Kat Taylor | Mary Waldner | Dale Rodrigues | Soraya Darabi | Walter Robb | Justin Guilbert | Douglas Riboud | Toshi Reagon | Fred Miller | Judith Katz | Joel Solomon | Amy Hall | Neil Grimmer | Reem Hassani | Gary Hirshberg | Konda Mason | Amy Larkin | Amory Lovins | Lee Klinger Lesser | Leah Warshawski | Mal Warwick | Susan Schor | Adnan Durrani | Betsy Leondar-Wright | Akaya Windwood | Megan Lowry | Dana Hanchard | Ted Ning | Darian Rodriguez Heyman | Brooke Deterline | Steve Piersanti | Pamela Chaloult | Bryan Welch | Bonny Meyer | Bob Massaro | Chris Mathias | Spogga Hash | Michael Kieschnick | Garett Brennan | Heather White | Denise Hamler
Kat Taylor is CEO of One PacificCoast Bank, a Community Development Financial Institution whose mission is to bring beneficial banking to low-income communities in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner. One PacificCoast Bank is the result of a merger between OneCalifornia Bank, which Kat and her husband, Tom Steyer, founded in Oakland, CA, and ShoreBank Pacific, with offices in Oregon and Washington. The bank’s revolutionary ownership design means that its profits be invested in the communities it serves. Kat is also a founding Director of TomKat Ranch Educational Foundation (TKREF) dedicated to sustainable food production through ranching, tours, research, and school lunch and garden programs.
As founder of Mary’s Gone Crackers, Mary Waldner leads both product development and brand strategy for the company, and is responsible for the development of all of the company’s products. Inspired by her own struggles with celiac disease, Waldner created Mary’s Gone Crackers after finding a shortage of nutritious, gluten free options that tasted good. Her recipe became a hit not only with celiac sufferers, but with consumers eager for delicious snacks they could feel good about eating. Prior to co-founding Mary’s Gone Crackers, Waldner practiced as a psychotherapist for 26 years. Mary Waldner is married to Dale Rodrigues with whom she created Mary’s Gone Crackers.
Dale Rodrigues serves as founding director, CEO and president of Mary’s Gone Crackers, where he is responsible for building the cohesive MGC team and managing its creative process. Rodrigues has helped establish the company as one of the premier natural food brands in the industry, reporting a compound annual growth rate in excess of 40 percent every year since it was founded in 2004. Unorthodox in his management style, Rodrigues trusts in empowering his team through a safe, creative and autonomous work environment. In 2013, Rodrigues brokered the sale of MGC and is responsible for the successful, strategic acquisition of 80 percent of the company by Kameda Seika Co. Ltd, Japan’s largest manufacturer of rice crackers. As CEO of MGC, Rodrigues took a solemn oath to protect, preserve and grow the capital that was entrusted by the company’s investors, and secured a return on investment in excess of four times to MGC’s 53 investors.
Soraya Darabi is the co-founder of Zady.com, a shopping platform and lifestyle destination for the next generation of consumers who care about the origins of the items they purchase. Zady is amongst the first online retailers to seamlessly integrate commerce, rich media content and social media to provide customers with a dynamic shopping experience. On Zady, customers can learn about the conscious consumer movement and purchase beautifully-constructed goods that were created with craftsmanship and artisanship – qualities that have been sacrificed in a world of cheap prices and fast production. Zady has been featured in countless publications, including the cover of The Wall Street Journal.
Walter Robb, Co-CEO, joined Whole Foods Market in 1991 operating the Mill Valley, CA store until he became president of the Northern Pacific Region in 1993 where he grew the region from two to 17 stores. He became Executive Vice President of Operations in 2000, Chief Operating Officer in 2001 and Co-President in 2004. In 2010, Robb was named Co-CEO along with John Mackey and joined the Whole Foods Market Board of Directors at that time. An avid organic advocate, Robb is on the Advisory Board for the Organic Center for Education and Promotion. He is also on the Board of Regents for the University of the Pacific.
Douglas and Justin, both 35 years old, met in New York in their college years and together began thinking about progressive business models during their MBA at INSEAD in France. In 2008, they both quit their jobs; at that time Douglas was a Vice President of M&A with Lazard Freres in NY, and Justin was the Director of Marketing of Garnier and Maybelline for ten western European countries. They set off to put their education and corporate experiences to work in a positive consumerism and natural capitalism setting. In 2009, Harmless Harvest was born. Two and a half years later, their first product, 100% raw and organic coconut water, was launched to major success – an encouraging proof that sustainable and ethical sourcing combined with a pioneering technology and no marketing budget, could actually work.
