Ian Rosenberger, Thread International PBC, Inc.
In the wake of Haiti's earthquake in 2010, Pittsburgh (Beaver County) native Ian Rosenberger founded Thread, which salvages trash from poor communities in Haiti and Honduras and uses it to create sustainable, dignified jobs as a route out of poverty for individuals in these communities. To date, Thread has shipped nearly 200,000 pounds of recycled plastic out of Haiti, the first step on its journey to become fabric and then finished goods for global companies, including Timberland, Marmot, and Reebok. The work creates jobs and is good for the planet and the apparel industry, which employs almost one- fifth of the world’s population and remains among its dirtiest and most polluting. Mr. Rosenberger has spent nearly 10 years studying economic redevelopment and working with the poor and so far has raised over $8 million to invest in creating and placing people into good, dignified jobs. He attended Penn State, where he served as the Undergraduate Student Government president, and is an Eagle Scout. He and his wife, Raashi, believe that ending poverty will be possible by the time they have grandchildren.