Kelly Aaron Gallagher, co-founder and president of EverLights, was a member of the inaugural class of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program in Chicago. Only 37 Chicago business owners of the 150 who applied were selected to participate in this program.
According to Goldman Sachs, “10,000 Small Businesses is a $500 million investment to help small businesses create jobs and economic opportunity by providing them with greater access to business education, financial capital, and business support services.”
The program seems to be paying off for EverLights. The company has seen a 25% increase in sales since Gallagher began the program in January.
“The experience was one-of-a-kind and tested me in ways I never could have imagined,” said Gallagher. “The information I learned in the program can be applied to my leadership style and will help me develop new goals and strategies for the company. I am grateful for having had the opportunity to participate.”
Gallagher, along with the entire group of scholars, was honored at a graduation ceremony last month. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, 10,000 Small Businesses Advisory Council co-chair Warren Buffet and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein also took part in the ceremony.
EverLights was established in 1995 when Patt Gallagher, founder of Evergreen Supply Company, attempted to recycle fluorescent lamps. The recycling effort was unsuccessful which led Patt and her daughter Kelly Aaron Gallagher to research fluorescent lamp recycling in Illinois. They found that 22 million fluorescent lamps ended up in Illinois landfills in 1995, which drove them to push for proper lamp disposal legislation in the state. In 1997, Illinois became one of the first states to pass a lamp recycling law—an effort in which the company says the mother-daughter team played a key role.
Today, EverLights offers EverMail—a mail-in recycling service—and the company will also pick up bulk loads of products to recycle at a business location. While these services are primarily aimed at businesses, EverLights does accept spent lights, lighting supplies and electronics from Chicago-area residents at no charge.
In addition to recycling programs, EverLights also handles electronic waste recycling and offers lighting audit and retrofit recommendations. The company also sells energy efficient lamps and related products.Tagged with tED