Responding to growing and diverse interest its graduate-level business courses, and following a national search that ended next door in Marin County, Sonoma State University (SSU) has tapped Dominican University “GreenMBA” co-founder John Stayton to head its full suite of full-time, part-time and executive-level business programs.
Stayton is co-founder of the MBA in Sustainable Enterprise (aka the “GreenMBA,” founded in 2000), organizer behind the annual Sustainable Enterprise Conference in Rohnert Park, CA, and director of the Venture Greenhouse, a Dominican-affiliated incubator for businesses with a sustainability focus. Stayton will begin his new role at SSU later this month.
Sustainability-focused MBAs can provide students preparation needed for a high- profile green job or for leadership in careers requiring critical management thinking, though many graduates simply become entrepreneurs, Stayton told Sustainable Industries in 2008. “Dominican has a strong network, and these entrepreneurs come back to hire new graduates from the school as their businesses grow,” he said.
As such, Stayton sees SSU’s diverse and entrepreneurial culture as fertile ground for programs that cater to the next generation of business leaders, he told the North Bay Business Journal. To date, the university’s business school has been largely known for its unique wine-focused curriculum.
“One quality of the School of Business and Economics that I find exciting is that they’re really embodying the business principals they are teaching in how they operate,” Stayton told Business Journal staff reporter Eric Gneckow. “I feel like my position working under leaders who support innovative programs fits well with my own philosophies.”
In 1997, John and his wife Ana purchased a 2.5-acre organic fruit farm near the Sonoma County town of Windsor. Billed as “a living laboratory for sustainable habitation, ecological agriculture, and restorative community,” Golden Nectar Farm was mentioned in a New York Times travel feature in 2008.