Cultivating Community through Business Entrepreneurship

Business entrepreneurs Jason Sobocinski, founder and owner of Black Hog Brewing Company, and Alisha Crutchfield-McLean, founder and owner of BLOOM, New Haven’s newest lifestyle hub, unite for a seminar on how to build a brand and connect with community. The talk will be moderated by Erik Clemons, CEO of ConnCORP.

Jason Sobocinski

Black Hog, Olmo, Haven Hot Chicken

Jason Sobocinski, former owner of Caseus Fromagerie & Bistro- now the new Olmo- and the Caseus Crispy Melty Cheese Truck featured on The Food Network, Cooking Channel and Travel Channel. Jason starred in The Big Cheese, a 2011 Cooking Channel show. Ordinary (Conde Nast Traveler top 30 Bars in the World) a craft cocktail bar that of course serves cheese, The Mystic Cheese Co. (ACS awarded cheeses) and Black Hog Brewing (World Beer Cup Gold Medal Winner), Continuum Distilling, Haven Hot Chicken are all businesses Jason has helped to start and currently helps operate along with amazing partners. Jason has a deep commitment to supporting sustainability, was born and raised in New Haven, CT. He attended Providence College, where he earned his BA in Marketing and minored in film and Boston University where he received his Masters Degree in Gastronomy.

Jason lives in Hamden CT with his 2 sons, and daughter, his lovely wife who supports his many endeavors while working full time as a teacher, and a large dog named Fence. 

Black Hog Brewing    Olmo     Ordinary

Alisha Crutchfield-McLean

Lifestyle & Retail Entrepreneur & Founder of BLOOM

Alisha has spent the last 17 years styling celebrities, commercials, ad campaigns, fashion shows, broadway plays and films using clothes to tell a story. Her priorities have shifted to styling all areas of life with intent because "style is more than the clothes we wear."

As a Lifestyle Entrepreneur, Retailer, Motivational Speaker, Wife and Parent, Alisha create products, services, businesses and strategies that encourage others to become more conscious of what they consume and how they style themselves inside and out. BLOOM is just one of the many businesses that Alisha has created that reflects her mission to empower others.

Bloom    Style-Wise    Facebook    Bloom Instagram

Erik Clemons


Erik is co-founder of Connecticut Community Outreach and Revitalization Program (ConnCORP), a subsidiary of ConnCAT, designed to explore and implement opportunities for economic development and investment in New Haven.

Prior to founding ConnCORP, Erik was the founding CEO and President of the Connecticut Center for Arts and Technology (ConnCAT), a non-profit organization based on the model of Bill Strickland’s National Center for Arts and Technology, which is dedicated to creating empowering art-based educational environments for at-risk public-school students and workforce training programs for under and unemployed adults.

Erik has an extensive background in nonprofit management and organizational leadership. For more than 20 years, Erik has committed himself to serving the best interests of diverse and traditionally underserved communities.



Sponsors & Partners