Alumnus Jeremy Stroop, Operations Manager for the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE), credits Dalton State with “opening the door to a rewarding career in environmental sustainability while providing the necessary skills to excel in a corporate environment.”
Those skills, and the significant impact Stroop is making across the nation and in Georgia toward increasing the reuse and recycling of old carpet, have earned him the distinction of being named one of Georgia Trend magazine’s “40 Georgians under the age of 40” honorees this fall.
“This is the 14th year we have recognized an outstanding group of young Georgians,” announced Georgia Trend editor Susan Percy.
“Our class of 2010 includes representatives from business, government, education, law enforcement, nonprofits and the arts. It’s an impressive group and it’s a pleasure to be able to share their stories with our readers.”
As the operations manager for CARE, Stroop networks with the carpet industry, entrepreneurs, consumers and government agencies to educate and implement programs that will help recover carpet waste in order to put it to new uses.
“Since carpet is a petroleum-based product, it is a waste to throw it away once it has reached the end of its useful life in a home or a business,” Stroop says. “Old carpet can be recycled into numerous products, including new carpet, carpet cushion, automotive parts, and erosion control devices.”
Stroop, a 2006 graduate of Dalton State who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing Systems, is very active in the community as a volunteer for many local organizations. He works with the American Cancer Society as their Relay for Life, team captain; in the past has served as a youth leader for the Christian Motorcyclist Association, as a foster parent for the Walker County Foster Parent Association, as a Sunday school teacher, as a site leader for the Conasauga watershed clean-up efforts, and as a volunteer for United Way’s Young Leaders Society.
The”40 Georgians under the age of 40” were selected from a pool of more than 300 nominations from the magazine’s readers. Each honoree is considered to have left a significant mark on their professions and communities.
“The most valuable lesson that I learned while at Dalton State is to never give up,” says Stroop, recalling his struggles with an applied calculus class that he considered dropping.
“Dr. (Donna) Mayo, my advisor and now the Dean of the School of Business, convinced me to stay in the course and give it my best college try. Through a lot of blood, sweat and tears, I was able to bring my grade up to a ‘C’ and continue in my studies. If I had dropped the class, I might have changed my major or dropped out of school completely. It was the only ‘C’ I received in my college career, so it also taught me a little humility that I continue to draw on in my working career.”
Stroop believes that the courses he took from Dr. John Lugthart, Professor of Biology, were critical to shaping his future career goals.
“Dr. Lugthart ignited the passion that I have for protecting the environment through sustainable business practices,” Stroop says.
“The Environmental Science course that I took from him led to my interest and ultimately taking a job working for a non-profit that strives to decrease the amount of old carpet going into our nation’s landfills.
And Dr. Mayo, who advised me for four years, ensured that I took the classes that would not only make me a great marketer, but also a competent employee concerning other areas of business study.”