The SBN Sustainability Leadership Summit

2014 SBN Conference Logo


Thank you to all who attended SBN’s 25th Sustainable Business Conference at Ryan Hall, UMass Boston on Thursday, May 15, 2014! SBN’s 25th Annual Conference brought together over 120 business and community leaders for a day of celebration, learning, activism and networking!

The day began with our 3rd Annual Sustainability Leadership Summit and presenting sponsor, Dinesh Wadwhani, of ThinkLite. Dinesh told the story of the remarkable new energy-saving lighting technology that his company developed. Following the presentation, SBN Founder and Executive Director, Laury Hammel, gave a brief overview of how our movement and SBN has grown and developed over the last twenty-five years. After Laury spoke, several SBN leaders shared stories on how SBN and past conferences have impacted them in their careers.

Many of New England’s most successful entrepreneurs, business and nonprofit leaders, government officials, local funders, and academics came together with the purpose of developing new partnerships and collaborations that build a local green, and fair economy of the future.

The afternoon workshops began with highly respected business visionary Will Rapp sharing his ideas on how we together can build a strong and sustainable economy.  The Climate Action Liaision Coalition presented a workshop on “Building a New Economy to Stop Climate Change” to a packed room, which generated meaningful discussions and questions. The Massachusetts Sustainable Business Academy presented an equally interesting workshop on “Enacting and Engaging in the New Economy.”

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This year proved to be another exciting conference designed for networking, sharing, learning and, most importantly, advancing the local and sustainable economy movement in Massachusetts and New England!

SBN’s 25th Annual Sustainable Business Conference 

Third Annual Sustainability Leadership Summit

The 2014 Sustainability Leadership Summit featured short inspirational keynote speakers, action-oriented breakout sessions , and “open space technology” programs that generate new plans for change, based around the five pillars of a strong local economy. In previous Summits, several innovative programs were conceived, and ultimately became became important examples of collaborations that are building a stronger local economy.

Sustainability Workshops

New this year, SBN offered optional afternoon seminars hosted by partnering organizations that were highly focused and action-oriented and open to the public.

  • Climate Action Liaision Coalition Presents: “Building a New Economy to Stop Climate Change.” To sign up and learn more, click here.
  • Massachusetts Sustainable Business Academy presents: “Enacting and Engaging in the New Economy.” To sign up for the afternoon workshop only, click here! 

Five Pillars of  a Strong Local Economy

Breakout Panel Discussions

  1. Local–Building Strong Local Economies and Vibrant Communities

  2. Green–Growing the Green Economy

  3. Public Policy–Leveraging the Power of Small Business to Foster Constructive Public Policy

  4. Community Capital–Raising Capital for Localized Economic Development

  5. Local Food–Transforming the Local Food System



  • Karen Heymann, Audubon Society
  • Deborah Frieze, Boston Impact Initiative
  • Michael Green, Executive Director of the Climate Action Liaison Coalition (CALC)
  • Laury Hammel, Executive Director of SBN and owner of The Longfellow Clubs
  • Chobee Hoy,  Owner of Chobee Hoy Real Estate and Chair of Brookline Local First
  • Alex Keally, Solect Energy Development
  • Susan Labandibar, President of SBN and owner of Tech Networks of Boston
  • Alex Linkow, Director of Fair Food Fund
  • Katherine McDonald, Executive Director of Clean Tech Open
  • Kim Mitchell, Co-Chair of JP Local First and owner of Boing Toys
  • Kat Rutkin, Executive Director of Somerville Local First
  • Holly Sklar, Business for a Fair Minimum Wage
  • Julia Shanks, Julia Shanks Food Consulting
  • Rachael Solem, Co-Chair of Cambridge Local First and owner of Irving House
  • Dinesh Wadhwani, Owner of ThinkLite, Inc.
  • André M. Porter, Executive Director, Massachusetts Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship
  • Miriam Morales, President, El Recreo Estate Coffee
  • Filipe E. Oliveira, President, Percival Beer Company
  • Ivy Lawson, Managing Director, Logwood Company LLC, and owner of Iveey’s Jamaican Honey

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For more information on the 2014 Conference, please contact Taryn Johnson at, or call 617-395-0250.