Manager, Minnesota Program
PaintCare is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that operates paint stewardship programs on behalf of paint manufacturers in states that have passed paint-specific stewardship laws. Our main effort is to set up convenient locations – such as retail stores and municipal facilities – where people can take unwanted, or leftover paint, for recycling. In addition to Minnesota, we currently have programs in California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Maine, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont. Visit www.paintcare.org to find your nearest drop-off location.
What makes a good business leader?
Customers can tell when employees are enthusiastic about their jobs, and that truly makes a difference on many levels – sales, productivity, public relations, etc. This starts with good leadership. Leaders should have an inspiring vision and demonstrate the willingness to adopt even small changes that make work more meaningful for employees.
What’s your favorite recent movie?
It’s not a recent movie, but “Patton” is a great character study and reflection on leadership that I recently found on Netflix. Well worth the watch (even a repeat).
Who inspires you the most? Why?
Congressman Keith Ellison recently spoke at the Resource Recycling Conference in Minneapolis. His speech was electrifying, and he really engaged the audience. He drew some important connections between local economic growth, jobs and resource conservation that have led him to introduce a bill (HR 1034) to research zero waste technologies and practices, with an emphasis on business development. Very admirable and inspiring.
You actively participate in Minnesota Waste Wise, including serving on its board. What are the benefits for you personally and for your nonprofit organization?
I get the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals working with Chamber members to implement sustainability initiatives. My organization stays up to date on the business climate in Minnesota through its Chamber membership, and we can connect to a wider audience about our services.
Why is sustainability smart business? What are three “to dos” for companies as they investigate sustainability measures?
Sustainability focuses on the triple bottom line – people, profit, planet – which means it’s beneficial for employees and customers, produces a positive financial return, and reduces unwanted environmental impacts. Like lean management, it strives to improve quality and efficiency in ways that benefit, yet transcend, the company. Companies should start with low-hanging fruit such as recycling and energy efficiency; involve employees in implementation and decision-making; and put in place a process for measuring and sharing results. This will lead to earlier success and greater support across the company – even from some initial skeptics.
What do you enjoy most about Minnesota?
So many things. Nature, wonderful communities, friendly people, relatively easy commutes and great businesses. I am from the Chicago area originally, and while I miss it at times, it’s hard to top Minnesota in these areas. This is a great place to call home!
What drew you to PaintCare?
PaintCare is an industry-led product stewardship program operating in the United States, and a pioneer in terms of industry support. It is a prime example of how businesses, consumers and governments can work together to solve the problem of “what to do with all the waste” we generate. I wanted to be involved with this unique approach, which has become a model for other industries, and see it succeed in Minnesota.
What’s your favorite pastime/hobby?
Spending time with my family walking through nature, canoeing or camping. When it’s just me, I enjoy the local music scene, and visiting the wonderful selection of breweries and taprooms in the Twin Cities.