Jerry Greenfield

Keynote Speaker

Jerry Greenfield

Co-founder of Ben And Jerry’s Homemade, Inc

Jerry Greenfield was born in Brooklyn, New York, four days before his future business partner Ben Cohen. He grew up and went to school in Merrick, Long Island. It was there that he first met Ben in junior high school, and the two have remained close friends ever since. Greenfield graduated from high school with a National Merit Scholarship under his belt and enrolled at Oberlin College to study pre-med.

At Oberlin, Greenfield got his first taste of the ice cream industry when he took a job as a scooper in the college cafeteria. After graduation, he worked as a lab technician in New York and lived with his school buddy Ben in an apartment on East 10th Street. In 1977, with Jerry thoroughly sick of his occupation as lab tech, the two friends joined together in an unlikely venture: running a food business together. The two eventually settled on ice cream, and, after a bit of research (and a $5 Penn State correspondence course in ice cream making), opened Ben & Jerry’s Homemade ice cream parlor in Burlington, Vermont in May 1978.

Ben and Jerry soon became known throughout Vermont for their rich, unusual flavors and community-oriented approach to business. They sponsored a Fall Down Festival and a free outdoor movie festival, and celebrated their anniversaries with a Free Cone Day. Jerry began by making all the ice cream, but as the company expanded into new markets, he soon found himself handling everything from distribution to orientation to employee motivation.

Today a model for American business success, Greenfield and Cohen have been recognized for fostering their company’s commitment to social responsibility by the Council on Economic Priorities (which awarded them the Corporate Giving Award in 1988 for donating 7.5 percent of their pre-tax profits to non-profit organizations through the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation), and by the U.S. Small Business Administration (which named them U.S. Small Business Persons of the Year in 1988 in a White House ceremony hosted by President Reagan).

Press Release – 7/20/22

Read the press release about Jerry Greenfield’s participation in the Together Against Hunger movement here.

View More Speakers

Mariam Akior

Imelda Awino

Shawn K. Baker

Dr. Heber M. Brown, III

Sean Callahan

Sarah Charles

Mwandwe Chileshe

Rev. Eugene Cho

Oscar Cordon

Cathryn L. Dhanatya

Bill Drayton

Juan Echanove

Jan Sebastian Friedrich-Rust

Jerry Greenfield

Amy Guterman

Lawrence Haddad

Jessica Hood

Ashwini Kakkar

Joe Kawly

Raj Kumar

Asma Lateef

Daniel Maxwell

Sara Menker

Nicolas Metro

Kate Musimwa

Nhlanhla Ndlovu

Yusuf Omar

Charles Owubah

Greg Perlstein

Suzanne Rexing

Terri Sarch

Meera Shekar

Kathy Spahn

Gloria D. Steele

Roy Steiner

Marshall Stowell

Gokul Sundar

Marielle Amani Thete

Blythe Thomas

Noam Unger

Kate Warren

Teresa Welsh

Gobezayehu Getachew Yilma

Stephanie Zeitz

Take The Next Step

View Our Agenda

Get the details of what will be discussed.

RSVP to Attend

RSVP to let us know your interest in attending.

Covid Protocol

Action Against Hunger understands the power of bringing people together in person and the importance of doing so safely. We commit to following, at minimum, the Washington, D.C. guidelines and ordinances.

On each day of the event, we request:

Proof of vaccination

Proof of a negative Covid self-test (via photo)

Attendees may provide proof of vaccine via photo, or by showing a physical copy of the vaccination card or official vaccination record.

Our team is closely monitoring the evolving global health recommendations and will update attendees with the most up-to-date protocols as we near the event. For additional information, The REACH at the Kennedy Center's health and safety protocols can be found here.