Conference & Induction Ceremony 2014

Bridging the Environment & Technology

March 28, 2014

Dear Colleagues:

Thank you for another very successful Induction Ceremony and Conference. Our class of 2013-14 was yet another example of excellence in the Green Industry. A number of firsts including holding our event in the San Francisco Bay Area. The atmosphere and weather was spectacular.

Many thanks to our host, Mineta Transportation Institute and San Jose State University. No sooner than we finish one year, a new year begins with our nomination process running from April to August. We want to encourage all our members and the general public to access our website and nominate your favorite Green Organization or Person deserving of recognition and possible induction into the Hall of Fame.

We have a number of venue options next year including Portland OR., Santa Barbara, CA., Winnipeg, CN and Denmark. We appreciate your interest and support and hope you will be able to attend our event next year regardless of location. Until then, thank you very much and continue to Live Green!

Sam Geil, Chairperson
Chairman, Board of Directors

Thank You to our Event Sponsors

Mineta Institute of Transportation
San Jose State University
San Jose State University | Student Union
Baker, Peterson, Franklin
Geil Enterprises
REC Solar
Electronic Recyclers
Commonwealth Club of the Bay Area
Derco Foods
Law Office of Mark A. Goodman
American Pistachio Growers
US Green Chamber
BCT Consulting

Amory Lovins

Amory Lovins, a consultant physicist, is among the world’s leading innovators in energy and its links with resources, security, economy, development, and environment. He has advised the energy and other industries for four decades as well as the U.S. Departments of Energy and Defense. His work in 50+ countries has been recognized by the “Alternative Nobel,” Blue Planet, Volvo, Zayed, Onassis, Nissan, Shingo, and Mitchell Prizes, the Benjamin Franklin and Happold Medals, MacArthur and Ashoka Fellowships, 12 honorary doctorates, and the Heinz, Lindbergh, Jean Mayer, Time Hero for the Planet, Time International Hero of the Environment, Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Leadership, National Design, and World Technology Awards.

A Harvard and Oxford dropout, former Oxford don, honorary U.S. architect, and Swedish engineering academician, he has briefed 23 heads of state and advised major firms and governments worldwide, recently including the leadership of Coca-Cola, Deutsche Bank, Ford, Holcim, Interface, and Wal-Mart. He cofounded in 1982 and serves as Chief Scientist and Chairman Emeritus of Rocky Mountain Institute ( —an independent, market-oriented, entrepreneurial, nonprofit, nonpartisan think-and-do tank that creates abundance by design. He has held visiting posts at ten universities ranging from Peking to Stanford, teaching only subjects he’s never formally studied. He is currently Professor of Practice at the Naval Postgraduate School, an advisor to the Chief of Naval Operations, and a member of the National Petroleum Council. He has written more than 500 publications spanning many disciplines. The latest of his 31 books, with 60 RMI coauthors, is Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era. In 2009, Time named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world, and Foreign Policy, one of the 100 top global thinkers.

Arbor Teas

So who is Arbor Teas? We’re a husband and wife team of tea enthusiasts with a lot of passion; passion for top quality tea, of course, but also the environment, fair trade, and our community. We started Arbor Teas in our hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan, intent on creating a tea company as passionate as we are. And while our company has grown a bit since its humble beginnings (our first website was built in exchange for painting our friend Lawrence’s kitchen!), the passion remains to this day.

Our passion is reflected in every aspect of Arbor Teas. You’ll certainly notice it in the exceptional collection of teas we offer – one of the largest catalogs of USDA certified organic teas around, nearly three-quarters of which are Fair Trade Certified®. And as for our teaware and accessories, we avoid products made using slave or forced child labor, and those containing harmful heavy metals and similar pollutants. But our passion can also be seen in the extensive collection of informative content provided on our Tea Blog and website, as well as our dedication to prompt, thorough and friendly customer service.

Bio Bag World

Bio Bag World is the world’s largest brand of certified compostable bags and films made from the material, Mater-Bi. Mater-Bi`s ingredients consist of starches derived from plants, vegetable oils, and compostable polymers from both renewable raw materials and fossil raw materials. No polyethylene is used in the production process.

Build It Green

Build It Green is a membership-supported Bay Area nonprofit established in 2005. Our organization works with building and real estate professionals, local and state governments, and homeowners to increase awareness and adoption of green building practices. Our mission is to promote healthy, energy- and resource-efficient building practices in California through outreach and education.

