Setting Heights and Sights: Richard Ims’ Unwavering Journey of Entrepreneurship and Sustainability
By Viktoria Capek
Richard Ims has never been shy of setting his sights on a goal and making it happen.
Ims, who grew up in New Jersey, recalls an 8th-grade pool party that left an indelible mark on his life when he witnessed a helicopter landing on his friend’s property.
“That’s what I want to do,” he remembers saying. This fascination with helicopters led him to Norwich University, a military school in Vermont, setting the stage for his years of service as a tank driver and later, a helicopter pilot.
The military instilled in Ims self-sufficiency and qualities that would shape his entrepreneurial spirit.
“I think the military taught me to be observant of what needs are around,” he said.
After seven years of active duty and four in the reserves, Ims transitioned to civilian life, facing the challenges of unexpected job shifts. Undeterred, that entrepreneurial spirit persisted, leading him to start a behind-the-scenes business placing people in TV commercials and movies.
“I’ve always been an entrepreneur from when I was young mowing lawns to going around the neighborhood and trying to sell my services,” Ims shared. This journey continued with a move to pastoral Northwest Arkansas, where he ventured into farming, raising pastured chickens and managing livestock.
The farm experience cultivated values of thriftiness and sustainability, according to Ims. These values would later intertwine with his current passion for sustainability in the form of Food Recycling Solutions.
The business ignited after witnessing the need for creative solutions in waste management. It started by recycling food waste into compost for local farmers, and has now evolved into a comprehensive service for businesses.
Now part of The Venture Center’s Veteran-Owned Small Business Accelerator, Ims wants to expand his impact.
“We’re looking at trying to duplicate this model [from] Northwest Arkansas that has been successful, in Little Rock,” he said.
With aspirations to create a composting site and delve into ventures like biochar production—a waste management process that creates a product to improve soil fertility—Ims envisions a future where sustainability and responsible waste management take center stage.
Learn more about Richard Ims and Food Recycling Solutions, here.