Alumni Awarded in Empact100 Showcase

by Victoria Stearns, Public Relations Writer

Cedarville University alumni Jesse Lear ’09 and Travis Smith ’09, co-founders of VIP Waste Services in Columbus, Ohio, have been recognized in the United States’ Empact100 Showcase at the United Nations in New York City.

The businesses chosen for this award are founded and run by entrepreneurs under the age of 35. Criteria includes revenue, amount of employees, social impact, growth over the past year and innovativeness within their company. Lear and Smith’s company provides recycling and trash services to apartment communities and provides valet pick-up for residents.

“One thing we learned while studying at Cedarville University was that there should be a difference in Christian businessmen, striving for excellence and exceeding expectations,” said Smith. “We are blessed so that we can be a blessing to those that work for us.”

Applications were reviewed and selected by Empact’s Academy of Leading Entrepreneurs, which include Jeff Hoffman, founding team member of Priceline.com;  Richard Caruso, of Integra Life Sciences; Elizabeth Gore, resident entrepreneur at the United Nations Foundation; Chip Paucek, Former CEO of Hooked on Phonics and Kay Koplovitz, founder of USA Network and SciFy channel.

Empact100 has worked with many Chambers of Commerce offices, small business development centers in the U.S., the White House and over 500 colleges and universities.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,620 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings.