Pete Kadens currently serves as the chairman of the Kadens Family Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to closing the pervasive wealth and education gaps in the U.S. He retired in August 2018 as CEO of Green Thumb Industries, one of the largest publicly-traded, legal cannabis operators in the U.S. with a current market capitalization of over $3 billion. Prior to Green Thumb Industries, in 2008 Kadens started one of the largest commercial solar companies in the U.S., SoCore Energy. Under his leadership, SoCore expanded operations into 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. Kadens is one of 25 cannabis industry executives serving on the board of directors of the Cannabis Trade Federation, the nation’s leading organization focused solely on federal marijuana policy reform. He was also named one of the 20 People to Watch in the Cannabis Industry in 2018 by Marijuana Business Daily.
Kadens believes deeply in, and actively leads, organizations that seek to transform lives and strengthen communities, serving as chairman of StreetWise (2009–2018), one of the largest homeless aid organizations in Chicago. He currently serves as chairman emeritus at StreetWise and sits on several other boards in the nonprofit and for-profit space. Kadens was awarded the Trailblazer Chicago Award by The Cara Program in 2019, The Catalyst Man of the Year by Streetwise in 2015, the Distinguished Alumnus for Citizenship in 2010 by his college alma mater, Bucknell University, where he earned his bachelor’s of arts in political science, and a Distinguished Alumnus by his high school, Ottawa Hills High School in Toledo, Ohio in 2019. He was also named one of the 40 Under 40 by Crain’s Chicago Business in 2012. Kadens is a 2019 Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute.