Green Conference

Sustainable Enterprise Conference Connects Businesses to Green Practices
April 17, 2015

The North Bay is a powerful and creative community brimming with opportunities and resources for sustainability, and Sonoma State University's Sustainable Enterprises Conference at Sonoma Mountain Village on April 30 brings together the thinkers and leaders from the community, government, business and the university who are transforming the North Bay into a hub of sustainability and healthy living.

"The Sustainable Enterprise Conference is an accelerator for sustainable businesses," says Bill Silver, dean of Sonoma State's School of Business and Economics. "It is a place where the business community comes together to not only explore new innovations in business practices, but also to create new connections and partnerships."

This year's keynote speaker is Kat Taylor, CEO of Beneficial State Bank. Their mission is to bring banking to low-income communities in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner.

"Beneficial State Bank aspires to be a trusted and effective partner of the individuals, communities, businesses, non-profits, and environment it serves to produce a healthy planet with fairness for all its inhabitants," says Taylor. Over 80 percent of the bank's loans go toward financing community improvement through affordable housing, sustainable food, clean tech, nonprofits and other groups.

Panels include topics like clean energy, sustainable transportation, social programs, the future of water and others.

Speakers include:
• Blair Kellison, CEO of Traditional Medicinals
• Geoff Syphers, CEO of Sonoma Clean Power
• Leon Sharyon, CFO of Lagunitas Brewery
• Bill Stewart, CEO of SolarCraft
• Suzanne Smith, executive director, Sonoma County Transportation Authority
• Howard Miller, vice president, legal affairs, Jamba Juice
• Cyane Dandridge, executive director and founder of Strategic Energy Innovations (SEI)
• Lucy Hernandez, CAP director of operations and development
• Andrew Rogerson, Sonoma State University provost
• Dan Soto, Sonoma State environmental studies professor

This year marks the first youth-focused event at the conference, the Future Makers Youth Summit. "It is for the youth to build networking skills and learn of opportunities in the growing green economy," says SSU student Holly Holleran, co-organizer of the youth summit. Speakers include Lucas Rohert of Global Student Embassy, Aaron Ableman of Pacha's Pajamas, Jenise Granvold of Solar Sonoma County and SSU business professor Robert Girling.

The Sustainable Enterprise Conference at Sonoma Mountain Village is April 30, beginning at 8 a.m. Visit for more information.