Toshi Reagon is a talented, versatile singer, songwriter and musician with a profound ear for sonic Americana. While her expansive career has landed her comfortably in residence at Carnegie Hall, the Paris Opera House & Madison Square Garden, you can just as easily find Toshi turning out a music festival, intimate venue, or local club. Toshi knows the power of song to focus, unite and mobilize people. In 2011 Toshi created Word* Rock* & Sword: A Festival Celebration of Women's Lives as a way to learn and be connected to the powerful work and skills coming from the Women in her community. The festival brings together everyday brilliant people. To learn more, visit toshireagon.com.
Thought leaders in organization development for over 40 years, Judith H. Katz and Frederick A. Miller have created numerous breakthrough concepts, including Inclusion as the HOW® as a foundational mindset for accelerated results. As leaders of The Kaleel Jamison Consulting Group, Inc., they have partnered with global organizations to enhance interactions, eliminate waste, and transform workplaces. Together they have co-authored three books, including Opening Doors to Teamwork and Collaboration: 4 Keys That Change EVERYTHING (2013).
Joel Solomon is Chairman of Renewal Funds, Canada's largest social venture capital firm. Launching in 2013, Renewal3 and the Instinct Fund now build upon the legacy of aligning money with values established by Renewal2 and Renewal Partners. Joel serves as a Senior Advisor with RSF Social Finance and speaks frequently throughout North America, including a recent TEDxVancouver talk. He is a founding member of Social Venture Network (SVN), Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), the Tides Canada Foundation, and is board chair of Hollyhock.
As Director of Social Consciousness and a member of the Leadership Forum for women’s clothing designer EILEEN FISHER, Amy supports the company’s efforts to practice “business as a movement.” Amy collaborates internally and externally to guide the company toward ever-increasing human, environmental and economic sustainability. She also co-leads the company’s People and Culture area, together with leaders of the Human Resources, Leadership Learning & Development and Internal Communications teams. Amy came to EILEEN FISHER 20 years ago following a fundraising career with various Asian-American cultural, educational and social service organizations in New York City. In 2011, Amy rode from New York City to Washington, DC, on her self-built bamboo bike as part of the Brita Climate Ride. She also plays the bassoon in the Really Terrible Orchestra of Westchester. Together with their two daughters, Amy and her husband Rob raise honeybees and enjoy adventures on land and sea.
Neil Grimmer is co-founder and President of Plum Organics®, a leading organic kids nutrition company. Neil has led the launch of over 100 products, including the award-winning spouted pouch for baby, a format that has revolutionized the baby food category. Neil recently won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for Northern California and has been named one of "America’s Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs" by Bloomberg BusinessWeek.
Reem Hassani is co-founder and Chief Brand Officer of Numi Organic Tea, one of the fastest growing organic, fair trade specialty tea companies in the country. Along with her brother, Reem heads Numi’s sustainable and social values. Reem has a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University, a Diploma d’Arte from Florence, Italy and a M.F.A. from John F. Kennedy University. Reem practices art in her studio in Petaluma, California, is a proud step-mom and is fluent in English, Italian, Spanish and Arabic.
Gary Hirshberg is co-founder and chairman of organic yogurt leader Stonyfield, author of Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World, and co-author of Label It Now: What You Need to Know About Genetically Engineered Foods. During Gary's 28-year tenure as Stonyfield's president and "CE-Yo," the company grew from a seven-cow organic farming school to $360 million in annual sales by consistently producing great-tasting products and using innovative marketing techniques that blended the company's social, environmental and financial missions. He has 12 honorary doctorates and wrote and performed a rap you can find on YouTube called "Just Eat Organic."
Konda Mason is a social entrepreneur and the co-founder and CEO of Impact Hub Oakland. Additionally, Konda works with the Pachamama Alliance as a facilitator trainer, Eco-Amazon tour guide, and most recently the moderator of a new online speaker series of thought leaders. As a filmmaker, she loves narrative and story. She is a yoga and Buddhist meditation teacher, public speaker, and is Permaculture certified. Konda brings all of these lenses to her work for planetary transformation and social equity.
