Becky Holt: Artist, Museum Curator, Student, and Sustainability Advocate
Becky Holt’s work and interests range widely across the fields of sustainability, art, and business. A student in the MBA in Sustainability program at Antioch University New England, she’s been assistant director of the Green Alliance (GA) since February 2012. She is also a sustainability consultant and curator for the Portsmouth Museum of Art (soon to be the New Museum of Art), in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. And she’s an artist.
The alliance’s mission is to help make businesses in the New Hampshire Seacoast region more profitable and to encourage them in sustainable business practices. Becky’s job is to provide its business partners with the tools and support to grow, through the GA promotional model. She is also expanding the organization’s social media presence, internal operations, graphic design department, and, most important to her, external partnerships.
For the Portsmouth Museum of Art, Becky helps bridge sustainability and museum operations. She’s interested in using the language of sustainability in the museum’s branding and in supporting artists who are working with environmental themes.
She herself is just such an artist. As an oil painter, she started out exploring human impact on the environment. Lately, though, she has been enthralled by the landscapes of New Hampshire’s seacoast as subjects for her large-scale works. Her studio is in Portsmouth’s Button Factory, a former button-manufacturing building that has hosted artist and craftsperson studios for more than twenty-five years.
Integrating Sustainability Impressed Her
Becky, who spent most of her childhood in Newburyport, Massachusetts, earned her bachelor’s degree from Alfred University in 2008 and came to AUNE after talking with some former students. She was impressed that the MBA program integrated sustainability in its courses more thoroughly than any other programs she had investigated.
She has been busy at AUNE, including serving as co-chair of AUNE’s Net Impact chapter, where she helped implement the Perpetual Food Pledge and bring an entrepreneur from the sustainability field to campus to speak. [Net Impact] is a fantastic organization that inspires people to use their careers to tackle tough social and environmental issues and works to drive positive change in the workplace, said Becky, who will graduate this spring. She was also the student government representative for AUNE’s Department of Management.
In the future, she wants to continue to help companies integrate transparency and sustainability into their business.
“The GA represents over a hundred businesses, so working for one business in the future certainly sounds appealing,” she said.
Becky’s time in the MBA program has been an important part of that goal. “I think one of the most important things that my MBA has taught me so far is how to take sustainability principles and put them into a language that works universally for businesses that may not understand why they should take the triple bottom line into consideration,” she said. “She’s also connected with people in her field that she might not have met otherwise.”
She appreciates the MBA’s hands-on approach to learning.
“Every program needs a good deal of theory, but for people like myself, who learn by doing, this was the perfect program, and I find that I take a lot of that practical application directly into my work at the GA.”