"I want to be able to help people understand that we’ve been harming our environment for too long and that we can harness what Mother Nature has to offer as a means of powering our world."
What’s your story?
A quick glance at my resume you’d see my engineering degree and current role as a Sales Engineer, but there’s more to me than engineering and business. My upbringing quickly shaped me to love the environment. I grew up on a lake in the mountains surrounded by nature and read and studied enough to see that the world around us environmentally speaking could be considered at a turning point. Not just from air pollution, but things like ocean management (over fishing, plastic waste, killing reefs), deforestation, and overall unsustainable practices. Ultimately, caring about those topics has definitely shaped me into the person I am today and wanting to be a part of the solution.
How do you want to leave your impact on the world?
I grew up in the Coal Region of Pennsylvania where you could literally find coal in your backyard. There are signs that read “Coal Keeps the Lights On” in almost every town. My playground was exploring abandoned stripping pits or riding dirtbikes through the miles of coal silt…heck my parents’ house is heated by coal. To say the least, until a 9th grade environment and ecology class, I thought coal was the only thing out there to provide energy. However, that class quickly taught me just how much it was harming our environment and opened my world up to renewable energy and sustainability. It was from then on that it pushed me to study renewable energy/sustainability. Today, the area I grew up in has welcomed a large solar farm as well as wind farm which is AMAZING, however my thousands of places across the globe haven’t seen the benefits of renewable energy. This is what I want to change. I want to be able to help people understand that we’ve been harming our environment for too long and that we can harness what Mother Nature has to offer as a means of powering our world.
Why do you believe that you are the next-generation pioneer of your industry?
I believe I’m the next generation pioneer of my industry because I have the drive, determination, and leadership to make changes. Through my experience with schooling, work, and GREEN I’ve learned valuable lessons and the knowledge that we need to take steps in a sustainable direction to make sure that we keep the world as we know it is better for generations to come. It only takes one person with an idea to change the world and I believe I can be that person.
Describe your dream job
Ultimately I’d want to merge my passions of traveling and renewable energy with my backgrounds in engineering and business into one big role. I’d like to travel to places that may be utilizing sustainable practices and renewable energy better than another and spread that knowledge. Whether it’s helping a community get clean energy or learning best practices in a country and using that to help another. If that doesn’t work out I’d love to build and design snowboards and surfboards using recycled items like plastic or upcycled wood. Doing something like that which not only provides fun but also helps the environment would be AWESOME!
Tell us about your leadership experiences.
Through college I had many leadership positions with project teams as well as serving as team leads for NECA and Engineering clubs. In my current role, I am the lead business consultant for my area in building automation. This means I am the point person in my office to head energy management projects. I also lead construction projects from initial engineer specifications to the estimating and finally acting in a supervisory role alongside my project manager to oversee the whole construction portion of a job.
How has GREEN play a role in shaping your professional endeavors?
GREEN has 100% shaped my professional endeavors. From the beginning I knew I wanted to work with renewable energy and sustainably and being given the chance to participate in GREEN opened so many doors when it not only came time to find a job but in my everyday work. I didn’t have an interview that didn’t touch on my GREEN experience and all of those experiences gave me the ability to break away from the norms, be more outgoing, and strive for what I want. I always keep in the back of my mind every day at work the knowledge I learned through GREEN and I try to spread that daily.
What topic(s) related to sustainable development are you most passionate about?
There are so many aspects of sustainable development out there, but for me I’m most passionate about sustainable energy as well as the environment. Countries around the world are taking strides to deplete their dependence on fossil fuels, but until the whole world recognizes the detrimental impacts we have an uphill battle to fight. This coincides with the environmental aspects. We as a collective are continuing to destroy our forests, whether for lumber or urban development as well as let our oceans fall by the wayside via overfishing and pollution. I believe our generation is the one to make the changes. We are the generation that is seeing these problems face to face because we will be seeing the affects years to come. The generations before did not have as much of a concern toward these topics as we do. More and more universities, business, and cities are realizing what we are doing to our planet and taking those steps to combat it. We’re generation of forward thinking individuals who are already making our voices heard. Through more education and continuing to voice our concerns I believe our generation will make changes.
What is your best piece of advice that you would give to a student interested in sustainable development?
I would say chase your dreams and no idea can be too big. Sustainable development thrives on forward thinkers, so if you have an idea pursue it no matter what anyone says!
How are you leveraging your experience on The GREEN Program?
The GREEN Program really helping me push my boundaries while giving me a wealth of knowledge in my field. I use the confidence I found in Costa Rica to help me push along in my career/daily life and become more motivated every single day. I’m also constantly spreading the knowledge that I gained to people around me…even if it involves bragging to them about how awesome it was!