13 Aug Spotlight on GEEP
Describe your company and its product.
We help IT departments professionally recycle and remarket their surplus IT assets, while ensuring complete data security and erasure. We help IT pros save time, protect their data security, enhance their company’s sustainability, and gain back storage space.
What year did your company start?
Which city (or cities) are you located?
Surrey, Calgary, Edmonton, Barrie, Brampton, Montreal, Auburn Hills MI, Durham NC, and Cartago, Costa Rica
Describe your company culture in three words.
How do you celebrate company or employee wins?
Wins don’t happen without input and work from many people from our team and we want to ensure they are recognized for their contributions throughout the company.
What is the problem that you are trying to solve?
Surplus IT assets pose potential liabilities, and benefits, but the assets have to be dispositioned properly. However, IT departments seem to be stretched thin. We properly handle the data security in their surplus assets, and then remarket and recycle those assets, on their behalf, saving them time and returning the inherent value in the assets. We save them time, recover value, eliminate data security risks, and ensure everything is properly recycled.
What is your biggest milestone to date?
Exceeding the recycling target rate of 100 million pounds per year of surplus electronics through GEEP facilities. That’s a lot of waste electronics diverted from landfills and put back into the circular economy.
What is your biggest challenge?
Working with the long refresh cycles many companies use; It can take years of constant contact with a business before they replace their assets. Convincing companies that it’s better to have a consistent and steady remarketing plan can be a challenge.
What is your motto?
Don’t fixate on the end result; absolutely enjoy the journey and people you meet every day, and life will be wonderful.
How are you making an impact?
By contributing to the circular economy, preserving resources and reducing pollution. It makes us feel great that we’re helping the tech industry reduce its unintended negative consequences created from the urge to be the first to come out with the latest innovative device.
What is your hope for the future of tech in BC?
We hope that BC tech companies, and the people in them, become the best-in-class in North America. We hope to see local companies producing a constant stream of globally valued products that catapults BC’s tech sector into the most important economic sector in the province.
Lightning Round with Sean Dent, VP Business Development at GEEP
What excites you about your job?
Explaining what GEEP does with respect to data security, environmental recycling and recovery/re-use of electronics and observing how excited people are by GEEP’s valuable and necessary service.
What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome?
Reacting quickly to the economic downturn in 2009 to right-size a manufacturing company, while still maintaining a culture for strategic growth. This unfortunately resulted in the reduction of a talented and loyal workforce by 70%. It was a rough period, but the company bounced back faster and stronger as a result.
If you can give advice to your 20 year-old self, what would you say?
Don’t try to do everything and it’s okay to let others fail. Taking on needless stress is not fair to yourself.
What are your pet peeves?
Inefficiency and lack of organization. When I open a dishwasher and see it loaded randomly and far from optimized, it tells me a lot about someone’s mindset. I know I can be on the anal side and also need to keep this trait in check!
Words of wisdom to other tech CEOs or founders?
If you feel the need to micromanage, you either have the wrong people in place, or you’re not a great leader. Trust your team to perform the job they were hired to do and the cream will rise to the top.
Favourite city you visited?
Tokyo – A city that is high energy, with the feeling of being on another planet. You’ll wake up every morning thinking “I saw some bizarre things yesterday!”
What is your formula for success?
Listen diligently to others, respect opinions, admit when wrong, communicate your actions clearly and put in more than an honest day’s work.
Name one book that everyone should read.
Anything by Dr. Suess to a child.
How do you decompress?
Channel energy in a positive manner by exercising. A “reward beer” after a solid workout doesn’t hurt either.
Old School – who doesn’t like a good laugh?