Amy Larkin, an award-winning environmental activist/entrepreneur, exposes the link between our financial and environmental crises in Environmental Debt: The Hidden Costs of a Changing Global Economy (Palgrave Macmillan 2013), an Amazon "Best Business Book." As Solutions Director of Greenpeace, she led the Consumer Goods Forum, 400 multinationals, to eliminate HFCs from all new equipment starting in 2015. This will eliminate 1-2% of global greenhouse gases over 30 years. She currently consults on public/private solutions for transformative environmental change. She regularly contributes to The Huffington Post and The Guardian.
Physicist Amory B. Lovins – ex-Oxford don, honorary architect, Swedish engineering academician – has written 500 papers and 31 books, taught at ten universities, redesigned numerous buildings, vehicles, and factories, and advised industry for 40+ years in 50+ countries. A National Petroleum Council member, he advises the Chief of Naval Operations. He received the “Alternative Nobel,” Blue Planet, Volvo, Zayed, Onassis, Nissan, Shingo, and Mitchell Prizes, MacArthur and Ashoka Fellowships, 12 honorary doctorates, and the Heinz, Lindbergh, National Design, and World Technology Awards. Time named Amory one of the world’s "100 Most Influential People" and Foreign Policy named him one of "100 Top Global Thinkers".
Lee Klinger Lesser, M.S., co-founder and Executive Director of Honoring the Path of the Warrior, has developed and led retreats for Veterans since 2007, integrating her experience of mindfulness and meditation into accessible programming for Veterans. She has been leading workshops in the mindfulness practice of Sensory Awareness for over 35 years, both in English and Spanish, throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and Spain. She studied and co-taught with Charlotte Selver, the founder of Sensory Awareness in the United States, and has practiced Zen since 1978.
Leah Warshawski is a first-time feature director who specializes in producing documentary-style video content, television shows and short films in remote parts of the world. To date, Leah has filmed in over 30 countries around the world for major corporations and almost every network on television. She has a BA in Japanese language from the University of Hawaii and has worked on a number of Japanese commercials as well as the network television show I Survived a Japanese Game Show. Before developing Finding Hillywood, Leah worked in Hawaii in the marine department for major features and shows including The Rundown, Hawaii, Baywatch and Lost. She is currently developing a feature documentary about her 88-year old grandmother (and Holocaust survivor) called Big Sonia. Leah is most passionate about storytelling, adventure travel and whales.
Mal Warwick is the co-author with Paul Polak of The Business Solution to Poverty: Designing Products and Services for Three Billion New Customers. He is a prolific author, impact investor, and activist who reviews books on his blog (“Mal Warwick on Books”) and is one of three partners in the One World Futbol Project, a social enterprise based in Berkeley. From 1979 to 2010, Mal focused on the nonprofit sector as a consultant and public speaker on marketing and fundraising for nonprofit organizations. He chaired the SVN board from 2002 – 2006.
Susan Schor is Facilitating Leader and Chief Culture Officer at EILEEN FISHER and a long-time member of SVN. The Facilitating Leader Team “holds the whole,” facilitates company priorities and decision making, and fosters the integration of the Creative, Culture and Business aspects of the company. Susan has played a visionary role in the company's ever-evolving collaborative leadership system and has been a primary thinking partner with Eileen over the last fifteen years.
Adnan Durrani is a serial entrepreneur and CEO of American Halal/Saffron Road, applauded by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, PR Week (Best Digital Campaign), CNN, NPR, Forbes, Inc. Magazine and Fast Company. His other successes include Vermont Pure/Crystal Rock and Stonyfield Farm. Adnan is Chair of Columbia University’s Entrepreneurship Advisory Board. His successful faith based business model has been recognized by the Holy Sees at the Vatican, and in: Marketing to the New Majority ( Burgos, ARF), Green Deen ( Ibrahim-Matin) and Beating The Global Odds (Laudicina,Chair of AT Kearney).
Betsy Leondar-Wright, PhD, is the program director of Class Action and author of the new book Missing Class: Strengthening Social Movement Groups By Seeing Class Cultures (Cornell 2014). Since authoring Class Matters (2005), she has led over 100 workshops on class and classism. A longtime economic justice activist, she first worked with SVN members through the Responsible Wealth project of United for a Fair Economy, where she served as Communications Director for nine years.
Akaya Windwood, President of Rockwood Leadership Institute, is internationally recognized for elevating the effectiveness of leadership and collaboration in the nonprofit and social benefit sectors. Her vision for our global community includes infusing a sense of purpose, delight and wonder into everything we do. She brings her skills as an organizational consultant and executive coach to her lifetime commitment to working for a fair and equitable society and to Rockwood’s network of 4,500 powerful, collaborative, and interconnected leaders.
