Category Archives: Ignite Speaker

Ignite Burlington 2016 | Speaker Videos

Thank you again to everyone who attended Ignite Burlington 2016! What a treat to share the evening with such an inspiring group of speakers and community members.

Adam Hergenrother started Hergenrother Foundation in 2013 to give back to the communities in which he and his team members live, work and play.

Hergenrother Foundation’s mission is to transform lives through strategic giving, so that everyone can live the biggest life possible. Hergenrother Foundation supports housing and youth leadership and mentorship non-profit organizations around the country. By supporting Hergenrother Foundation, you are investing in the future of your community. Hergenrother Foundation is also dedicated to bringing educational and inspirational events to the Greater Burlington area, to heighten awareness for the power that every person, regardless of age, can live a life without limits.

We also want to give a special thanks to our sponsors – Kim Negron of Homebridge Financial Services and Paula Diaco of Write Stories Now. A musical performance from a local trio was also a highlight of the night. A2VT is a group of young men who landed in Vermont after war broke out in their birth countries. They sing, dance, rap and are a whole lot of fun.

The evening kicked off with a great social hour, killer small bites and closed with dessert and coffee catered by Bevo.

Ignite Burlington 2016 was packed with amazing speakers and supported by an incredible audience. We had a videographer on site to capture each talk. These amazing speaker videos are available now: IGNITE BURLINGTON 2016 VIDEOS

We welcome feedback on the event, please direct all correspondence to Share your thoughts on the event and send along information to nominate yourself or someone you know as an Ignite Burlington speaker in 2017.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn all year long for information about Hergenrother Foundation, Ignite Burlington and other events hosted by the foundation.


Ignite Speaker Spotlight | Cynthia Griesse

Presentation: Clear Eyes, Full Heart, Can’t Lose
Cynthia has been a licensed realtor since 1994, when she was awarded rookie of the year award. She also holds the team leader black belt recruiting award and hall of fame team leader award. Cynthia is a past president of the board of realtors in Ohio and a broker of record in Florida. She has been with Keller Williams Realty for 13 years in a leadership role. As an independent agent with no assistants Cynthia’s best year was 92 closings.
Prior to becoming a realtor, she served in The United States Army for 13 years as an active duty and reservist in the medical field. Cynthia is a single mom with two children out of high school, one of whom is living ‘the dream’ as a college student in Colorado. She is a devoted mother and enthusiastic career realtor.
Reserve your Ignite tickets here:  IGNITE BURLINGTON 2016
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Ignite Speaker Spotlight | Alex Camelio

Presentation:  $1000 and a Dream

As the head of technology for a new venture capital and incubator company, Alex Camelio focuses on both acquisitions and working to help grow products within the portfolio. Prior to selling his company to Lone Wolf Real Estate Technologies, Alex was the Co-Founder and President at Barcode Realty. Within the real estate community, he has been recognized internationally as an expert in technology, marketing, and entrepreneurship and has presented for various national organizations
Alex’s Profile:  Facebook
Reserve your Ignite tickets here:   IGNITE BURLINGTON 2016
Follow us on:  Facebook and Instagram

Ignite Speaker Spotlight | Aden Haji

speaker-spotlight-aden-hajiPresentation: The Importance Of Knowing Who You Are! 

Aden Haji and is currently a junior at the University of Vermont. He is studying anthropology with a minor in human development and family studies. He lives in Burlington but was born and raised in Kenya, Africa. Aden moved to the United States in 2003. Through his experiences and education in western society, he has grown into a huge advocate for youth voice and youth empowerment.
Aden has a driven passion to connect and peer mentor youth so they can experience having a supportive, positive, inspirational role model in their lives. He started the group called “Building Blocks to Success”, sponsored by the Boys and Girls Club of Burlington who generously lend their building as a location for biweekly meetings. This group provides peer mentorship to youth in the Burlington community.
Aden is the 2016 winner of the Ignite Burlington student speaking contest. We were instantly drawn to his strength of character and leadership. We are excited to hear his story! 
Profile: Facebook
Reserve your Ignite tickets here:  IGNITE BURLINGTON 2016
Ignite Burlington info:
Follow us on: Facebook and Instagram

Ignite Speaker Spotlight | Galen Dow

speaker-spotlight-g-dowPresentation: The Power of Persistence – Try, Try Again!

