Keynote and Plenary Speakers

Monday, August 4  CRRA is very pleased to announce that Monday's 2014 CRRA/SWANA conference opening plenary speaker will be Dr. Allen Hershkowitz of the National Resources Defense Council. Dr. Hershkowitz serves as the principal environmental advisor to numerous professional sports leagues, including Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, and the National Hockey League.

To kick-off this celebration of sustainable sports and the amazing venues opening in Santa Clara County in 2014, CRRA is offering tickets to the very first event at the new 49ers Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara on Saturday, August 2 (the day before the conference) at approximately 7:00 pm. This inaugural event is a soccer match between the San Jose Earthquakes and the Seattle Sounders, a long standing and exciting rivalry. Levi’s Stadium is an easy light rail ride away from downtown San Jose and the conference hotel.

Forty full (three day) conference registrants will have an opportunity to purchase two tickets in the CRRA reserved sections of Levi’s Stadium (Sections 124-126) at a reduced cost of $95/pair. If you have registered, please email us promptly at to ensure your eligibility. We will provide the first qualified respondents instructions on how to pay for the tickets on the CRRA website and to provide a mailing address for ticket delivery. Tickets will be mailed in early July, and CRRA will assign the seats within the ticket block. Be a part of history and join us at Levi’s Stadium! We want to thank our sponsor (at the first ever CRRA "Hooligan" level) Evan Edgar & Associates, Inc. for making this opportunity possible.

Dr. Allen Hershkowitz, Natural Resources Defense Council

Dr. Hershkowitz is a Senior Scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council and Distinguished Visiting Scholar in Sustainable Management in the MBA Program of the Presidio Graduate School. Dr. Hershkowitz is a leader in the movement to make environmental responsibility understandable and achievable for every individual and institution. Dr. Hershkowitz joined NRDC's senior staff in 1988, and has been the force behind some of the organization's most effective and visible initiatives. Through the years, he has championed systemic change on critical issues ranging from sustainable development and recycling to forestry, paper industry impacts, mountaintop coal mining, waste incineration, and medical wastes. He is the Director of three of NRDC's influential projects: the Sports Greening Project, the Solid Waste Project and the Paper Industry Project.

Melding ecological expertise with a positive approach, Dr. Hershkowitz directs the greening of American icons including professional sports leagues and major record labels. He is the co-founder and member of the board of the Green Sports Alliance and co-founded and Broadway Green Alliance, where he serves on the Steering Committee. He is also the environmental advisor to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Oscars telecast, and the Recording Academy's GRAMMY Awards. Dr. Hershkowitz was the architect of the greening of the 2007 - 2010 Academy Awards, and the 50th, 51st and 52nd GRAMMY Awards. His leadership in helping Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the U.S. Tennis Association and the National Hockey League go green earned him the U.S. EPA's 2008 Environmental Merit Award. He helped lead the greening of the Warner Music Group and also served on the 2011 NCAA Final Four Sustainability Committee. In 2012 NRDC's Sports Greening Project, which Dr. Hershkowitz directs, won the Beyond Sport "Sport and the Environment Award" at a pre-Olympics event in London.

Tuesday, August 5 Sadhu Aufochs Johnston, Deputy City Manager, City of Vancouver, BC

Sadhu Johnston is the founder and co-chair of the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, an organization of more than 120 North American city sustainability directors that represents over 50 million urban dwellers.  He also currently serves as the chair of the executive committee of STAR Communities, North America's first sustainability framework for local community efforts. 

As Deputy City Manager for Vancouver, BC, Sadhu oversees the environmental, emergency and economic development. Under his leadership, Vancouver won the World Wildlife Fund's (WWF) Green City Challenge Award and was named the world's first Global Earth Hour Capital in 2013. The WWF commended Vancouver's commitment toward climate change, and its holistic and strategic approach to climate action, support for local food, and progressive neighborhood energy plan. Vancouver has reduced green house gas emissions by over 30% since 1990 levels in city operations. Sadhu helped develop and implement Vancouver's Greenest City Action Plan. He is active in C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and participated in the group's summit in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2014. 

Prior to moving to Vancouver, Sadhu served as Mayor Richard M. Daley's Chief Environmental Officer, where he oversaw the City of Chicago’s environmental initiatives. Sadhu served Mayor Daley in the development and implementation of the Chicago Climate Change Action Plan, which Scientific American referred to it as one of the world's most comprehensive municipal climate plans. Under Mayor Daley, Sadhu led the design and implementation of the City's blue cart recycling system to increase recycling. He was integrally involved in the creation and oversight of a green jobs strategy for Chicago, assisting ex-offenders and disadvantaged populations in gaining access to opportunities of residential energy retrofitting, deconstruction, and renewable energy installation. He also led efforts to engage Chicago's businesses and residents in programs such as Earth Hour, Green Hotels, the Green Office Challenge, and Mayor Daley's GreenWorks Awards. Prior to serving in this capacity, Sadhu served as the Commissioner of the City of Chicago's Department of Environment. Before working for the City of Chicago, Sadhu served as the Executive Director of the Cleveland Green Building Coalition.

