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March 11, 1999

President of Stonyfield Farm to Speak at Middlebury College

Gary Hirshberg Presents "Corporate Responsibility: Tools for Change" on April 16

At 8 p.m. on Friday, April 16, Gary Hirshberg, president and CEO of the natural yogurt and ice cream manufacturing company Stonyfield Farm, will give a talk titled "Corporate Responsibility: Tools for Change" at Middlebury College's Kirk Alumni Conference Center, on Route 30. Part of a conference at the College about responsible campus consumerism, the talk is free and open to the public.

Gary Hirshberg is an advocate who believes industry and the community are inextricably linked. He serves on the board of the Social Venture Network, an international association of companies committed to the practice of corporate social responsibility. He also chairs a sub-group of the White House's Center for Environmental Quality. In 1998, Hirshberg set a precedent by becoming the first entrepreneur in New Hampshire to be honored with the two most prestigious business awards: Business Leader of the Year, and the U.S. Small Business Administration's 1998 Small Business Person of the Year (New Hampshire).

"When it comes to the most challenging problems we face as a society--building self-esteem, closing the gap between rich and poor, maintaining resources--it's important that business people...opt to embrace these challenges," says Hirshberg.

Hirshberg has built Stonyfield Farm--a company based in Londonderry, N.H. that makes refrigerated all-natural, certified organic frozen yogurt and ice cream--into a model that shows environmentally and socially responsible businesses can also be profitable. The scope of the company's corporate responsibility includes the donation of 10% of pre-tax company profits--after 15% employee profit-sharing--to environmental initiatives, implementation of energy efficiencies, and recycling of more than 60% of the company's wastes. The company is also pro-active in the provision of a healthful and productive workplace for all employees.

Committed to implementing a "zero emissions" strategy for its manufacturing operations, Stonyfield Farm has produced a booklet to help point other companies toward greener technologies and practices good for the planet and the bottom line. Patrick McGowan, the New England regional administrator for the Small Business Association, said "Gary Hirshberg provides every creative American entrepreneur with an outstanding example of how business can be profitable and still do good."

Now celebrating its 15th year of business, Stonyfield Farm is the fastest growing yogurt company in the nation. The company has experienced a 36% average annual growth rate over the last eight years, and is projected to do more than $45 million in sales in 1999.

Hirshberg, who lives in Concord, N.H., is married and the father of three little yogurt-eaters.

For more information about the talk or the conference, contact Middlebury College Environmental Coordinator Lily O'Leary at 802-443-5043, or James Sharp at 802-229-0650.