[copperpress-advertserve-ad zone="3"]
 June 1, 1999

Entrepreneur finds recycled products

BROOMFIELD — If life were a rodeo, Vanessa Morganti would be riding the bull well after the eight-second bell clanged.

She would be hanging on, gripping the rope with white knuckles, swinging her arm in the air, while the bull grew tired of her on his back.

Then she would walk away, wiping the dust from her hands.

“All in a day’s work,” she would say.

Morganti doesn’t ride bulls for a living. Some days it may feel like it, though. Morganti, 27, recently was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Small Business Administration for her ceaseless efforts to bring recycled products to government agencies and corporations.

She single handedly carved out a niche as “The Solution Provider” by finding supplies that meet the government’s rigid standard for acceptable recycled products. Her business, Broomfield-based Future Solutions, caters to the government agencies in Colorado, such as the Department of Energy, that must comply with an executive order requiring agencies to buy recycled supplies.

She helps them find things such as environmentally friendly cleaning supplies, carpet, paint, paper, envelopes, the usual tires and oil and the myriad other products now available.

“I know I have a viable service to offer these industries.”

Her first challenge was issued by an employee of Rocky Flats’ procurement contractor, Kaiser Hill. When Morganti was working for a company that sold recycled cartridges to agencies, she stopped by Rocky Flats and asked Bill Freehling if she could find anything for him. He thought for a moment and said, “Here’s a list of nine items I need to find a source for,” Freehling said. “She looked at it and said OK. She came back and had the list of sources: retread tires, carpet; she managed to find sources for everything.”

Morganti credits that request as the motivation for starting her own business.

“I found out I can do it,” she said. “This has been a huge education for me. I was not exposed to really good recycling or recycled-content products. Now education is part of my mission.”

To educate the public about recycled materials, Morganti is offering recycled-content gifts from her office in Broomfield. Shoppers can find such items as tins and money clips made with old circuit boards, children’s clothing made from swatches of fleece, Montblanc-style pens and desk accessories decorated with a material resembling granite, which is really recycled resin and newsprint. Then she has greeting cards with fibers that contain seeds that can actually be planted and hundreds of other items.

Morganti’s learning curve has been strictly vertical since she started her business four years ago. Now she can speak the language of all government workers — acronymese.

“I bet I can say an entire sentence in acronyms,” she warns, then begins a litany: “USPs, GSAs, FAR …”

Not only has she managed to understand the procedures and paperwork for complying with government regulations, she has had to learn how to run a business with no experience and no help from the ground up.

“All the little things of running a business: employees, taxes, insurance, plus terms, payment methods, vendors, suppliers, distributors.” The list is endless, but Morganti has a big grin on her face when she reaches the end.

“I’m not interested in having someone else running my company. No angel investors, forget it, no way.”

Morganti has been approached by interested investors, but she says she isn’t interested in anyone owning a piece of her hard work.

“This is my life. This is my baby. This is my marriage,´ said the divorced 27-year-old. “This is what I was destined to do. I can’t think of anyone else to work for but me. It’s a passion.”

It’s a passion that was fueled at Thornton High School by her marketing teacher Steve Urban. He, if anyone, is to blame for her success, she says. His class taught her how to do research, how to sell an idea and “how to deal with people who are just plain irritating.” With Urban, Morganti went to national competitions two years in a row.

“She was a successful student in the area of entrepreneurism,” Urban said. “She took third place as a junior, and she was real upset with herself. Any other kid would have been pleased. So she came back as a senior and took first place.

“For a person her age to achieve what she’s done, it’s really remarkable.”

BROOMFIELD — If life were a rodeo, Vanessa Morganti would be riding the bull well after the eight-second bell clanged.

She would be hanging on, gripping the rope with white knuckles, swinging her arm in the air, while the bull grew tired of her on his back.

Then she would walk away, wiping the dust from her hands.

“All in a day’s work,” she would say.

Morganti doesn’t ride bulls for a living. Some days it may feel like it, though. Morganti, 27, recently…

[copperpress-advertserve-ad zone="3"]

Related Content