Top CEO under 30 to Present at Fall Conference
Former Innovation Award winner says network connects him to seminal leaders in green business movement
Wednesday October 17, 2012 - Kristian Partington
Through Social Venture Network (SVN), a young, ambitious social entrepreneur found like-minds and common purpose five years ago, and he hasn’t looked back.
By 2007, Tom Szaky’s company, TerraCycle, built on a foundation of worm droppings and used pop bottles, had become a multi-million dollar company expanding in product offerings and retail partnerships, while facing legal challenges from a Goliath-sized competitor.
Tom was 25 and had built his enterprise from the ground up over the course of 6 years.
He’d been named America’s Top CEO under 30 by Inc. Magazine, and had defied immense challenges to see his company grow steadily year after year. It wasn’t until SVN informed him he was being recognized through its inaugural innovation awards, however, that he connected with others who were slogging through the trenches of social entrepreneurship.
“I went in (to the innovation awards) not expecting anything and became very excited about it afterwards,” he says.
He’s been connected to the network ever since and is a featured speaker at this year’s SVN Fall Conference in Rye Brook N.Y., where he’ll continue to represent the younger generation of business leaders defining the role of business in social transformation.
TerraCycle continues it consistent pattern of steady growth today, having expanded from a company creating plant fertilizer out of waste to a waste-conversion innovator “upcycling” and recycling a wide range of garbage to create everything from backpacks to clocks to park benches.
The fabric of his company is entirely green, and his connection to SVN remains constant because of the many threads that now bind him to other leaders of the changing face of business.
“It’s really meeting the most seminal leaders in the green space movement,” Tom says, describing the value he sees in the relationships he has with the organization and its members.
“That’s been, for me, the most exciting aspect of it.”
He says having the opportunity to connect with other business leaders who grapple with similar challenges that occur in the pursuit of a triple bottom line is invaluable, and he’s happy to have the opportunity to share his insights with others at the upcoming conference.
Click here for more information on SVN's fall conference.
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