In 2013, Sadhu Johnston co-authored The Guide to Greening Cities published by Island Press.

This book is unique in that it is written from the perspective of city sustainability leaders and focuses on making green changes from within local governments. The authors provide a behind-the-scenes look at programs and policies that have had the greatest impact on North American cities. The book comprises of case studies featuring urban sustainability projects in several California cities. There is also a companion website,, with videos, case studies, and an excerpt from the book. 

Use code 4CRRA for a 20% discount on the book and free shipping at this website. An e-edition can be purchased from


Nils Moe, Managing Director, Urban Sustainability Director's Network

Nils Moe currently serves as the Managing Director of the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN). In this role, Nils oversees the day-to-day operations of this rapidly evolving North American network of over 120 municipal sustainability directors representing more than 60 million people. USDN fosters collaborating on local innovations for sustainability and supports its members who are on the front lines of addressing the issues surrounding climate change. Previously, Nils was the Mayor's Senior Aide and Sustainability Advisor for the City of Berkeley. In this role, he helped to implement Berkeley's Climate Action Plan and worked with the community to reduce their GHG emissions and become a more resilient city. Nils was one of the founding team members responsible for creating Berkeley's innovative solar financing program, which has since become a national model of renewable energy financing (PACE). For 13 years he worked as a professor of Organizational Psychology at San Francisco State University. Currently, he is the Fred Gellert Family Foundation Faculty member at Presidio Graduate School where he teaches sustainable management in the MPA and MBA residency programs. He has also co–founded two values-driven non–profits – Pinch Me Films and Senior Surf. In the past, he has worked in the private sector as a management consultant, specializing in program evaluation of non-profits and 360–degree feedback for Fortune 100 companies (including The Home Depot, The Federal Reserve Bank and United Airlines).


California USDN member local governments: Alameda County, Berkeley, Los Angeles, Oakland, Palm Springs, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Clara County, Santa Monica

Wednesday, August 6 Dr. Russell Hancock, Joint Venture Silicon Valley

CRRA and SWANA are very pleased to announce the Wednesday, August 6 Plenary Speaker of the 2014 Conference.  Russell Hancock embodies the conference theme of innovation and is a true Silicon Valley original.  Dr. Hancock leads Joint Venture Silicon Valley, where he serves as civic leader, community gatherer, institution builder, social entrepreneur, and outspoken advocate for regionalism. Since taking the helm of Joint Venture, he has quadrupled the size of the organization; assembled an executive board filled with mayors, CEOs, and university presidents; and founded the annual State of the Valley conference, a “town hall” meeting attracting more than 1,500 leaders for a day spent in dialogue and discussion about the Valley’s challenges and opportunities.


Climate Prosperity, a signature Joint Venture initiative asserts that the pressing problem of environmental sustainability and climate change can be solved while at the same time enhancing our quality of life, building new 'green' industries, creating new classes of jobs, and growing the economy. The program’s chartering document, Climate Prosperity: A Greenprint for Silicon Valley, put in place a framework and governing body for related regional initiatives focused on advancing renewable energy, energy efficiency, clean convenient transportation, and sustainable infrastructure.

Educated at Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Russell received a Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University where he currently teaches in the Public Policy Program. Fluent in Japanese, Russell returned to Stanford in 2000 to become the inaugural director of the Shorenstein Forum for Asia-Pacific Studies, Stanford's gathering place for ranking officials, senior executives, journalists, and scholars who shape outcomes in the Pacific Rim. Under Russell’s leadership, the Joint Venture model is now being replicated in various metropolitan regions throughout the United States, Europe and Asia, and Dr. Hancock has most recently advised regional governments in Beijing, London, Madrid, the Netherlands, and Taipei. In 2011 the US Government Accounting Office launched a national indicators project modeled on Joint Venture’s Index, with Russell providing high-level advice.

The Silicon Valley Business Journal perpetually names Russell to its annual list of Silicon Valley’s most influential “players.” Considered one of the Valley's leading expositors, his interviews regularly appear in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Business Week, The Financial Times and Forbes. He is also a frequent guest on NBC Nightly News and is the host of "Inside Silicon Valley," a weekly radio program heard on 1590 KLIV. 

Look for announcements for the remainder of our world class lineup of plenary speakers in the next few days!


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