Mission to start microloans inspired by Army tour in Iraq
By Sam Boykin A third-generation U.S. Army officer working in Iraq has launched a nonprofit in Charlotte designed to strengthen the local business community as well as provide opportunities for residents to participate in international cultural exchanges. Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, Joshua Mater joined the military, and after he graduated from Oregon State University he was commissioned as an Army officer in 2002. He served on active duty in South Korea and in 2008 completed a tour in Iraq. Mater, 28, is still in the war-torn country, working for Honeywell Technology Solutions, which is helping rebuild Iraq’s infrastructure. Mater’s experiences in Iraq led him to start The Michael Scott Mater Foundation, named after his father, who died of cancer in 2002. The foundation’s initiatives are twofold. Firstly, it is bringing together representatives from academia, government and industry to help introduce green building and sustainable energy projects in countries such as Iraq, Ukraine and Russia.