Our vision is for a more sustainable world where all homes are built to support the health and vitality of people and the natural environment. We believe that changing how homes are designed, built, and remodeled is essential to preventing climate change, minimizing pollution, and protecting natural resources for future generations.

Donald Simon

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.


A better web. Better for the environment.

Google is creating a better web that’s better for the environment. We’re greening our company by using resources efficiently and supporting renewable power. That means when you use Google products, you’re being better to the environment.

Green Team San Joaquin

The “Green Team San Joaquin”, a program of the Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce, is a collaborative effort between private businesses, municipal and county solid waste divisions, economic development professionals and the community of San Joaquin County.

The purpose of the Green Team San Joaquin is to create a nexus between commerce and environment and to enhance the delivery of Chamber services and to address economic, environmental, and quality of life issues in Stockton and San Joaquin County. In 2005, the Chamber embarked with this program by collaboratively searching for regional solutions to challenges facing San Joaquin County and their businesses. Simply put, by assisting businesses in ‘going green” will not only reduce their costs of doing business, but it will also help the environment and move the San Joaquin County economy forward.

Honda USA

We are a company built on dreams. And these dreams inspire us to create innovative products that enhance human mobility and benefit society. We see “The Power of Dreams” as a way of thinking that guides us and inspires us to move forward. The strength of our company comes from this philosophy—based on the visionary principles of our founder, Soichiro Honda.

Our success in the global marketplace is the result of our continued investment in America’s future. We thank our customers for the support and trust they’ve shown us. We look forward to challenging ourselves to create new products and services that bring value to our customers and society during the next 50 years.

Interface, Inc.

Our vision is to be the first company that, by its deeds, shows the entire industrial world what sustainability is in all its dimensions: People, process, product, place and profits — by 2020 — and in doing so we will become restorative through the power of influence.

Our mission is to become the first name in commercial and institutional interiors worldwide through its commitment to people, process, product, place and profits. We will strive to create an organization wherein all people are accorded unconditional respect and dignity; one that allows each person to continuously learn and develop. We will focus on product (which includes service) through constant emphasis on process quality and engineering, which we will combine with careful attention to our customers’ needs so as always to deliver superior value to our customers, thereby maximizing all stakeholders’ satisfaction. We will honor the places where we do business by endeavoring to become the first name in industrial ecology, a corporation that cherishes nature and restores the environment. Interface will lead by example and validate by results, including profits, leaving the world a better place than when we began, and we will be restorative through the power of our influence in the world.

Ira Ehrenpreis

Ira has been with Technology Partners since 1996. Ira leads the firm’s Cleantech investment practice, investing in Energy Technology, Water Technology, and Advanced Materials opportunities.

Ira is a recognized leader in both the venture capital industry and the Cleantech sector, and in 2007, was named one of the”Top 50 Most Influential Men Under 45″by Details Magazine.

In the venture community, Ira serves on the Board of the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) and on the Board of the Western Association of Venture Capitalists (WAVC). He is also the Co-Chairman of both the VCNetwork and the YVCA, two non-profit organizations comprising more than 1,000 venture capitalists.

In the Cleantech sector, Ira has served on several industry Boards, including the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Advisory Committee (ERAC), the National Renewable Energy Loboratory (NREL) Advisory Council, the Clean-Tech Investor Summit (Conference Chairman in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013), Cleantech Venture Network (Past Chairman of Advisory Board), ACORE (American Council on Renewable Energy), Energy Investors Forum (Past Conference Chairman), Energy Venture Fair, and California Climate Change Advisory Board.

Kebony International

Kebony is a Norwegian company aiming to be a leading wood brand and marketing organisation underpinned by a number of proven wood modification technologies for producing wood of superior quality that is both environmentally friendly and cost effective.

Our patent protected processes yield products that deliver major improvements in durability, dimensional stability and other physical and mechanical properties, at the same time as being aesthetically pleasing and suitable for a multitude of applications and designs – encompassing both indoor and outdoor applications.

Marc Richmond

Marc Richmond is President of Practica Consulting, a green building consulting firm. The firm is well-recognized throughout the country for its work in developing green building educational programs, helping professionals be effective at their green building activities, and teaching consumers to make informed purchasing decisions. For over 20 years, Marc has been involved in the construction industry building and consulting on green buildings.

McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry

McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC) is a firm founded in 1995 by world-renowned architect William McDonough and chemist Dr. Michael Braungart. They are co-authors of Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things (2002), widely recognized as one of the most consequential ecological manifestos of our time, and The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability–Designing for Abundance (2013). These books define the Cradle to Cradle principles and illustrate the concepts using the work of MBDC over the past 17 years helping clients go beyond minimizing harm and towards a wholly positive impact on the planet.

MBDC originated the Cradle to Cradle® design framework that helps companies go beyond minimizing harm and move towards creating a wholly positive impact on the planet. MBDC leads companies beyond sustainability toward positive growth by integrating the Cradle to Cradle® framework into corporate strategy, communications, operations, supply chains, and product designs. Using the process of inventory, assessment, and optimization, MBDC provides the technical expertise to help companies develop solutions around material health, material reutilization, renewable energy use, water stewardship, and social fairness. We partner with clients throughout various sectors and industries to provide scientific evaluations, spur innovation, and inspire leadership.

Mirimichi Golf Course

Mirimichi is the first golf course in North, South or Central America to become Golf Environment Organization (GEO) Certified. This designation signifies that Mirimichi has met comprehensive and advanced sustainability requirements, and uses them to both drive continual improvement, and communicate the back-story behind their success. With GEO Certification, Mirimichi becomes one of the first ten courses world-wide to receive the prestigious designation.

The GEO Certification at Mirimichi recognizes our commitment to environmental sustainability by protecting and enhancing ecosystems and biodiversity, maximizing resource efficiency, reducing waste, and conserving cultural heritage and landscapes. We will adhere to the promise of continual improvement, and regularly monitor and review environmental performance indicators to ensure progress.

Moon Valley Organics

In 1998 Moon Valley was conceived out of a passion to live ethically and sustainably. Today that enthusiasm carries forth from our certified organic, biodynamic farm and embraces traditional knowledge from our family of artisan farmers, herbalists and beekeepers. Each element coming together to create amazing products made from the best things on Earth!

Our design, research, production, and sales teams are an assembly of strong local community organizers, artists, parents, entrepreneurs, activists, engineers, doctors, herbalists, and farmers dedicated to living in and creating a more sustainable, wholesome world.

Our products are developed with the intention to nourish and heal your body, mind, and spirit, as well as to care for the Earth. Kim Denend and Aaron Otto, creators of Moon Valley Organics, share their combined experiences in farming, healing, creativity/artistry, and activism to nurture a thriving business. Their quest for wholeness and well-being led them to develop their unique healing body care products.

Nest the Learning Thermostat

We’re Nest. We reinvent things. We take the unloved products in your home and make simple, beautiful, thoughtful things.

Recycle Bank

Recyclebank’s goal is to help people live more sustainably. We believe that individual actions, such as increasing recycling or learning about greener ways to purchase, consume or dispose of products, can add up to a big impact for our planet.

We also believe in the carrot, not the stick. We’ve learned that a mix of economic and social nudges, when packaged with education, deepens people’s participation and creates habitual behavior change.

Roz Savage

Roz is the first woman to have rowed solo across three oceans – the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian. Want to find out more? Take a look at her Expeditions page for summaries, stats, and links to blogs, podcasts and videos.

San Francisco Giants

The SF Giants became the first professional sports team to create a Traffic Safety Day and were pioneers in implementation of a responsible alcohol management program. AT&T Park earned LEED Certification, the nationally accepted benchmark for design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. As a result the Giants earned their third consective MLB Green Glove Award for Recycling Excellence in 2010.

Silicon Valley Leadership Group

Since its founding (on July 18, 1977) 36 years ago by HP co-founder David Packard, the Leadership Group has played an important role in shaping Silicon Valley and in crafting regional, state and federal solutions to help the area’s economy and its residents.

Stem Inc.

Our vision is to bring energy consumption into the 21st century through distributed storage technology. We are an energy technology company that enables businesses to control their electricity expenses and helps the electrical grid to be more efficient in managing peak usage. Our mission is to provide energy customers and providers with a powerful optimization service that responds to their unique consumption and distribution needs.

Stem is leading the way to a brighter, more cost-effective energy future. Since 2009, Stem has been analyzing how various types of businesses use electricity and how they are charged for it. We’ve used this information to design a solution that protects companies from unnecessarily high electricity costs without requiring any changes to the way they run their businesses.

Synergy International, Inc.

