Dan Weisenbach started making buttons and stickers for local bars and rock bands in his basement to pay tuition, never imagining how quickly the demand for his products would burgeon into an actual business. These days, Weisenbach Recycled Products is a successful eco-friendly manufacturer of quality custom promotional products in Downtown Columbus.
In the beginning it was all about establishing a printing business, but over the years Weisenbach discovered that he could attract such diverse customers as Intel, Walmart, Whole Foods, small businesses, non-profit organizations and governmental entities while staying true to his commitment to recycling, litter prevention, responsible resource management and best business practices.
"I like to see Columbus State listed on a resume because I need employees ready to learn more on the job and be productive."
These days, Weisenbach Recycled Products offers a lot more than Weisenbach's basement operation did. The company relies on rescued resources—scrap materials discarded by others—to manufacture eco-friendly plastic funnels, oil spouts, office products, pens & pencils, award frames and glass trophies, to name just a few of the hundreds of items.
Business is booming, and it's all added up to an annual revenue surpassing $2 million. Highly regarded and highly respected, Weisenbach loves to share his passion and wisdom with customers, students, and policy makers.
Not only has Weisenbach has served as the Governor's Appointee to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Recycling and Litter Prevention Advisory Council for six terms under four different governors, he is the current vice president of the Board of Directors of Keep Ohio Beautiful. He's also on the board of local nonprofit Green Columbus, which is responsible for the yearly Earth Day Columbus; and is a member of Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman's "Green Team."
After a year at The Ohio State University, Weisenbach discovered that Columbus State's Digital Design and Graphics program—then called Graphic Communications—offered courses that aligned better with his interests and career ambitions. He was impressed that the teachers based their answers to his frequent after-class questions on real work experience.
"Columbus State prepares students to be ready to work," he says. "I like to see Columbus State listed on a resume because I need employees ready to learn more on the job and be productive."
It's taken hard work and a willingness to learn to create a sustainable, environmentally conscious, multi-million dollar business that stands out from the competition's. But Weisenbach is doing something he loves, and all he needed to get started was a little help from Columbus State.