Don Mayer (BA RUP ’75) is the founder and CEO of Small Dog Electronics, a socially responsible company specializing in Apple products, based in Waitsfield, VT. Don was the keynote speaker at the Fall 2012 Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility Conference and will be opening a new retail store in Rutland, VT in April.
Based in Waitsfield, VT, Small Dog Electronics is New England’s largest Apple Specialist and one of the top Apple resellers in the United States. Small Dog is a socially responsible company focused on constantly improving their impact on the environment, their community, their customers and employees in addition to maintaining their profitability.
Nearly 30 years ago, Mayer moved to Vermont to study alternative energy sources at Goddard College where he studied wind energy. When asked how Goddard influenced his life and career Don said,
“The Goddard experience was truly life-changing for me. Goddard gave me space to explore and a professor who took an interest in me as a person and gave me the tools I needed to learn, excel and succeed. My Goddard experience was a watershed moment in my life.”
Don started North Wind Power Co. (now Northern Power Systems) shortly after he graduated in 1974. In 1988 he sold Northern Power Systems and started Maya Computer Co., which sold Macs in the Mad River Valley. In 1995 he founded Small Dog Electronics and began hiring employees.
Small Dog’s mission is to “create amazing products to improve people’s lives.” The website says: “We are a socially responsible company, which means we have a multiple bottom line. The effect we have on our environment, community, customers, and employees is just as important as maintaining our profitability.”
Small Dog recently installed a large solar photovoltaic array that powers 100% of the electricity of the South Burlington store and a significant percentage of the Waitsfield location. They have also installed a FreeAire cooling system that uses outside air to cool their server.
Small Dog also holds several free eWaste Collection days every year. During the first one, held on Earth Day in 2006, they collected 50 tons of eWaste. Now Apple completely funds Small Dog’s four annual eWaste collection events. In 2010, Small Dog lobbied for and was a major reason that the most comprehensive eWaste law in the nation passed in Vermont.
Small Dog will be opening a new retail store in Rutland, VT this spring. “We believe that we can play a major role in the revitalization of downtown Rutland with renewable energy technologies while promoting energy conservation. We’re excited to bring our business to this dynamic city, which we believe is teeming with untapped potential,” Don Mayer said.