Conference & Induction Ceremony 2013

3rd Annual Conference & Induction Ceremony

March 8, 2013

The 2013 Induction Ceremony and Conference broke the attendance record with an estimated 425 participants. Held at the Stockton Hilton and in conjunction with REXPO IX, attendees were treated to a day and evening of surprises and a great line up of speakers and panel discussions.

Mr. Donald Simon was the event’s keynote speaker and like two years earlier, did not disappoint. Donald rocked the audience with his tremendous insight and enthusiasm for the green industry. The inductees included: Frey Vineyards, New Belgium Brewing, Empower Playgrounds Inc. d.Light Design and Lange Twins Winery and Vineyards. The Lifetime Achievement Award recipients included: John Schaeffer, Jim Kor (Canada), Brendan Brazier and Al Courchesne.

Without a doubt the highlight of the event was Jim Kor. Jim spoke at the ceremony and VIP dinner and ignited the audience with his wit, wisdom and passion for engineering.

The keynote speaker at the VIP dinner was Aaron Blum a young entrepreneur with Electronic Recyclers International. During the ceremony it was announced that The Story of Stuff received the Advocacy Award for their work with educational messaging to young people.

Special recognition and thanks to Frank Ferral and the Stockton Chamber of Commerce.

Live Green!

Sam Geil
Chairman, Board of Directors

Brendan Brazier

A Canadian endurance athlete, author, advocate of a vegan (plant-based) diet, and creator of the Vega line of whole food nutritional products. Brendan Brazier is a former professional Ironman triathlete (1998–2004). He is the author of The Thrive Diet (2007), Thrive Fitness (2009), and Thrive Foods: 200 Plant-Based Recipes for Peak Health (2011).

Al Courchesne

Wearing his signature overalls and surrounded by boxes of his legendary fruit, “Farmer Al” Courchesne has been a welcome sight at farmers’ markets around the Bay Area for over 30 years. And just like his peaches, Al is homegrown. Born in Louisiana and raised in Berkeley and El Cerrito, he graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in anthropology. Shortly afterwards, he moved to Hawaii to teach at the Punahou School. There, he discovered his love of farming. He grew lettuce and tomatoes for two years in Hawaii before returning to the Bay Area.

Jim Kor

Jim Kor is a professional engineer (mechanical) with over 35 years of experience in designing automotive, bus, rail, agricultural, and heavy mobile equipment as well as civil structures and product for the aerospace and medical industries. He is the senior designer and project leader for the Urbee Project. Jim is the owner of Kor Product Design, a 30 year old international consulting firm.

John Schaeffer

He is an American environmentalist, author, entrepreneur, and the founder and president of Real Goods, a sustainable lifestyle catalog and Real Goods Solar, a solar electric system installation business in California and Colorado. He has been actively involved in promoting and popularizing renewable energy since the mid 1970s.


Ambri (formerly Liquid Metal Battery Corporation) is developing an electricity storage solution that will change the way electric grids are operated worldwide. Ambri will enable the more widespread use of renewable generation like wind and solar, reduce power prices and increase system reliability. Ambri’s technology — the liquid metal battery — was invented in the lab of Dr. Donald Sadoway, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Collaborative for High Performance Schools

The Collaborative for High Performance Schools believes kids learn better in schools with good lighting, clean air, and comfortable classrooms. That’s why CHPS works with schools and experts to make changes to ensure that every child has the best possible learning environment with the smallest impact on the planet.

d. Light Design

d. Light Design is a for-profit social enterprise whose purpose is to create new freedoms for customers without access to reliable power so they can enjoy a brighter future. We design, manufacture and distribute solar light and power products throughout the developing world. We aim to transform the lives of at least 100 million people by 2020.

Empower Playgrounds Inc.

After retiring as Vice-President of Engineering at ExxonMobil Research and Engineering, Ben Markham and his wife moved to Ghana, Africa for eighteen months to volunteer. In rural villages, Ben observed the darkness of homes and school classrooms. He also saw the scarcity of play equipment in schoolyards. Touched by their happy smiles, Ben thought, “What if a portion of the playful energy from these children could be harnessed? What if that energy could become light for their classrooms and homes?” This idea turned into Empower Playgrounds.

Frey Vineyards

Frey Vineyards, along with a handful of other family owned vineyards in Mendocino County, joined CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers) in 1980. From these vineyards Frey winery created the first wines in the US to be made from certified organic grapes. Many of these pioneering certified organic vineyards still produce fruit that is used in Frey wines today. In 2008, fruit from over 30 certified organic grape growers was utilized to make twelve varietals of Frey organic wine. Over the years Frey Vineyards has helped many of these growers through the process of certification, helping to increase the total organic vineyard acreage in Mendocino County to over 3500 acres.

Climate change may be one of the greatest challenges of our generation. At Frey Vineyards we understand the responsibility and practicality of passing along a healthy environment to future generations and we look forward to reducing and eventually eliminating carbon dioxide emissions.

As part of this program, and with the help of an energy audit, we’ve installed efficient lighting and motors. A 17 kilowatt solar array is used to power a forklift, lights, bottling equipment, and pumps. A solar water heating system is in the works.

Other everyday significant, carbon-reducing practices are the use of recycled office and label paper; and tree planting and forest protection in surrounding wilderness. All of these actions either directly or indirectly keep carbon dioxide out of the air.

Our goal is to make our impact on the climate “carbon neutral.” In the future, electric tractors will be used in our vineyards. There is a lot of excitement over the use of high carbon composts, called biochar, and we hope to evaluate some of these practices. Read more about these techniques at the International Biochar Initiative website.

