Sacramento Sustainability Forum 2.0

SSF 2.0 is a public engagement & education platform empowering the community to create a more sustainable society.

2012 April: Sustainability in Business & The Realty of Greenwashing

A rare opportunity to hear expert input from a local business leader, a start-up technology entrepreneur, and a director of a prominent watch dog agency on what it means to run a sustainable business, develop green technology, and keep industry honest on their sustainability claims.


Tom Kandris

As a leading area business, America River PackageOne "walks the talk" in their sustainability agenda. Mr. Kandris is the CEO and Founder of American River-Packaging, an innovative corrugated manufacturing company with two factories located in Northern California. Mr. Kandris has over 30 years of experience in the combined areas of general management, technical sales, market leadership, and entrepreneurship in the semiconductor equipment and packaging materials industries. He has held domestic and overseas senior executive and board level positions with worldwide responsibilities in major American, Japanese, and European corporations. He has a proven track record in market creation, business start-ups, acquisition, and in corporate turn-around management; most notably with MRC, formerly a Sony company, Integrated Reactor Corporation acquired by CVC Products Inc. and ASML, Inc. formerly a Philips, NV Corporation. Currently, American River-PackageOne is one of the largest independently owned companies in their market. Mr. Kandris led his company from a self-funded start up to over $42 million in revenues within its first 6 years. His company has leveraged web services tools to create back office applications in order to become his related industry’s first Real-Time Enterprise. This was further enabled through joint technical enterprise collaboration with Intel: “From High Tech to No Tech and Back again!”

…and now for his passion, Mr. Kandris has spent his last 30 years as an Intra-preneur and Entrepreneur with near corporate death life experiences and rebirths. He owes his resiliency and resolve to the mentors who gave of themselves to him freely throughout his career. Armed with knowledge and appreciation, Mr. Kandris has sought to give back to his community and others; for profit and not for profits alike in similar ways. Not only does Mr. Kandris give financially, but he offers something of greater value, his experience sharing, his network, and his time. Mr. Kandris serves and has served on several Boards for Profit and Not, most of which have an education bias: for Children, for Educators of all types, and for Entrepreneurs. Mr. Kandris rarely turns down a request to meet and experience share with a budding entrepreneur from all walks or colleagues in need of a sounding board. Mr. Kandris has a rising tide goal for all in our community to make us all successful in our own rights and create jobs in our community. Mr. Kandris currently employees ~150 of his own and has influence and has helped others in our community who employee 1000s!

Mr. Kandris is affiliated with the multiple organizations throughout the community.  He is on the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors, and serves as Co-Chair on the Jobs and Growth Subcommittee and is a member of the Political Action Subcommittee.  He also serves with:  Greenwise Joint Venture as Director and Treasurer; SARTA (Sacramento Area Technology Alliance), as its Mentorship Co-Chair for the VentureStart Program;  EO Sacramento (Entrepreneur’s Organization; a notable worldwide organization) as the Chapter Alliance Chair; RAFT (Resources Area For Teaching) as its former Board chair; and SVP (Social Venture Partners) founding partner group; Member Sacramento Angels and former Director; the St. Francis High School Board of Director; Comstock Magazine’s Editorial Board and others….


Bing Gu

Dr. Bing Gu is the founder and CEO of California Sunlight Corporation. a start-up solar energy company in Sacramento. California Sunlight develops and designs small scale, cost-effective, portable solar energy products including solar powered BBQs, solar ovens, solar stoves, active daylighting, and micro-CPV systems. Dr. Gu has been working in the energy field for more than 15 years. He holds a MS and Ph.D degree in mechanics, and a BS degree in engineering physics from Tsinghua University. Dr. Gu is the inventor of two patents and five pending patents in solar energy.


Mike Somers

Mike is the State Director of Pesticide Watch and Pesticide Watch Education Fund, and manages the day-to-day operations of the organization. He graduated from the University of Illinois in 2004 with a degree in Cellular and Structural Biology. Mike has worked for a number of different organizations since graduating college including MoveOn, Enviroment America Voter Action, and most recently the Fund for the Public Interest. During his time with the Fund, Mike was the telephone outreach project director in Sacramento where he hired and trained a staff of 30+ telephone activists and managed telephone campaigns for 23 state and national environmental and consumer organizations.  As a watchdog organization, Pesticide Watch is keenly aware of the misleading and false "green and clean" claims made by major industry leaders.