REACH Small Business Series (Cohort 4)

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January 19, 2021 - April 01, 2021
9:00 am - 11:00 am
Zoom - Participate in a 1-hr Pre-Session December 15, 2020 from 1:00 - 2:00 PM EST. Series begins on Jan 19, 2021

Are You Ready for the NEW Future of Business?

Registration for this event has now closed. Please contact for more information.

About this Program

To say things have changed for small businesses in Rhode Island seems an understatement. Recognizing the significant disruption small business owners have been faced with and the uncertainty that lies ahead, it can be easy for small business owners to lose focus and become overwhelmed.

In order for your business to REACH “up” or “around,” to repair, renew and thrive, you must become “evolution ready” –  to reimagine, widen your lens, shift perspectives and change directions with intention.  As your business emerges and you look to the NEW future, it is an essential time to remain agile and continually be evolving leadership, mindset, operations, assessing and growing managerial and digital capabilities, and most importantly, creating a resilient culture that positions your small business for long-term success, growth, and sustainability.


The REACH Series is designed to take a small cohort of business owners and their key managers through a 12-module program. To navigate the current crisis, owners and managers must act with a sense of urgency and with prudence. These modules are designed to be deeply engaging, timely, and responsive to the business environment. Participant will gain practical skills on “how” to shift thinking, evolve competencies, accelerate digitalized approaches, and foster new skillsets amongst the team, all while proactively responding to the pace of change and uncertainty happening within their businesses and in the marketplace.

“Evolution ready is moving a business from surviving to thriving. It is time for renewal, not return.  Business owners must pivot and own their future.” says Lisa Bergeron, AWE’s Co-Creator Chief Visionary

Delivered through Zoom’s video conferencing format, all modules create an energizing and interactive experience. Utilizing breakout sessions, group discussions, peer coaching, private Facebook groups, and access to AWE’s membership, resources, and programming, the journey offers a connected learning experience.

Who Should Attend

The Reach Series is open to 15 small businesses – an owner and a key manager. Due to the high demand for the program, we encourage business owners to apply by registering as soon as possible.

What to Expect

Meeting business owners “where they are”, it is our goal is to help owners think more deeply about strategies and mindsets needed to find expansion, growth, sustainability, and become evolution ready as they emerge into the NEW future of their business. Sessions give owners the opportunity to step back to identify, define, evaluate, improve, and preserve the core of their business culture while reimagining what is possible as they recover, resolve, and reframe.


This program is FREE for Rhode Islander Small Businesses disrupted by Covid-19.

AWE’s REACH Series is offered in partnership with CCRI and funding is provided through the State of Rhode Island’s Back to Work RI initiative and the Department of Labor and Training. To qualify you must register by December 10th and participate in the pre-session on December 15, 2020.

Attendance is required. We understand that operating a small business can be unpredictable, however, attendance must be a priority. Participants should not miss more than one session.

Due to the high demand for the program, we encourage business owners to apply by registering as soon as possible. Upon registration, you will receive an email with a link to a form to fill out and submit to DLT.

Program Schedule

Important Dates

Pre-Session – December 15, 1:00 – 2:00 pm EST

One hour session to meet the facilitators, introduce the cohort, provide an overview of the series journey, including instructions to register your participation with DLT,  join the private group on FaceBook, and link to assessments and surveys.

Sessions 1-6: Owner Cohort: Becoming Evolution Ready

Jan 19 and  21, and February 2, 4 , 16, 18, 2021 – 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM EST

In these sessions, we help owners step back, evaluate, navigate the complicated business landscape with a purpose-driven playbook and strategies to meet the future state of their businesses. Sessions focus on evolving leadership, building resilience, adaptability and risk-taking, leveraging digital tools and platforms, and expanding capabilities.  We explore the power of brand, new customer expectations, the impact of the digital economy and innovative ways to respond, rebuild and reframe.

Sessions 7 through 10, Owner and Key Team Member Cohort: Expanding Connection

 March 2, 4, 16, 18,  2021 – 9:00 AM- 11:00 AM EST

During these times of uncertainty, engaging in effective trusted relationships – within the business and with customers – is at the core of effective communication and connection. In order to truly lead the business through transformation, it requires an aligned team that works effectively together when pressure, stress and changing conditions are prevalent.

These sessions focus on the impact emotions and energy have on engagement and communication. We explore emotional intelligence strategies to minimize conflict and effectively engage in difficult conversations. We further delve into actionable practices for building capacity and expanding the most important emerging skillsets including understanding and utilizing digital platforms. We share how this knowledge, when applied, helps people to think more creatively, lead more effectively, make better decisions and perform at higher levels even when faced with an increasingly complex and constantly changing business environments. Understanding, appreciating, and leveraging individualized approaches and communication styles leads to up-skilling the team’s impact in support of being evolution ready.

Session 11 and 12, Owner Cohort: Be the Architect of Your Business’s Future

March 30 and April 1 2021 – 9:00 AM EST -11:00 AM EST

In the final two sessions, we work closely with owners to be the architect of their future, including coaching, peer discussions, and action planning so they can return stronger and ready to confront the challenges and opportunities for growth, scalability, and sustainability as they envision and plan for the NEW future of their business.

