What are some highlights from your Professional Career?
Circuitous would be the best word to describe my professional career. I tell young people all the time to focus on what they are interested in and their career will create itself. After graduating Rutgers with degrees in journalism and communication, and immersed in several internships at NYC based television studios, I opted to switch paths and take advantage of new opportunities. I joined an investment firm and earned my Series 7 license, becoming a certified financial planner. Having acquired a comprehensive understanding of economics and finance, I moved onto entrepreneurship and became president of a start-up publishing company that produced Unofficial College Guides. During these two jobs I saw first-hand that every business decision has a rippling impact on people and the planet. Wanting to share this knowledge, I moved into education and imparted the tenets of sustainability and stewardship to my students and colleagues for more than 20 years. And as president of a statewide environmental nonprofit, my commitment to community building and issues of justice continue to have an impact.
Why build an organization that focuses on social impact entrepreneurship?
Knowing that the health of our planet and its inhabitants is dependent upon organizational change, I founded The Ripple Center. An educational ecosystem for molding social entrepreneurs who will disrupt existing systems and become changemakers for good could not be a more exciting endeavor for me. Entrepreneurship, education, environment, and ethics have always been at the center of who I am as a professional and as a human. And those values are the basis for building a community that can implement large scale change via the organizations that they create or influence from the inside. I truly believe that we are the creators of the world that we live in. I want to do my part to create a world that will be better for us all to live.
I am a movie fanatic. This is one of the hardest questions to answer. The Goonies, It’s A Wonderful Life, Ray, Brewster’s Millions, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, My Octopus Teacher, Amazing Grace and Chuck… the list goes on. However, one that I watched dozens of times when I was young and that had a big impact on me was a movie called Kidco. It was about a bunch of siblings that were young entrepreneurs who took on the forces that wanted to put them out of business.
Favorite sports team?
Without a doubt the New York Mets. Despite them not winning a World Series since I was in 6th grade, this has always been my team. And being a Mets fan teaches you patience, loyalty, perseverance, and how to handle disappointment. But being a Mets fan has taught me how to embrace hope. The Mets organization was also the first job I interviewed for right out of college. Needless to say, I was not quite qualified for the position.
What is your favorite TV show?
Reading and collecting quotes. I’ve been doing this since I was in middle school. Exploring the words and wisdoms of individuals who have walked on this planet provides for so many sources of inspiration. I’ve come to recognize that although the sources of these thoughts have such diverse global demographic backgrounds, the topics and ideas are universal and link us all together as social and emotional beings.