Portland native Andy Wolverton enrolled at SPU in 2007 because he was looking for a quality Christian university in a Pacific Northwest urban setting where he could also play soccer. As a sophomore Business major, he enrolled in SPU’s Mentor Program and was connected with an executive at Green Canopy Homes, which at that time was a startup. The mentoring relationship led to an internship in his junior year, which in turn grew to a permanent job after graduation in 2011. He took the job because he believes in the business mission of Green Canopy and because of the collective values the management team brings to work every day.
In fact, Green Canopy Homes has grown to become a leading example of a for-profit social enterprise that resonates with the social venture culture of our School of Business, Government, and Economics. Green Canopy happily accepts the challenge of keeping the original charm and character of a house intact while remodeling it to meet current and future residential lifestyle demands. They do it in a way that improves energy efficiency and reduces environmental impacts. And according to Wolverton, this focus on culture and values is what makes Green Canopy an amazing place to work.
Wolverton cites three big influences in his SPU life that led him to appreciate the role that values play in a company. First, his time on the soccer team taught him that we need to live our values, that success takes hard work and a lot of teamwork. Soccer, particularly in his role as midfielder and team captain, requires the ability to recognize or create an opportunity by attacking the goal from a variety of different perspectives.
Second, these values from the soccer field were reinforced in the classroom. Wolverton especially appreciates professors Denise Daniels, Herb Kierulff, and Randy Franz for challenging him to think about how to engage the right business culture as he now tries to change the world to be more resource-efficient.
And third, the influence of his high school sweetheart, Moriah, helped shape how he thought about the kind of company he wanted to work for, and how his career had to be about more than just a paycheck. The two were married after they both graduated from SPU in 2011, and were blessed by the arrival of their first child (SPU class of ’35?) last October. When baby duties allow, Andy Wolverton is looking forward to joining the SPU Mentor Program as a mentor to coach future graduates on the importance of values in their work.