Mint director, television commentator, author, White House staffer, business executive, private equity consultant, pastor, speaker, and corporate director, Ed Moy came from humble beginnings.
A New Start
He is the first child and son of Tom and Rosa Moy. Tom immigrated from Guangdong province in China to escape communism and became a naturalized U.S. citizen. He went to Hong Kong to find a bride, and after a whirlwind romance, married Rosa Chan. Together, they pursued their American dream by starting a Chinese-American restaurant in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
With no capital, no credit, and no network, they built a thriving small business on hard work, lucky breaks, and perseverance. These formative years taught Ed many timeless business principles: If you give great service, you will usually earn bigger tips; if you give fast service, the tables turned over more often, and you will usually get more tips; and to pay the bills and paychecks, you had to generate more revenue than your expenses.
When Ed learned how to do arithmetic, his parents made him responsible for the cash register. That was the start of his interest in collecting coins. He became fascinated by the different designs on the same denomination, like the Indian Head cent, Lincoln cent with wheatears, and the Lincoln Memorial.
Growing up in a quiet suburb of Milwaukee did not fully prepare Ed for life at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His intellectual curiosity was stimulated from the politically charged atmosphere at the “Berkeley of the Midwest.” His leadership abilities were developed and found his confidence when he joined Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity. And he had a religious conversion experience his senior year.
Much to his parent’s dismay, Ed dropped out of pre-med and graduated with a Bachelors of Arts with a triple major: economics, international relations, and political science.
The Early Professional Years
In the midst of the recession in 1979 he was fortunate to be offered a sales executive position with Blue Cross Blue Shield United of Wisconsin. There he met and was mentored by Ed Edwards, the Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing and the eventual President and Chief Executive Officer.
His first assignment was to help sell health and dental managed care products to major Wisconsin-based companies. Managed care was in its early days and on the verge of huge growth. He rode that tide and along with the outstanding salesmanship of his colleagues, enjoyed much success.
Ed also met the love of his life, Karen Johnson, during this time. They got married in 1982 and got involved with ministry to college students at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. There they began a lifelong passion for the intersection of faith and work/culture. Ed became an ordained pastor for college, international students, and marketplace ministries while working concurrently at Blue Cross Blue Shield.
The First Stint in Public Service
After volunteering on the presidential campaign in 1988, Ed got calls from The White House and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and accepted an offer to head up the federal government’s managed care office. Karen and he moved to Washington, DC, where Ed was a political appointee at the agency that oversees Medicare and Medicaid. There he was responsible for managed care policy, regulating the HMO industry, and integrating managed care options for seniors in Medicare.
Back to the Private Sector
Ed was disappointed in his performance on the 1992 campaign and took up golf as penance. After more than 20 years, he remains a duffer with occasional bouts of brilliance.
While most appointees serve at the pleasure of the president, when that president leaves office, appointees are expected to resign to allow the new president to place their appointees. Because Ed regulated an industry, there are cooling off rules preventing him from getting a job in that industry. That opened a door for him to become a consultant to a large private equity firm, Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe. Ed, working with two of the firm’s health care services partners, combed the country for deals. Ed also served on the board of a company his firm invested in. Later, he became an executive at several health care companies, served on privately held corporate boards, and consulted with entrepreneurial companies.
The Second Stint in Public Service
After helping out in Wisconsin, Ed was asked by the Bush advisors to join the transition team and become a member of the White House staff after January 20, 2001. He served for almost 6 years as a Special Assistant to the President for Presidential Personnel. His responsibility consisted of recommending candidates to the president to serve in most cabinet departments and independent agencies. His job included regular briefings with President George W. Bush in the Oval Office, along with Vice President Cheney and the White House Chief of Staff. He served in The White House on September 11, 2001 and was privileged to assist with the transition to the new U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Ed and Karen became parents in 2006 when they adopted their first daughter from China. He resigned his commission from the White House to become the 38th director of the United States Mint, a position he held for a 5-year term. He was recommended by Treasury Secretary Snow, chosen by President Bush, and unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate. As the first Asian American director, he served both Secretaries Paulson and Geithner. His term included the financial crisis and recession, unprecedented demand for gold and silver bullion, the end of the 50 State Quarter program, the start of the Presidential $1 Coin, and the National Parks Quarter program. Notable for coin collectors was the minting of the modern Saint Gaudens double eagle coin. Notable for taxpayers was adding over $1 billion of surplus to the Treasury General Fund.
Back to the Private Sector
Ed resigned his commission as director of the Mint in 2011 to become an officer and eventual director of a NASDAQ traded company headquartered in Seattle. It fulfilled two items on his bucket list: to help lead a public company and learn about doing business in China.
He is now the Chief Strategist for Fortress Gold Group, a leading provider of gold-backed IRA’s. In that capacity, Ed provides the company with objective expert analysis of the markets for precious metals, as well as monetary and fiscal policy, traditional and digital currencies, with an emphasis on U.S. and global economies. He became an author with the publication of American Gold and Platinum Eagles: A Guide to the U.S. Bullion Programs. He also provides autographs for the Professional Coin Grading Service of Collectors Universe (NASDAQ: CLCT), serves on the advisory board of a public company, and on the board of a business school.
Ed enjoys spending time with his wife and daughters, whether walks along the beach, cooking them tasty meals, or trying new activities like skiing.