Lange Twins Winery and Vineyards

For nearly three decades, our family has proudly practiced the art of sustainable wine growing. Unlike other farming practices, sustainable wine growing is all encompassing in its approach. We are not only concerned with the health of the vineyard but its surrounding natural environment as well. It is the balance of environmental health, economic profitability and social equity. From vineyard management to marketing, we are committed to improving our environmental practices.


Mainstream Energy

Established in 2005, Mainstream Energy is one of the largest consolidated downstream solar companies in the U.S. It was founded with the vision to bring solar to the mainstream by making solar easy and affordable to a wide range of customers.

New Belgium Brewing Company

When our co-founders first decided to make the leap from homebrewing to commercial production, they took a long hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. Notebook and homebrew in hand, they set out to develop a plan. On that now legendary trek, they sketched out a few big ideas about how they wanted their work to manifest in the world and the New Belgium Brewing Company was born.

San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization

The San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization (SJVCEO) is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the eight county region of the San Joaquin Valley significantly increase its use and reliance on clean energy (that is, energy efficiency and renewable energy sources). A key strength of the organization is our large and diverse Board, which contains senior representatives from Federal, State, regional and local governments, the private sector, utilities, nonprofits, and colleges and universities from all counties in the region.

The Story of Stuff Project

When Annie Leonard and her friends at Free Range Studios set out in 2007 to share what she’d learned about the way we make, use and throw away stuff, they thought 50,000 views would be a good result for her ‘20-minute cartoon about trash.’ Today, with over 15 million views and counting, The Story of Stuff is one of the most watched environmental-themed online movies of all time

Worm Farm

The Worm Farm was founded to respond to the growing demand by schools for fresh and affordable, interesting and educational field trips. TWFLF provides fun, hands-on learning opportunities, and its tours have become one of the hottest field trip destinations for nearly 200 California North State schools and organizations over the past 5 years.

School tours can cost $14 or more per student and The Worm Farm Learning Foundation provides tours at no cost.

Donald Simon

Donald Simon

Attorney, Partner – Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean, LLP

Donald is a national leader and speaker for the green economy and has devoted himself to creating the framework necessary for incentivizing businesses to become the engine of environmental sustainability. He co-founded the two organizations that have made California the global green building leader, the U.S. Green Building Council’s Northern Chapter and Build It Green. He is general counsel to both organizations, as well as the California Solar Energy Industry Association and Efficiency First. Donald also hosts the West Coast Green, the leading conference and trade show for Green Innovation. On the international level, he teamed with the City of San Francisco in 2005 to organize and host the United Nations’ largest international conference of local government leaders to address urban environmental sustainability issues.

Active in environmental issues for many years, Donald previously worked for Environmental Defense Fund to develop the first international framework for cross-border air pollution offsets. He has also represented various organizations on issues related to old-growth forest protection and logging concerns, including Sierra Club, Bay Area Coalition for Headwaters, the California Heritage Tree Initiative and Buckeye Forest Council. In law school, he served as a president of the Ohio State University Environmental Law Association.

Aaron Blum

Aaron Blum

Co-Founder, Electronic Recyclers International

One of the co-founders of Electronic Recyclers International, Aaron Blum is directly involved with high level sales and compliance. Blum’s accounts include such Fortune 500 companies as NEC, Mitsubishi, Hitachi, Toyota, BFI and Waste Management. In addition, Blum was instrumental in the development of the corporate relations and Research and Development infrastructures for Electronic Recyclers International. He has helped lead Electronic Recyclers International to the #1 approval rating for SB20/50 claims in the state of California and played an integral part in working with the State to develop new regulations and improve the current SB20/50 legislation regarding electronic waste.

Before co-founding Electronic Recyclers International, Blum headed the sales department for Pullz Computers, a southern California based computer resale company. Within a year of starting with Pullz, Blum helped double the company’s sales revenue.

Blum graduated from the University of San Diego with a Bachelors degree in Business Administration.

The following list of companies, organizations and individuals represent our fantastic sponsors. Events like ours is simply not possible without the support of these great sponsors. If you would like to become a sponsor for IGIHOF, or make a donation to our organization, please click here to visit our donation page. You can also visit our Registration page for pricing and sponsorship options for next conference. IGIHOF is a 501(c)3 non-profit and a portion of your donation is tax deductible.

Title Sponsors

Stockton Chamber of Commerce

Event Sponsors

Jeffrey Scott Advertising
Real Goods Solar
AMAZ Cleaning Products
Valley Sanitary Supply
U.S. Department of Commerce
UC Merced
Professional Exchange Service Corporation
BCT Consulting

Table Sponsor

Geil Enterprises
Baker, Peterson, Franklin


Derco Foods
Arthur J. Gallagher
The IGIHOF Board of Directors is eternally grateful to all the people who have volunteered their precious time to make our inaugural event successful. We would like to dedicate this page solely to those heroes and volunteers and thank them for their hard work and dedication.


Frank Farrell
Doug Wilhoit
Jackie Grazier
Donald Simon
Aaron Blum
Grundfos Pumps
Stockton Chamber of Commerce
Hilton Hotels
Catherine Curry
Laura Calderon
Susan Talamantes Eggman
New Belgium Brewry
Frey Vineyards
Catherine Galgiani
Courtney Kalashian
James Goldstone
Brad Neff
Brian Terrell
John Davis
Ed Stockton
Benjamin Foster
Wade Crowfoot
Blaine Bibb


Tom Cotter, Chair
Sam Geil
Yvonne Chelberg
Frank Farrell
Joe Gustafson
Eric Rawn
Matt Haas
Glen Roberts
Blaine Bibb