When tackling the world’s ecological and human health issues, Jason Ballard says “All the roads lead back to buildings and especially back to homes.”
Jason founded his company TreeHouse to solve those problems: "We believe that it's urgent that homes become healthy and sustainable as fast as possible.” The Austin, Texas, company is “built upon the idea that all homes should be sustainable, beautiful, and healthy. We bring progressive products, great design, human-centered services, and leading edge technology under one roof.”
Jason had what he calls a “Huckleberry Finn childhood” in the biodiverse Big Thicket of southeast Texas. “I would go out in canoes. I went hunting and fishing and walking around in the woods. I played outside a lot, and I fell deeply in love with the miracle that is life.
At the time, Jason was young. He didn’t know about biodiversity or carbon. But he did sense something was wrong. So, he studied conservation biology in college, and at the same time, he pursued a path to be a priest. At just about the same time he was accepted into seminary, TreeHouse secured funding. Unsure which path to take, Jason met with his bishop to ask for his advice. He said: “Don't think about [TreeHouse] as something separate from your calling but try to live into that work as if this is what you were supposed to do, as if this is your best way to love and serve the world.”
So, Jason became the purposeful leader and CEO of TreeHouse. Though he was building a company, he modeled it on his morals, on “what animates my care for the world,” he says. Taking that approach can be risky in the for-profit space. But Jason believes that’s how business must be done — in a fearless way that reflects his purpose, both for his employees and his customers.
While he has a deep commitment to sustainability, Jason recognizes it isn’t yet mainstream. TreeHouse has found success because it appeals to a convergence of trends and interests.
Between his business and raising a family, Jason renews his sense of purpose by setting aside time for silence and prayer.
Jason has one last piece of advice for the budding purpose-drive social entrepreneur.