Leading entrepreneur to discuss failure and resiliency, March 16

Dean Cycon (second from left, front row) is the founder of Dean's Beans in Orange, Mass., and has traveled the world to build the fair-trade coffee movement.

Clark University’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program will host successful Massachusetts entrepreneur Dean Cycon as the keynote speaker at an interactive event, “The World is Yours: Failure and Resiliency,” on Friday, March 16, in Clark University’s Dana Commons, second floor, from 4-7 p.m. Cycon will talk about the highs and lows of starting his business.

Cycon is the Founder and CEO of Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee Company, a certified 100% organic, fair trade and kosher coffee roasting operation in Orange, Mass.  He has more than 30 years of development work and activism in indigenous communities, including coffee villages, in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Cycon is co-founder of Coffee Kids (non-profit development group), and of Cooperative Coffees, the world’s first fair trade roaster’s cooperative. He has been a Woods Hole  Research Fellow, a Senior Fulbright Scholar, and a Yale Law School Visiting Fellow. Cycon created Dean’s Beans to prove that business can promote positive economic, social and environmental change at the third world source, and be profitable at the same time.  His book about social justice, culture and coffee, “Javatrekker: Dispatches from the World of Fair Trade Coffee,” won the Gold Medal as the Best Travel Essay Book of 2008 from the Independent Publishers Association.

Dean’s Beans has grown steadily over the past 17 years and has stayed on its mission. The company designs and funds people-centered development projects in the coffee lands in partnership with the growers, and returns a percentage of profits to the growers as a Social Equity Premium. The company has received a Best Practices Recognition from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the 2004 Sustainability Award from the Specialty Coffee Association of America, and numerous other recognitions for the quality of its products and the success of its social mission.

The event will also offer attendees a chance to network with the following local entrepreneurs:

  • Shari Worthington, president, Telesian Technology

  • Alicia Williams, Internet marketing specialist,
    Aliste Events: Bringing Business to Life

  • Jacqueline Dube, owner, Jacqueline Jase Face & Body Center,

  • Monica Hamel, chief creative officer, Expressions of You

  • Scott Newman, President and CEO, US Markerboard

  • Russ Haims, principal, Hampton Properties LLC & Haims
    Investment Group, Inc.

  • David Roth, Founder and Chief Innovative Officer, 4TheCauseMarketing

  • Ceri Ruenheck, owner, itsyourcall

  • Steve Rothschild, CEO, Applied Interactive (Rothschild is also
    an I&E Entrepreneur In Residence and a capstone instructor),

  • Dee Wells, host, Obsessive Sneaker Disorder Radio Show (OSD
    live), and

  • Cindy Testa, owner, Bookkeeping Express.

The event is sponsored by the Center for Women & Enterprise and Initial Advantage. It is free and open to the public.  Light refreshments will be served. A student raffle
will also be held.

Registration is encouraged.  To register, email innovation@clarku.edu or call 508-421-3730. For more information, contact Amy Whitney, associate director of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program at amwhitney@clarku.edu or 508-421-3730.