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NERDiT, now in Riverside

Fulfilling a longstanding goal of founder Markevis Gideon, local leaders welcomed NERDiT NOW's new recycling headquarters to the Wilmington neighborhood this week.

Community leaders including Gov. John Carney, Sen. Darius Brown and Logan Herring cut the ribbon at NERDiT NOW's new Riverside location. (Gif by Holly Quinn)

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Back in 2017, I visited NERDiT NOW’s first brick and mortar location in Newport. The tiny storefront packed with computer parts was easy to miss from the road, so I was instructed to look for a converted ambulance wrapped in the company’s bright blue and lime green branding.

Founder Markevis Gideon had put the funds the tech repair biz received as the second place winner at the 2016 Hen Hatch pitch competition at University of Delaware toward the space. It wasn’t much, he said, but it was just the beginning.

Fast forward to today.

After upgrading to a location in the First State Plaza shopping center, appearing on “Shark Tank” and fighting through the COVID pandemic, NERDiT NOW has officially achieved one of its goals: to open a space in Gideon’s childhood neighborhood, Riverside in Wilmington, bringing him closer to the historically under-resourced community he serves with his for-profit and nonprofit entities under the NERDiT banner.

The 47,000-square-foot warehouse across from East Side Charter is now NERDiT NOW’s recycling headquarters — the only IT recycling center in Delaware. Its opening means 50 to 75 new jobs on the growing NERDiT team.

The new NERDiT NOW recycling center

The new NERDiT NOW recycling center. (Photo by Holly Quinn)

Old computers, tablets and other devices sent to the recycling center are refurbished and distributed to families in the community that need them for school or work. At this point, NERDiT NOW’s nonprofit, NERDiT CARES, has given away thousands of computers and devices.

“At the height of the pandemic, I called Markevis when we were shifting to going virtual and trying to find technology,” said Aaron Bass, the head of East Side Charter School, at a Thursday ribbon-cutting event welcoming NERDiT to the neighborhood. “Riverside is better because of leaders like Markevis and the entire team of NERDiT NOW.”

Logan Herring, CEO of REACH Riverside, also took the podium at the event.

“The work that we are doing is really hard. We are combating generational curses, generational oppression,”  Herring said. The neighborhood “was originally built for white veterans returning from World War II and … turned into an all-Black community because of housing segregation, and discriminatory policies and practices over time.” Thus, “Riverside has received the greatest amount of disinvestment. But not anymore. Not on our watch.”

Other featured guests included Gov. John Carney, State Sen. Darius Brown, Wilmington Alliance CEO Renata Kowalczyk, and Sarah Fulton, board president of NERDiT CARES.

Gideon noted another milestone: It’s been a year since Roger Chaufournier joined the NERDiT NOW team as CFO.

“The date he started, we started planning for [opening in] the city,” Gideon said. “It’s been a full year for us to get here. It was a hard battle and I’m just so appreciative to say that we’re finally here.”

As it goes with NERDiT Now, this is only the beginning. Next up: The company’s workforce development program will expand into downtown Wilmington this coming spring.

Companies: NERDiT NOW

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