Marty Metro Moderates Green LAVA panel Sept 20, 6:30 PM, ROC

Joining Marty on Thursday evening at Real Office Centers in Santa Monica is Neal Roche, CEO of Gridtest Systems, Jordan Ramer, CEO of EV Connect and Lachlan McLean of PE firm US Renewables Group.  It is sure to be a fascinating evening with the entrepreneurs, an investor and the ebullient Mr. Metro.

Marty, CEO and Founder of the elegant business Used Cardboard Boxes will be hosting this weeks event.  Marty and the success of UCB is a familiar story of entrepreneurial success – dreams, trials, setbacks, pivots and finally hitting upon a winning formula through perseverance, guts and elbow grease.  The uncommon part is how a successful logistics business rises from the ashes of a simple, but stillborn idea – a retail store for used boxes.

Marty Metro has a unique, “if at first you don’t succeed” attitude… and a track record to prove it! He risked it all to be an innovator, and failed miserably. In 2002, he started a chain of eco-friendly retail stores to buy and sell USED moving boxes in Los Angeles. He had dreams of a national franchise, but his attempt was premature, undercapitalized and riddled with logistic flaws. After 3 long years without an income, Metro was forced to cease all operations, leaving him and his wife, not just an empty bank account, but $300,000 of personal debt.

Devastated but not discouraged, Metro took a “day job” as a technology consultant and spent nights and weekends, pursuing his dream. His relentless entrepreneurial drive lead him to revise business plan, raise capital and re-launch a scalable, tech-centric model to buy and sell millions of used boxes, just one year later. This time, he succeeded.

That plan grew to a national logistics firm now working with some of the largest companies in the country, and has been covered by most major news outlets. Entrepreneur Magazine featured Metro and in an article entitled: “From Business Failure to Multimillion-Dollar ‘Green’ Niche“Metro is an inspirational example of balancing financial returns with environmental responsibility. 

Rather than claim to know “how to succeed,” Metro embraces his mistakes and proudly shares them with audiences.Today, Metro is a proud member of the Walmart Sustainable Value Networks (SVNs) for both Packaging and Waste, invite-only groups of Walmart suppliers, academics and government agencies exploring challenges and developing solutions that benefit business, local and global communities. 

Metro is a co-chair of the Los Angeles Venture Association’s “LAVA Green,” former head of the Technical Council for Reuse at the California Resource Recovery Association and Board Member of the Entrepreneurs Organization in Los Angeles. Metro graduated Cum Laude from the University of Maryland and earned an MBA in Information Systems from the University of Arizona, before beginning his career as a supply chain consultant with Andersen Consulting. After over a decade of helping large companies increase profits by utilizing enterprise technology, Metro is a nationally-recognized eco-entrepreneur, working with some of the largest organizations in the country, to create value with reuse.

Attendees must pre-register at Green LAVA.  SIG events are free to LAVA members, all others are $35.  ROC is located at 604 Arizona, Santa Monica, 90401.  Networking begins at 6:30 PM.

Green LAVA is the Strategic Interest Group of the Los Angeles Venture Association focused on opportunities and challenges coincident with the design, development and deployment of sustainable products, services and businesses. Green LAVA is generously supported by Marcum, LLP and Stradling, LLP.