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Program Summary for the 2019 Marin Sustainable Enterprise Conference (speakers added as confirmed)

Exhibitor Set-up; 7-8am

9a - 9:20a | WELCOME by Chair Chris Yalonis and Supervisor Katie Rice
9:20a - 11:30 | MORNING PANELS

Panel: Executing Climate Action Plans: Public Private collaborations that work. 

Every county and most cities have Climate Action Plans, but what are the economic opportunities if businesses create climate action plans, too? Successful public-private partnerships have a significant impact on climate restoration, not just a positive impact on the bottom line. Community-based solutions, such as DRAWDOWN: Marin, encourage collaborations that can scale quickly to address the climate crisis. What should Marin’s “moonshot” be? And what do we need to get there?

Facilitator: Leslie Alden, Co-Founder, Marin Climate Action Network/DRAWDOWN: Marin


  • Maura McKnight, Executive Director, Business Council on Climate Change

  • Gil Friend, Natural Logic

  • Cory Bytof, Head of Sustainability, City of San Rafael

CEO Panel Discussion: Executives give their insights on the business case for sustainability. What are the top best practices in ops, product design and packaging, supply chain management, green certifications and metrics? What are the biggest impediments to sustainable practice execution? What are the other "currencies" besides financial (reputation, loyalty, talent attraction, carbon footprint) that go into sustainability initiatives? What are the next big opportunities they see in creating value?

Facilitator: Chris Yalonis, conference chair 


  • Mike Hannigan, former CEO, Give Something Back

  • Chloe Alpert, CEO, Medinas

  • Bob Herbst, Manager, San Rafael Airport

11:30 - Noon · Table discussions: What are the takeaways from the morning panels? Action steps for yourself and your organization. Connecting with needed resources at the event.

12-1: Lunch, Exhibitor showcase

1-5pm: Workshops, discussion circles

1p — 2:40: Workshops

The Electrification of Everything. Our energy independence from fossil fuels requires moving to renewable sources and storage, microgrids, energy efficiency.  Locally, what is working and not in this migration? What are the building ordinances/regs in effect and coming? What do enterprise leaders need to know to take advantage of the coming technologies and funding vehicles?

Facilitators: David Kunhardt


  • Rick Brown — principal of Terra Verde Renewables

  • Mark Chhabria — head of the Electrify Marin subsidy program, as well as the Green Business Certification program for the County. 

  • John Sarter — Builder and microgrid promoter; Program Manager, Clean Coalition

  • Greg Thompson — solar and storage funder, Advance Community Energy promoter

  • Robert Gould, Ag Innovations

Values-based Impact Investing:
How can individuals, enterprises and public institutions put their money where their values are?  This workshop identifies what you can do for your household and organization to align your values with your investments and retirement savings, pensions plans, community investments. Coverage will include: Sustainable Investing overview and individual low-carbon investing strategies; sustainable investing strategies for retirement plans and gender lens investing; how shareholder activism goes hand in hand with Impact investing, and how technology empowers Impact investors; how non-traditional banks focused on community present sustainable alternatives to corporate banking.

: Patrick Costello, Green River Financial Services


  • Stephanie Olson, Investment management, Green River

  • Lila Holzman, Energy Program Manager for As You Sow

  • Emma Guttman-Slater, Director of Policy Advocacy for the Beneficial State Foundation

Circular Design and Closing the Loop in Recycling
We’ve all heard about the collapse of the recycling markets and how China is no longer accepting our recyclables. But was recycling ever the panacea we were hoping for? What’s next for the world, California, and your business or nonprofit? How can we move toward a truly renewable, circular system and “close the loop” of product life cycles? What does a circular product system look like, and how can we take tangible steps to apply it in our organization? Hear from some local heroes in the field that are working to transform the way we do business so we can slow-the-flow to landfill and reduce the inevitable harms of our current throw-away culture.

Cory Bytof, Sustainability Program Manager, City of San Rafael


  • Doug Kobold, Executive Director, California Product Stewardship Council

  • Patty Garbarino, President of Marin Sanitary Service & Marin Resource and Recovery Center

  • Nicole Tai, CEO of Greenlynx Deconstruction, Woodworks, & Reuse

  • Rob Chase, Founder and President, NewGen Surgical

Climate Futures Roundtable: Planning for Uncertain Times

What keeps our planners, political leaders, and citizens up at night in the face of intensifying fires, flooding, and other climate impacts? Where should we be siting development and infrastructure? Can we design it to cope with the changes coming? What tops Marin’s climate must-do list for transportation, housing and the built environment? Who pays, now and later? How do we reduce our risks, and convert climate threats into the pay-off of a better future?