Synergy International Inc. (SII) ( is positioned as an international project team that turns mature ideas and dreams into reality. We have business units in California, Nevada, Arizona, and Washington, USA with partners in Germany, Mexico, and India. Our 36 year mission has been the continued promotion, development and deployment of demonstration projects that introduce renewable and sustainable technologies that are in long-term partnership with our Planet. Ecological design incorporating solar energy systems and regenerative technologies is the basis of our work. Our team of sustainable and green designers, architects and engineers provide solutions to virtually any agricultural, architectural, or technological problem.

Ten Thousand Villages

Ten Thousand Villages is an exceptional source for unique handmade gifts, jewelry, home decor, art and sculpture, textiles, serveware and personal accessories representing the diverse cultures of artisans in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. One of the world’s largest fair trade organizations and a founding member of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), the company strives to improve the livelihood of tens of thousands of disadvantaged artisans in 38 countries. Ten Thousand Villages accomplishes this by establishing a sustainable market for handmade products in North America, and building long term buying relationships in places where skilled artisan partners lack opportunities for stable income. Product sales help pay for food, education, healthcare and housing for artisans who would otherwise be unemployed or underemployed.

Terra Pass, Inc.

TerraPass is a multi-disciplinary team of individuals dedicated to the fight against climate change. Our mission is to provide the resources necessary for companies and individuals to understand and take responsibility for their climate impact. We do this in a number of ways:

  • We provide educational tools and resources such as online carbon footprint calculators. We also help businesses and institutions prepare more detailed or complex carbon footprint analysis;
  • We help create, implement, and operate customer-funded emissions reduction projects at facilities such as dairy farms and landfills. Learn more about our projects here;
  • We work with businesses and institutions to develop custom renewable energy solutions for their operations.

But TerraPass isn’t just us it’s you too, because we wouldn’t be able to do what we do without the support of others who also want to take action on climate change.

Terracycle, Inc.

Founded in 2001 by Tom Szaky, then a 20-year-old Princeton University freshman, TerraCycle, Inc. began producing organic fertilizer by packaging liquified “worm poop” in used soda bottles. Since the inauspicious start, TerraCycle has become one of the fastest-growing green companies in the world.

More than just a recycling company, TerraCycle strives to be a driving force behind increasing environmental awareness and action. Our goal is to be a trusted resource for families, schools, communities, and even corporations to find tips, stats, facts, tactics, and news to help them live a greener, cleaner lifestyle. Together, we are Eliminating the Idea of Waste®.

Toyota Motor Corporation

The Toyota Green Initiative is an environmental stewardship platform designed to empower people to adopt a sustainable lifestyle. The environment is the most valuable legacy we’ll leave to our children. The more we learn about how green issues affect our communities, the better we can shape their future. We’re providing information on green jobs. We’re working with educators, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and environmental nonprofits. Through Toyota Green Initiative’s eco-conscious articles, videos, campus events and mentoring efforts, we will go places together towards a greener tomorrow.

John Lanier

John Lanier

Ray C. Anderson Foundation

John A. Lanier is Director of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation, a Georgia-based private family foundation honoring the legacy of the late Ray C. Anderson (1934-2011).

In May 2013, Lanier made a bold and exciting career move, leaving a successful career with Sutherland, Asbill and Brennan, LLP to assume his current role at the helm of the foundation that bears his grandfather’s name and legacy. Ray Anderson was a globally recognized industrialist and pioneer for environmentalism, and Lanier continues his legacy today through Foundation programs that seek to create a brighter, more sustainable world by funding innovative, educational, and project-based initiatives.

From 2011 to 2013, Lanier worked in Atlanta as an Associate Attorney in Sutherland’s Tax Practice Group, specializing in U.S. Federal taxation. He represented the interests of various Atlanta-based nonprofits, gaining experience in nonprofit formations, compliance and applications for recognition of tax-exempt status. During that time, the Ray C. Anderson Foundation was one of his clients.

Lanier currently serves on the Board of Directors for Southface Energy Institute, the Southeast’s nonprofit leader in the promotion of sustainable homes, workplaces and communities through education, research, advocacy and technical assistance. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Chattahoochee NOW, a Georgia-based nonprofit that directs the efforts to catalyze the economic development and quality of life potential along a 53-mile corridor of the Chattahoochee River. Lanier is also a member of the 2014 class for the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership (IGEL), a network of diverse statewide leaders consistently collaborating to solve Georgia’s environmental challenges.

