Michael Dadashi

CEO gives employees a second chance in life

Before 29-year-old Michael Dadashi turned his company into the 28th-fastest growing business in the U.S., he was an alcoholic for 10 years. In 2006, he founded MHD Enterprises, an asset recovery and reverse logistics business that recycles, refurbishes and resells electronics, that is located at 9715 Burnet Road. But Dadashi still struggled with alcoholism, preventing him from growing his business. He then had a spiritual experience that motivated him to connect with a mentor who taught him about prayer, meditation and volunteering at detox and rehab centers. With his efforts refocused, Dadashi began growing his company. In 2012, MHD landed on Inc. magazine's list of fast-growing companies at the No. 28 spot. Dadashi is also launching a charity called One For One World in which people can donate used cellphones that will go to others in need. He plans to move his business into a larger facility this year and hire about 20 more employees.

How are you able to be so open about your experience with alcoholism?

I think it is important for people to know that there is hope out there and that people can recover no matter how far down the scale they've gone because I was really at rock bottom for a good five years of my life. I was as low as it can get. For me to overcome that through spiritual fitness and giving back to the community, through living a life of integrity and really trying to help people is a good message to give to people that could be struggling. I want them to know that recovery is possible. I think that me being open about it can help save somebody's life.

What is it like for people with a history of alcoholism to find work after recovery?

It's super super difficult. I've had employees here who have had multiple DUIs, and you look at multiple DUIs and that's a very bad charge. When they get out of rehab and they're really heading in the right direction ... they're handicapped from getting work just because they have a felony. ... Most people won't even look at their resume.

Why is it important to give people a second chance?

It's really a big part of their recovery. If they can have a sense of purpose in life and be led in the right direction and have something to be a part of, they have a higher chance of recovery. Recovery is really a design for living. It's not just one thing. It's a whole lifestyle.

What do you think is behind the vast growth your company has experienced?

I think that our innovation and our approach to the business is completely different to other businesses. We're on the ground level in the buying and the selling of different IT equipment and consumer electronics, and what we're doing is we're setting up a wholesale as well as an e-commerce approach where most companies are just doing one or the other. ... When I started volunteering at local rehabs and detox centers ... I started to hire the top candidates and the people that really wanted to change their life and head in the right direction. As a result of that, I found super talented people that wanted to really start fresh and be a part of something big. That's been a huge part of the growth.

By Amy Denney

Managing Editor, Austin metro

Amy has worked for Community Impact Newspaper since September 2010, serving as reporter and later senior editor for the Northwest Austin edition as well as covering transportation in the Austin metro. She is now managing editor for the 10 publications in the Central Texas area from Georgetown to New Braunfels.


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