Repowered, formerly known as Tech Dump, has a new CEO.
The Twin Cities-based electronics recycler and refurbisher announced this week that Heather Walch, who most recently served as interim president at the Minneapolis-based Bakken Museum, will take on the nonprofit’s leadership role after its longtime leader, Amanda LaGrange, exited the nonprofit earlier this year.
Walch has decades of experience in new business, market development and nonprofit volunteering, the press release said. Prior to her role at the Bakken Museum, Walch was at Vadnais Heights-based manufacturer H.B. Fuller Co. for over 12 years, serving most recently as global marketing director in the hygiene health and consumables business, according to her LinkedIn page.
In her new role, which she began earlier this month, Walch plans to use her corporate experience to help build Repowered’s connections to local businesses, bringing more awareness to the nonprofit’s services, being able to supply partners with refurbished electronics and creating channels for job opportunities in the future, Walch told Minne Inno.
“Interconnectedness is how we’re serving the community,” she said.
Founded in 2010 as the Jobs Foundation, the nonprofit eventually became known as Tech Dump, and later, Repowered. It provides recycling services for electronics to businesses, organizations and community members, and sells refurbished items, like laptops and tablets. The nonprofit has processed more than 40 million pounds of electronics and given millions of dollars of paid training to previously incarcerated adults.
The nonprofit went through a period of growth under former CEO LaGrange’s leadership, as it doubled its size with an expansion to its St. Paul facility in 2019, and made its first acquisition, buying mail-in electronics recycling program Scrubb.IT, that same year, the Business Journal reported. LaGrange became CEO in 2015.
Repowered, which has nearly 100 employees, has doubled its revenue since 2018, board chair Renee Conklin told the Business Journal earlier this year. The nonprofit expects to continue to pursue that pace of revenue growth over the next three years to support its social enterprise work, which includes hiring and training people with barriers to employment.
Being able to facilitate jobs also helps amid the broader workforce shortage, Walch said. “This is really valuable to not just the people here, but also the community at large.”
Conklin said in the release that the board was confident in Walch to lead Repowered through its next phase of growth. “The organization is on a great trajectory, and we are excited about powering forward with continued momentum and impact.”