George Hunter has a Ph.D. in chemistry, as well as a graduate degree in management from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. After teaching college chemistry for a few years, George took an opportunity to work at the United States Mint.
He started as a quality manager, was promoted to the head of labs, and eventually became the assistant director of the manufacturing technology department, overseeing all coinage production for the U.S. Mint.
During the Iran hostage crisis, George played a role in orchestrating the transfer of gold to Iran via the British Royal Mint—a career highlight.
He also led the gold medallion program, which sold about 700,000 ounces of gold. George says the program was designed to compete with the Krugerrand, a South African gold coin that at one time made up 90% of the global gold coin market. In the 1970s and 1980s, some Western countries restricted Krugerrand imports because of its association with the apartheid government.
"I was happy to have contributed to the change in South Africa," George says. "Nelson Mandela was one of my heroes."
George retired in 2002, and in 2016 he and his wife Anne moved to Riderwood in Silver Spring, Md. They have an apartment home on the fifth floor with two bedrooms and a den.
"We like to look out the windows and see a lot of sky and trees," George says.
Shared values at Riderwood
Having spent his career as a scientist, George says he has long had an interest in protecting the environment. At Riderwood, he has connected with other people who feel the same. George belongs to the resident-run Sustainability Committee as well as the Sustainability Steering Committee, which includes both community members and staff members.
The sustainability committees at Riderwood have set solar energy as their top priority. They have been looking into renewable energy credits and grants for solar energy, as well as assessing the best ways to install solar panels on the campus.
"I am also looking at the Tesla company, which doesn't just make cars—they have come out with a solar tile," says George, who drives a Tesla. "I am going to wait and see how that works out."