He is known as an effective leader and supportive coach skilled in guiding executives and team members in building trusting relationships.
Kathleen Murphy MoriartyBio +
Murphy Moriarty is well versed in small business environments as well as in large corporation structure and government service; adept in planning and logistics, communications, team building, project management, budgeting, and financial analysis. Brands and businesses to which she has contributed include Bolton Valley Ski Resort, Keystone Resort and Stowe Mountain Resort and Vermont Ski Areas Association in the snowsports industry; Tubbs Snowshoes, in which she held an equity partner position as well as served as COO/general manager responsible for multiple brand strategic and financial planning, operational/manufacturing execution, and sales/marketing management.
With a personal goal to diversify her career track and pursue professional growth opportunities, Murphy Moriarty served as Chief Marketing Officer for the State of Vermont within the Agency of Commerce and Community Development as the central authority for state marketing activity and the “steward of the Vermont brand.” There she supported marketing and outreach activities within individual state agencies and departments by providing strategic expertise and tactical support to amplify the Vermont brand across the agriculture, travel and tourism, forests and specialty wood products and expand the Made in Vermont program.
Murphy Moriarty was most recently the Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Norwich University, the nation’s oldest private military college and birthplace of ROTC. The university recently celebrated its bicentennial anniversary, marking the 200th year milestone in a five-year Forging the Future fundraising campaign that raised over $100 million for new buildings, scholarships, and technology enhancements. In the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the university’s enrollments remain strong, and the brand has garnered national visibility for the university’s focus on student mental health and well-being.
Murphy Moriarty is exceptionally skilled in the product to market process from research to product/program development, sell in to sell through, POP/merchandising, advertising, public relations, crisis communications and ROI analysis. She has successfully launched and directed many first to market concepts and products, including entering new markets in Europe, Asia and Scandinavia. Murphy Moriarty is well versed in small business environments as well as large corporation structure and government service; adept in planning and logistics, communications, team building and culture creation, project management, budgeting, and business analysis.
Steve VoigtBio +
Thanks to the generous support of the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, the Vermont Department of Economic Development’s Vermont Training Program, and the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, we are able to competitively price these services, allowing us to provide top quality advisory services at below-market rates to help companies stay and grow in Vermont.