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Ravi Anupindi

Faculty Director, Center for Value Chain Innovation, University of Michigan

The environmental benefits of Urban Ashes CUT Model™ include reduced carbon footprints through diversion and reuse / repurposing as well as incentivization through carbon credits for improving municipal capacity; social benefits include employment generation, decreased recidivism, and better quality of life for all; economic benefits from increasing the local tax base, revenue from carbon credits, and reduced public costs from incarceration. In my academic research and teaching engagements, I have rarely come across a more holistic and compelling example of a model that truly embraces the triple bottom line approach.


We worked with Urban Ashes for the better part of a decade. Being a client of was no different than having them one as a teammate. Similar to a holistic approach to medicine, Urban Ashes tackles challenges by looking at the bigger picture, rather than just focusing on the symptom. Their work lifting up those returning from prison by offering them a second chance is inspiring. So grateful that we crossed paths and have had the opportunity to work together.


Paul Hickman, CEO of Urban Ashes has the eye of artist, a heart filled with goodness, and business skills and experience that must be shared. My social entrepreneurship students at University of Michigan, worked with Paul and Urban Ashes over the years. In that context, as well as over many conversations, I've gotten to know that Paul's experience in blending social outcomes and financial outcomes was the real deal. Urban Ashes was "mission first" -- always. What other organizations could learn from Paul could fill volumes. He walks the talk, and with loud footsteps.


Paul not only possesses artistic talent but has a visionary approach to corporate social justice topics. His work with his employees has left a lasting legacy and foundation for so many.

Paul is a gifted and uniquely talented artist. His professional expertise in green design extends throughout all his efforts - furniture design/fabrication, frames, built environments, entrepreneurship, etc. He has been foundational to my development in sustainable design and continues to serve as a mentor and leader in the field for myself and many others. His Urban Ashes endeavor is truly inspiring and a model for social enterprise.

Jennifer Alger
Co-Founder  HOLSTEE

Michael Gordon

Social Entrepreneurship

Ross School of Business

University of Michigan

Alan Harris

VP & General Counsel

Atwell,  LLC

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