March 1, 2000

Ice Cream Legend Ben Cohen, Co-Founder of Ben & Jerry's, to Speak on "Enlightened Business and Social Progress" on March 14

Ice cream legend Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry's Homemade, will give a talk titled "Enlightened Business and Social Progress" at Middlebury College at 4:15 p.m. on Tuesday, March 14. The event, the 12th annual David K. Smith Lecture, will take place in Dana Auditorium of the Sunderland Language Center on College Street (Route 125). The lecture is free and open to the public.

In 1978, Ben Cohen--with his friend Jerry Greenfield, whom he met in junior high school in Long Island--opened Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream Parlor in a renovated gas station on a busy street corner in Burlington, Vt.

Since then, Cohen's jobs have included scooper and taste-tester, truck driver, marketing director, salesperson, president, chief executive officer, and chairperson of the board. He's currently co-founder and vice-chairperson of the board.

Cohen and Greenfield have been recognized by several organizations for fostering their company's commitment to social responsibility. The Council on Economic Priorities awarded them the Corporate Giving Award in 1988 for donating 7.5 percent of their pre-tax profits to nonprofit organizations through the Ben & Jerry's Foundation, and the United States Small Business Administration named them U.S. Small Business Persons of the Year in 1988 in a White House ceremony hosted by President Reagan.

Cohen is president and a founding member of Businesses for Social Responsibility, and founder and president of Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities. He is the co-author, with Greenfield, of "Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book" (1987, Workman) and "Double Dip--Lead with Your Values and Make Money Too" (1997, Simon & Schuster).

Established in honor of Professor Emeritus of Economics David K. Smith, a member of the Middlebury College economics department from 1950-1988, the annual lecture maintains a focus on applied economics. An undergraduate economics major at Middlebury College, Smith received a master's degree and a doctorate from Harvard prior to joining the department of economics at Middlebury, where he served as department chair for 15 years. Smith's students established the lecture series in honor of his work as a teacher and mentor.

For more information about the lecture, please contact Melissa Dasakis in the economics department of Middlebury College at 802-443-3198.