By Beth Spain
Be “thermostats” instead of “thermometers,” said a former U.S. Mint director at the Business Through the Eyes of Faith luncheon, March 30.
Students from the School of Business and community leaders packed the Carl Grant Events Center as Edmond C. Moy encouraged Christians to be “change agents” in the business world. He also shared stories of how his Christianity was tested at his first job and how it grew through his service in the White House under former President George W. Bush.
While Christians’ influence extends to foreign missions and local churches, the lack of Christians in the business world provides few role models and makes it difficult to live out one’s faith in the workplace.
Fresh out of college, Moy gained a sales position at Blue Cross Blue Shield. He was a new Christian when he graduated, and his college friends warned him of the temptations and difficulties involved in the business world.
Shortly after beginning his work, Moy filed his first expense report, logging the proper business and personal mileage he used on his company car. His boss gave the expense report back to Moy, instructing him to shift the majority of the numbers to the business section like everyone else did. This would give Moy about $50 extra each week.
Moy refused, explaining to his boss he could not be trusted with large accounts if he could not be honest in the smaller expense report. Moy said his boss decided not to fire him, but warned that his honesty would trigger an audit, and many coworkers would be unhappy with him.
The audit eventually came around, and many coworkers had to pay back taxes. Moy said relationships became uncomfortable for him for nearly three years, and he was not invited to many office celebrations. Yet, his Christian principles paid off with a promotion when a new director was hired who valued integrity.
“It’s not an antithesis to be honest and make money,” Moy said. “There is no dichotomy to applying Christian principles in business, and they need each other to be successful.”
Moy said he hoped Christians would rethink their stance on business since it required full-time ministry like any other faith-related position
“[Moy] reinforced, for me, the need for Christians in the business world,” said Stephen Brooks, senior economics major.
Brooks said he hopes to manage corporate wealth and said ideally he would end up in a secular environment because “that is where all the money is.” He added that his faith will dictate his every decision, influencing him to be a good steward and not expose someone to unnecessary risks for his gain. With these principles in mind, Brooks said Christians would be the best-equipped money managers in the business world.
Moy spoke to graduating seniors at the end of the luncheon, emphasizing the importance of securing godly patterns in their work ethic, which will later become habits — such as his expense report. He also told students it was important for them to find a mentor in their field and learn how he or she approaches difficult situations.
Debbie Lai, senior accounting major, said she hopes to find a mentor and was encouraged to hear someone stand “for what they believed and make it through.”
Moy also answered questions about the scandalous presidential dollar coins from 2009 and cleared the air about the coin’s historical meaning.
Moy noted President Theodore Roosevelt’s historical intentions of establishing coins that represented the country’s values, especially following the division caused by the Civil War. Roosevelt attempted to remove the phrase “In God We Trust” from early coinage, but this became controversial. Citizens demanded the phrase be placed on the coin, which Moy said captured “the nation’s ethos at that time.”
He said he wanted to model the presidential dollar after that coin, and thus the phrase was printed on the rim. When people could not see it on the face, their uproar caused additional legislation to be passed, making it mandatory for “In God We Trust” to be printed on the face of a coin rather than the rim.
Moy directed the Mint from September 2006 until January 2011, and he currently serves as the vice president of corporate information at L&L Energy, Inc., in Seattle, Wa.