Department Profile: Business Development Department

Ever wonder how TerraCycle gets the necessary sponsorship to run the Brigade programs? That’s the job of our Business Development department. Thanks to them, we work with some of the largest companies in the world and collect more than 50 different products and packaging.

Jo Opot- Global Vice President, Business Development

The Business Development department didn’t exist until mid-2010 when TerraCycle’s CEO, Tom Szaky, created it to help create more recycling opportunities for TerraCycle and our Brigade members.  The team is responsible for securing new partnerships with a range of companies that want a solution for a particular waste stream.  The three members of the Business Development Team, Jo, Nikias, and Christian, all have experience in business development from prior jobs.

Christian Tucker-Business Development Manager

TerraCycle’s “BD Team” identifies new partners for TerraCycle in three different ways: through proactive outreach, networking, and through people reaching out to TerraCycle. When they reach out to new companies, they target those that care about sustainability and have the national reach to align with TerraCycle’s nationwide Brigade programs.  Working in business development is like solving a puzzle. You have to work together to create a mutually beneficial and acceptable arrangement that meets the goals of both companies involved.

Probably one of the most important skills of being successful in business development is maintaining relationships. It may take six months to two years for a deal to get finalized, so it’s very important to keep the contact going. Many companies will say “it’s not the best time right now” so it’s critical to keep in touch so you are there when it is the right time. For Jo, Nikias and Christian, one of the most rewarding aspects of their job is finalizing a partnership.

Nikias Stefanakis-Director of Business Development, USA

According to Nikias, he thinks his department is TerraCycle’s coolest because they “redefine natural swag.”  Looks like there’s some interdepartmental trash talk happening. Let the Nerf wars begin!

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