|Written by Clean Currents Resi|
|Tuesday, 29 May 2012 18:46|
Every once in a while you come across a store where the staff is friendly, pleasant, and helpful (and not in the "I want to sell you something" type of helpful) - Charm City Run is that type of store. Clean Currents staff member Lauren Shafer had a chance to sit with Josh Levinson, owner of Charm City Run, for a little Q&A session.
Lauren: In a few short sentences, tell us what Charm City Run is all about, including what inspired you to create Charm City Run?
Josh: Charm City Run is a running and walking specialty, company consisting of 5 retail locations in Annapolis, Baltimore, Bel Air, Clarksville and Timonium. Charm City Run Events manages and produces over 70 endurance sporting events per year. The inspiration behind Charm City Run was a running specialty store in Austin called Run-Tex. The store was integrated in the community, the vibe was always positive and the owners’ kids came to work. I believed that we could make the community a happier, healthier place.
Lauren: In looking over your accomplishments at Charm City Run, what are you most proud of?
Josh: I am most proud of inspiring people to do better. We get people moving and then they accomplish things that were unimaginable and then I believe they are happier people with fuller lives. I am proud of our young staff that has developed into smart, driven young adults that put the customer and community first. I am proud of our impact in the community and perhaps the Run to Remember is the best example. We created the Run to Remember because we didn’t think police officers and fire fighters get the thanks they deserve. Now we do it once a year and it gets the better of me emotionally. It is powerful.
Lauren: Aside from your recent switch to Clean Currents, what are actions in your personal or professional life have you taken to reduce your climate impact?
Josh: Unfortunately I believe that private industry must take the lead to reduce climate impact. My personal efforts are for my children. I simply do not want them to ask me what I did to help and have my answer be nothing. We try to do all the smart things at home but the extraordinary thing that we do is as a business. Charm City Run is a proud member of 1% for the Planet. 1% of all of our revenue goes to non-profits that work on the environment. There is a listing of the 2012 recipients on our web site. This is an international effort where you can give completely local. That is important to us. We ask our community to shop local we have to give local. Environmental initiatives are in an unfair fight. We try to make it more, fair.
Lauren: What made you decide to support renewable energy?
Josh: Clean Currents was a home run. We often pay more to do the right thing. We pay for the recycle bin on our property even though we are not the landlords as an example. I was prepared to pay a premium but wanted to see how much of a premium it would be. I was pleasantly surprised to discover the cost was not only competitive but less than our current BGE and rates. This is a home run for us. Saving money and doing the right thing. Doing the right thing allows us to embolden customer loyalty. We look to accomplish that at every turn.
Lauren: What’s coming up for Charm City Run in the future? Are you looking at any additional locations, or is there any other news?
Josh: Charm City Run has undergone significant growth in the last 10 years. We are concentrating on a successful launch in Baltimore and growth opportunities in Howard County. In other news we are having a 10 Year Anniversary celebration June 9th in Timonium. We are running 10 miles at 1:30pm and there will be live music and refreshments following. There will be a 5-mile option. The event will benefit Blue Water Baltimore and Bridges. In other news, we are finalists for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
I'm like many mothers I know, concerned about the planet our kids will inherit and overwhelmed by daily life. Clean Currents made it simple and affordable to switch to 100% wind power, without breaking my back or the bank.
- Residential Customer Michelle Culp