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MBA Allows Entrepreneurs To Stay On Track, Says Philadelphia CEO

Randall M. Hendricks is the founder and CEO of SWS – Sustainable Waste Solutions. SWS offers alternatives to landfills for waste and recycling for various companies in the Delaware Valley area. Hendricks has over 25 years of expertise in the energy-from-waste industry. He attended Villanova University and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

What is your educational background?

"I received my Master of Business Administration in marketing from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1980 and my Bachelor of Science in accounting from Villanova in 1976. When I wasn't crunching numbers, I was hitting the hardwood floors as a Villanova basketball practice player."

What is your background in management?

"I've worked with both public and private sectors of the energy-waste industry. It has helped me lead and navigate what can sometimes be tricky and political waters. I currently manage a team of approximately 25 employees. Prior to that, I served as the Vice President of Business Development for U.S. subsidiaries of Veolia Environmental, a large environmental service company based in Paris. I was also the Executive Director of Waste System Authority of Montgomery County after my first true role as a manager with Unclaimed Freight furniture. In this role, I was brought on to manage and grow a chain of 15 retail stores for Unclaimed Freight furniture stores in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. I've also worked at a tile factory, a marketing and consulting firm, among other smaller jobs 'back then,' which all contribute to my success and management style today."

How has your education fueled your management success?

"My education at Wharton and Villanova gave me a strong foundation and overall structure to analyze difficult business decisions and develop solutions. With education as the cornerstone on my journey as a professional and eventual manager, I've always felt like I've been equipped with the proper skill sets to prepare me for most (not all!) realities you face in the business world. My MBA at Wharton really capped off my fuel tank to management success, since it is where I really began applying analytical and theoretical tools to practical issues in financial management and marketing."

What advice would you give someone just starting out in your field?

"Truly understand the basics of your business and industry before anything else! It is very easy to let the excitement of a new business adventure or rapid growth steer you off track, but stay the course and keep your eyes on the road. Learn, recognize and understand the three most important facets of business management: 1) Sales and Marketing, 2) Operations and 3) Finance. Now, this doesn't mean you have to be the expert in each of these categories, but it is essential that you are constantly aware of how they work alone and interrelate to run an efficient, productive and successful business."

Christina Thompson is a freelance writer living in Philadelphia. She reports on various topics such as: Social Media, Local Events, Entertainment, Food and Drink and more. Her work can be found at

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