A Community Celebrates Entrepreneurship

By Callie Ginter
The Keene Sentinel, N.H.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) This is great story about the entrepreneurs in one New Hampshire community who are supporting each other and in many cases, the planet!

The Keene Sentinel, N.H.

Danya C. Pugliese came to Keene four years ago, from Brooklyn, N.Y., for a weeklong trip — she never left.

Not because, coincidentally, she met her husband and her business partner the same day, but because “it was meant to be; I was drawn here,” Pugliese, 27, said. “And I think that’s what happens to everyone when they come here. People want to be a part of this.”

The “this” to which she refers is a strong sense of community, vision and innovation.

Those were driving themes for Wednesday’s CONNECT2016: Heart of the Start gala at the Colony Mill Marketplace attended by more than 400 people. Presented by the Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship and The Sentinel, it was a night of networking and recognition.

More than that, it was a night about possibilities.

Pugliese co-owns Machina Arts, which showcased at Wednesday’s event the work of 11 region businesses.

Five entrepreneurs from the region were honored Wednesday for their ingenuity. Each received a gnome-looking wooden trophy, the creation by local artist Timothy Campbell, that was made especially for each honoree.

The award presented to Amanda Littleton, 34, the entrepreneur of the year, for example, featured veggies rooted in the hardware of the award. It was meant to represent Monadnock Menus, a program Littleton has helped to build and that features the aggregation and dissemination of local farm products. Primarily, for now, many of the food products go to area schools.

Staff from Bensonwood of Walpole accepted an award with a hammer, screwdriver and saw crafted around a little wooden man with a miniature house on top of his head, since building homes is the thrust of the work that Bensonwood does.

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