Monica Rogan (ISAT '01), Goodnow Chocolate Farms

When: April 19, 2018 at 5:00pm

Where: ISAT/CS 259

ISAT alumna Monica Rogan’s career has taken her all over the world and now to craft chocolate. Monica first tasted the fruit of the Theobroma Cacao tree in 2003 while in Panama developing eco-resorts, and although she didn’t realize it at the time, her love of chocolate was born. Her career in real estate development brought her to southern California, where she discovered craft chocolate and began experimenting with the many possibilities of true, bean to bar chocolate making in her home kitchen. In addition to her passion for exceptional bean to bar chocolate, she is strongly committed to the ethical treatment of cacao farmers and sustainable sourcing. Over the years she has built strong, direct relationships with farmers and producers in the cacao supply chain in Mexico, Central and South America to ensure mutually beneficial relationships and access to consistently high quality beans. In 2015, Monica co-founded awardwinning Goodnow Farms Chocolate, making great tasting chocolate from fine flavor, ethically sourced cacao beans.

In this talk, Monica will share the story of Goodnow Chocolate Farms and how ISAT helped pave the way to this unique endeavor.

Monica Rogan

Goodnow Farms Chocolate - Logo

Gary Upton of Upton Bass

Gary Upton - Upton Bass

Visiting Entrepreneur: Gary Upton

Once a semester CFE sponsors a visiting entrepreneur.  We will be doing this for each college.   Our inaugural visiting entrepreneur was Gary Upton for the College of Visual and Performing Arts.  Mr. Upton began his entrepreneurial journey as an undergraduate music student at Western Connecticut State University. His first venture, Upton Bass, evolved from a “one-man” operation launched in 1999 to a full-service lutherie facility built on a historic mill site in Mystic, Connecticut in 2012. His list of clients includes JMU bass professor Sam Suggs. Gary has since initiated two other ventures: Up Fitness (a high-end fitness facility in Mystic, CT that is informed by his experiences as a personal trainer, wellness coach, and elite-level competitive cyclist), and Four Quarry Farms (a full-service wedding venue). He holds multiple patents; the item for which he was most recently granted a patent will be showcased in public for the first time during his JMU residency.   

While on campus Gary guest lectured in the Entrepreneurship in Music Industry class and then held an seminar with JMU bass players on Building and Repairing Basses.   The culmination of his visit was a Fireside Chat in Forbes Center with JMU Entrepreneur Faculty Fellow Dr. David Stringham.   While on stage Gary revealed his newest product: A full size double bass that packs aways into a standard 28” Samsonite suitcase.   

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