I’m a utilitarian. I will build ladders all day for people to climb and reach their potential; when it comes to building elevators, on the other hand, not so much. I believe it is the responsibility of each citizen to do all that they can to strengthen their community, applying their skills, talents, and passions. I’m not very good at relaxing, and for that reason among others, I’ve always admired public service. I grew up watching my Father and Uncle excel in the public sphere, both representing Alexandria, Virginia in one capacity or another. My father Jim Moran served as a Councilman, Vice-Mayor, Mayor, and ultimately Congressman; while my Uncle, Brian Moran served as Delegate in the General Assembly, and currently serves as Secretary of Public Safety for the Commonwealth.
I was blessed to get a great education, graduating from Yale University in 2011. I have since earned a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification which cemented my path towards strategic planning. When applied to my community, I see a need to deploy technologies to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and allow for greater transparency and analysis. I believe strongly in our prerogative to restore and conserve our natural resources, in particular, the Potomac River and surrounding waterways. And, I am passionate about developing ways in which to improve health by means of sustainable health and education initiatives that strengthen all participants to be healthier and more productive.
My perspectives aren’t just shaped from my time in Alexandria. After my parents went their separate ways, I moved to Southern Maryland. For being only an hour away, it was a completely different world than Northern Virginia. In St. Mary’s County, I learned the tenets of hard work, developed a love of country music, and came to respect what it means to own and live off the land. After trying to beat the world in high school, joining every club and playing every sport I could, I landed at Yale University where I played football for the Bulldogs, winning Defensive Lineman of the Year senior year and being inducted into the “National Football Hampshire Honor Foundation.”
After enjoying a cup of coffee with the Baltimore Ravens, I hung up the cleats and jumped headfirst into Northern Virginia politics, accepting roles as a Neighborhood Team Leader for OFA, the Obama ground campaign, working as field director for my father’s campaign, and becoming involved in the Alexandria and Arlington Democratic Committees. My inexperience, not enough sleep, and fear of saying “no” ultimately landed me in hot water. I said something stupid on video, after which I stepped away from the politicking so as not to be a distraction to the campaigns.
Without a job and without hope, I slipped into a bad place that I wouldn’t emerge from until after much self-reflection, meditation, and exercise spurred by a nightmare and brush with the law.
At a crossroads, facing depression on one road and action down the other, I then committed to take control of my life and accept responsibility for my life. Armed with a notebook, I began brainstorming how I could give back. I picked up some of the campaign materials which led to a page by page reading of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Seeing a need for community health initiatives, I began brainstorming ways in which I could apply to grassroots organizing skills I had developed during the campaign days while sharing the clarity and peace of mind I had found through mindfulness. After 3 months of near-constant meditation, putting together a business plan, and discussing the plan with friends, I founded Fitizen. Pronounced “citizen” with an “f.” Our mission was to share the wonders of mindfulness meditation and physical fitness with underprivileged residents of New Haven, CT in order sustainable improve their health.
Back on track with my first taste of what it meant to start and run a business, I took a job as a business development assistant at MicroTech, a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business. Within a year, I had worked my way up to be MicroTech’s IDIQ Program Manager, responsible for all of the organization’s service contract vehicles with the federal government. Craving more involvement in the healthcare space, I left MicroTech to accept a role as an Account Executive/Project Manager at Apollo PACS, Inc., a commercially focused healthcare informatics company.
After a little more than a year at Apollo, I bought a fixer-upper in Alexandria, overly confident that I could renovate it in 3 weeks (it takes less time on HGTV, right!). Balancing full-time work and the mounting pressure of an unfinished home, I left Apollo and took the reigns at Alexandria-based, Moran Strategy Group, a consulting firm that was founded by my father after he retired from Congress. As Managing Director at Moran Strategy Group, I have worked to develop it into a thriving business that delivers advisory services to small businesses and early start-ups that wish to mature ideas and new initiatives into thriving operations. Clients included Balance Paddleboarding, a social enterprise founded to clean up the Potomac River through Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP) and Tactical Solutions Lawn Care LLC, a landscaping business founded to help employ returning service members.
Living and working in Alexandria has also given me the time to become more involved in the community.I was appointed to represent Fitizen on the Steering Committee of the Partnership for a Healthier Alexandria. In November 2015, I was appointed by the Alexandria City Council to represent the Medical Reserve Corps on the Alexandria Citizen Corps Council, a city board, which I was elected to chair in November 2017.
In 2016, became a partner in Tactical Solutions Lawn Care LLC, and after buying out my former partner in the business, we transitioned the business to take on climate change with a new name and new mission. Tactical Land Care was born, and through it, we are opening a new front in the battle against climate change by empowering homeowners and property managers to best manage and utilize their property to mitigate pollution run-off and sequester carbon. Through TLC, we specialize in rain gardens, water catchment solutions, and permeable hardscapes. Through our work, we are establishing a new methodology in how to mobilize one’s property to slow the tide of climate change.