Director + CEO
PETE KADENS is a serial entrepreneur and dedicated philanthropist. He has started three companies, which have employed thousands of people over the last
14 years, including one of the largest commercial solar companies in the US, SoCore Energy.
Under his leadership, SoCore grew into a company with operations across 17 states and was named one of Chicago's most innovative businesses by Chicago Innovation Awards. In 2013, he sold SoCore Energy to Edison International, a Fortune 500 energy holding company. Pete served as an executive under Edison International until 2015 when he ultimately founded GTI’s businesses outside of Illinois with his partner, Ben Kovler.
GTI is one of the largest cannabis companies in the US with licenses in five highly regulated markets including Illinois, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Maryland. Pete is one of the founding members of the National Association of Cannabis Businesses (NACB) and he is deeply involved in the social justice facets of the cannabis industry. In 2018, Marijuana Business Magazine called Pete “One of 20 People to Watch in the Cannabis Industry in 2018.” Pete has delivered talks all over the US around issues related to reforming the war on drugs and has delivered a TED Talk on this same issue.
Pete believes deeply in, and actively leads, organizations that seek to transform lives and strengthen communities, serving as Chairman of StreetWise (2009 – present), one of the largest homeless aid organizations in the Midwest. He was also a long time board member at The Cara Program, one of the largest non-profit workforce training programs in the Midwest which focuses on preparing individuals on the verge of homelessness for employment.
Pete was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus for Citizenship in 2010 by his alma mater, Bucknell University, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. He was also named 40 under 40 by Crains Chicago Business in 2012. In 2015, Pete was honored with the “Catalyst Award” by StreetWise.
In his abundant spare time, he and wife Amy hang out with their three toddler-aged kids soaking in their every move. You can also find Pete at the gym really early in the morning. Really early.