Click Below to Hear Testimonials:

Ellen Slattery, Proprietor of Gracie’s Ventures:

Charle Antone, Owner of Building Enclosure Sciences:

Omallys Hopper, BellisimaMUA & @CookingConOmi


Chef Eli Dunn, Eli’s Kitchen

Testimonials From Cohorts 1 and 2

“Positivity, rethinking our culture and mission, engagement, leadership strategies.”

“Understand my and others ‘triggers.’ Embracing different perspectives.”

“Using DISC tool, I improved my communication strategies.”

“Having conversations with your coworkers can be difficult and even uncomfortable”

“I found it valuable to hear from and work with other business owners and managers.”

Benefits and More

Included in your participation:

  • Participate in AWE Spotlight and Friday Conversations at no cost
  • AWE 3-Month Complimentary Membership on completion of the program
  • Value $250

Add-On Services

Business Essential Coaching for Evolutionary Growth with Lisa Bergeron and Lisa Raiola

AWE Business Essential Coaches, Lisa Bergeron, and Lisa Raiola provide you with one on one coaching sessions to address your businesses specific challenges. The “Lisas” help you envision new opportunities, evolutionary pivots, and shifts needed to create your purposeful and strategic path forward. They believe business coaching involves listening and understanding before giving candid feedback and delivering advice that will helps you develop a plan to meet the challenges you’re encountering.

Coaching engagement is typically based on 4-8 sessions, and includes an upgrade to AWE’s Annual Evolution Ready Membership. Email for more information.




Meet Lisa Raiola, Facilitator

Lisa Raiola, MPH, is an AWE Senior Advisory & Small Business Specialist and is the co-facilitator for this program. Lisa is also the founder of Hope & Main, Rhode Island’s first food business incubator. Hope & Main helps to grow the local food economy by creating a community of support for food entrepreneurs and cultivating an environment where emerging culinary startups can test, create, scale, and thrive.

Lisa has worked at the executive level at both Roger Williams University and Brown University and has more than 30 years of experience in program development and advancement.  She also serves as a member of the Specialty Food Foundation Board, the Local Return Board, the Aquidneck Community Table Board,  the Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce Board,  and the RI Center for Justice Board, and a Trustee of Roger Williams University.

Meet Lisa Bergeron, Facilitator

An accomplished business leader, Lisa Bergeron is the Co-Creator and Chief Visionary Officer (CVO) of AWE, Advancing Workplace Excellence.

An accomplished business leader, Lisa brings a unique blend of strategic vision, business savvy, and depth of experience to steer AWE’s course into the future. An architect of relationships and connections, Lisa is a catalyst, progressive, and innovative thinker who creates pathways to explore, expand, and thrive in a rapidly changing business environment.

As CVO, Lisa leads AWE’s vision for driving outstanding business growth and revolutionary strategies to expand AWE’s value and customer experiences. Performance oriented, Lisa is a trusted advisor and partner who provides insightful guidance and thought-leadership to uncover business needs and envision solutions to ensure clients realize their ambitions for growth, development, and exceptional business performance.

Lisa is an active member of the business community serving on the Boards Hope & Main; Coastline EAP, and a founding member of the United Way Women’s Leadership Council and Vision 2020’s RI. She has been recognized as Women of Achievement by the YWCA, and as a Wise Women by the National Organization of Italian American Women.

Meet Tejal Tarro, Facilitator

Tejal Tarro is Co-Creator and Chief Services Officer (CSO) of AWE, Advancing Workplace Excellence.

Tejal creates unique services and learning experiences for leaders at all levels to be evolution ready through emotional agility, inclusive engagement and authentic influence. She has over 25 years of organizational development, change management, facilitation and coaching experience.

In working with clients, Tejal is known for her authenticity, empathetic listening and a deep understanding of human challenges in the workplace. Tejal is also an avid practitioner of mindfulness, which allows her to approach her work with a sense of awareness and inclusion.

Tejal has a personal passion for creating equity and access for those who are marginalized in the workplace.  She has held numerous leadership roles in organizations focusing on the advancement of women including Vision 2020 and RI Commission on Women.  Tejal currently serves as an ambassador for 10,000 Small Businesses supporting the needs of small business owners.  Most importantly, as a business owner herself, Tejal focuses on evolving herself and AWE to continue to create greater equity and inclusion through internal practices and creative partnerships.

Meet Jennifer Shaheen, Facilitator

Jennifer Shaheen is the founder and President of The Technology Therapy Group. She is recognized as an expert in planning, implementing, and translating digital marketing and technology.

A highly sought presenter, Jennifer comes to AWE with experience speaking regularly to professionals in luxury jewelry, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing arenas. In 2020 she was named to the board of directors of Martin Guitars.  She’s appeared frequently on MSNBC’s Your Business and writes for several industry publications. Over her twenty years in business, Jennifer has been a contributor to and quoted experts in notable publications such as,, CIO, Newsweek, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.

Jennifer Shaheen has always found a way to educate others about the digital world. It is her personal belief that technology can provide an opportunity and a competitive advantage to growing companies. She has been an adjunct professor at Johnson & Wales University, taught in the Continuing Education program for Hofstra University, her alma mater, and was integral in the curriculum development and accreditation of Social Media Marketing University. Today she continues to volunteer for SCORE, a division of the SBA providing online training and in-person workshops.

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