Supporting Optimists in VT and Beyond

Posted on May 15, 2018

In addition to being chair within Marlboro’s MBA & MSM programs, I'm also a social entrepreneur myself. After my service in the Peace Corps I became very inspired by the impact that social businesses can have on creating positive economic value and support for others.

B Corp Logo

That drew me to starting my own Certified Benefit Corporation in 2013 called Advance Humanity and this past year creating a coworking space & retreat center called the Optimist Center in Woodstock, Vermont. In the past six months we’ve had over a dozen members join our space and hundreds of people come to be part of our events including yoga, meditation, grant writing workshops, community brainstorming events, public speaking events and much more.


In fact our little center has gotten quite a lot of attention around the state and country. For the past few months people have been asking me how they

can be part of what we're up to even though they don't live in our little town.


Inspired by their interest, I’ve started a new project called which is an community online that people can join to meet other Optimists, watch online workshops and even receive packages in the mail.

I'm starting with classes and lessons taught by me and look forward to having many more wonderful teachers from our community to share what they've learned with others. Our new community is powered by Patreon and allows people to join for just $1. My hope is that we can take the excitement from the Optimist Center and share it with people from anywhere. I’d love to have you join and let me know what I can do to help you in your journey wherever you may be. If I’ve learned anything from this journey it’s that dreamers should stick together.


Photos from:


Here is a link to the video directly:


  • B Corporation
  • Center for New Leadership
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Consulting
  • Graduate and Professional Studies
  • Management Programs
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Innovation
  • Leadership
  • Vermont

Travis Hellstrom, Chair, MBA and MSM Programs