Megan Lowry, United States Marine Corps Veteran and Honoring the Path of the Warrior
Megan Lowry joined the Marine Corps in 2005, by the end of her career she was guarding George W. Bush, former President of the United States. She graduated culinary school with honors and is currently the kitchen manager and baker at the number one bakery in Tulsa, OK. Megan is an active advocate for women veterans on topics like PTSD and MST.
Dana Hanchard is a vocal artist, musician and composer by profession and universal citizen by grace. Back in her native NYC, Dana founded the Karavan Kosmiko, a spirited band collective with members from diverse musical and cultural traditions radiating the light of the indigenous forces of the earth through music. Besides recording her own songs and the Ecuadorian lullabies of Diego Luzuriaga on the Fertile Ground Music label, her discography includes: classical, contemporary and jazz recordings on the Deutsche Grammophon, ECM, Harmonia Mundi, Lyrichord and other record labels. Ms. Hanchard served in Japan as a professor at the Senzoku Gakuen Music College where she assisted in the establishment of the school’s jazz vocal division. Presently, she is a visiting professor of voice and yoga at the college. she wrote and performed the music for RADIYOGA, a yoga-fitness program developed by Ken Harakuma now being practiced throughout parts of Asia and featured in series on BS FujiTV in Japan.
Ted is widely regarded as the epicenter of all things LOHAS leading many to affectionately refer to him as ‘Mr. LOHAS’. He is a change agent, trend spotter and principal of the LOHAS Group, which advises large and small corporations on accessing and profiting from the +$300 billion lifestyles of health and sustainability marketplace. The LOHAS Group is a strategy firm focusing on helping companies discover, create, nurture and develop their unique brand assets. Ted is renowned for leading the annual LOHAS Forum, and LOHAS.com the past 10 years.
Darian Rodriguez Heyman has a history of building businesses and creating community. He served as Executive Director of Craigslist Foundation for five years, wrote the best-selling field guide, Nonprofit Management 101, and launched the country's only conference series devoted to social media for social good, Social Media for Nonprofits. Darian is also a former Commissioner for the Environment for San Francisco and more recently, he co-founded BetterWorld Wireless.
As CEO of Courageous Leadership, LLC, Brooke helps boards, executives, and teams develop the understanding and skills to act with ethical courage and ingenuity in the face of challenging situations. She combines social and cognitive psychology and a strategic focus with a passion for leadership, empowerment, collaboration, and social and environmental justice. She focuses on building relationships, surfacing individual and systemic challenges that interfere with collaboration, and helping teams achieve structural, team, and individual patterns that support long-term success.
Steven Piersanti is president of Berrett-Koehler Publishers, a leading independent publisher of progressive books on current affairs, personal growth, business, and management. Berrett-Koehler pursues its mission of “Creating a World That Works for All” by publishing groundbreaking books that promote positive change at all levels – individual, organizational, and societal. Prior to founding Berrett-Koehler in 1992, Steve was advertising copywriter, marketing director, editor, editorial director, and then president of Jossey-Bass Publishers. Steve graduated with Highest Honors from Brigham Young University, where he got his start in publishing by founding and editing a university student scholarly journal.
Pamela Chaloult loves the art of storytelling – a passion that has guided her career for over 25 years. She is currently COO with BALLE, North America's fastest growing network of values aligned entrepreneurs, business networks and local economy funders. She has engaged in executive leadership roles with innovative social ventures including Renewal, Tides Canada, Hollyhock, SVN and CBS Television. Pamela’s work in the world has been defined by a desire to develop, coach and mentor entrepreneurs, and to connect people who share values.
Bryan Welch runs Ogden Publications, Inc., the owners of Mother Earth News, Mother Earth Living, Utne Reader, GRIT and several other category-leading media brands focused on sustainability, natural health and rural lifestyles. For the past 10 years Mother Earth News has been the fastest-growing major magazine in North America. Last year it was also the magazine with the longest time spend reading by its audience; and the magazine "most likely to be a reader’s favorite" according to MediaMark Research. Ogden Publications is a certified B Corporation and winner of several awards for corporate environmental stewardship. Bryan’s award-winning book, Beautiful & Abundant: Building the World We Want, appeared in 2011.
Bonny Meyer is a proud Partner of Thriving Communities with Bob Massaro, Healthy Buildings. Together they are building a new way of living benefiting the earth and the health, social connectivity and prosperity of folks who work hard for a living. Bonny is Principal of Meyer Family Enterprises targeting 100% impact by 2020. She was a Founder of Silver Oak Cellars, a producer of world-class Cabernet Sauvignon. Bonny is Partner with Matt & Karen Meyer in Meyer Family Cellars.
