Mike Shesterkin, owner of Green Garage businesses-in-residence What’s Next LLC, works on strategy development for small businesses, specifically focusing on a triple bottom line (3BL) approach. His involvement with the Green Garage began about two years before he joined us as a business-in-residence, when he began regularly attending our Thursday sustainable small business conversations.
Mike graduated from Lawrence Tech with a Bachelor’s in chemistry and worked for a number of years formulating coatings for automotive applications. After working in the automotive industry, he developed the desire to create his own business doing what he enjoyed the most. The Green Garage’s 3BL approach to business — where environmental and social impact are valued alongside economic profit — resonated with him because of his already strong interest in that area. Mike actively promotes the triple bottom line within his business, and with the various businesses that he works with.
He says that he really responds to the thoughtful environment at the Green Garage, and the way it is so welcoming to everybody. The welcoming environment makes the Green Garage almost feel like home for Mike. He says that many of his fellow businesses seem more like friends and family than coworkers.
The feeling of closeness that Mike gets from being in the Green Garage has driven him to connect with it on many levels, professionally and personally. (For example, he works with several different Green Garage member businesses in his capacity as president of the Southeast Michigan Sustainable Business Forum, an advocacy group that seeks to explore and advance 3BL thinking in the local economy.) He says that he thinks of the Green Garage as a second home, and even brings things that he has picked up from the Green Garage into his own life, such as an everyday environmental awareness. The green lifestyle has changed Mike’s life exponentially, and he is eager to connect with others on the same journey.
The Green Garage is home to a strong, diverse, and supportive community of professionals. We work across a wide array of industries but share a commitment to each other and to minimizing the environmental impact of what we do. We believe that people are more likely to succeed when they’re surrounded by a supportive community, and we’ve seen that proven out as our members tell us time and again that the Green Garage has changed their lives. This series, Green Garage Member Stories, explores how.
Green Garage Member Stories are written by Nicolas Perales, a student at Detroit Cristo Rey High School who’s working at the Green Garage this year.