Q: Tell me about yourself.
I'm originally from New Haven, CT and moved to Woodbridge before High School. I completed my undergrad at Emory University in Atlanta, GA as a psych major and pre-med. I went on to get my Master's Degree in Public Health from SCSU.
I always wanted to end up in Milford and have been living here now for about 15 years. I have 2 amazing daughters, ages 9 and 5 and I just finished the Fall season as a coach for both their softball and tee ball teams!
Q: How did you wind up in the industry?
My professional career started working in an adult psychiatric facility in New York utilizing my undergrad degree. From there I went on to work at ACES as a Behaviorist, helping children with "non-categorical" disabilities, and then ran several non-profit programs for 10+ years for homeless, abused and neglected children, at-risk youth, and chronic homelessness. I had always worked to help those most in need, and worked to provide them with educations, support, and more permanent living situations. In the non-profit world, as state funding shifts and programs have to close, I found myself without a job, and at the same time going through a challenging personal situation I could never have imagined myself in.
My older brother who had been in the credit card business and had worked with our now CEO Bob Carr, sent me a video about Bob's new company starting up called Beyond. I took a look and saw that the first thing the company talked about was Giveback, or the 51% of the companies proceeds that went to our charity to pay for foster children, children of incarcerated parents and other children of low income to graduate them debt free through college. Here was an opportunity for me to do the same thing I've always done, but from an entirely different approach. My older daughter at the time had asked me to be able get her off the bus from school, and working for Beyond and myself would allow me the flexibility I needed at that point as a single dad. I made the decision at the time 2 1/2 years ago that I would commit entirely to this new company and position. I was hired and came on board as employee number 42 to help get the Beyond off the ground. In this short period of time we now have over 700 employees nationwide, are the 36th ranked processor in the country, and process just under $8 billion in annual credit card volume. I now get to help kids while helping every business owner and non-profit that I work with.
Beyond and Giveback recently handed out our 1,000th scholarship with over 1,500 already pre-paid, and have donated over $36 million to the cause. We were recently featured on ABC World News Tonight.
Q: Tell me about Beyond? Give me your elevator pitch.
Beyond strives to simplify operations, reduce costs and streamline payments for small and mid-sized businesses across the country. Every customer is is provided with the reliable, flexible and secure payment solutions they need whether it is a Point of Sale system, eCommerce, mobile pay, fundraising for non-profits, standard processing terminals and many other products in a clear, transparent manner they can trust. In addition, 51% of our proceeds go to our non-profit Giveback. We will deliver results, tell the truth, and make a difference through our determination to transform the business world. Good enough is not nearly enough. We go Beyond!
I believe strongly in community. Although I have clients across the country, I focus locally to help those in my community. I now do the credit card processing for and partner with The Milford Bank. I also do the processing for the Milford Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber Trust, and the United Way of Milford, who both also utilize our Chip-In fundraising platform. Most of the businesses I work with are in Milford and surrounding towns. I save tens of thousands of dollars for local businesses, which is money that gets reinvested in our community and businesses instead of going off to processing companies that are taking advantage of business owners. I also currently work now with 22 local non-profits and are saving them tens of thousands as well. These dollars saved across the community are funds used to separately and collectively help the missions of those in need.
Q: When did you become a chamber member?
I became a member of the Milford Chamber within a month or so of joining Beyond. I remember sitting down with Nell at the Chamber 2 1/2 years ago and being introduced to all the Chamber can offer. I was very nervous attending my first Milford Chamber after hours, but was helped being lead around by a Chamber ambassador! Since that time I am now a Chamber ambassador and vocal proponent to local businesses everywhere about the benefits of the Milford Chamber.
Q: How has the chamber been a valuable resource?
The Milford Chamber introduced me to the Milford business community. The Chamber is the vehicle that allowed me meet, build, and grow a great number of trusting business relationships over the past several years. The Milford Chamber really is the hub of all things business related in Milford and as I described it last week during Chamber Week, it is the beating heart of the Milford business community.
Q: What is special about doing business in Milford?
Milford is a true community and doing business in Milford is no different. There is a true business community in Milford. Especially through the Chamber, business owners and entrepreneurs go above and beyond to support one another. Someone that you know in Milford knows someone else in Milford that you would like to know, and because of this there really is a trusted and connected network of professionals. Milford is such a great place to live and work, and to be able to help out in the community that I live in and love is pretty special.