Board of Directors

Jim Bunch – Chairman

Jim Bunch is an entrepreneur who has both founded and participated in start-ups in technology and personal development. He serves on the Transformational Leadership Council along with leaders in the personal development industry.

He has been called the “ultimate life coach and entrepreneur” with over 13 years of experience in professional speaking and presentations. Jim has worked with Xerox, Pitney Bowes, Frito Lay, Century 21, ReMax, Prudential, and many other companies and individuals to help them realize their potential.

In 1999, while still in college, Jim, along with his business associates and friends, built (now, a virtual tour website. Bamboo was once a tiny start-up and is now a highly successful market leader.

Jim launched two personal and business development companies, The Ultimate Game of Life, an online game-like experience that brings happiness, health, and wealth into people’s lives, and, an online technology resources for entrepreneurs.

When Jim is not out inspiring change, he spends time with his wife and son or plays beach volleyball near his home in Del Mar.


Irene StillingsIrene M.  Stillings – Treasurer

Irene’s responsibilities include formalizing the USGCC’s vision on energy initiatives, interfacing with key influencers, stakeholders and policymakers, as well as leading the business community toward full participation in the green revolution.

“Working with the USGCC is a continuation of my life long passion for protecting the environment,” said Stillings..”I have always believed that doing positive work in the community is good for business. I am pleased to join the team that works with small and large companies, helping them design more sustainable practices.

Irene has over 35 years of energy industry experience ranging from Vice President of Marketing at New York State Electric & Gas Corporation, Vice President of Business Development at ConneXt, Inc. (a software company that supplies the energy industry), as well as Director of Customer Care at Navigate Consulting, Inc.  These experiences served her well as the former executive director of the non-profit California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE),  an organization devoted to creating a sustainable energy future.  Through her leadership, the CCSE became a statewide resource in California for business, municipalities, and residents alike.

She has received numerous awards and accolades from sources such as the National Women’s Hall of Fame, the California State Senate and San Diego County Board of Supervisors. Stillings is currently a board member of the National Marketing Executives Conference, Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), San Diego Regional Sustainable Partnership, the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Policy Committee, and represented CCSE on the Energy Working Group of SANDAG (City of San Diego Sustainable Energy Advisory Board).

Stillings received her bachelor’s degree, Magna cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Rochester and has her master’s degree from Syracuse University.

Connect with Irene M. Stillings on LinkedIn | Email Irene Stillings


Julien Brandt – Secretary

julien-headshot-250Julien Brandt is the founder and CEO of, a Bcorp certified digital marketing agency that is dedicated to helping purpose driven, sustainable and environmentally conscious businesses increase their online exposure via social media and local search optimization. The company was founded in 2009 when Julien decided to combine his interest in online marketing with his passion for environmental awareness. His agency is located on Cedros Avenue in the design district of Solana Beach, CA.

“I feel very blessed to have found a way to incorporate my personal passion into my business and the Green Chamber’s values and goals are closely aligned with my own. Not only do I get to work with like-minded companies and organizations, but I have the satisfaction of being part of an organization that promotes and helps these businesses succeed! To top it all off, I get to help the Green Chamber (and others) become even more green as they shift away from print to online marketing, a more environmentally friendly and sustainable form of marketing.”

In addition to his work at Organik SEO, Julien Brandt also serves on the board of EO Accelerator, a nonprofit business mentoring organization. Julien is also the “San Diego Online Marketing Examiner” for He and his team volunteer their time and make a conscious effort to assist charities and other nonprofits as part of their ongoing commitment to support the community and promote sustainability.


steve-bender-150x150Steve Bender – Director

Steve grew up in an environmental family. Not only was his father winning awards for water conservation in the 60s, but he was also raising organic beef in Kansas well before they called it organic. Steve moved to a house on the Back Bay almost two decades ago and has been involved in many different environmental organizations. Currently, he serves on the Advisory Board at University of California, Irvine for their Sustainability Leadership program and is a founding member and President of the Orange County Green Chamber.

He founded the Green Buyers Broker Organization, which helps homeowners install solar panels and green products for their homes utilizing rebates and incentives from realtors and government organizations. In addition, he sits on the board for Orangewood PALs and the Bacchus Doc in a Box. This group is working with a local high school to design and build a mobile medical center to ship to South Africa in 2011. He is the past president of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and is a volunteer for the American Cancer Society.

Steve joined the NBC Board in 2009 as co-chair of the Donor and Community Relations Committee and chaired the Rebranding Committee in 2010, resulting in a name change to the Newport Bay Conservancy. His priorities for the Bay include education and restoration.


PAST CHAIR – Peter Zahn

Peter Zahn

With a strong belief that climate change and sustainability need business sector support – and present strong business opportunities – Peter Zahn co-founded the U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce and served as its initial Chairman and CEO.  Zahn has worked in numerous business, legal and non-profit capacities, everything from a sole legal practitioner and solo entrepreneur, to an attorney at a 400 lawyer Wall Street firm, CEO of a tech company, and head of a foundation. He was elected to the City Council of Solana Beach, California in November 2012.

Zahn crossed over more firmly into the non-profit arena in January 2013, running the Moxie Foundation in San Diego, California. He spends most of his time promoting entrepreneurship, education reform, social innovation, and environmental sustainability. He has kept a hand in the legal world, advising the Blumberg Law Group, a business transaction and general litigation firm in Solana Beach, California.

Zahn is a member of the Bar of California, New York, and New Jersey.


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