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2016 GBENN Summit

October 19, 2016 - October 20, 2016

Save the Date - GBENN Summit 2016

The Green Business Engagement National Network (GBENN) is having its second national Summit of green business programs on October 19-20th, 2016 hosted by and at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, MO.

For more information and to register, click here.

Register Now

GBENN defines a green business program as a specific program organized to support the development and implementation of sustainability practices in businesses for a defined region or state.  All summit content is designed for information dissemination and sharing among programs and not the individual green businesses.

GBENN Summit Agenda (Preliminary)

(Conference schedule subject to change. Please come back to this page frequently for updates on the 2016 GBENN Summit.)


Tuesday, October 18 – informal get together for early arrivals

St. Louis has many attractions. Those who arrive early can join their colleagues for an evening on the town. We suggest that interested folks meet in the lobby of the conference hotel: Drury Inn and Suites at 6 PM and we’ll carpool or cab-pool from there. This is a pay for your own outing, but one of many opportunities to network with your peers. The Drury hotel has complementary appetizers so this is a good place to start the evening.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016 – Conference Day 1

Please enjoy the complimentary breakfast at the Drury Inn and Suites served 6AM – 9:30AM.

8:00 am – 8:30am – Conference registration
8:30am – 9:30am – Welcome and Keynote Presentation – Dominick Brook, US Leader – Global Sustainability Tax Services, Ernst and Young
9:30am – 9:45am – Break
9:45am – 11:25am Session 1: Formulas for Success: How to Efficiently Work with Small Businesses and Local Municipalities
“Creating a Green Business One-Stop Shop – Vancouver Economic Commission”
• Juvarya Veltkamp, Manager of Green Economy Innovations – Vancouver Economic Commission, Vancouver, BC
“Sustain Dane’s MPower Business Champions Program”
• Stacie Reece, Sustainable Business Initiative – Sustain Dane; Madison, WI
“Identifying Keystone Species in Businesses and Communities”
• Jennifer DeRose, Program Manager – Green Dining Alliance; St. Louis, MO
“Green Businesses and Events: ‘You get what you give’”
• Gail Suzuki-Jones, Strategic Industries Division – Hawaii State Energy Office
11:30am – 12:20pm Session 2: Recognition – Elevating the Value of your Program through a Badge System
• Anthony Santarelli, Program Director – Illinois Green Business Association
12:30pm – 2:00pm – Lunch and Tour of the Missouri Botanical Garden
2:00pm – 2:30pm – Break
2:30pm – 3:30pm Session 3: Sustainability Reporting and Metrics
“Telling the Green Business Story with Compelling Data and Getting Out of the Excel Nightmare”
• Jo Fleming, Owner – Environmental Innovations; Santa Cruz, CA
“Climate Smart – Empower and Enable Businesses and Green Business Programs”
• Juvarya Veltkamp – Vancouver Economic Commission, BC
3:30pm – 4:30pm Session 4: Leveraging Collective Impact to Address Community Climate and/or
Environmental Goals
“Cool Choices Across Whole Communities: Business Leading Change”
• Kathy Kuntz, Executive Director – Cool Choices; Madison, WI
“Renewable Energy Aggregation Opportunities on a City-Wide Level: Boston, MA”
• Garrett Sprague – Boston, MA
4:30pm – 5:00pm: Day 1 Wrap-up

6:30 pm – 9:00 pm – Networking reception for Green Business Programs – Schlafly Bottleworks – Green Dining District

Schlafly Bottleworks – Brewers of great craft beers!
Part of the nation’s first Green Dining District, this indoor-outdoor venue in a recycled supermarket is a cultural and social anchor of the thriving business district in historic Maplewood, MO.
Live music by Miss Jubilee and the Humdingers – a swingin’ top St. Louis Band

Thursday, October 20, 2016 – Conference Day 2

Please enjoy the complimentary breakfast at the Drury Inn and Suites served 6AM – 9:30AM.

8:30am – 9:30am: Green Business Keynote
9:30am – 10:30am Session 5: Reaching New Industries that Do Not Have Existing Sustainability Standards
• Emily Backus, Sustainability Advisor – City & County of Denver
10:30am – 11:30am Session 6: Evolving a Green Business Program in a Saturated Marketplace
“Unifying Green Business Programs Under an Umbrella Brand to Better Serve Business Customers and
Maximize Results”
• Stephanie Thomas, Senior Associate – Cascadia Consulting Group; Seattle, WA
• Laurel Tomchick, EnviroStars Program Manager – King County DNR; Seattle, WA
“Innovation On The Go: Keeping the Program Fresh, Relevant and Energized”
• Jean Ponzi, Green Resources Manager – Missouri Botanical Garden, EarthWays Center; St. Louis, MO
11:30am – 11:45am – Break
11:45am – 1:45pm – GBENN Development Session with Lunch
• How do we help foster growth within individual programs? What are those activities?
• How do we grow awareness of our collective impact?
• How can we become more nationally engaged as a collective group?
• Discuss overall Network structure and membership
1:45pm – 2:00pm – Wrap up and Depart
2:00pm – Optional Tours in St. Louis – TBA



October 19, 2016
October 20, 2016


St. Louis Botanical Garden
4344 Shaw Blvd
St. Louis, MO 63110 United States
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