New Chief Strategy Officer Featured in Industry Publication

Chaly Jo Moyen joined Woodard & Curran in April 2023 as the company’s first Chief Strategy Officer. In this role, she will manage growth investments and implement Woodard & Curran’s strategic plan, as well as oversee business development, marketing and communications, research and development, data science and innovation, and project funding functions. She brings to this new position a strong background in strategy development, data and analytics, innovation management, organizational transformation, culture advancement, people development, and cross-functional collaboration.

Environmental Business Journal (EBJ): Congratulations on your appointment as Chief Strategy Officer. Please provide a brief perspective on your own career and why this is the right place and the right time to take on this responsibility.

Chaly Jo Moyen (CJM): My career has been mostly in strategy and commercial roles in the consumer products industry.  My last position was Chief Strategy Officer and President of the Foodservice and International divisions at Conagra. Prior to that, I was with Coca-Cola for more than fifteen years, in roles including Senior Vice President of Strategy and Decision Science. At this stage of my career, I was looking for a purpose-driven, people-first organization with a genuinely great culture, and I found that at Woodard & Curran.  The Chief Strategy Officer role brought together my love of strategy and growth with the purpose of leaving the world a better place. My undergraduate degree was in Environmental Management, so it is full circle for me.

EBJ: Why is now the right time for this new role within Woodard & Curran? Is it based on the changing dynamics of the markets or the scale of the company or other factors inside the company to drive this kind of commitment to business strategy?

CJM: The firm is intentional and thoughtful about future growth, and this role was crafted as a critical part of an overall strategy to continue and advance the firm’s success. We recognize that the ability to lead through the change that surrounds all of us in today’s context is of material benefit for our firm and for our clients. The Chief Strategy Officer will work to further meaningful strategic growth investments, stay in front of data science and innovation, progress a thoughtful approach to research and development, and ensure we are on the leading edge of bringing our clients the funding and financing they need to be able to get projects off the ground. The Marketing and Business Development teams will also be under the umbrella of the Strategy Office, so together we will make sure we are developing and delivering on our value propositions, and maintaining a strategic focus on the clients we can best serve with the services we are committed to investing in.

EBJ: How do you view the energy transition broadly and aspects of it that will drive growth opportunities for Woodard & Curran as a consultant and technical project manager?

CJM: Transitioning to more renewable forms of energy is key to reducing carbon emissions, minimizing pollution, and mitigating climate change impacts. It is a critical component of any company’s ESG strategy, and we have a team of professionals who can help build and implement those strategies, as well as perform outsourced program management.

EBJ: The company has historically had a strong focus on water and wastewater markets. Do you expect that to continue to grow and do you expect it to continue to grow in the share of your services or do you have the objective of becoming more diversified in market categories by either media like air or climate or energy, or customers like specific industries or federal government as examples.

CJM: Woodard & Curran was founded partly based on the challenges and opportunities driven by the requirements that emerged from promulgation of the Clean Water Act. From planning all the way through operations, projects related to strengthening our clients’ wet infrastructure will continue to be at the core of what we do and be a huge contributor to our growth. We have a strong foothold in the public sector and are looking to grow our services with key private sector clients.

Concurrently, we see other environmental sectors as areas of growth for us as well. Remediation continues to be a big part of our business, particularly when it involves complex circumstances that might be difficult for other firms to navigate. And with the emergence of PFAS as a significant contaminant of concern, the overlap between remediation and water supply is undeniable, so there is a synergy there.

We are also hearing from clients about the increasing need for programmatic approaches to biodiversity, and how that needs to feed into their broader ESG strategy. Our experience across a range of environmental services means we are well-positioned to help with this, guiding clients through the process of developing a strategy all the way through implementing project that address their ESG goals.

EBJ: What extent will the role of Chief Strategy Officer be involved in the Recruitment and Retention of human talent, the investment and deployment of new technology across the firm and in customer facing value propositions, and potentially in mergers and acquisitions and other external growth opportunities?

CJM: Woodard & Curran has always been a people-focused firm, and it is one of the reasons I joined. I am looking forward to collaborating with people throughout the organization, particularly our VP of HR, on advancing strategies related to recruiting and retaining next-gen talent, integrating emerging skill sets, and talent development. The firm continues to be highly focused on providing equity and inclusion, talent development, performance enablement, and competitive compensation and benefits for our current and future staff.

We are also dedicated to enhancing our capabilities in transformative technologies and data science to drive greater value for our clients and to make us more operationally efficient. I will be working closely with our internal Information Services team and our externally facing Practice Leaders and Technical Leaders to make sure we have the necessary capabilities, processes, and resources we need.

We are certainly open to M&A or external growth opportunities that align with our mission, vision, and values, whether they be related to our strategic growth goals in a specific market, service, or geography.

EBJ: What was your original inspiration to get into the environmental industry in the first place?

CJM: As a child, I was moved by images of wildlife impacted by human activities. As a teenager, I watched untreated water flowing into a river and started to grasp the link between the environment and health. As an adult, I recognize that whereas nature is both powerful and delicate, so are humans.

EBJ: What have been some of the most compelling pieces of evidence you have observed of climate change and environmental degradation in your lifetime? Or perhaps environmental Improvement that you have witnessed or participated in?

CJM: To me, the simple weather indicators we all experience are compelling evidence of climate change: from extreme temperatures or heavy precipitation days to increased intensity and activity of tropical cyclones and flooding. I also think that we have the ability to mitigate and adapt, to protect our world.  As an example, I am still inspired by the bald eagle recovery story. It was only a generation ago that bald eagles were in danger of extinction. On our most recent family hiking trip, we saw so many bald eagles that we stopped taking photos of them.

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