The CEO of Minneapolis-based Repowered, formerly Tech Dump, on fulfilling a "triple bottom line" with pillars of people, planet, and technology.
Wednesday October 12, 2022
What happens when that corporate leadership path leaves you a bit unfulfilled? Amanda LaGrange got involved in the creation of a social enterprise designed to reduce waste and create jobs. Two years later, she exited the Fortune 500 career she thought she wanted to run that new social enterprise. LaGrange is the CEO of Repowered, formerly Tech Dump. Established in 2011, Repowered is now one of the largest collectors of e-waste in Minnesota and has processed more than 35 million pounds of electronic waste while also providing jobs and training for people facing barriers to employment, and building a marketplace for affordable refurbished electronics. That’s what the nonprofit calls a “triple bottom line.”
“Impact work has to be financially stable,” LaGrange says. “Where there’s no margin, there’s no mission.”
LaGrange talks about the role of founder vs scaler. She offers insight on the pros and cons of being a non-profit vs a social enterprise business. She talks about the "pile of denial" lurking in our closets and junk drawers, and the value in giving those discarded electronics a second life. And she discusses the challenge of serving multiple needs.
A recent rebranding, led by Minneapolis-based Knock Inc., helped Tech Dump become Repowered, and clarify its pillars of people, planet and technology.
“When they presented the phrase ‘powering forward,’ I literally couldn’t speak on the Zoom call," LaGrange recounts. "I felt so seen of the work that we do.”
Following our conversation with LaGrange, we go back to the classroom with Jason Pattit, associate professor of management at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business. He lays out the value and challenge in being a missionary driven leader.
Tech Dump was recently honored by Twin Cities Business with a 2022 Community Impact Award.