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October 31, 2018

CLYNK names new CEO, pivots into tech

Courtesy / CLYNK
Courtesy / CLYNK
Alison Vanderhoof is the new president and CEO of CLYNK, a Maine-based bottle redemption and recycling services company that has processed more than 900 million containers since its start in 2006.

About CLYNK

Founded in 2006, CLYNK (Count and Crush LLC) is one of the fastest-growing bottle redemption and recycling services in the country, processing under patented technology over 900 million containers since its inception. With this technology, CLYNK is a true disruptor, combining myriad bottle redemption and traffic-driving capabilities on behalf of its partners. Unlike any other bottle redemption service worldwide, CLYNK offers a convenient and easy bag-drop system at retail that eliminates waiting in line, manual count, material separation and reduces fraud — which are all concerns that have historically dampened redemption participation and customer satisfaction. CLYNK is also the only bottle redemption system that allows customers to create a personal account, accumulate a balance and use funds at their discretion (for cash, groceries, or electronic donations to community organizations). Headquartered in Maine, the company currently operates in Hannaford Supermarkets in Maine and New York and has licensed technology in Oregon, Iowa and New Brunswick, Canada.

CLYNK, a national technology leader in the recycling sector based in Maine, has named Alison Vanderhoof as its president and CEO.

For the last 18 months, Vanderhoof has served as president of CLYNK, where she has spearheaded a long-term growth effort and helped navigate the continued expansion in New York state as well as new partner opportunities in Iowa and New Brunswick, Canada. CLYNK's revenue is on track for more than 80% growth versus two years ago.

She succeeds founder Clayton Kyle, who will be executive chairman.

"This is the ideal culmination of a succession plan that began two-plus years ago when Clayton indicated he'd like to step back from the daily routine," Peter Michaud, CLYNK board member, said in a news release. "We appreciate all of his contributions since CLYNK was founded 12 years ago and wanted to enable his path while not taking our foot off the gas for key growth efforts including national — and international — expansion."

Michaud said Vanderhoof "has demonstrated an innate ability to identify and capture the right kind of growth — by providing meaningful services and value to both our customers and partners."

He added that her focus, internally within the company, has been "on creating a fresh and contagious culture of innovation and enthusiasm for the recycling mission of CLYNK."

"We are excited for what lies ahead of CLYNK with Alison at the helm," Michaud said.

Veteran of ‘emerging industries’

Vanderhoof brings decades of experience to the company and has a solid record of taking customer-centric companies like CLYNK to a higher level. Previously, she held executive roles at WEX (NYSE: WEX) and the retail-focused business at business-to-consumer technology growth company Vistaprint (Nasdaq: Cimpress NV).

"I'm thrilled that Alison is going to lead CLYNK into the future," said Clayton Kyle, CLYNK's founder and newly appointed executive chairman. "Her career has exposed her to a great many industries and business models, which is a tremendous benefit to a company defining fresh territory. We value both her ability to bring simplicity and structure to complex problems and her gift for motivating a spirited and close-knit team. We look forward to further exceptional growth under her steady hand."

Kyle will be taking on strategic projects but has decided to move away from the day-to-day operations.

What lies ahead?

Vanderhoof described the next chapter for CLYNK as one of growth, opportunity and communicating the depth and breadth of the company's value to customers and to partners. "We have a lot going right, which means unprecedented growth and running at a full sprint while making sure our customers receive the service they deserve," she said. "Like a new team, we drill every day to ensure we are grabbing the best among the many opportunities churning in the national recycling market."

Vanderhoof said CLYNK is shifting its focus somewhat to take advantage of its role "as a multi-community impact business, an industry disruptor and a technology and marketing partner for many players in container redemption, recycling, and retail."

"We already hold the innovations, technology, and reputation to do this credibly," she said. "It is now a matter of turning up the volume."

On a personal note, she added: "This stage in the life of a startup growth company is an intoxicating adrenaline rush. It's fun to come to work each day, and the added pleasure of leading this strong team through this transformation is a pretty phenomenal combination."

Outside of her leadership role at CLYNK, Vanderhoof also is a vice president of the board of directors of Portland Ovations and serves on the PortTix board.

She has been a consultant and advisor to multiple New England-area businesses and non-profits, and actively supports the three local schools attended by her children.

She received an MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern and a bachelor of arts degree in economics from Princeton University.

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