As the president of the Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST), with the mission of land conservation and protection, Walter Moore shared with me his wise words about his goals, experience as president, and advice for everyone entering the job market.
Q: What drew you to POST?
A: I knew that I had to find something that would sustain me for a lifetime, and I knew that wouldn’t be at a law firm. My passion was land conservation, as I had already volunteered for POST. I reached out to a staff person at the time, and luckily they were looking for General Counsel. It worked out that this was already something I was passionate about.
Q: What have been the highlights of being the President at POST?
A: The results are so concrete; I can see the results immediately. For example, we either buy and restore the property or we don’t. Being able to show people the land we’ve conserved and hike on these lands with them brings many joyful benefits. The people I work with are also a huge benefit, as we are a group of people who are working towards a mission we believe in, and we have a strong value set.
Q: Walk me through a typical day at work.
A: It’s a mixture of meetings with all the key players I work with, including staff, the executive team, donors, the board, and partners. I stay up to date on what’s going on, by connecting from one meeting to the next. Before COVID-19, almost every day, I had working lunches to meet with supporters. A working lunch gives extra time to connect with somebody.
Q: What’s your favorite part of working at POST?
A: The integrity of the organization that we built over time. It’s known for a successful track record over decades. I’m very proud of the people I work with.
Q: What do you hope to leave as your legacy at POST?
A: I hope to leave a very strong organization that has flexibility to decide where it wants to go next. A successful organization that’s needed for that time, changes with the time. You have to push yourself to evolve and change. It’s good to have new blood and I want to leave a strong foundation for whoever takes over.
Q: How does POST benefit our community?
A: POST provides essential benefits for our community. These include recreation, the mental health benefits of being outside, flood protection, locally grown foods, the beauty of the setting and protecting that beauty, and some protection against climate change.
Q: What have been your goals while working at POST?
A: I wanted to evolve the organization as we doubled in size. The only way to do that was to distribute decision making to more people, delegating more to the executive team, meaning more can get done.
Q: What advice do you have for people entering the workforce in today’s society, especially given COVID-19?
A: It’s a tough time in the economy, so stay open to any opportunities that provide experience. You have a long career ahead of you; it’s more important to get some experience even if it’s not your ideal job. During this time, you can also gain knowledge through online school or grad school. Getting an advanced degree is a good use of this time, if you know what you want to go into.
Q: How has COVID-19 affected work at POST, and the work POST does?
A: Luckily, we were already adapting to accommodate a remote workplace. The cost of living in Palo Alto is very hard; it’s better to be remote to retain people who work at POST. After this, there will naturally be lots of changes to the work environment. For example, there will be separate seating spaces, and we will also accommodate for people to work remotely still.
Q: If you could sum up your experience at POST in one word, what would it be?