Lanier earned his Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from the University of Virginia School of Law, and he holds Bachelor of Arts Degrees in History and Economics from the University of Virginia. He is an Atlanta native and a college sports enthusiast who enjoys travel, hiking and snow skiing in his spare time.

Jim Kor

Jim Kor (Inductee)

Kor EcoLogic
A Car for This Century. Why a small, dedicated team quietly created a unique car, and named it URBEE

Jim Kor graduated as a Mechanical Engineer from University of Manitoba in 1974. After a decade of designing farm machinery for Winnipeg manufacturers, including tractors, swathers, and combines (for Versatile and CI), Jim Kor started his own design firm. KOR Product Design is now an international design consultancy with clients in Canada, the USA, and Europe. KOR’s main thrust is combining Engineering and Industrial Design into a unified design. KOR has worked within various industries, including agricultural machinery, city and inter-city buses, commercial swimming pools, automotive, and aerospace. KOR’s designed products are mass-produced and reach world markets. KOR’s self-initiated research projects have been at the forefront of sustainable transportation and energy efficiency, and have been presented at conferences, schools, and universities in North America and Europe. KOR’s third vehicle project, an environmental car called Urbee, initiated the formation of a new company called KOR EcoLogic, aimed at developing and commercializing this unique roadworthy vehicle, worldwide. Jim Kor was born in Amsterdam, lived in Indonesia, and moved to Canada when he was seven. He lives there now, is married, has two teenage boys, a dog, and 3 cats.

Rod Diridon, Sr.

Rod Diridon, Sr.

Executive Director, Mineta Transportation Institute
Massive Urban Sprawl, Decide Now!

Rod Diridon, Sr., has served as executive director of the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) since four years after its creation by Congress in 1991. He is also executive director of the Mineta National Transit Research Consortium, an affiliation of nine university transportation research centers.

Mr. Diridon has chaired more than 100 international, national, state and local programs, most related to transit and the environment. He frequently provides legislative testimony on sustainable transportation issues and is regarded by many as the “father” of modern transit service in Silicon Valley.

He was appointed by Governors Davis and Schwarzenegger, in 2001 and 2006, respectively, to the California High-Speed Rail Authority Board, of which he is chair emeritus. He helped found, and is chair emeritus of, the High-Speed and Intercity Rail Committee and the National High-Speed Rail Corridors Coalition of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). He also served as president of the national Council of University Transportation Centers. 

In 1992, he served as the chair of APTA in Washington DC, and for a decade as North American vice chair of the International Transit Association (UITP) in Brussels. In 1976, he chaired the state’s first successful half-cent sales tax for transit and subsequently chaired successful regional and statewide election campaigns for transportation bonds and financing.

In 1996 he founded and chaired the Transportation Research Board’s study panel, “Combating Global Warming through Sustainable Transportation Policy.” He advised the Federal Transit Administration and in 1995 chaired the Transit Oversight and Project Selection Committee for the National Research Council’s Transportation Research Board. He has provided keynotes, especially for
​passenger ​rail and sustainability, in more than 50 U.S. cities and for a dozen international conferences, and he has published numerous related articles.

​Mr. Diridon has won several prestigious awards for his public service. Most recently, the Council of University Transportation Centers presented him with its Lifetime Achievement Award in Washington DC.​

He began his political service in 1971 as the youngest person ever elected to the Saratoga City Council. He retired due to term limits in 1995 after completing six terms as chair of both the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and the Transit Board. He is the only person to have chaired the San Francisco Bay Area’s three regional governments: the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, and the Association of Bay Area Governments. He chaired nine successful rail system development project boards. Upon his retirement from public office, Santa Clara County renamed its main train station “San Jose Diridon Station.”

Mr. Diridon received a BS in accounting and an MSBA in statistics from San Jose State University and served two tours in Vietnam as a naval officer. In 1968, he founded the Decision Research Institute which was sold in 1977.

He has two successful children, Rod Jr. and Mary Margaret, and ​four​ grandchildren. He is married to Dr. Gloria Duffy, former US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense and now president and CEO of the Commonwealth Club of California.

Richard Cummings

Richard Cummings

Richard Cummings, AICP, LEED AP, University of California, Merced
Green From the Ground Up

Richard Cummings is the campus planner for the University of California, Merced, the UC system’s newest and youngest campus. Since joining the University in 2008, Richard has co-authored the campus’ Physical Design Framework, UC Merced’s Sustainability Strategic Plan and its award winning Long Range Development Plan – which established a “Triple Zero Commitment” to achieve zero net energy, zero landfill waste and zero net Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 2020.

