Pete Kadens the founder and chairman of Azenity, and the chief evangelist of our mission to ignite well-being for our communities and pathways out of poverty for our underserved.
Pete is a serial entrepreneur and dedicated philanthropist and he currently serves as the chairman of The Kadens Family Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to closing the pervasive wealth and education gaps in the US.
Pete retired in August 2018 as co-founder and CEO of Green Thumb Industries, one of the largest publicly-traded, legal cannabis operators in the US with a current market capitalization of over $2 billion. Prior to Green Thumb Industries, in 2008 Pete started one of the largest commercial solar companies in the US, 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. Pete has employed over 4,000 people over his 16-year career as a CEO.
Pete 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. Pete currently serves as chairman emeritus at StreetWise and sits on several other boards in the nonprofit and for-profit space. In 2019 Pete founded HOPE (Helping Our Population Educate) in his hometown of Toledo, Ohio to ensure that all Toledo Public School children could go to post-secondary school for free.
His effort to fund a senior class, and their parents, at the historically most under resourced school in Toledo was recently a focus of a CBS National News story viewed by over 11,000,000 people around the world:FreeTuitionStory.
Pete 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 of arts in political science. He was also named one of the 40 Under 40 by Crain’s Chicago
Business in 2012 and named to the Hall of Fame at his high school, Ottawa Hills High School in Toledo, Ohio. Pete was named one of the 20 People to Watch in the Cannabis Industry in 2018 by Marijuana Business Daily.
Pete is a 2019 Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute, a fellowship that accepts roughly 20 individuals from around the world each year who have been identified as individuals who have the capacity to create ventures that solve one of society’s intractable problems.
Pete is married to Amy Robbins Kadens. Together they have three amazing kids who are being groomed to have a strong sense of empathy and a strong will to help others who are less fortunate.