Joe Movic wearing a cap and gown during commencement
Joe Movic at his Virginia Tech Commencement.

College of Natural Resources and Environment: What have you been doing since you graduated?

Joe Movic: After graduating in fall 2005, I started working for Pallet Alliance. My education gave me a unique opportunity in that very few professionals had entered the workforce with the knowledge and skills that the packaging concentration at Virginia Tech provided. I didn’t have to search for my first professional role, as there were several major players from the industry watching and waiting for the program to generate young professionals. I chose Pallet Alliance because they gave me the opportunity to not only sell pallets, but to really use what I had learned to holistically drive value for national clients. I’m still happily employed at Pallet Alliance today!

In 2012, I married my beautiful wife Elizabeth (also a Hokie!). We live outside of Durham, North Carolina, with our two dogs, Panda and Tuna. We spend as much time as we can at the beach in the summer and visit many ski resorts in the winter. My role with Pallet Alliance and our love of travel have allowed me to see 45 states, several Canadian provinces, and a handful of exotic destinations. I’ve also been known to spend as much time as I can trying to catch whatever swims in the lakes, rivers, and oceans, in addition to my gardening and woodworking hobbies.

CNRE: What is your fondest memory?

Movic: Having small classes in our major allowed me to really get to know all of my classmates and build some lifelong friendships. From our biweekly breakfasts at Dietrich (where this Pennsylvania native was introduced to biscuits and gravy) to regular Wood Wednesday nights out, our tight-knit group of classmates was amazing. I’ll never forget when our class cheerleader tossed me up in a tree to gather a needed twig so everyone could properly identify a tree in Dendrology! The energy around campus on a football Saturday certainly can’t be left out. I had the fortune of being at Virginia Tech when the Hokies were at the top of their game and earning annual ACC Championships and trips to the biggest bowl games, one of which I was privileged to see in the old Superdome in New Orleans.

CNRE: What is the most amazing thing that you learned? What professors inspired you?

Movic: Working as a lab technician at the Center for Unit Load Design (CULD) was, by far, the most valuable experience someone in my profession could gain outside of the workforce. It provided me with the opportunity to work with clients and understand the challenges they faced in safely shipping products to end users. I was learning from the very best in the field of pallet and unit load design, and it provided a huge advantage to me in my professional career.

While many of my professors had a lasting impact on me, Dr. Mark White stood out as the most influential. To have the opportunity to learn from someone with his extensive knowledge was truly invaluable. I had the fortune of graduating with his son Braden, so I’m lucky to call the entire White family friends to this day. I can still reach out any time if I have questions, and he always seems to have the answers. Ralph Rupert was my lab manager at CULD, and I also learned a great deal from him while we performed testing for the many clients conducting unit load research.

CNRE: If you could go back in time, what’s the one thing you would tell your undergraduate self?

Movic: Spend more summers in Blacksburg. It wasn’t until my senior year that I spent my first summer in Blacksburg. The lighter course schedule and better weather gave me a lot more time to explore the town and surrounding area than the busy spring and fall semesters. Southwest Virginia is a truly amazing part of the country with lots of outdoor activities, from the New River to the Cascades and all the mountains in between. This was also when I met my wife Elizabeth on a camping trip at a mutual friend’s family farm on the Little River in Floyd County.