One of the most important lessons I took from business school is that I do not have to be the smartest kid in the class as long as I surround myself with brilliant, genuine people who share a passion to succeed. As I’ve started collecting things together for Thanksgiving with my family this year—the cranberries, the turkey, the freshly washed and folded napkins—my mind has turned once again to the people in this amazing recycling community who have helped me on my quest and who have helped make the world a brighter – and greener—place for everyone.
I have to put my husband, Matt, at the top, of course. Without his help, we would not still be in business today. Not only did I convince him to sell his Toyota (the other love of his life) so that we could buy our first recycling truck—a 1978 Ford ¾ ton 4X4 work horse—but he then spent much of the next few years on his back underneath it on the side of the road. We finally gave up on it when it broke down for good (I still have it, though!), but remarkably, he never gave up on me. For too many back rubs to count and for always telling me, “Oh, honey…you’ll figure it out!” when I’m stuck on something—thank you!
I am thankful for my supportive family—my kids, my parents, and for Matt’s mom, Linda, without whose regular help at the warehouse I could not function! How many times have I had to rely on them when I needed just 15 minutes to help out a customer or to hoist something huge like a television into the truck so I wouldn’t have to send out a second one? My kindergartner, Gavin, pulls more than his weight entertaining his little brother or carrying flyers for me, as well.
I am thankful for Eco-Cycle, and especially for Eric Lombardi who took me under his wing early on and helped me learn how to turn the materials I was hauling to them into dollars. Eco-Cycle has been instrumental in helping me align our recycling community outreach with theirs so that our message was consistent and easy to understand. Special thanks also goes to Dale Ekart for being willing to meet with me early in the morning on many occasions to advise me on recycle-routing and employee selection. (Did I mention I’m thankful for caffeine, too?)
I am thankful for Boulder County—specifically for Jeff Callahan, Gale Elstun, Hilary Collins, Lou Perez and especially Amy in the scale house who works with my drivers daily to make sure we are on target with recycling delivery to the County and giving them the best streams of material we can. Without their encouragement and the COP (Boulder County Outreach Program) grants, we would never have grown like we have. I’ve always said, without that first 2004 grant which helped us buy our first hydraulically dumping 4×4 mountain work truck, we never could have achieved the level of success necessary to acquire Green Mountain Recycling later that year.
I am immensely thankful for the awesome GGR team who has become an extension of my family in so many ways: Jesus Medina (8 yrs.), Israel Lozano (4 yrs.), Claire Rozinek (3 yrs.), Dean Morrison (3 yrs.), Troy Shively (3 yrs.), Sean Morrison (1 yr.) and our traveling mechanic, Trini Medina (3 yrs.). We would not be in business without their commitment to offer consistent, safe, and reliable recycling services throughout the Boulder, Larimer and Weld Counties.
I am thankful for the people we’ve partnered with to help make the business run better: Michelle Webb with Webb Impact Solutions who handles our SEO (search engine optimization) and Erika Rae with 2 Cups of Copy who helps with education, outreach and grant materials. I’m also excited to announce the addition of Jeff Chamberlin as our new Education and Outreach Coordinator. Thanks to him, we’ll have some much-needed help with grant follow-through and our RCAB membership.
Lastly I want to thank all of our AMAZING customers, both residential and commercial, who recycle and who have green hearts. Without the people who continue to pay us to help them get recycling to the correct places, my dream of providing the most affordable, complete and reliable recycling company would never have been realized.
I am so thankful to have these amazing people in my lives, as well as so many others who I have not named here. I go to bed each night and am beyond thankful for the opportunity to make a difference in our community and on this planet. I am doing something that I love, that I am passionate about and that makes me happy each day.