Conference aims to help businesses, entrepreneurs network and innovate

Published on Wed, Mar 13, 2013
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Sustainable Connections has announced that the 9th annual Future of Business Conference, Inspiration & Innovation will be held April 25-26 in Bellingham. The conference features an opening reception, the best of the Pacific Northwest’s innovative business owners, change-mtakers and environmental leaders, and tremendous networking opportunities.

The conference kicks off Thursday, April 25 with an evening Localicious reception, a mingling and tasting event featuring local food and beverage businesses, including Good To Go Meat Pies, Dashi Noodle Bar, Acme Farms and Kitchen, Kulshan Brewery, Evolve Truffles and many more at the Depot Market Square in downtown Bellingham.

The conference will continue Friday, April 26 at 8:30 a.m. at the Leopold with a line-up of speakers, breakout sessions, lunch and networking opportunities. Workshop breakout sessions will be held at various locations within the downtown business district throughout the day, including the  Upfront Theater and Backcountry Essentials.

“This conference is a value-packed evening and day connecting with fellow entrepreneurs and business leaders exploring the latest and most innovative approaches and practices for a lean and thriving business,” said Erin McCain-Anderson, Sustainable Connections’ events coordinator. “Join us for inspiration and hands on tools for a thriving business at the best business conference in northwest Washington.”

The keynote speaker will be A-P Hurd, the vice president of Touchstone Corporation and the author of The Carbon Efficient City. Hurd has worked extensively on environmental policy at the local and state level and has a particular interest in the structure of incentives­— how local/regional/national frameworks quantify and allocate costs and how better frameworks can encourage investment and innovation.

As the demands for economic, social and environmental responsibility are increasing daily, the Future of Business Conference gives local businesses access to experts and the tools they need to meet the challenges of today’s economy and bring their businesses to the next level. 

The Future of Business is the premier annual forum for local organizations to share best practices that benefit the greater community, the environment and the bottom line.

Additional conference speakers include Scott Jenkins, vice president operations of Seattle Mariners/Safeco Field, talking about how their recycling and energy efficiency efforts have increased recycling by 70 percent and saved them over $1 million. Bill Taylor, owner of Taylor Shellfish Farms is a fourth generation shellfish farmer who will speak to being a locally owned company in an international business, and his keys to success.

“I’m always surprised at the tools I walk out with, ideas I didn’t expect, conversations I didn’t expect, that open doors and understanding of better ways to move forward today, and tomorrow,” Rodd Pemble, recycling manager at Sanitary Service Company said of the conference.

Registration includes admission to Thursday’s opening reception, full Friday conference, lunch and networking time with local business owners in Whatcom County. 

Sponsorship opportunities are also available. Businesses that are signed up for 100 percent green power can also save $25 on registration. Contact for details.

For a current list of speakers and workshop topics, visit the FOB Conference website at