School of Business and Economics Leaders Keynote Sustainable Enterprise Conference April 5

12th Annual Conference Promotes Community Innovation at Critical Moment for Fast-Growing Green Economy
March 30, 2017

Rohnert Park, California - The School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced that Dr. William Silver, Dean, and Dr. Robert Girling and Dr. Adele Santana, Professors of Business, will present at the annual Sustainable Enterprise Conference happening Wednesday, April 5 from 7 a.m. - 5 p.m. The day-long event includes multiple sessions taking place in venues throughout SSU's Student Center. Dean Silver, a Professor of Leadership, will provide the event's opening remarks with a focus on the importance of education and the pursuit of discovery to a thriving and sustainable economy. Professor Girling, who founded the conference, will also provide introductory remarks, including insight to changes in attitudes toward sustainability since the conference started in 2006. Professor Adele Santana, an expert on the effects of company culture and industry characteristics on building and executing a sustainability strategy, will help lead two sessions, including "Academic Partnerships: How Can Students Help Solve Real Sustainability Challenges in the Community"; and "Business and Government Efforts to Generate Sustainable Energy."

"In 2006, this event launched with confidence in widespread support for sustainability. Today, that support is less certain and this conference is more vital than ever. In addition to a triple bottom line of social, environmental, and financial performance, it's now clear that education is an essential fourth measurement in this framework," Dean William S. Silver said. "California is the world's sixth largest economy and a global leader in green policies. We're proud to play our part as the educational catalyst for a thriving North Bay economy, and will continue to prioritize innovation and entrepreneurship in sustainability."

"Our approach and our commitment is to simultaneously honor our communities and the businesses that respect our planet," Professor Robert Girling, Sustainable Enterprise Conference founder said. "Companies like Strauss Creamery, which makes environmentally sound business decisions and practices sustainable organic family farming, and Guayaki, which  protects the Amazon rainforest selling its organic Yerba Mate. And Sonoma County Winegrowers, a non-profit educational organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of Sonoma County. We showcase businesses, educators and community leaders who look far into the future, innovating to sustain us and create vibrant communities and  employment opportunities."

Dr. Adele Santana recently introduced "Leading Sustainable Enterprises," a master's level course that resulted in sustainability projects at Kaiser Permanente, Sonoma County Library, and other regional organizations. Professor Santana's research is featured in Business and Society Review, Ethics and Information Technology, and the Journal of Business Ethics, among other publications. She recently published the chapter, "Exit Strategies" in the book, Ending the Fossil Fuel Era. Additional recent faculty research and publications at the intersection of business and sustainability include The Good Company, by Dr. Robert Girling, and Crafting Sustainable Wine Businesses, by Korbel Professor, Dr. Armand Gilinsky. Dr. Merlin Hanauer, Professor of Economics, recently published two articles in the prestigious Royal Society Journal, examining and measuring the impact of conservation initiatives on societies and the natural environment.

In addition to leaders and scholars from SBE, other SSU involvement in the conference includes Daniel Soto, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies and Planning; Paul Draper, Director of Sustainability; Claudia Luke, Ph.D., Director of SSU's Nature Preserves and coordinator for the Watershed Academics to Enhance Regional Sustainability (WATERS) Collaborative; Stan Nosek, Interim Vice President for Administration and Finance; Claudia Sisomphou, Activist-in-Residence, class Senator for Sustainability, and Global Youth Visionary; Rasmi Singh, Ph.D., Professor Emerita and United Nations Association Sonoma County Chapter Co-President; and Elaine Wellin, Ph.D., Professor Emerita and Executive Director of the Northern California Earth Institute.

For a full schedule of 2017 Sustainable Enterprise Conference sessions, including times and locations, please visit Members of the media are invited to attend and may register at no charge here: For more information regarding sustainability research and education at SBE, or support of the Sustainable Enterprise Conference, please visit