Green Living Special Section: Sustainable Connections conference slated for April 26, 27 in Bellingham

Published on Wed, Apr 18, 2012 by Jeremy Schwartz

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Approximately 250 people attended the 2010 Sustainable Connections Future of Business conference, and organizers expect 2012 attendance to meet or exceed that number. Photo courtesy of Mariah Ross.


Sustainable Connections’ Future of Business Conference kicks off this year with what organizers call a “localicious opening reception.” Attendees to the conference will be able to register and then join a “meet, greet, and eat” session being held at the Whatcom Museum starting at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 26.

The conference gets underway the next morning at 9 a.m., with opening speakers followed by breakout sessions covering various topics. This year, the focus is on how small and local businesses can thrive in challenging economic times, said sustainable business development manager Mariah Ross.

The conference will feature workshops on operating a lean business, small business financing, and delivering exceptional customer service while attracting and keeping skilled employees. The last event on Friday afternoon will be a panel discussion called True Confessions featuring CEOs from four local businesses talking about challenges they’ve faced and lessons they’ve learned during the economic downturn.

“I’m really excited about our panel of local CEOs,” Ross said. “We think there’s a lot to learn from the wisdom of those four people.”

The 2010 conference was attended by 250 participants, and Ross said this year’s registration figures are on track to meet or exceed that number.

The conference was not held in 2011 in lieu of Sustainable Connections’ Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) conference.

Registration costs $159 for general attendees and $129 for Sustainable Connections members. Attendees can also register for the April 26 reception only for $49.

The opening night reception takes place at the Whatcom Museum, 121 Prospect Street, Bellingham. The Friday session runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on April 27 at Whatcom Community College, 237 West Kellogg Road, Bellingham.

For information on the conference or to register, visit the conference's website. Registration is also possible at both venues before the scheduled events.