For passion and profit: Jay Swoboda on green entrepreneurship

Jay Swoboda believes that building “green” homes is not only the right thing to do, it is also a sound business practice.

The 2002 Washington University graduate in Arts & Sciences is an entrepreneur who is showing the St. Louis community that there is a burgeoning market for green, modern, precision-built homes in urban neighborhoods. Swoboda will talk about his experiences at 4 p.m. Wednesday, October 15 for an Assembly Series program called “Gonzo Entrepreneurship: Creating Better Social Environments while Keeping a Roof over your Head.” The presentation will be held in the Danforth University Center Room 276 on the Danforth Campus, and is free and open to the public.

Caring deeply about homeless issues came early to Swoboda, whose experiences include creating a newspaper for homeless persons to sell for profit, and directing the Homeless Empowerment Project. He also worked for the regional Individual Development Account program and with Justine Petersen Housing.

Together with fellow alumnus Nate Forst, they make up two-thirds of EcoUrban Homes, and their mission is to change the landscape of the city. One of its three display models has received the first LEED Platinum certified designation in St. Louis. LEED status is the highest rating given by the U.S. Green Building Council and stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Equally important, EcoUrban homes are affordable and help preserve unique urban neighborhoods such as Benton Park West and Tower Grove East.

For more information on Assembly Series programs, visit the Web page at, or call (314) 935-4620.