The Long Range Development Plan has won seven state and national awards for sustainability including the 2012 American Institute of Architect’s Top 10 Green Projects Award as well a 2011 Honor Award from the Society of College and University Planning, for excellence in campus planning.

Prior to joining UC Merced, Richard was the Director of Research and Communications at the Great Valley Center, a private, nonprofit organization focused on Central Valley economic, social and environmental issues. A native of Toronto, Canada, Richard holds degrees from UC Berkeley and Cornell University

Green Team San Joaquin

Frank Ferral (Nominee)

Green Team San Joaquin
How to start a green team in your community

Frank Ferral’s official title at the Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce is program & public policy director. But anyone who knows Ferral will admit that his role is far more substantial than advertised. Ferral heads up the chamber’s Recycling Energy Air Conservation, or REACON, program. His REACON team has worked with several hundred businesses to reduce energy costs and water bills and has established the highly successful REXPO annual event and trade show that draws people from across California. He’s also working with the SJVCEO to export the REACON plan to the rest of the Valley, first enlisting Arvin. Plans include signing up more cities. Ferral had two words for the question of the future of clean energy in the Valley. “It’s bright,” he said. Then the Desert Storm Air Force veteran offered several more: “The momentum is growing. World events – the move away from the dependency on fossil fuels – is driving more people to embrace alternative energy.” Ferral said the REACON program is perfect for export. It’s been a big hit in Stockton, generating major economic savings and small business health and he wants it to reach other communities’ main streets. “This is the year we want to get out in the Valley,” he said. Ferral has a bachelor’s in political science from California State University, Stanislaus. He also has a master’s degree in public administration.

Jim Kor

Jim Kor (Inductee)

Kor EcoLogic
Sustainable Cars and the Future of Manufacturing – How concern for the environment and the revolution in 3D-printing could change automotive design forever

Jim Kor graduated as a Mechanical Engineer from University of Manitoba in 1974. After a decade of designing farm machinery for Winnipeg manufacturers, including tractors, swathers, and combines (for Versatile and CI), Jim Kor started his own design firm. KOR Product Design is now an international design consultancy with clients in Canada, the USA, and Europe. KOR’s main thrust is combining Engineering and Industrial Design into a unified design. KOR has worked within various industries, including agricultural machinery, city and inter-city buses, commercial swimming pools, automotive, and aerospace. KOR’s designed products are mass-produced and reach world markets. KOR’s self-initiated research projects have been at the forefront of sustainable transportation and energy efficiency, and have been presented at conferences, schools, and universities in North America and Europe. KOR’s third vehicle project, an environmental car called Urbee, initiated the formation of a new company called KOR EcoLogic, aimed at developing and commercializing this unique roadworthy vehicle, worldwide. Jim Kor was born in Amsterdam, lived in Indonesia, and moved to Canada when he was seven. He lives there now, is married, has two teenage boys, a dog, and 3 cats.

Tom Cotter

Tom Cotter

REC Solar
What is solar financing? An overview of Sunrun’s business model.

Tom Cotter is an American environmentalist, social entrepreneur, renewable energy evangelist, and ordained minister living in California, United States. He is also a presenter for the Climate Reality Project.

Professionally, Tom is Regional Sales Manager at REC Solar, a residential and commercial solar energy integrator, whose vision is ‘to ensure a healthy future by reducing the human ecological footprint on Earth.’ REC Solar offers turnkey solar energy solutions, and has 34 years of experience in solar energy, beginning with its sale of the first solar photovoltaic panels in the United States in 1978. With offices nationwide, it is one of the largest residential solar installers in the United States.

In addition to serving on the board for IGIHOF, Tom also servers on the boards for the Solar Living Institute and Restore Hetch Hetchy.

Growing up, a significant influence was the Boy Scouts of America, where he earned the rank of Eagle Scout. Hiking and camping in beautiful Northern California, U.S., and the Boy Scouts rule: “Always leave the campground cleaner than you found it” led to a deep ecological awareness and accountability in adulthood.

A deep desire to re-think, re-design and build a positive, healthy future has moved Tom to launch multiple initiatives to educate and bring awareness to the topic of environmental stewardship. His roles as husband/father, minister, entrepreneur, manager, speaker, community organizer, and professor have provided a unique perspective on the challenges we face and the changes required to overcome them.

