Center for Ethical and Sustainable Business {College of Business}

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(B)enefit Corporations—West Coast Forum

AB361 word cloud Benefit Corporation

(B)enefit Corporations—West Coast Forum

Friday, April 27, 2012

8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The (B)enefit Corporations—West Coast Forum is Friday, April 27, 2012, and held at the San Francisco State University Downtown Campus, 835 Market Street, San Francisco, 94103.


Registration is open to university faculty only.

Your registration fee covers all sessions, breakfast, refreshments, lunch, and conference materials. The registration fee is non-refundable, but is transferable. Full payment must be made at the time of registration. Hotel accommodations, transportation, and other meals are not included.

Registration Fee

  • $95–register by Friday, April 27
  • Early registration is strongly recommended, as capacity is limited. 

Payment Options

Payment by Check

If individuals would like to register for the B-Corp workshop with a check, the checks should be made payable to “University Corporation San Francisco State.”

The mailing address is:

Bonnie Li

College of Business

San Francisco State University

1600 Holloway Avenue

San Francisco, CA 94132

Online Payment

(Please note: The payment page was designed for Alumni events, so please leave blank any irrelevant fields, such as "Donations," or "Degree," etc.)


Please contact Tom Thomas, Co-Director, Center for Ethical and Sustainable Business email or call (510) 326-4540.

For informaiton on transportation, parking, and directions, including downtown SF hotels, see About : Downtown Campus

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Forum Objectives

  • Facilitate the rapid integration of B Corp and Benefit Corporation issues (financial, governance, marketing, managerial) into business school curriculum, case studies, and research
  • Raise awareness and improve understanding of B Corps and Benefit Corporations—and how they differ—among corporate and non-profit executives
  • Build connections between executives and business school faculty that lead to successful collaboration on B Corp and Benefit Corporation initiatives


  • B Lab
  • Equator Coffee
  • Give Something Back
  • Method
  • Numi Tea
  • Revolution Foods
  • Sambazon
  • World Centric
  • SF State Center for Ethical and Sustainable Business


  • Faculty from West Coast business schools, from San Diego, California to Vancouver, BC
  • Executives from B Corps and Benefit Corporations
  • Executives from companies, non-profits, or government agencies interested in learning about B Corps and certification, or about Benefit Corporations chartered under California’s new law, AB 361

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The Program

8:00–9:00 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:00–10:15 a.m. Introduction to Benefit Corporations

Moderator: Tom Thomas, Co-Director, Center for Ethical and Sustainable Business, SF State University

Keynote: Debra Dunn, Plattner Institute of Design, Stanford University


  • John Montgomery, Partner and Co-Founder, Montgomery & Hansen, LLP; co-author California AB 361
  • Dermot Hikisch, Director of Business Development, B Lab/ENDS Carbon
  • Steve Piersanti, President and Publisher, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.
  • Don Shaffer, President and CEO, RSF Social Finance

10:15–10:30 a.m. Coffee & Tea Break—beverages by Equator Coffee and Numi Organic Tea

10:30 a.m.–Noon Workshops—How Do B Corps and Benefit Corporations Differ from Business as Usual?

Legal and Governance issues—Shareholder Rights and Executive Accountability

Workshop leader: John Montgomery, Partner and Co-Founder, Montgomery & Hansen, LLP

Metrics and Reporting—B Corp Certification and Impact Assessment

Workshop leaders:

  • Steve Piersanti, President and Publisher, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.
  • Dermot Hikisch, Director of Business Development, B Lab/ENDS Carbon

Finance and Investing—How can Impact Investors Evaluate this New Type of Asset?

Workshop leader: Don Shaffer, President and CEO, RSF Social Finance

Noon–1 p.m. Buffet Lunch & Networking—catering by Revolution Foods

1:00–2:30 p.m. Executive Panel—B Corps and Benefit Corporations: Companies for the New Economy

Moderator: Dermot Hikisch, Director of Business Development, B Lab


  • Mike Hannigan, President, Give Something Back
  • Kristin Groos Richmond, President and CEO, Revolution Foods
  • Vincent Siciliano, President and CEO, New Resource Bank

2:30–2:45 p.m.Refreshment Break—beverages by Sambazon

2:45–4:15 p.m. Making Connections for the Benefit Corporation Revolution

Executives from companies and non-profits meet and collaborate with faculty from West Coast business schools on B Corp and Benefit Corporation initiatives: Case studies, research projects, mentorships, student projects, guest speaking opportunities, and internships

4:15–4:30 p.m. Closing Remarks

4:30 p.m. Taking It to the Streets (of San Francisco)

Informal networking continues at nearby cafes, restaurants, and pubs

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Forum Speakers

B Lab

Debra Dunn, Associate Consulting Professor, Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, Stanford University

Debra Dunn is an Associate Consulting Professor at Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University, a Board member at B Lab and Skoll Foundation, and an advisor to social ventures around the world. She left Hewlett-Packard in 2005 after 22 years with H-P, the last three years of which were spent as Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Global Citizenship. As Senior VP, she led H-P’s efforts on corporate social and environmental responsibility, government and public affairs, and corporate philanthropy. Through the efforts of Debra’s team, HP received widespread recognition and numerous global awards for leadership in Global Corporate Citizenship.

