Wayne Miller, 61

Wayne Miller, 61

Old career: Architect and general contractor
New venture: Earthwise

Miller has been self-employed as an architect and general contractor for many years, but both businesses took a hit in the downturn. "The recession oddly has been very liberating," Miller says. "It has allowed me to rethink my priorities, or rather reaffirm my longtime commitment to make a difference." He is using his skills as a "green" architect to develop other eco-ventures that provide goods and services needed to transition to a sustainable economy and culture. "Despite the uncertainty of the times, I feel the rightness of my course and optimistic about our common future," Miller says.