Powered by Technology & Innovation | Meet Matt and Derek, Part of the Retail and Wholesale Teams at REPOWERED


This week we sat down with Matt, Computer Repair Tech and Sales Associate at Repowered. At the start of our conversation Matt shared, “Hardware, and computers in general, have always been my passion. I’m glad to have the opportunity to solve problems every day. When a customer comes in with a problem with their computer, I have no idea what could be wrong and the challenge of solving the problem is fun!” 

On a day-to-day basis, he keeps the store running smoothly and our customers happy, and is the go-to person for customer repairs at our St. Paul retail store

Matt is also passionate about the environment. He believes in what Repowered is doing to keep electronics out of landfills. 

Our conversation was short and sweet. As we wrapped up, we asked Matt what he enjoys most outside of work. He shared, “Most of my hobbies revolve around computers and video games. I built my own gaming PC, and yesterday finished building my roommate’s gaming PC.” 

Matt Link headshot

After our conversation with Matt, we sat down with Derek Olson, Sr. Sales and Purchasing Manager at Repowered.

Derek kicked off our conversation saying, “The way the world is now, businesses can’t get away with not having technology. Everybody has to have a laptop or desktop computer. No matter the size of your organization, you are going to need IT products. So if you can provide a well-tested, reliable machine at a great price, then you’re onto something! That’s what we can offer at Repowered. I share with my customers that I can sell you three laptops for the price of one new one, and these laptops will last 10-15 years!” 

Derek notes that customers will have a 1-year warranty (that can be extended to two), often better than they would if they were buying new from the manufacturer. Plus, if any issues come up, you can bring it to one of our locations and we can often have a repaired or replaced computer back in your hands within one business day if we have all of the parts needed on hand. Another perk: you’ll get to work with fabulous computer repair technicians like Matt! We’ve found our customers like to engage with a familiar face and someone they trust. 

Derek shared that from a wholesale perspective he’s working with a lot of nonprofit organizations, schools, and emerging markets. To learn more about our wholesale program or to talk with Derek about purchasing in bulk, he’d be happy to hear from you

iMacs wrapped in bubblewrap ready for resale

Derek has been with Repowered since our inception, and reminded us of how we’ve grown over the years – going from accepting skis and wheelchairs to electronics!

He was heavily involved in developing our resale brand, formerly known as Tech Discounts, working behind the scenes (and often behind the counter) to get our retail stores open and our online shop running smooth. He laughed at the challenge of selling computers early on with a name like Tech Dump. Our rebrand to Repowered has created a notable shift in putting people at the forefront, where they belong. Derek shares, “Repowered works for the IT side and explains how we are repowering people, too.” 

His historical knowledge of the organization is an invaluable resource. Derek has seen the program evolve over the course of the last decade. In the beginning, there was no formal Work Readiness Program in place—we were simply passionate about employing people that were experiencing barriers to employment. He continued to explain that, we were growing so fast at first that, even though we were finding amazing employees, we couldn’t keep them on or pay them a comfortable wage. 

Years later we formalized goals centered around hope, and the foundation for the Work Readiness Program flourished. The program provides support in areas such as housing, transportation, training certification, and mental health services. Derek went on to say, “It’s crazy how different it is now! The support that we provide is a crucial ingredient for success. Things like microgrants – I can’t tell you how many people were able to take advantage of that grant to purchase their first car.” 

As our conversation came to an end, we discussed how the program continues to evolve as community partnerships are formed and a deeper understanding of the needs of our Work Readiness Employees are communicated. 

Every dollar you donate makes the continued innovation and evolution of our Work Readiness Program possible.

Want to make an impact this holiday season? Consider donating today! 

Following along for our We Are Repowered Series? Here are the stories we’ve shared: 

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