: Bill Carney, ASLA, President, Sustainable San Rafael


  •  Paul Jensen, San Rafael Director of Community Development

  • Gretchen Schubeck, Novato Sustainability Coordinator

  • Jeff Rhoads, LEED AP Architect, Resilient Shore

  • Jason Weber, Marin County Fire Chief

  • Dennis P. Fisco, Principal, Seagate Properties

  • Stephanie Moulton-Peters, Mill Valley Council Member, former mayor

3p-4:40 — Workshops

Mobility solutions: 62% of Marin’s greenhouse gas emissions come from the vehicles on our roads. 90% of Marin’s businesses have 10 employees or less, and many employees drive daily from outside the County. What is transportation’s future, and what are the opportunities for businesses as we rethink transportation in the 21st century? How is transportation changing and how will that affect local businesses, employees, customers, the supply chain, the community? How can a business make the most of the changes that are needed, and take advantage of the innovations that are coming? What’s coming in mixed mode, first/last mile alternatives? Learn about the technologies and incentives that businesses can use now, such as apps and other tools that incentivize employees.

Carleen Cullen, Cool the Earth


  • Brett Thurber, Cofounder, New Wheel Electric Bikes

  • Brett Wiley, Customer Programs Manager, MCE

  • Elena Engel, Exec. Dir., 350 Bay Area Transportation

Mindfulness in Motion for Leaders: Connecting Your Story, Your Company’s Story and Our Planet’s Story
Getting citizens and companies to make more conscious choices and develop more sustainable behaviors is hard work. A lot of it comes down to our ability to be mindful in the moment. However, for us to sustain ourselves and for mindfulness to have a social impact it must be put in motion. This session will be about how to do that as a leader amid so many demands on your time. We will explore some essential coping strategies for leaders and then look at how to get beyond just coping to be more mindful in how they connect, more conscious in what they create, and more sustainable in what they contribute. You can use these strategies to increase your well-being as a leader, coach others to flourish, coach ideas to bring them to life, and coach systems so they become more sustainable. We need to do more than just cope if we want to make a difference. 


David Drake, Moment Institute; Linda Curtis, Executive Coach

Greening Economic Development 
How do emerging green technologies or policies offer new opportunities in economic development? How can emerging green job opportunities be extended to underserved populations? Where are the new jobs-where and in what sectors? How can our educational enterprises/institutions offer training and courses in new green sectors? Are course offered elsewhere? How about courses by non-college sources?

Robert Girling, professor emeritus, Sonoma State University


  • Mike Blakeley, CEO, Marin Economic Forum

  • Damon Connolly, Marin County Supervisor

  • Marilee Eckert, former CEO, North Bay Conservation Corps

Healthy Soil-Healthy Communities:
Soil is the foundation of nutrition and a healthy food system. Did you know that Marin County is home to innovative food systems models that nourish communities and protect the environment? Join us for this dynamic workshop that takes an ecological approach to a healthy food system that begins with healthy soil. Learn about the importance of connecting eaters with foods that are grown organically, sustainably, and regeneratively. Hear from producers and food systems leaders working to create change in schools, farmers markets, and businesses. Leave with a deeper understanding of the Marin foodshed and ways you can support healthy soils, healthy foods, and healthy communities.

Chase Pennington, Senior Market Manager, Agricultural Institute of Marin


  • Albert Straus, Founder and CEO, Straus Family Creamery

  • Judi Shils, Executive Director, Turning Green & Founder, Conscious Kitchen

  • Andy Naja-Riese, CEO, Agricultural Institute of Marin 

  • Marv Zauderer, Founder and CEO, ExtraFood.org

  • Emily Olson, Founder, ReGenFriends

4:40-5: Break

5p -5:20 | CLOSING KEYNOTE: Dr. Jonathan Foley, Executive Director, Project Drawdown
Inspiring Solutions for Climate Change Resiliency in Marin

5:30p – 7p

  • NETWORKING RECEPTION — indoors or outdoors on the lawn. Complimentary wine, beer and appetizers.


  • DISCUSSIONS on takeaways for the day, action pledges to implement at your place of work, home etc. Connection to the resources you need.