A Change-creating Career

10.16.2012 | Energy and Environment, Campus and Community, Culture and Society

A University of Dayton alumnus, who has pursued doing good for people and for the Earth through his business career, will keynote the ninth annual Business as a Calling Symposium at the University of Dayton.

Bill Klyn, international business development manager for Patagonia, will speak at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, in the Kennedy Union Ballroom, on how he has been able to live out his passion for conservation and the outdoors through his work with the global high-tech outdoor clothing and equipment company. The talk is free and open to the public.

Klyn said when he graduated in 1973 with a sociology degree he "never cared much about business" but found that "if you make a good product and do the right thing both from an ethical and conservation point of view, you can have an impact on the consumer, businesses and even on state and local government to create change. I never would have believed that years ago."

"The whole philosophy of business has changed, especially in the past decade. Businesses are realizing they can take what they believe and what they've learned to successfully change how they operate. With consumers demanding more from businesses to be more ethical and more green, they are helping to drive the change to business. It is great to see business and consumers converting their beliefs into everyday life," he said.

Klyn said he will talk about his journey from the University of Dayton, where his values and ethics were instilled, to Patagonia, a privately held company with annual revenue of more than $520 million.

Klyn said Patagonia's mission statement embodies how values and beliefs can shape the work of a company and its employees: "Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis."

His work with Patagonia has given him the ability to focus on conservation efforts primarily in land and water issues that affect outdoor recreation, especially fly fishing. He's taken an active role in lobbying on public land use questions to help preserve natural resources for future generations. 

"I want students to realize that that there are things that can be done out there in the world of business that go beyond making money. Using your ethical and leadership skills learned at UD and in life, you can have a profound impact to achieve those things you really care about," he said. 

Paul Bobrowski, dean of the University's School of Business Administration, said he expects students will be inspired by Klyn and his career.

"Our Center for the Integration of Faith and Work has a unique mission. It helps business students find the deeper meaning in their life's work and provides them the tools to live out a commitment to their values in the spirit of the University's Catholic, Marianist heritage," Bobrowski said. "I know they will be inspired by Bill Klyn and how he is able to live out his passion for conservation and the outdoors through his work."
For more information, contact Cilla Shindell, director of media relations, at 937-229-3257 or shindell@udayton.edu.