Mudslides, fax machines and philanthropy

Ron Blitzer is a consultant, a CEO, a COO, and a serial entrepreneur.

He’s also my former business partner. When we were both about 24 years old, we started a design firm called Freeman:Blitzer Associates. We created corporate annual reports for about a dozen different public companies a year, as well as marketing materials for many of them. We had offices in Century City and clients in finance, fast food, real estate, energy, entertainment, and many other industries.

I stayed in design and marketing. Ron went on to create other businesses.

He co-founded American Softserve, which introduced a new way of making and storing ice cream —the first aseptic shelf-stable dairy products used this way — and ended up supplying 3,000 ARCO AM/PM Mini Markets around the U.S. At its peak, their products represented 5% of the chain’s total sales.

In 2006 he started Be Green Packaging, which became an international player in the industry, creating recyclable and compostable packaging for take-out food services like Chipotle and Whole Foods, and for products by Google, Samsung and Gillette.

He sold Be Green in 2013, but remains an active participant in environmentalist causes. He’s also part of the Whole Planet Foundation whose mission is to alleviate poverty through microcredit in communities worldwide, with a focus on the developing world.

In Episode 9 of WorkLife@Home, we talk a bit about those early days, and take you up to modern times, where Ron responded to the pandemic by raising $250,000 for local hourly workers whose livelihood was destroyed by the COVID-19 shutdown. All while working from home. Of course.

(If you like it, there are many more episodes awaiting your earbuds. Please tell your friends!)

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