Founder and CEO, United Scrap Metal
Marsha Serlin is the Founder and CEO of United Scrap Metal, an Award-Winning Leader in Recycling Solutions. United Scrap Metal has over 5,000 customers from coast to coast. This includes being recognized as a top metal supplier. United Scrap Metal employs more than 400 people with facilities that cover 500,000 square feet of buildings and over 175 acres in Chicago, IL, Philadelphia, PA, Richmond, VA, Charlotte, NC, St. Louis, MO, and Indianapolis, IN. High integrity is a hallmark of how United Scrap Metal conducts its business as this extends to every relationship and within every transaction.
A pioneer in recycling, Marsha Serlin has helped to define the industry by identifying value in materials that others throw away, thus allowing her business and that of her customers to thrive.
In 1978, Marsha Serlin founded United Scrap Metal and began building her company with $200 and a rental truck. At that time, Marsha was a divorced single-parent solely responsible for two young children. She saw an opportunity to support her family by gathering scrap from alleys, manufacturers and facilities.
Marsha relentlessly knocked on doors soliciting businesses to acquire customers and develop relationships.
United Scrap Metal has received recognition from more than 28 Global, National and local organizations including Platts Global Metals CEO of the Year, the Small Business Administration’s, National Subcontractor of the Year, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the Grant Thornton Executive Woman of the Year Award, the Illinois Recycling Association’s Outstanding Recycling Business Award and Lifetime Achievement Award. United Scrap Metal is listed in the Crain’s Chicago Business top privately-held companies, top five women-owned businesses and “Fast Fifty” lists.
Marsha was appointed to the United States Department of Commerce Manufacturing Council. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Illinois Manufacturing Association, a member of the Board of Governors of the Chamber of Commerce, The Committee of 200, The Chicago Network, the Economic Club of Chicago, the National Women’s Business Council, the International Women’s Forum, served as a Commissioner on the Cook County Commission on Women’s Issues, and on the Planning Commission Board for the Town of Cicero.
In addition to being a successful leader and entrepreneur, Marsha is a philanthropist. She is mindful of her roots, grateful for opportunities and willing to share her success with others less fortunate. Marsha leverages her success by supporting the community and numerous charities while challenging others to get involved by making a difference for those in need.
An active partner with Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana, Marsha served as a Co-Chair of the Campaign Leadership Team that was responsible for building the world’s largest Ronald McDonald House. She serves on the boards of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the United Way/Community Chest, After School Matters, and the Children at the Crossroads Foundation.
Marsha Serlin’s success and story have been featured in the media including The Oprah Winfrey Show segment entitled, Entrepreneurial Moms, Bloomberg TV, CBS, Rock Center with Brian Williams, the New York Times, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, CNBC, CNN, Forbes, Fortune Small Business, Nation’s Business, Pink Magazine, Waste News, and Modern Metals.
Marsha Serlin’s energy is unbridled. Her passions in life include a commitment to give back to others, an appreciation of the arts and gardening, boating and global travel.