David Beatus ’01 Helps Companies Gift Green
By Laura Butchy ’04 Arts
These days, it seems that everyone is trying to be more environmentally conscious. Individuals are replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs, and companies are recycling everything from paper to electronics.
David Beatus ’01 has taken his dedication to the environment one step further than most, supporting the movement to “go green” by founding Green Promos Direct (www.greenpromosdirect.com). A division of Joy Products, Green Promos offers only eco-friendly and recycled promotional products.
“After five years in the promotional products and ad specialty business, I saw an opportunity to serve a whole new and emerging market, the eco-friendly and environmentally responsible business gift and premium market,” Beatus says. Though most companies offer a few products, he recognized the need for a central place where clients could find environmentally friendly promotions.
Although the Green Promos Web site went live in November 2007, Beatus timed its official launch to coincide with Earth Day 2008. The company now offers the largest selection of “green” promotional products in the country, including hundreds of items with varying degrees of eco-friendliness and recycled material. Beatus adds new offerings to the Web site every day, including everything from organic shirts and hats to recycled journals and folios to biodegradable and compostable plastic cups to lanyards and bags made from recycled soda bottles.
Though finding new products and keeping up with technology (such as materials and recycling processes) can be challenging, Beatus says the process has been fun and educational. Enthusiastic responses to the products have increased demand from devoted clients, including Barnard College.
“David and his company understand Barnard’s commitment to sustainability,” says Erin Fredrick ’01 Barnard, interim director of alumnae affairs at Barnard. “Their innovative and creative approaches have enabled us to provide alumnae with nice, cost-efficient green products such as Barnard Alumnae notepads made of recycled paper.”
Beatus’ creative approach to business dates back to his time at Columbia, where he majored in economics. Growing up on Long Island, he says he was attracted to the College for its location in the business capital of the world as well as its Core Curriculum. Outside his studies, he participated in crew, volunteered for Columbia Community Outreach and was president of Alpha Epsilon Pi. “Even back in school, Dave always led the way with new ideas, sometimes just for a laugh but more often in a manner that helped friends. He just always got things done,” says Alex Eule ’01. “Green Promos is one more example of his outside-the-box approach.”
After graduation, Beatus spent a few months traveling throughout Europe before returning to Long Island to help with the family business while looking for a job. His father had founded Joy Products, an advertising specialties distributorship, in 1972 in their hometown of Port Washington, N.Y. “It was just the two of us in the office, and as some time went by, I started to pick up some new clients for the business and kind of forgot about my job searching,” Beatus says, “and I’ve never left.”
While Beatus hopes to return to Columbia for an M.B.A., Green Promos is keeping him busy in Port Washington, where he lives with his wife and their Wheaten Terrier puppy. Beatus scours the world looking for new products, devoting the company to genuinely “green” offerings.
“The line is very blurry as of late in the United States,” he says. “We’ve seen our competitors claim a ceramic mug as ‘eco-friendly’ on the grounds that it is a reusable item, and therefore, paper or Styrofoam cups are not thrown out each day. We’re aiming to be truly ‘green,’ so if it’s not made from recycled materials or biodegradable, it won’t be featured on our site.”