August’s Rockstar is someone that we are proud of having as a colleague. Please meet Conrick Gallagher! He’s lived and traveled the globe bringing a wholesome perspective to each person he meets. With his passion, professionalism, and strong work ethic, Conrick is driving growth by building, maintaining and managing our global partner channel.
Q: Conrick, tell us a little about your life before Okeanos.
A: I spent my first semester of college living and learning on Semester at Sea, a university program based on a large ship. Traveling to 11 different countries, I learned valuable lessons about interpersonal and inter-country relations. At the University of Miami, I pursued a career in Sports Business. I had a fantastic four years studying and working in sports, yet I realized I wasn’t satisfied. As far back as I can remember, I’ve always been interested in finding ways to protect the environment. I expressed my interests in sustainability to the Dean at UM, and to my surprise, he offered me the opportunity to be a member of the inaugural class of the new Masters in Sustainable Business program. I dove right in! I am truly grateful for that five-minute conversation, because it helped put me on a path toward making meaningful change in the environment, and led me directly to Okeanos too!
Q: What countries have you lived in? Have you noticed a large difference in pollution initiatives in these different countries?
A: I am extremely fortunate for the time I spent living outside of the United States during middle and high school. My family lived in Sao Paulo, Rome, and London over a six-year period. We also had the opportunity to travel extensively. This experience opened my eyes to the ways in which citizens of other countries live. We have become so accustomed to being a ‘throwaway society’. Pollution is everywhere – especially in coastal environments. Some of the countries in Northern Europe do a better job in tackling this problem, but generally we all need to do more.
Q: What motivates you each day with the work you do?
A: I have always wanted a career that allowed me to impact the lives of others. Fresh off a Master’s degree in Sustainable Business, I could not ask for a better opportunity than the one I’ve been given at Okeanos. I walk into work every single day knowing that what I am doing has a greater purpose. We all have a responsibility and the ability to leave Earth better than the way we found it. Okeanos is giving me the opportunity to do so every day.
Q: How does having a global perspective help with your role working with the joint ventures?
A: Understanding cultural norms and differences is important in any business that operates globally. Living abroad and attending international schools provided me with a unique perspective and the knowledge that there are multiple ways of solving a problem. From Brazil to Bangladesh and from Spain to Saudi Arabia, I speak to people all around the globe on a daily basis. In these conversations, it’s essential that we have an understanding of the other person’s perspective and their country’s societal norms. I love this challenge, and I look forward to continuing to learn and grow with the company.
Q: What excites you the most about being a Coral Crew member and what are your main goals?
A: My role as the Partnership Development Manager allows me to create and maintain relationships with companies around the world. The Coral Crew offers something a bit different. As a member, I am able to mobilize my network, and be an ambassador for change on behalf of Okeanos and the environment. The Coral Crew gives me the opportunity to educate my “crew” about the fact that it’s easier than they probably think to make sustainable choices. Having a platform to express my opinion and educate others on sustainable practices is very important to me. If I can make a difference in at least one person’s life, I get a little closer to my goal of making the environment around us a cleaner, safer, and healthier place to leave behind.
Q: What is your favorite ocean activity?
A: Through all the travel in my life the one place that has remained a constant for me was my home in San Clemente, California. I grew up 15 steps from one of my favorite things in the world, the ocean. Naturally this allowed me to take up a few ocean activities including body surfing, swimming, diving and paddle boarding, with the occasional surf session thrown in. Oh, and fun fact: I got my Padi Diving license in Zanzibar, Tanzania.
Q: Based on what you’ve learned here at Okeanos, what is your advice to those looking to lead more sustainable lives?
A: Before discovering Okeanos, it didn’t even occur to me that calcium carbonate could be the solution in our fight against plastic pollution. As someone who studied sustainability in school, I’ve learned that there are a lot of alternatives out there. The majority of these alternatives are either too expensive or sacrifice performance. Made From Stone technology defies sustainable product stereotypes. Okeanos has been innovative in finding ways to reduce plastic at the source, in a way that takes the burden off of the consumer. Okeanos has taught me that creativity and stepping outside of our comfort zone plays a big part in leading a sustainable life. So, for those of you reading, I challenge you to be creative. Start with one choice a day to benefit the environment around you.
Q: What quote or words do you live by?
A: “Knowing where you came from is no less important than knowing where you are going.” This quote by Neil deGrasse Tyson comes from his book, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry. This can of course, be interpreted in many ways, but to me it is simple. You cannot control or change the past but can change the trajectory of your future. So yes, your past is important, it’s what made you who you are today, but what’s more significant is what you will make tomorrow.