Eric Ludwig is a member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) Cleveland chapter, which he joined in 2003. He is also the founder and partner of Pulsar Eco Products. He recently shared with us how the COVID-19 pandemic has allowed him to put his EO learning to work. He is one of many EO members who have managed to do great things during these unprecendented times. Coronavirus has given many entrepreneurs an unlikely opportunity to embrace and truly live their companies’ core values.
Connecting with EO members from different countries has always been one of my favorite perks of EO membership.
In January 2020, when the COVID-19 crisis hit China, I was busy planning a two-week spring vacation to Europe with my 14-year-old daughter.
Through the EO network, I connected with EO members Lara Zimmerman (Netherlands), David Bijiker (Amsterdam) and Krzysztof Zdanowski (Poland) to orchestrate what would have been a once-in-a-lifetime itinerary.
Not only was it going to be an educational and fun trip, but it included meals with local EO families along the way with children the same ages.
Then COVID-19 took hold. Conversations with people on the ground in Asia, India and Europe not only made me re-think the trip, but rethink my business.
For the last 20 years, my company, Pulsar Eco Products created consumer goods for retailers like Wal-Mart, Meijer, Hobby Lobby as well as cruise lines such as Carnival, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean. Cruise lines were having issues, and it seemed unlikely that the summer 2020 Alaska cruise season—for which we were about to start production production—would happen at all.
Living the Learning
Retool, repurpose, redeploy was a theme I had learned at EO Global Leadership Conference—and now it was time to put those words into action.
Our factory partners in China had installed machinery to make masks for their local domestic market and we quickly positioned our team to put our strengths, know-how and network into action.
I’m proud to share we have already distributed over 14 million KN95 and civil masks to major partners such as the Mayo Clinic, State Relief Teams and Fortune 500 companies.
Embracing Our Core Values
#1 core value: WeNotME. Team Pulsar delivered and donated more than US$70,000 in PPE Masks to area nursing homes, MEDWISH, children’s hospitals, cancer centers, police stations and local government agencies.
#2 core value: Creative Thinkers, All Jobs, All Roles. While PPE masks may not seem creative, we have put our creative stamp on them by adding fun prints, brands and sayings to what otherwise is a fairly common surgical mask.
In the coming months we will be delivering masks to restaurants, mini marts and retail stores. It’s exciting to see us grow, but what brings me the most pleasure is the fact that we never had to lay off or furlough any staff members.
A Shared Goal
MyEO gave me the platform to expand my EO connections to people around the globe with common interests, networks and abilities. Friends in Australia, Hong Kong, Brazil, Holland, Philippines and Egypt gave me both the confidence and international perspective to pivot so quickly.
Our next endeavor is moving some production for certain items back to the USA. Millions of people have claimed unemployment and if we can impact just a few people, that would be incredible.
While serving on the Global Committee of MyEO, I became friends with EO Detroit member Vlad Gendelman (CompanyFolders.com) and, through
this relationship, I was able to match with a domestic paper converter to make our folders for back-to-school season 2020. We now have 500,000 folders in production in Michigan.
Thank you, EO, for giving me the tools network and community or business leaders around the globe.
Visit the #EOTogether platform often for the latest in news, webinars and resources related to worldwide COVID-19 coverage.