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Meet Our Community Coordinator: Dan Moriarty

Despite living in Florida these past few years, Dan is no stranger to the SouthCoast. He was born and raised in the area and already has connections to Groundwork and some of its members through his ties to EforAll as an alumni of the accelerator program, and as a contributing writer to the Groundwork blog. Dan returned to New Bedford after finishing his Master’s Degree and is eager to reconnect to the SouthCoast community. Read on to learn more about Dan, his professional experiences, personal goals, and all the reasons why he is a perfect addition to the Groundwork team.

What led you here? Give us a short summary of your life journey up to this point.

I was born and raised on the South Coast. I did my undergrad at Bridgewater State University, majoring in Political Science and minoring in Sustainable Innovation. I worked through college with my own freelance landscaping business that put me to work on farms in Westport. I did a semester in Washington, D.C., and was actually first introduced to Groundwork in 2018 when I went through the EforAll accelerator program. After graduating, I took a year to take night classes at New Bedford Voc in carpentry. Then during the pandemic, I moved to Florida at got my master’s at Florida Atlantic University in Political Science, where I was also a graduate teaching assistant. 

As I approached my graduation in May, I was excited to see Groundwork was hiring for a community manager. Knowing I was moving back to the New Bedford area, this job has been a perfect way to plug back into the community. In addition to my role at Groundwork, I’m also starting as a Program Coordinator for EforAll. I feel like life has come full circle since I was first introduced to this ecosystem in 2018, and I couldn’t be happier. My long-term goals are eventually to get my Ph.d. in History and become a professor. Outside of professional life, I enjoy being outdoors, cooking, reading, spending time with friends, and exercising. 

What are some of the things you’ve learned working in the different environments you’ve worked in up to this point?

I’ve worked in many different settings, from blue-collar work sites and farms to stuffy offices and full remote work, as well as on college campuses. The biggest lessons I’ve learned are the value that flexibility and socialization bring to people’s overall well-being. During my first year in Florida, before starting at FAU, I worked fully remote. Having just moved there, I did not know anyone, which was extremely isolating. On the other hand, the flexibility offered by that structure was excellent for work-life balance (the only problem was I did not have much of a life!).

Working at college taught me the value of constantly learning and being excited to ask questions. My studies, focusing on history and politics, were very stimulating, but even outside of that, most of my friends there were from different countries. I talked about the universe and soccer with a friend studying quantum gravity from the U.K., learned more about the Middle East from a friend from Lebanon, and ate farofa and brushed up on my Portuguese with Brazilians. 

What excites you about working at Groundwork?

Groundwork is a perfect fit for the aforementioned lessons. Being in a community space and talking with members is a wonderful way to stay socialized on the job. Even just the presence of other people who are also being productive makes me feel connected and part of something bigger. The schedule I will be working is perfect for maintaining a work-life balance as well.

I’m also excited to learn. There are so many cool people at Groundwork, all working on awesome projects and ideas. The South Coast is such a diverse and dynamic place, filled with creativity and individualism, that shines through at Groundwork and in the professional ecosystem. I look forward to finding more and more ways to get involved in the community.

What inspires you right now? What are you listening to, watching, or reading?

I just finished reading American Nations by Colin Woodard, a phenomenal cultural history of the United States. As I settle back into New Bedford, I’m reading Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America. I’m not currently watching much T.V., but I was a huge fan of Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, and The Sopranos. I do listen to podcasts and watch a lot of YouTube, however! Some of my favorites are Breaking Points, Lex Fridman, Joe Rogan, Simon Clark, Caspian Report, and TLDR News. Although simply being back on the South Coast is the most inspiring thing for me right now, I missed the food, nature, architecture, and culture so much while living in Florida. 

What skills or experience are you looking forward to sharing with our members?

Once I’m more settled in, I am considering starting a monthly panel on current events. I’d like to invite members of Groundwork and local experts to weigh in on topical subjects like A.I., interest rates, the war in Ukraine, or more locally-focused issues like South Coast rail or offshore wind development. I’m also considering taking over the book club. Other than that, I do enjoy cooking and plan on breaking out the instant pot at Groundwork every now and then.