On one of my travels overseas, back in the 90s, I went on a hike on Mount Sinai in Egypt where Moses had his revelation of the 10 Commandments. Hiking in the pitch black, we hiked through the desert to arrive at the top of the mountain just as the sun was rising. Looking out over the desert, the views were truly spectacular, but when I looked down, I saw plastic water bottles scattered all around the valleys.
Then I thought, there must be a way to recycle the plastic locally and turn it into products that are needed in this resource-constrained location. This thought sat in the back of my head for many years.
Most recently, I came across the Precious Plastic Community and their mission to encourage people to recycle and transform waste locally struck me. This community awakened and reignited my thoughts from many years ago. As I learned more about the topic, I started discussing and collaborating with an old friend, Gail Wilson from Anchor Shred and Recycle. And this is how Inspired Plastics was born!
Along the way, my vision has brought together a diverse team of talented people with different backgrounds but a common desire: make an impact on communities and create a better environment for future generations by mixing cultures, international traditions, and a global perspective on the “plastic” problem the society is experiencing for the last 30-40 years.
-- Hadia Ghandour
Hadia Ghandour (Founder and CEO) is an entrepreneur, lecturer, with 5+ years of expertise in nonprofit management and 10+ years in consulting and technology. She also teaches Brand Management at UNCC and has taught Global Business and Entrepreneurship at Columbia College, SC. Her unique background and complementary knowledge of chemistry, social entrepreneurship, and marketing led to the idea and creation of Inspired Plastics. Originally from Lebanon, Hadia lived in England and now resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. Here, she focuses on involving the local community in reducing their carbon footprint and building a circular economy. When she is not being followed by snow monsters, Hadia can be found with her family, exploring the outdoors, or cooking food inspired by her passion for chemistry and experiments.
Sakeena Ghandour is currently studying Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in Design and a minor in Sustainability Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Her artistic talent and technical expertise are invaluable additions to the team. Sakeena is from South Carolina and enjoys painting and reading in her free time.
Katerina Bozhinova (Consultant) is a sustainability expert and a TRUE Zero Waste Advisor focused on community building and business development. She holds a Master's Degree in Sustainable Resource Management and is well equipped to identify and address sustainability challenges on both individual and organizational levels. Katerina brings in 5+ years of experience in consulting for the public and private sector. While originally from Bulgaria, Katerina is based in Charlotte, NC and she loves hiking, traveling, and reading.
Marco Carbone (Consultant) is an MBA professional with global experience in management, auditing, inspection construction, engineering, and design. With a Masters in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, he has been working for 20+ years in the Maritime Industry. He recently started exploring the world of entrepreneurship by pursuing his dream of inspiring future generations, including his kids, to create a safer and healthier world. Marco is currently working with his siblings overseas by managing the translation, publication, and marketing of Italian economic books for kids. He brings knowledge from his time onboard yachts and ships, where a sustainable approach is fundamental to preserve the beauty of the marine environment. He lives in Charlotte with his wonderful wife and two little kids. Marco loves sports, traveling, meeting new people with diverse backgrounds and cultures.