2016 Speed Networking VIP Series: Q&A with John Clarkeson, Director of Contracts and Procurement, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation

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John began his career at the Massachusetts Watershed Initiative and led the development of innovative programs such as the Volunteer Monitoring Network, Drinking Water Supply Protection program and the Dam and Seawall Repair and Removal Fund.  A member of the policy staff at the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) MA, he also contributed to the Massachusetts Climate Change Adaptation Report. Currently, John is the director of Contracts and Procurement for the Department of Conservation and Recreation where he oversees the solicitation and execution of over $135 million in contracted construction as well as goods and services for the agency.

He is also one of the VIP speakers at Net Impact Boston’s 9th Annual Speed Networking Event, and we asked him a few questions before the event:

Could you tell us about a time you took a chance and it paid off?

I sold my business and decided to go to work for the Commonwealth.  I have always been guided by a general principle that my life should be divided into three elements: a third to learn, a third to earn, and a third to serve.  Selling the business gave me an  opportunity to combine the business skills I’d learned with a desire to serve through public service.  It turns out the education continued as well.

Why is it important for people in the impact field to network?

Networking is important in any field, and it should not be used just for job hunting.   Networking helps one find additional sources for information and improving skills.  If you need to learn to do something, it is far easier to ask a colleague than anyone else.

What’s an accomplishment you are proud of?

So many things – I am fortunate.  When I owned a small business it was to experience sufficient growth to add people to the payroll.  While with the state there are a couple of programs (EEA intern program, Dam and Seawall investment fund) that were presented to me as conceptual problems needing a solution, and working with peers in the field we found answered and launched full programs.

To hear more from John and our other speakers, register now for Net Impact Boston’s 9th Annual Speed Networking Event next week! To see a list of other speakers and reserve your ticket, click here.

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