Tom sees the end of the era of cheap fossil fuels and key materials, coupled with rising population and anxieties around water resources, food production and harmful wastes, as clearly demonstrating the need to re-imagine our model of production and consumption. He shares an optimism that choosing to live as a part of the solution will bring a better quality of life and increased opportunities as natural and social capital is restored.

Tom is a member of the Solar Living Institute, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Rainforest Alliance, California Business Alliance for a Green Economy, Restore Hetch Hetchy, American Solar Energy Society, United States Green Building Council, Encyclopedia of Life, Open Source Ecology, Build It Green and Kiva.

Al Courchesne

Al Courchesne

Frog Hollow Farms
Compost: The New Rage in Sustainability

Farmer Al. 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.

He planted his first peach orchard in Brentwood in 1976. Thirteen years later, Al began farming organically in large part because of a commitment he wanted to make to the soil, water and community he lived in. The storybook image of Frog Hollow Farm–delightfully depicted on our fruit crates–celebrates the joyful abundance of fruit and nature enjoyed by the whole community. Throughout his farming career, Farmer Al has been a vigorous advocate for sustainable land use, conservation, and organic farming practices. Al lives on the farm with his wife Becky, their two daughters Maddie and Millie, and their ever-present dog Noci (which means ‘dark of night’).

Renee Barillot Shade

Renee Barillot Shade

Director of Operations, The Story of Stuff Project
The Story of Solutions

We have a problem with Stuff. We use too much, too much of it is toxic and we don’t share it very well. But that’s not the way things have to be. Together, we can build a society based on better not more, sharing not selfishness, community not division.

The Story of Stuff Project’s journey began with a 20-minute online movie about the way we make, use and throw away all the Stuff in our lives. Five years and 40 million views later, we’re a Community of 500,000 changemakers worldwide, working to build a more healthy and just planet. Renée Shade is the Director of Operations at The Story of Stuff Project, and will screen their latest short movie “Story of Solutions” (10-15 minutes), and talk about how you are a part of the Solution to building a better future.

Renée has been a part of The Story of Stuff Project since 2010, and is currently working on her MBA at Presidio Graduate School. Prior to joining the Story of Stuff team, she worked with RE-AMP, a network of non-profits and foundations working on climate change and energy policy in the upper Midwest. She holds a BS in Environmental Engineering from Columbia University.

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Marty Metro

CEO, Used Cardboard Boxes, Inc.
Times are a changin’. Are you gettin’ yours?

People, businesses, organizations and the environment are in constant change. Change creates opportunity, but only if you look for it AND act on it. To capitalize on opportunities in environmental change, you REALLY have to understand the dynamics, and not just repeat what everyone else says! This talk with encourage you to “question everything” and really understand what “going green” means to you… and the people around you. Only after you understand your own environmental impact, and compare it to your own (and organizational) values, can you really make a positive (and sustainable) impact.

Marty Metro is an eco-entrepreneur with a “if at first you don’t succeed” attitude and a track record to prove it! In 2002, he started a chain of eco-friendly retail stores to buy and sell USED moving boxes. His attempt was under-capitalized and riddled with logistic flaws. After years without an income, Metro ceased all operations, leaving himself with more than $300,000 in personal debt. But, Metro tirelessly pursued his dream. In 2006, he revised the plan and re-launched a scalable, tech-centric model to buy and sell millions of used boxes. This time, it grew to a national logistics firm helping some of the largest US companies achieve zero waste, and Entrepreneur Magazine writing an article entitled: “From Business Failure to Multimillion-Dollar Green Niche.” Metro graduated Cum Laude from University of Maryland and earned an MBA from the University of Arizona, before his career as a supply chain consultant turn eco-entrepreneur.

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.


Yvonne Chelberg
Joe Gustafson
Babara Franco
Charlie Harris
Anto Projects
John Picard
John Lanier
Jim Kor
Alyssa Manjarrez
Janet Ontko
Lynn Bailey
Erin Goldfarb
Eric Rawn
BCT Consulting
Donna Maurillo
Rod Diridon
Mineta Transportation Institute
San Jose State University
Katrina Frey
Alejandro Serrudo
Louise Klein, SJSU
Karen Philbrick, SJSU
Jill Carter, SJSU
Dave Grice
Katie Coale, Marriott Hotel
Michael Emo
Ira Ehrenpreis
Joann Bachman