This Fast Growing Company Is Giving Former Addicts and Alcoholics A Second Chance @FastCompany

This Fast-Growing Company Is Giving Former Addicts And Alcoholics A Second Chance

MHD Enterprises CEO Michael Dadashi knows firsthand that the road to recovery is paved with second, third, and sometimes fourth chances.

Today, Michael Dadashi is the CEO of MHD Enterprises, a multi-million dollar e-waste recycling company based in Austin. But five years ago he was a heroin addict who couldn't keep a job and nearly lost his life to an overdose—and that was his turning point. "I've been given a second chance over a hundred times," Dadashi says. "People have really believed in me. I've let them down. They believed in me again, and I let them down—but it paid off because in 2009 I finally got sober."

MHD takes used IT equipment from large companies or returned consumer products and refurbishes, resells, or recycles them. What sets MHP apart from other e-waste recycling companies is that nearly 70% of the staff are recovering or former addicts. "I got plugged into the fact that if I focus my efforts on helping other people get sober, then I can stay sober—and that's why giving people a second chance is so important to me."

Michael Dadashi

Dadashi, even while in the throes of his addiction, has always been a natural born salesmen. Years before MHD, he talked his way into a job in a field he knew little about and was hired as a sales rep for an e-waste recycling business in California. "They set me up as a rep to do business-to-business sales, so I would cold-call all day, but I'd be high on cocaine, Adderall, or Vicodin," he says. "I would just pick up the phone and start calling people, and I was closing like six-figure deals, but a company can't keep you on their payroll if you don't show up for a week."

After being fired, rehired, and finally fired again, Dadashi started MHD Enterprises in an effort to create a steadier flow of cash to support his heroin addiction. Relying on old clients, Dadashi set up shop recycling computers and parts for resale on his own. When he was clean, business was booming, but when he would relapse, business would come to a screeching halt. "I'd just disappear because my disease would spiral out of control, I would go on these sprees," he says.

Dadashi knew he needed to get clean, but rehab wasn’t working. With the support of a sponsor, Dadashi focused his attention on recovery, had a spiritual revelation, and as of June 20, 2009, Dadashi has remained sober.

Getting clean also meant he could spend more time growing his company, but as MHD developed into a sustainable business Dadashi needed employees. With the rehab community being his closest circle, he turned to recovering drug addicts and alcoholics to find his work force.

Dadashi regularly speaks at rehab centers in the Austin area to promote and encourage the road to recovery, and he remains focused on growing MHD in order to maintain his own sobriety: "We're giving computers and electronics a second chance, but what talks to my heart is giving people a second chance."

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  • Cynthia Luna

    This note is for Ms. Dadashi, I read the article in the "in Recovery Magazine" and the story, (more than that) was amazing to me. I truly believe in what it is that he is doing. If in any way, I could even speak with him, I would love the opportunity.

    May God continue to bless him and his team........

    Cynthia Luna

  • Linda Hansen

    There is NO such thing as a RECOVERED addict/alcoholic! They must constantly strive to stay away from drugs and/or alcohol. It is a constant battle that gets easier to handle as time goes on, and the moment they believe that they are recovered and one drink or hit won't hurt is the moment that they lose the battle. Kudos to this company for giving recovering addicts/alcoholics the chance they need to turn their lives around!!!

  • Lynda McCarty Tugman

    Steve Harvey also had Mike Benedict on the stage with Michael Dadashi. He said what an inspiration and help Michael was to him in his recovery. Well this is a shout out to Mike Benedict. He came and visited with me at my daughter's request. He stayed for several hours. Because of this, I want to say that Mike Benedict is truly an inspiration to me and has helped me tremendously in my own recovery. Mike thank you for all you do and all you stand for. Know you are truly loved. God bless you all.

    Lynda Tugman

  • Cathy Scardino Fiore

    I just heard of Michael Dadashi when I went for a taping on the Steve Harvey show in Chicago. Having addiction in my own family, it was so wonderful to see how Michael works so hard to save others lives and give them a second chance while maintaining his own recovery. He is a true angel from heaven. It makes me want to move to Austin and work for his company, and bring a few recovering friends and family members along with me. He isn't only helping people, he is helping our world by refurbishing products and keeping our earth a greener, better place to live. Michael had an intervention with the Lord, and in a miraculous way, he is a prime example of what faith and spirituality can do for a troubled person. In my eyes are an extraordinary human being and a prime example of Goodness, Faith, and Love for mankind. So impressed with you and your story.....

  • Ann Alessi

    As a mother I am always on the look-out for good inspirational stories to share with my recovered addict son. Thank you for sharing.

  • This is a good article and it is nice to here about company helping addicts.

    This article could be improved, or perhaps made more accurate, by changing the description of the addict. It would be better to say recovered or recovering addict.

    There is no such thing as "former addict." When it comes to drugs and alcohol there is only remission and it is dependent upon total abstinence from the addictive substance.