December 13, 2009


Joey Pappalardo is the Director of Business Development for, an internet-based company that provides "the easiest, fastest and greenest way to turn your old electronic devices into cash." YouRenew is a platform for purchasing and selling old electronics from cell phones, laptops and cameras, to gaming devices, calculators, and DVDs--a tech-junkie and environmentalist's dream in one web address. Joey graduated from Yale University in 2008,  and although he just recently moved from NYC (and a job on Wall Street) back to New Haven, Connecticut, to work in the YouRenew office, we couldn't resist featuring him. Joey is the image of a socially-responsible member of the internet generation, and unarguably one of the nicest people around. As e-commerce becomes a staple of the marketplace, keep your eye on the movements of ReCommerce (e-commerce's environmentally-friendly cousin), so that you can get the most value out of everything you buy and cut down on the amount of waste going into our landfills.

We present to you the thoughts of Joey Pappalardo, living green and in high-voltage. 

What was the inspiration for YouRenew? 
Electronic waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the United States, and currently only 11% is being recycled. Despite the statistics, we believe that consumers and enterprises want to be responsible with their old electronics, and simply have not had available to them a convenient means to act on this desire. answers this demand with a simple solution that allows people to get paid to go green with their old cell phones and other types of gadgets. 

Describe your role within YouRenew: 
I am the leader of business development activities. Day to day this means I am on the phone or meeting face to face with individuals or organizations whose respective missions are in one way or another aligned with our own. Finding ways to work together to the benefit of our customers, the environment, and our respective organizations will help us realize our vision more quickly and more effectively. 

Are you a geek? 

Do you live green? 
Yes, and I am honing this skill-set more and more every day. 

Do you unplug all your electrical appliances when not in use? 
Of course. I even unplug my roommate's. In fact, I will occasionally make rounds on my block to remind our neighbors to do the same. I was once invited in for some dinner. Everyone is very nice about it...except for Mr. Ortale, who lives on the corner. He leaves his lights on 24/7. Can't believe that guy. 

Do you use the site yourself? 
I have once. I walked into the operations facility to drop off an iPod after it got water logged. I feel good about that order. 

How does the company see itself growing? 
There is a tremendous need for consumers and enterprises to be more responsible with their used electronics. When people throw this stuff out, it is not only harmful to the environment (toxic metals leak into our water supply unless reused or recycled properly), but it is also a significant waste of value. As people become increasingly aware of a simple solution that enables them to get paid to be green, I think there is a good chance that we will continue our rapid growth rate. 

Best part of being involved with YouRenew: 
Building a business with true friends has been very rewarding. YouRenew was founded in a Yale dorm room by Rich Littlehale and Bob Casey, two old teammates and friends from my time as an undergrad. I had already graduated in 2008 and moved to NYC to join the Wall Street workforce, but when Rich and Bob asked me to be a part of what they were up to, there was no way I could pass it up. The opportunity to build out their vision for a simple solution to a rapidly growing problem--and to do it with great friends--seemed too good to miss out on. I liked my old job, but it couldn't compare.

We need to use keys to get into the bathroom. Every time I need to go, I have to walk to the receptionist, take a key off a hook, and use that to get into the bathroom. Sounds simple enough, but when you accidentally leave the keys in the bathroom (and lock everyone else out), then you have a problem. 

Strangest appliance offered for trade-in? 
We've gotten an Atari, which I thought was pretty cool. We also have a bunch of gameboys. I get a little nostalgiac sometimes. 

I enjoy golf, basketball, skiing and going to movies. I also got into this workout routine called crossfit, which is a pretty great way to start the day. Have gotten back in good shape. I'll never be like "The situation," but a man can dream. Watching MTV's The Jersey Shore is not a hobby. More of a one time thing, but I must say it has changed the way I look at things. Incredible. 

Your hero: 
Joe Pappalardo Sr. He is 64 and still has a pretty good jumpshot. 

Your New Years Resolution:
To start doing laundry more regularly. This is something I am serious about. When you are working at a startup, these simple things can be challenging. 

Favorite appliance store/site other than your own? 
Apple. They are instituting more and more environmentally responsible practices and make some pretty awesome products as well. 

Where you go to brainstorm big ideas, in NYC: 
To be honest, since moving back to New Haven to be closer to YouRenew's main office, I have not exactly done a whole lot of brainstorming in NYC. With a finite amount of time, my trips usually of a more mellow mindset. I will say I love the train from New Haven to NYC, the Metro North. I definitely get some good thinking in during those rides.

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