Waxie CEO takes the lead to a world with more research -- and more birthdays
“I’ve always been a strong proponent for cancer research,” says Charles Wax, CEO of Waxie Sanitary Supply, the San Diego distributor and janitorial supply company his family has run since 1945. Wax, who became president and CEO of the company in 1986, hasn’t forgotten watching family and friends battle breast, prostate, and other cancers. “All their procedures and surgeries are just terrible. That’s why I want to see more money for research to find cures.” That passion for cancer research made Wax a perfect fit when the American Cancer Society invited him to become part of a Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event.
In 2007, the first year Waxie was involved in a Making Strides walk, Team Waxie had 15 participants. Inspired by the initial response, the company started raising the profile of its involvement, such as by putting promotional Making Strides magnets on its delivery trucks. Since then, the company’s involvement in the fight against breast cancer has grown by leaps and bounds. In 2009, the company became a flagship sponsor for their local Making Strides event, contributing a team of 70 walkers. In 2010, to commemorate the company’s 65th anniversary, Team Waxie set a fundraising goal of $65,000. The team of 150 walkers that year ultimately raised $75,000.
“I just think it’s something we can all work together as a community on,” says Wax, who has also gotten the company’s vendors involved in their Making Strides efforts.
Since 2007, Team Waxie has raised more than $200,000 to help the American Cancer Society save lives through its participation in Making Strides Against Breast Cancer events. Wax, who personally matches many of his employees’ contributions and who will mark 40 years with the company in 2013, could not be clearer about the difference he hopes to make, both as a philanthropist and a CEO.
“[My goal is] encouraging more people to be involved and helping create more awareness for the need for cancer research,” Wax says. “It’s nice to see our people give up a few hours to participate in something as worthy as this. It’s good team-building, and it’s a great thing to get behind.”