Chris Bentley Founder and CEO (Clean Energy Optimist), Good Energy Guide Linkedin

Chris Bentley

Founder and CEO (Clean Energy Optimist), Good Energy Guide

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Chris has a long history of successful entrepreneurship and relationship-building.
He was a founding partner of Aspen Pet Products, which he and his partners built from the ground up to become the world’s largest designer and manufacturer of pet accessories. In his 14-year tenure at Aspen Pet, Chris was known as a keen decision-maker, insightful strategist, and responsive team leader. His strong relationship-building skills and effective negotiating strategies led to highly successful, long-term business lines with retail giants including Walmart, Target, Kroger, Safeway, Walgreens, Costco, Petco, and PetSmart.
Since 1979, Chris has provided specialty sales, marketing, and strategic guidance for a diverse array of companies. Using imaginative methods and innovative marketing models, Chris helped jump-start numerous businesses.

Recently, his lifetime passion for the environment and a startup pet company eager to embrace sustainability led Chris to set out on a journey to ‘green up’ the pet industry. That venture evolved into what is now the Pet industry Sustainability Coalition. The Coalition now has over 150 members and has become a force for guiding an entire industry toward better management of its environmental and social impacts.

Starting his third pet company, Chris launched “I and love and you,” which quickly grew into the hottest, hippest, healthiest, and most humorous and heartfelt brand in the pet industry, with a complete line of natural, USA-made, grain free, food, treats/chews, and supplements. Chris put 4’ sections in Whole Foods Markets, Sprouts, and Natural Grocers thus leading to prime placement in Kroger, Albertson/Safeway, Meijer, Stop ‘N Shop, Costco, and many more leading retailers.  At the time of his career change, Chris has led the company to 50 employees and products in over 5,000 stores.

As founder and CEO of the Five Star Institute, Chris and 10 partners built an innovative international enterprise providing a powerful, collaborative, year-long team process and a proprietary web-based application to help organizations achieve their strategic and financial targets.

Chris was recruited by MWH Global to launch the Strategic Resource Management group to help organizations “Go Beyond Just Green” with a focus on energy, water, emissions and waste. His success in that endeavor led to rapid promotion to VP of Strategy, Sales and Marketing for the entire MWH Business Solutions Group.

Chris is leed-accredited, completed the MBA “Sustainable Business Leadership’ Program at Green Mountain College in Vermont, and attended MBA classes at Pepperdine University; his undergraduate degree is from Michigan State University.

Chris participates in a multitude of environmental activities and organizations. He is also on the board of the University of Colorado School of Business Deming Center for Entrepreneurship, mentors MBA students, lectures classes in sustainability and startups, and judges business plan competitions.

While business and the environment have always been Chris’s passions, his family is his pride and joy. Chris lives in Louisville, Colorado with his teenage daughter, Aspen; one horse, two dogs, two cats, three goldfish, four chickens; and 60,000 bees. The two-legged family members (except the chickens) love snowboarding, biking, camping, rollerblading, sailing, horseback riding, gardening and adventure traveling.