Jill Bommarito is founder and president of Ethel’s Baking Co., a family-run company on a mission to bring everyone old-fashioned, purely delicious dessert bars, baked with simple ingredients and loved by all. The bars are certified gluten free and handmade with love in a dedicated gluten-free facility in Michigan.
Ethel’s is the namesake of Jill’s grandmother, Ethel St. John, who taught Jill to bake the old-fashioned way when she was a child. Jill – who is gluten free and has several family members who suffer from celiac disease – wanted to continue her grandma’s legacy with baked goods that everyone around the table could enjoy, without sacrificing taste.
Born and raised in a rural suburb of Flint, Michigan, where the automotive industry has long been the focus of the economy, Jill took on the governor’s challenge to diversify the state’s economy by investing in agriculture as part of building Ethel’s.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars-worth of award-winning local butter and eggs later, Ethel’s has become a key local player. With their handmade craft bakery products, Ethel’s fills a void in grocery stores’ fresh bakery departments and specialty retailers across the U.S. and in Canada. Ethel’s dessert bars are also available direct to consumer at ethels.com.
Jill founded Ethel’s in 2011 when making a decision to change career paths and start a food business. Jill and her husband, Vince, felt that if they were going to start a new business, they would need to be a part of the solution for the downcast economy in Detroit and the state. Ethel’s Baking Co. was born out of the desire to spread joy through food and grow jobs for Michigan’s future.
Ethel’s launched as a wholesale baked goods manufacturer with 10 retail stores as initial customers. All of them remain partners in the company’s growth today, along with Whole Foods, Meijer, Fresh Thyme, Kroger, Giant Eagle, Amazon and many more. In fall 2020, Ethel’s opened a new 19,000-square-foot production facility, making it possible to catch up to demand and expand its distribution, while also offering capabilities for innovation to come.
Josh Silverman is Etsy’s Chief Executive Officer, leading the company as it builds a platform that empowers creative entrepreneurs around the world. He is also a member of Etsy’s board odirectors. Josh’s two decades of leadership experience include growing consumer technology companies and scaling global marketplaces. He previously served as President of Consumer Products and Services at American Express, CEO of Skype, CEO of shopping.com, co-founder and CEO of Evite, Inc., and he held various executive roles at eBay. Josh is currently on the board of directors of Shake Shack and serves as Chairman of the non-profit Code Nation.
Moderated by Michelle Singletary
Michelle Singletary writes the nationally syndicated personal finance column The Color of Money, which appears in The Washington Post on Wednesdays and Sundays. Her award-winning column is syndicated by The Washington Post Writers Group and is carried in dozens of newspapers nationwide. She has written three personal finance books, including her latest, “The 21-Day Financial Fast: Your Path to Financial Peace and Freedom.” Singletary was the financial expert for “The Revolution,” a daytime program on ABC. For two years, she was host of her own national television program, “Singletary Says,” on TV One. She is a frequent contributor to various NPR programs and has appeared on national talk shows and television networks, including “Oprah,” NBC’s “Today,” “The Early Show on CBS” and CNN. In her spare time, Singletary is the director of a ministry she founded at her church, in which women and men volunteer to mentor others who are having financial challenges. As part of this ministry, she and her husband also volunteer to teach financial literacy to prison inmates. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland at College Park. She has received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Johns Hopkins University, where she earned a master’s degree in business and management. To stay informed about various money issues subscribe to Michelle’s weekly retirement and personal finance newsletter, which will be delivered to your inbox every Monday and Thursday.
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How SMBs Can Leverage Benefits to Recruit and Retain Talent in a Post-Pandemic Labor Market
In this conversation, Elise Labott sits down for a one-on-one conversation with Amy Friedrich from Principal®. Amy leads Principal®’s U.S. Insurance Solutions team, serving more than 150K small- to medium-sized businesses. They’ll discuss the importance of benefits among SMBs to retain employees in a tight labor market, and offer actionable advice for SMBs to fully understand the unique benefits needs of their specific, diverse workforces to create a more inclusive environment for employees.
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Amy Friedrich leads Principal®’s U.S. Insurance Solutions, serving 100,000 small to medium-sized employers and 3.5 million individuals. Through a broad range of protection solutions, Principal helps employers attract and retain key talent, protect against loss of income and assets, and secure their financial future. Friedrich leads 3,500 employees responsible for group employee benefits, life insurance, disability insurance, and nonqualified deferred compensation, along with the distribution arm.
Moderated by Elise Labott
Elise Labott is a leading journalist covering foreign US foreign policy and international issues. Elise is a columnist at Foreign Policy magazine and before that was CNN’s Global Affairs Correspondent. She has reported from more than 80 countries, traveled the world with seven secretaries of state and has interviewed many world leaders and newsmakers. Elise is the founder of Twopoint.o Media, a digital media platform that aims to engage, inform and inspire citizens to solve today’s most pressing global challenges, and an adjunct professor at American University’s School of International Service. She is a contributor to Politico, provides commentary for MSNBC, NPR, BBC and several other broadcast outlets and is a sought-after interviewer and moderator. Elise also serves as a global ambassador for Vital Voices, an organization that empowers female entrepreneurs around the world and is on the advisory committee of Global Kids DC, a program which introduces high school students in underserved communities to international affairs. Prior to joining CNN, Elise covered the UN for ABC News and also reported on diplomatic and foreign policy issues for Agence France-Presse and other publications. Elise is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned a master’s degree from the New School for Social Research.