Tom Eggert is one of those individuals who's zest for life and blazing optimism infects those around him (like me) with a deep sense of hope. As George Bernard Shaw once wrote he "dreams dreams of things that never were, and asks why not?" His career has been one filled with some pretty major twists and turns, but in looking back, it always seemed like each step was the perfect preparation for the next one. He has been a proverbial Pooh Bear that has allowed the river to take him where it will. Now in retirement, he gives me the impression of a kid in a candy store that's been presented with so many great options, that it's really hard to make just one selection.
Tom has been at the forefront of business and sustainability for the last twenty-five years, both teaching classes in sustainability at the University of Wisconsin and founding and serving as the Executive Director of the WI Sustainable Business Council. Tom taught the first classes on campus in sustainability and later was a co-developer of the graduate certificate in Business, Environment and Social Responsibility (BESR) at the WI School of Business. He has written and spoken extensively on the changing role of business in society, corporate social responsibility, socially responsible investing, divestment, and on how the private sector can lead in responding to generational challenges such as climate change. Growing out of his interest in sustainability, Tom founded the non-profit “Wisconsin Microfinance”. Wisconsin Microfinance’s programs provide people living in areas where access to capital is severely limited ACCESS to financial and support services needed to lift their families out of poverty.