Mitch Newlin ’12, Entrepreneur

Mitch_Newlin

During his four years at Waynflete, Mitch Newlin always had a lot on his plate. Whether playing sports, attending meetings and events of RAaW, committing himself to the Kakamega Orphanage, entertaining friends and teachers with his outlandish stories, or just being his enthusiastic self, Mitch was always on the go. College has not slowed him down. He was back at Waynflete a couple of weeks ago to introduce Pastor Ida, the Administrator of the Kakamega Orphan Centre Project, at an Upper School Assembly. He was also busy selling raffle tickets for a prize from Gelato Fiasco, where Mitch works, as a fundraiser for the orphanage. More recently, he was on campus talking to students in the Personal Finance class.

This week news broke in the Maine Sunday Telegram and Lewiston Sun that, although he is just finishing his junior year, Mitch has started a business which, according to the paper, will generate revenues of $70,000 this year. That is impressive enough. What is even more impressive is that the whole idea is inspired by his desire to cut the wasteful habits of his college peers by recycling their used refrigerators. Read the newspaper account to get the full story. Click here for the Press Herald article. Click here for the Sun Journal article.

Part of his business model is selling high school graduation “Care Fridges,” essentially providing high school graduates (rising college students) dorm room mini-fridges, stocked with savory and sweet goodies, delivered to the student’s dorm on the first day of college. The deal could also include a personalized note from a parent, aunt, uncle, or loved one to present to the graduate at graduation time explaining the gift. If you know a college student who might appreciate a “Care Fridge,” email Mitch at gifts@re-fridge.com or call (207)-200-7872.

All of this does not surprise Steve Kautz, who not only taught Mitch in math and businesses classes but also coached him on the baseball team and on Waynflete’s first and only entree in the Federal Reserve Cup competition. The latter was a regional competition for high school students hosted by The Federal Reserve Bank testing the students’ knowledge of finance and economics. The Waynflete team stunned New England financial educators by winning the competition, the first time a team from Maine had even made it to the final round.

Reflecting on Mitch’s time at Waynflete, Steve recalled that “when I first taught him as a ninth grader, I could see that great combination of intelligence, ingenuity, and care for others.  As a baseball player, probably the best center fielder we’ve had in our program, Mitch’s intensity, exemplified by his trademark headlong diving catches, was matched only by his sportsmanship.  He was also a standout in Business & Finance class, which led me to ask him to join the Federal Reserve Cup team.  His work with the orphanage in Kenya could in itself define Mitch, but now he’s added to that through socially responsible entrepreneurship.”

Steve then added, “If anyone can save capitalism, it’s Mitch.”