Certified B Corporation, bcorporation.netMike Hannigan, President and Co-Founder, Give Something Back

Mike co-founded Give Something Back, with CEO Sean Marx, in 1991. GSB is a business-to-business office supply company, modeled on Newman’s Own—most of its profits are donated to nonprofits selected by employees and customers. It is a Certified Green Business in Alameda County, a founding B-Corp company, one of the first companies to charter as a Benefit Corporation in California in January 2012. Mike began his career at the Xerox Corporation and successfully worked his way through a variety of management positions for business products companies for over a decade until starting GSB.

B Lab

Dermot Hikisch, Director of Business Development, B Lab

Dermot oversees B Lab’s community development of Certified B Corporations, focusing primarily on North America, but making new inroads globally. He is the former Head of Research for ENDS Carbon and Wind Power Intelligence, based out of Edinburgh, Scotland. Since 2007, Dermot has been running an independent carbon ratings and consulting business, annually rating over 100 multinationals for the organization Climate Counts. He has a MSc. in Strategic Leadership Towards Sustainability from Sweden, and a Commerce degree from the University of British Columbia.

Certified B Corporation,

John Montgomery, Partner and Co-Founder, Montgomery & Hansen, LLP

John was co-chair of the legal working group behind Assembly Bill 361 which recently established benefit corporations in California. His new book, Great from the Start: How Conscious Corporations Attract Success, outlines how to apply the business secrets of Silicon Valley to build conscious corporations designed to attract success in an interdependent economy. Prior to co-founding M&H, John was the co-chairman of the venture capital practice at Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, LLP. He previously served as a member of the Corporations Committee of the Business Law Section of the California State Bar.

Certified B Corporation,

Steve Piersanti, President and Publisher, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.

Steve is President and Publisher of Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., a leading independent publisher of progressive books on current affairs, personal growth, and business and management. It pursues its mission of “Creating a World That Works for All” by publishing groundbreaking books that promote positive change at all levels – individual, organizational, and societal. Prior to founding Berrett-Koehler in 1992, Steve served as President and CEO of Jossey-Bass Inc., Publishers. He began his career at Jossey-Bass in 1977 as a promotional copywriter and subsequently served as marketing director, editorial director, and executive vice president.

Certified B Corporation,

Kristin Groos Richmond, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Revolution Foods

Kristin founded Revolution Foods in 2005 to transform the way we feed our students in this country by serving healthy meals and offering nutrition education to low income students. Prior to founding Revolution Foods, she was Vice President of Resources for Indispensable Schools and Educators, where she designed and executed strategy that grew the organization from a small community-based program to a nationally scalable model working with more than 700 teachers and 60 public schools. From 2000 to 2002, Kristin lived in Nairobi and co-founded the Kenya Community Center for Learning (KCCL). She remains a Board member of KCCL, and is a member of the White House Council for Community Solutions.

Certified B Corporation,

Don Shaffer, President and CEO, RSF Social Finance

RSF Social Finance provides capital for non-profit organizations and for-profit enterprises with a social mission. Prior to joining RSF, Don served as Executive Director of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE), developing it into an alliance of over 15,000 independently owned businesses across the U.S. and Canada. He has also served as Interim Executive Director of Investors’ Circle, a network of angel investors, professional venture capitalists, foundations, family offices, and others who invest private capital into companies addressing social and environmental issues. Don currently serves as a Board member of Comet Skateboards, BALLE, and Social Venture Network. He co-chairs the Roots of Change Business Leaders Council, and participates in an advisory capacity with Entrepreneurship@Cornell, B Lab, and Slow Money.

Certified B Corporation,

Vincent Siciliano, President and CEO, New Resource Bank

Vince is president and CEO of New Resource Bank, a mission-oriented bank in San Francisco that works with businesses, nonprofits, and individuals seeking environmental and social as well as financial returns. The bank is dedicated to advancing sustainability with everything it does—lending, operations, and putting deposits to work for good. Vince began his banking career in Bank of America’s International Division, and has previously been the president or CEO of a number of San Diego financial institutions. He serves on the advisory board of the American Sustainable Business Council based in Washington, D.C., and is chairman of the board for the Ken Blanchard Center for Faith Walk Leadership. Vince and the bank are founding members of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values. He is a graduate of Stanford University and earned a master’s degree in environmental planning from the University of California at Berkeley.

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