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Getting to know Persefoni: Meet Tim Mohin

"Once in a Lifetime"

Published January 03, 2022

1. And you may ask yourself, "Well... how did I get here?" (Tell us your journey?)
The lyrics of the famous Grateful Dead song are the first thing that come to mind: “What a long strange trip it’s been.”
As a lifelong environmentalist, I focused my education and my career choices to contribute to environmental protection. With a masters of environmental management degree from Duke, I went to work at the US Environmental Protection Agency developing regulations to stem toxic air pollution. After a few years, the incoming Administration made a commitment to update the Clean Air Act and I was selected to support that effort. It was an eye opening couple of years - working with political leaders of both parties (which seems impossible on environmental issues now, but was normal then) and culminating in a signing ceremony with the President in the East Room of the White House.
As the partisanship around these issues heated up, I left government and went to work in the private sector. This was at the dawn of the corporate responsibility movement where companies moved farther and faster than government regulation to protect the environment. Over the next twenty or so years I worked in various roles at three big tech firms - Intel, Apple and AMD. There were many learnings from this time that I captured in my book - Changing Business from the Inside Out.
My last stop before Persefoni was as CEO of the world's most widely adopted sustainability reporting standard - the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). My strategy was centered around converging and integrating sustainability reporting standards with financial disclosure. As this change is now coming to fruition, the world will (finally) align capital with sustainable business practices.
2. And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile. (What do you do at Persefoni?)
After GRI, I was planning to step off full time work for a while and assemble what my pal Bob Eccles calls a “portfolio career.” While I was planning this path, I got a ‘cold-call’ through LinkedIn from Kentaro Kawamori (CEO) and Russ Mitchell (EVP) of Persefoni. I had never heard of Persefoni, but after our very first chat, I knew this was different.
In all the years I had worked in sustainability, the tools we had to do the hard work of accounting were poor at best. And, with the rapid mainstreaming of ESG information, it was obvious that the market for enterprise level accounting tools would grow rapidly. I got on a plane to visit the team (during the pandemic) - which was about 20 people working out of a suburban home in the Phoenix, AZ area. Notwithstanding their small size and relative anonymity, I was impressed with the people, the product, and importantly, the vision.
I was convinced, then as now, that Persefoni has the right attributes to grow and succeed in this rapidly evolving market. After my initial visit, I changed course from the portfolio career I had planned and joined Persefoni on a full time basis as the Chief Sustainability Officer.
My role can be described as a market evangelist. My team and I work with influencers across the ESG sector to help raise brand awareness and - importantly - guide the development of the product to meet market needs. As this role matured, we assembled a Sustainability Advisory Board, made up of leading influencers in the industry. We also are developing Persefoni’s internal sustainability strategies and programs and working on climate policy across the world.

Mount Kilimanjaro Summit

3. And you may ask yourself, "Where does that highway go to?" (What are your hopes for your time at Persefoni?
After 35 years of work, this is my first experience in a start-up. I can say after just a year, this is a unique and amazing opportunity. We are building something at Persefoni that will enable massive environmental benefits around the world. Since joining a small group of people working out of a home, we are now more than 160 people strong with offices around the world. But it is not only the amazing pace of growth that is exciting, it’s the thrill of building a culture.
In all of my prior jobs, I joined established institutions and it’s human nature to blend into the culture that exists. But, with a start-up, we are creating a culture. And, in my experience, culture is the main determinant of success for the organization and the fulfillment of the employees.
4. And you may say to yourself, "My God! What have I done?" (Why is Persefoni a great home for you?)
While we are still very young, I can say with confidence that we are building a supportive, results-oriented culture. It’s clear at the outset that our values and operating principles have been widely adopted and are working to create a welcoming and focused environment.
When I look back on this experience some day, my hope is I will reflect on how we built an amazingly strong, efficient and effective company that produced the tools essential to make the world a better place.

Tim and Family

5. And you may find yourself in another part of the world... (Tell us about your life/hobbies away from work?)
If you are around me for more than five minutes, you will likely hear about my five grandchildren. My wife Catie and I are very fortunate to have raised two outstanding children that grew up to have wonderful children of their own. We love to spend time with the ‘grands’ - who range from six years old to 16 months - and help out in whatever way we can.
When we are not hanging out with the grandchildren, Catie and I love to travel. We have seen sights in many countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas - and have many more to see. I am also an avid audiobook consumer with more than 700 titles in the library.
I have many hobbies that all center around being outdoors. I am an avid SCUBA diver, love to go camping/hiking, and even climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.
In recent years, my obsession has been cycling. I am on a cycling team in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (the “n+1” team - sponsored by Eat ‘n Park - where “n” is the number of bikes you have and “n+1'' is the number of bikes you need). The team is focused on safety, charitable events and racing. And, as I write this at the end of 2021, I am proud to say that I have completed 6,000 miles (9656 km) of cycling this year!

Pennsylvania Cycling Expedition

“Once in a Lifetime" is a series of articles designed to help our customers and partners learn more about Persefoni's truly passionate team. We're not just building award-winning software ... together, we're helping to decarbonize our planet.
Persefoni team
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