A Passion for Sustainability and Finance

When Joel Moyer, MBA ’11 arrived at Antioch University New England (AUNE), he was looking for something different from his background in sports management. “I wanted to leave here with not just an education but with tangible skills that I could take to the job market.”

Not just any experience would do. “I wanted experience in socially, mission-driven enterprises,” said Joel, a 2011 graduate with an MBA in Sustainability. To get it, he was involved with the Net Impact chapter; interned with The Carrot Project, researching indicators of farm sustainability; and worked on the Tuttle Farm project, helping to develop a food hub. He was a fellow with Investors’ Circle, evaluating business-plan proposals for Investors’ Circles’ spring venture fair. He was a student government representative for the Department of Organization and Management and chair of student government. For nearly three years, he has been on the board of directors of the Sustainability Project, which runs the Emerson Brook Forest Center in Gilsum, New Hampshire.

Financing a sustainable world

One thing he discovered is that he is passionate about the finances of sustainability. “The end goal is to develop a sustainable world, but we need to finance those enterprises within the world we have,” he said. He’s learning more about the field of sustainable finance this summer as a social finance fellow with RSF Social Finance, an organization that helps initiatives in the areas of food and agriculture, education and the arts, and ecological stewardship.

Meanwhile, he’s launched a new consultancy business, Winding Trail Consulting, with three other AUNE graduates: David Boynton, Sarah Sullivan and Jessica Skinner. The goal of their business is to help communities build sustainability through local businesses by writing sustainable business plans and securing local investment.

A start in sports

Like many students, Joel followed a meandering path on his way to AUNE. He grew up on Long Island and studied sports management with a business minor at James Madison University in Virginia. But an internship with the Brooklyn Cyclones minor league baseball team convinced him he didn’t want to go into sports.

He also studied in Florence, Italy, where, he said “I saw a different side of me and of the world.” Then he spent three years on the ski patrol in Park City, Utah. After his girlfriend applied to the PsyD program at AUNE, Joel followed her to Keene.

Engaging personal values

“Sustainability has always been an important part of me, and I had heard a lot about the O&M program,” he said. He applied and was accepted. “It was kind of what I was looking for but I didn’t know it. It met my personal values and allowed me to develop a career through what I felt personally.

“It’s opened my eyes to the possibility that there’s a way to use money, to use business, in a positive way and to change the impact on our environment and society,” he said. “AUNE has given me the tools to work with and to connect with people, to effectively develop initiatives and relationships and to create change.
“Being able to bring personal values to a career is something the program has given me,” he said. “To open my eyes to the fact that I can do it in business is pretty cool.”

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