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MARCH 25, 2011 • ISSUE 118

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Adam Hammes, MUM MBA graduate

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Urban Ambassadors’ board of directors meeting

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Adam on a tour of Lone Tree Garden, a privately owned community garden where he is a member

Adam Hammes — Managing
Corporate Sustainability

Adam Hammes is a 2006 graduate of MUM’s MBA program who works as manager of sustainability for Kum & Go, L.C., a midwestern convenience store chain headquartered in West Des Moines, Iowa.

Adam grew up on a farm in Richland, Iowa, fifteen miles from Fairfield. He received a BA in human services and minors in business and environmental studies from the University of Northern Iowa.

Adam chose MUM’s MBA program because of the University’s strong focus on sustainability and the integration of the Transcendental Meditation® technique into the curriculum. While studying at MUM, he co-created and co-taught with Professor David Fisher the Leadership and Team Building course for students in the Sustainable Living Department. Students studied group dynamics and leadership, participated in hands-on exercises, and planned the University’s 2006 Eco-Fair.

“Adam walked his talk,” said Professor Fisher, “setting a good example as he led the students through a number of leadership exercises so they could see firsthand how the methods they use can produce immediate results. He knew his craft, and he taught it well.”

Adam also managed MUM’s rock climbing wall with Department of Exercise and Sport Science chair Ken Daley, led outdoor recreation trips for students around the state, and volunteered with Professor Lonnie Gamble at Surya Nagar Farms and Abundance Ecovillage.

“The full-time MBA program was fantastic because it helped me focus and go deeper into each subject,” said Adam. “The professors were aligned with my personal passion of doing business in a socially and environmentally responsible way.”

After graduating from MUM, Adam worked with Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment in California, teaching students how to implement sustainability principles in their own communities. He realized that it was just as important to educate parents, so he returned to Iowa in 2008 and founded Urban Ambassadors, a non-profit organization dedicated to environmental education in the greater Des Moines area. The organization maps local resources and designs projects targeting young professionals to raise awareness of sustainability.

At Kum & Go, Adam facilitates the company’s corporate sustainability strategy with the senior staff, including definition, long-term vision, and annual goals. He also works on projects such as LEED certification for new buildings and LED light retrofitting on existing buildings. In addition, Adam is involved with the company’s pilot programs for customer recycling and electric vehicle charging stations.

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