Galen Dow is the CEO of  AMPED Pipeline Marketing.  Galen founded, bootstrapped and successfully exited New Breed Marketing. New Breed Marketing was one of 3 HubSpot platinum partners out of 2,700 HubSpot partners globally.
His background includes VP level sales and marketing roles for several hardware and software companies. He has an engineering degree and MBA from The University of Vermont. He has several new projects going including AMPED Pipeline Marketing which picks up technologically where New Breed Marketing left off and Kaboodle, a new model of creating age appropriate internet experiences for under 12 year old’s.
Galen’s Profile:  LinkedIn

Reserve your Ignite tickets here:   IGNITE BURLINGTON 2016
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Ignite Speaker Spotlight | Brian Armstrong

speaker-spotlight-b-armstrongPresentation: Flowers in the Darkness

Brian Armstrong and his wife Lora Wilson founded Strong Will Real Estate which ranks as one of the top real estate teams in Vermont and for Keller Williams in all of New England. Brian has been in real estate for over 20 years. Brian launched his real estate career as a mortgage loan officer, closing just under 200 loans in his record year. In addition to his role as Principal Broker of KW Vermont and leader of Strong Will Real Estate, Brian owns 24 rental units.
Brian Armstrong is Co-founder and Principal Broker of KW Vermont. As co-founder and former CEO of Vermont’s first and only Keller Williams Realty office, Brian helped assemble a team of close to 75 agents in less than four years. KW Vermont now consistently ranks as one of the top companies in Vermont both for volume and units closed. Prior to co-founding KW Vermont Brian led a 10 office REALOGY franchise where he hired over two-thirds of the company’s agents and half their top producers. Under Brian’s leadership, the company consistently ranked among the top three real estate companies in the state and the top three in the entire central New England Region for Century 21. Brian and his team represent several large national lenders including the Veterans Administration, HUD, and FNMAE. In addition to residential real estate, Brian and his team specialize in distressed and multi-family properties. His team consistently ranks among the top 5% of Realtor’s nationwide.
Reserve your Ignite tickets here:  IGNITE BURLINGTON 2016
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Ignite Speaker Spotlight | JOHN GRAVES

Presentation: The Process
John is a 6-time US National Team Rower and member of the Craftsbury Green Racing Project. This spring, John and his teammates won the US Olympic trials in the men’s quadruple sculls and went on to finish 3rd at the final Olympic qualification regatta in Lucerne, Switzerland narrowly missing an Olympic bid by less than a second.
John is a 2010 graduate of Trinity College, CT where he was captain of the soccer and rowing teams and selected as the McCook Award winner as the school’s most outstanding male athlete. John attended Cincinnati Country Day School in Cincinnati, OH where he was a five sport varsity athlete and recently elected into the school’s athletic hall of fame.
John’s Profile: Instagram or  Facebook
Reserve your Ignite tickets here:  IGNITE BURLINGTON 2016
Follow us on: Facebook and Instagram

Ignite Speaker Spotlight | Rich Nadworny


Presentation: It’s the Little Things 

Rich Nadworny is principal of Empatico, a design and innovation studio based in Burlington, Vermont. Empatico helps organizations get un-stuck through human-centered design. The process is people centric (think customer obsessed), collaborative and highly creative. Empatico provides both design services and training to organizations.
Rich leads projects for business modeling, customer experience design and workshop training. His clients range from Fortune 500 companies to local Vermont non-profits. He is the Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Dartmouth College’s Dickey Center for International Understanding. His focus is on President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) teaching Mandela Fellows in the summer and East Africans in Nairobi, Kenya in the winter.
He has built innovative digital marketing solutions for clients for almost 20 years. Previously he was a partner at one of northern New England’s largest ad agencies and ran his own digital strategy and marketing agency, Digalicious. In both places he led award-winning innovative digital work.
He is a frequent commentator on Vermont Public Radio (VPR) an innovation columnist at the Burlington Free Press and an ongoing contributor at the Huffington Post.
He has a B.A. from Dartmouth and a M.S. in New Media from Boston University. He studied design and innovation at the California College of Arts.
Reserve your Ignite tickets here:  IGNITE BURLINGTON 2016
Follow us on: Facebook and Instagram

Ignite Burlington 2015 Speaker Video Released | Eugene Korsunskiy, Trucks and Creativity

Presentation: Trucks and Creativity 

Ignite Speakers - Eugene Korsunskiy (2)

Eugene Korsunskiy is the Senior Coordinator of Design Initiatives at UVM, where he teaches classes on Design Thinking and Designing Your Life. Before coming to UVM, Eugene taught at Stanford, where he received his MFA in Design 2012. His masters project, called SparkTruck, was a delivery-truck-turned-classroom-on-wheels, filled with maker tools and supplies, which he and his friends drove across the country to teach kids about tinkering, design, and creativity.


Congratulations to Mary Powell – Vermonter of the Year!

Congratulations to Mary Powell, CEO of Green Mountain Power, who was name the 2015 Vermonter of the Year!

We had the pleasure of having Mary speak at Ignite Burlington 2014 about Engaged Leadership. Check out the video below.