Lunch and Learn


Tues, April 14th, 2020  |  12:00 – 2:00pm (Registration and Networking Begin 11:30am)
Hilton Burlington  | 60 Battery Street


From its humble beginning in 2010 as a networking opportunity solely for the women of the Roundtable, this event has grown to make important and broader introductions among Vermont’s leading business and thought leaders and their proteges in the private, public and non-profit sectors, and to inspire commitments to be supportive role models for each other. This event now seeks to continue to advance the conversation on women’s leadership issues, as well as address workplace topics affecting all.


In 2019, Vermont was once again recognized as the healthiest state in the nation, according to the United Health Foundation’s 2019 America’s Health Rankings report. Against 35 core measures, including health behaviors and outcomes, clinical care, and policy impacts, as well as community, environmental and socio-economic factors, Vermont has rated among the top five healthiest states for nearly two decades.  

The report also focused on the challenges that Vermont faces, including increases in drug deaths and substance misuse, violent crimes, and diabetes.  

So, Vermont may be rated #1 overall, but in some measures relative to other states, we may only be doing less badly.  

Additional challenges exist with high incidences of vaccine-preventable pertussis, infant mortality, cancer death rates, suicide, obesity, infant mortality, children living in poverty, and food insecurity.  

Panelists will peek behind the curtain to awaken the attendees to the many reasons why we should not be complacent with the #1 ranking on healthiest state report; share information about initiatives that you are leading to improve population health and wellness, and that build resiliency among Vermonters; and, engage business leaders in a robust Q&A session that digs deeper. 

11:30am  Registration Begins
12:00pm  Networking Luncheon
12:30pm  Program
2:00pm  Adjournment


JOANNE CONROY, MD, President and CEO


Joanne Mather Conroy, MD, was selected by the Board of Trustees in June 2017, as President and CEO of Dartmouth-Hitchcock (D-H) and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health (D-HH).

As CEO of New Hampshire’s only academic health system, Dr. Conroy has overseen significant positive changes, including a dramatic turnaround in the D-HH system’s financial performance, the announcement of two major new expansion projects and a strategic planning process that will guide the organizations into the future.

From FY2017 to FY2018, D-HH reversed a $7 million operating deficit, posting a positive margin of $47 million in FY18—a $54 million turnaround. The health system is now in its third consecutive year of positive financial performance.

Dr. Conroy is a committed leader in advancing equity in the workplace. She is a co-founder of “Women of Impact,” a nonpartisan group of 60 female health care leaders representing all sectors of the health care industry across the nation. She was also instrumental in D-HH becoming one of the founding signatories of the TIME’S UP Healthcare initiative, which aims to increase safety and gender equity in the health care industry.

She was named one of the “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare” by Modern Healthcare in 2018 and was included on their inaugural listing of Women Leaders Luminaries in 2019.

Prior to joining D-H and D-HH, Dr. Conroy served as CEO of Lahey Hospital & Medical Center in Burlington, MA, and as Chief Health Care Officer for the Association of American Medical Colleges in Washington, DC. She has also served as Chief Medical Officer, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Executive Vice President of the Atlantic Health System based in Florham Park, NJ, and as President and Chief Operating Officer for the Morristown Memorial Hospital (now called Morristown Medical Center) in Morristown, NJ. She held several academic and administrative leadership positions at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), including President of the MUSC medical staff, Associate Vice President for Medical Affairs, Executive Medical Director and Senior Associate Dean of the MUSC College of Medicine.

She received her undergraduate degree in chemistry from Dartmouth College. Dr. Conroy received her medical degree from MUSC, where she completed her residency in anesthesiology, serving as Chief Resident for one year.

Dr. Conroy is board certified with the American Board of Anesthesiologists, attained a Certificate of Added Qualifications in Pain Management, and is a diplomat with the American Academy of Pain Management.


DON GEORGE, President and CEO
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont

Don George is a leader who cares deeply about the lifelong health and wellbeing of Vermonters and making the health care system work better for everyone. Born and raised in Barre, his commitment to achieving a transformed health care system in which every Vermonter has health care coverage and receives timely, effective, affordable care has been central to his tenure as CEO and president and will carry Blue Cross confidently into the next era of health care reform.

Don’s commitment to Vermont, including to the 400 Vermonters who work at Blue Cross, has yielded progressive internal management programs that encourage the seven dimensions of wellness as well as external strategies that provide great value to the people we serve. His vision and his caring imbue the organization with heart, empathy, and dedication.

One of the most transformative ventures that Don has been instrumental in developing is Vermont Collaborative Care LLC (VCC). VCC is a joint-venture partnership with Vermont community providers and is designed to integrate physical and mental health care management under one roof and within one team right here at our headquarters in central Vermont. Because of this joint venture, when our members experience a life-altering health event — from pregnancy to end-of-life care — they have access to a case manager, a single point of contact, who understands that physical wellness is not separate from mental wellness.

For the past 25-years, he’s championed initiatives that address health care reform. From providing leadership and strategic direction for the Vermont Health Plan (a licensed affiliate of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association), to launching Accountable Blue Health and Wellness Programming in 2009, Don’s people-focused approach creates lasting change. He believes, at the end of the day, people-focused strategies are the best and only strategies.

His passion for people and for creating functional, balanced teams is evident in his accessibility in the workplace and his ability to build strong, lasting relationships with external stakeholders. He is articulate, inspired, and approaches everyday with great integrity.

Don holds a Master of Science degree from St. Michael’s College in Management and Administration as well as a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Vermont in Business Administration.


MARISSA PARISI, Executive Director

Marissa Parisi is the executive director of RiseVT working to expand the RiseVT model to all communities in the state of Vermont.  Marissa was formerly the executive director of Hunger Free Vermont from January 2009-December 2017.  She is a nationally known expert on food security and federal nutrition policy.  Before joining Hunger Free Vermont she worked at Planned Parenthood of Northern New England for eight years in various roles including strategic planning, community organizing, voter mobilization and education, and major gifts.  Marissa holds a Bachelor’s of Arts degree from Hartwick College in Sociology, a Master’s of Science degree from Springfield College in Human Services Organizational Management and Leadership, and a Certificate in Business Excellence from the Senior Leaders Program at Columbia Business School. She has worked as an organizational development consultant to many statewide nonprofit organizations and currently serves on the Northfield Savings Bank Foundation Board of Directors.  She lives in Shelburne with her husband Michael and their rescue pets.


Vermont Foodbank

John Sayles joined the Vermont Foodbank as the CEO in 2009 after serving ten years in senior appointed positions with the State of Vermont. Prior to coming to Vermont, John practiced law in Maryland, both in private and government practice. He is a graduate

of the University of Baltimore School of Law and Frostburg State University in Maryland. He moved to Vermont in 1999, and lives in Montpelier with his wife and son. In addition to his responsibilities at the Foodbank, John is on the board of Feeding America

and One Care Vermont. Recently, John has chaired the Government Reorganization and Operations Review Commission and was a member of the Vermont Governor’s Pathways from Poverty Council.


Vermont the Nation’s Healthiest State Once Again (Office of the Governor, 12.9.19)


Sherra Bourget, [email protected] or (802) 865-0410

Registrations may be cancelled without penalty to receive full refund until April 7th. After that date, we cannot offer refunds.