• B.A. Colgate University 1990
  • M.B.A. Olin Graduate School of Business, 1997

Before COA

Prior to joining College of the Atlantic, Jay was the chief operating officer for O’Naturals, Inc., a natural and organic fast-food restaurant group. O’Naturals was founded by Gary Hirshberg, the CEO of Stonyfield Farm, and board members included Peter Roy, a former President of Whole Foods Market.

O’Naturals received numerous awards for sustainable business and was recognized for its innovative approach by international media and industry leaders. Jay was instrumental in all elements of the start-up, including fundraising, concept development, daily operations and expansion strategy. Under his leadership, O’Naturals developed a franchising relationship with the $19.5 billion Compass Group.

In addition to his start-up experience, Jay has worked with senior executives of Fortune 500 companies. As a strategy consultant he developed and implemented global brand experiences and customer-centered growth strategies for clients including Citigroup and other industry leaders.

Scholarly and Creative Interests

As the inaugural Chair of the Sustainable Business program, Jay founded the program and developed a sustainable business curriculum focusing on how building social, economic and environmental capital sparks innovation and creates competitive advantage.

In addition Jay created the Hatchery, a sustainable enterprise incubator fostering growth of traditional and social ventures for academic credit.

This unique academic program has attracted the attention of over 30 national publications including The New York Times, Fast Company and The Chronicle of Higher Education. Ashoka, an international leader in social entrepreneurship, selected College of the Atlantic as one of five U.S. Changemaker Campuses in 2009.

In addition, the program has attracted significant funding from organizations such as the National Science Foundation, Department of Agriculture, private foundations and individuals.

More About Me

Jay has been a Babson College Senior Fellow in Social Innovation and a Fulbright Scholar. He lectures globally on sustainable innovation, social entrepreneurship and using the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to catalyze innovation.

In 2023, he launched Profit Decoder to build the local economy and help small businesses get a grip on their profitability in minutes.

Jay has a wide range of work and life experiences. He has served in the Peace Corps in Mauritania; written an ecotourism business plan for a college in Costa Rica; broke fundraising records for Rails-to-Trails Conservancy; counseled Native American students; and taught environmental education.

Jay is an outdoor enthusiast and has spent time living and traveling throughout North America as well as Africa, South and Central America, and Europe. 

Honors and Awards

Jay’s honors include: recognition as one of “50 Mainer’s Charting the State’s Future”; being named as a senior fellow in social innovation and serving as an adjunct lecturer in entrepreneurship at Babson College; serving on the advisory board for the Maine Center for Graduate Professional Studies; being selected for the Electricité de France  Sustainable Design Challenge for projects in sustainable energy and business; serving as a board member for Maine Businesses for Sustainability and the Maine Tourism Association; designing and delivering the Fair Food Fund Business Boot Camp.


Dozens of publications, private foundations and federal grantors have recognized Jay’s work including:

Significant articles:

  • A College in Maine that Tackles Climate Change, One Class at a Time - The New York Times. Front-page business section. July 1, 2015.
  • Start-Ups Rise to Close a Gap for Farmers - The New York Times. Front-page business section. December 30, 2014.
  • From Maine to Denmark Islanders (Including Students) Seek Sustainable Solutions - The New York Times. DOT Earth blog. December 19, 2014.
  • A Completely Green Powered Island Gives Mainers Ideas - Portland Press Herald. November 2, 2014.
  • Samsø: World’s Most Inspiring Renewable Energy-Powered Island - EcoWatch. October 23, 2014.
  • Students Study Renewable Energy on Samsø - EcoWatch. September 24, 2014.
  • Twenty20 - Featured as part of a special trends report for Drug Store News. August 25, 2014.
  • The 7 Traits of Good Entrepreneurs - Entrepreneur. January 10, 2014.
  • Leaders in the Clean-Tech Economy - Chief Executive Magazine. October 7, 2013.
  • Want a More Fulfilling Job, Lean Out - Money. July 8, 2013.
  • Top Trends in Higher Education: Krampetz and Kim in Conversation - Forbes. April 2, 2013.
  • A Tiny College Nurtures Big Ideas - The Chronicle of Higher Education. Front-page. October 29, 2012.
  • The Changing Path to Entrepreneurship: A Look at Alternatives to Business School - Entrepreneur. August 14, 2012.
  • Winding Up for a Sustainable Economy - National Association of College and University Business Officers. November 2009.
  • Schools Expand Green Courses and Majors - Newsweek. August 11, 2009.  

Articles and Talks by Jay:

  • The Sustainable Tactics You Don’t Know, But Should - MITSloan Management Review
  • How to Unleash Sustainable Innovation that Matters - Forbes
  • Five Steps to Strategic Sustainability and Abundance - MITSloan Management Review
  • Three Ways to Change the World - Virgin
  • Strategic Sustainability: 5 Steps to Create Abundance - Triple Pundit and International Council of Small Business. 
  • Strategic Sustainability: Creating Abundance - American Management Association. 
  • Strategic Sustainability: Introducing the Value Web - Triple Pundit
  • Pro/Con: Friedlander on Green Selling - SAGE Business Researcher. Sustainability Research Report.
  • Innovation Nation? The U.S. needs to embrace sustainability or get comfy in the dust. Mainebiz.


Jay has given presentations on sustainable business and social innovation to academic, business and community groups in the United States, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

Presentations of note:

  • Ceremonial Speaker, Using Values to Create Value, Yale School of Management and Goldman Sachs Foundation Partnership on Non-profit Ventures. 
  • TEDx Dirigo – Mavericks and Misfits. Creating Abundance
  • Keynote speaker, Creating Abundance at the 2014 Asian Conference on Sustainability, Energy and the Environment. Osaka, Japan. 
  • Conference presentation at the 2014 Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations. Movements in Energy and Environment that Aim to Increase Quality of Life. Tokyo, Japan. 
  • Featured speaker, Sustainable Enterprise: Unlocking Innovation and Preparing for the Next Economic Wave to the 2013 European Conference on Sustainability, Energy and the Environment. Brighton, United Kingdom.
  • Featured workshop Maine Startup and Create Week on The Abundance Cycle: helping sustainability reign supreme through an innovative and holistic framework. Portland, Maine. 
  • Plenary, Lessons and Models from Samsø at Forum 2100: Innovation in Business and Energy at EPFL University. Lausanne, Switzerland. 
  • Workshop, Envisioning the University of the Future at Brown University. 
  • Workshop, Social Innovations for the Future: The Ashoka Census and the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship at the United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship Conference. 
  • Featured presentation, New Social Business Frameworks at Brown University AshokaU Exchange. 
  • Selected presentation, Moving from Theory to Action: A Model for Higher Education for the 19th Society for Human Ecology Conference in Canberra, Australia 
  • Keynote speaker for New Hampshire Businesses for Socially Responsibility Spring Conference, Unlocking Innovation. Concord, New Hampshire. May 2013.
  • Led workshop Sustainable Entrepreneurship, Unlocking Innovation at the International Council of Small Business. Wellington, New Zealand. 
  • Organizer and presenter for the Babson College Social Entrepreneurship Conference, Catalyzing Change: Teaching and Learning in an Unpredictable World.
  • i4 Innovation Community of the BNY Mellon Strategic Growth Initiatives to identify new innovations to improve the social good. 
  • Featured speaker at the QSR Magazine Executive Conference, Creating a Green Restaurant