As the Founder and CEO of the Healthy Buildings Companies, Bob has worked over 30
years to improve the health and well-being of people, and that of our planet, through
the build environment. Net-Zero energy housing, beyond-green building technologies, and creative investment vehicles, are the tools that have enabled Bob’s companies to successfully build over 150 very sustainable projects throughout California. With Healthy Building's proprietary "OTechnology™", very green, very healthy projects can be built in 40% less time than conventional construction, yet offer options from Healthy Building's "Chart of 44 Sustainable Elements".
Nearly 20 years ago Chris Mathias pinpointed the coordinates for his life’s bliss. To this day he is beholden to their collective pull that takes him all over the world. Rarely, if ever, is Chris himself pinned to one geographic location or to a singular project. Catalyst, the original source of Chris’s abundance, is a 27 year-old sports sales and marketing incubator situated in the American west. The company has grossed over $150 million in revenue to date. In the trail of this successful venture are the products (Last Hat in Town and Family of the Wa’a) of Soul Fabric, Chris’s retired documentary film collaborative. Currently, his consulting venture Ripple, employs Chris’s experience in business and film arts, offering boot camps, trainings, retreats and peer circles. Another project dear to Chris is Puente, a school of sorts whereby he guides students through the navigational secrets of their inner wilderness to inspire them and others to chart their path.
Spogga Hash is a singer/songwriter, guitarist and fire dancer based in New Orleans. Every year gets more exciting, from working along side Sting and Tim Jahnigen (One World Futbol) at a Narada Michael Walden event to his residencies and touring schedule. On top of music and sculptural art, Spogga has been star performer and fire dancing curator of the internationally acclaimed Providence Waterfire for over 10 years now.
Michael Kieschnick is the co-founder and CEO of CREDO Mobile, a progressive mobile phone company, built from an activism community of over three million members. He also serves on the board of the League of Conservation Voters, the Beatitudes Society, and One Pacific Coast Foundation. He also is a co-founder of the CREDO SuperPac, which defeated five Tea Party House members in 2012. In addition to his business and political commitments, he is a long time teacher of development finance and social innovation at Stanford University. Born and raised in Dallas, he earned a Ph.D. in public policy from Harvard and undergraduate degrees in biology and economics from Stanford.
Garett Brennan, Artist in Residence
Garett Brennan was drawn to music and performance at a young age. His tunes conjure up the fresh snow of mountains, the clear water of his adopted home in the Pacific Northwest, and the intimacy and jubilance of jamming with some of the top players in the Americana-Roots scene. Producer Cookie Marenco (Blue Coast Records, Windham Hill Records) describes him as “Woody Guthrie meets Tom Waits,” an apt comparison informed by Garett’s penchant for crafting original poetic songs that sound like they’ve been around since dust, yet are instantly familiar and of this time.
Heather White is an award-winning non-profit executive and researcher with 25 years experience in international advocacy on labor and human rights issues. She is currently a Network Fellow at Harvard University’s Edmund Safra Center for Ethics. Her investigative work on transparency in global supply chains has led to improved industry standards in social auditing and verification practices. Heather is the founder and former Executive Director (1995-2005) of Verité, a nonprofit organization that has won international recognition for its efforts to reduce labor violations in factories producing for American consumer brands. Heather and Verite have received numerous awards, and she has been widely interviewed on the need for independent oversight of corporations’ global supplier networks. In 2012 her perspectives on Apple Computer’s labor challenges in its Chinese factories appeared in the US and European media, including: The New York Times, Bloomberg, CNN, The Philadelphia Inquirer, NPR and European newspapers.
Denise Hamler co-founded Green America (formerly Co-op America) in 1982 and is the director of the Green Business Network. Green America recently launched high impact campaigns to grow the green economy such as Clean Energy Victory Bond that was introduced in Congress this April, BAD APPLE to remove toxins from electronic manufacturing and recent victory to remove GMOs from Cheerios. Green America’s Green Business Network is America's first and largest network of socially and environmentally responsible businesses with a green business certification and over 5,000 businesses. Denise launched the successful Green Festivals and served as its director. It is the largest and longest running sustainability event and has attracted over 2 million attendees in 7 major markets. Denise serves on the Board of Directors of Green America, Port Towns Community Development Corporation in Prince George’s County, MD, Sustainable Community Initiatives and served on the SVN Board.