Blue Earth Resources Inc.
Maria Rios is the President and CEO of Nation Waste, Inc., the first female Hispanic-owned waste removal company in the United States and one of Houston’s largest minority-owned companies. Nation Waste, Inc. is a fully-certified, commercial waste disposal company specializing in construction, demolition, commercial/industrial non-hazardous waste removal, portable toilets and recycling services. Rios is living the American dream, as she began her U.S. journey emigrating from El Salvador as a child. Her family came to the U.S. to pursue education and a better life. Through reliance on faith, a relentless work ethic and determination, Rios graduated with her BA from the University of Houston.
While attending college, Rios worked with a large company in the waste removal industry, for which she developed a passion and a dream to open her own waste removal business one day.
Upon graduation from the University of Houston, Rios purchased two trucks and Nation Waste, Inc. was born. From day one, Rios cultivated a company culture infused with the highest level of customer service and innovation, factors of differentiation in the industry. Today Rios has guided Nation Waste, Inc. to become a nationally recognized and diversified brand Rios has emerged as one of the top female business owners in the country, as acknowledged by Fortune when selecting her as one of the 2013 Fortune Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs in the U.S. In 2014 Goldman Sachs honored Rios as one of its 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs. “We are honored to recognize Maria Rios as one of our most intriguing entrepreneurs," said David Solomon, co-head of investment banking at Goldman Sachs. "This is the third year for the summit and our goal remains the same. We pair seasoned and emerging entrepreneurs—the builders and innovators—from a diverse set of industries to discuss how to make vital, enduring companies that reshape industries and boost the world's economies through innovation." Rios was named as one of Houston’s Most Influential Women by Houston Woman Magazine. Other honors bestowed on Rios include the Gold Medal Business Woman of the Year Award from the President of the United States Business Advisory Committee; Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the White House National Congressional Committee; Female Entrepreneur of the Year award from the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; the Gold Star Award by the Better Business Bureau, the State of Texas Small Business Award for “Best Practices: Business Skills” and “Model for Business Skills Use” from the Office of the Governor and the Texas Workforce Commission. The Houston Business Journal featured Rios in the article Latino businesses pump billions into Houston.
Years ago Rios realized her minority-owned business had the maturity and capacity to pursue distinct certification and procurement opportunities with corporate, Fortune 500, governmental and private sectors in Houston, the State of Texas and across the country. One by one, she began compiling certifications. Today Nation Waste, Inc. is certified as a Minority Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) and as a Small Business Enterprise (SBE) with the cities of Houston, Sugar Land, and Baytown; as well with the Port of Houston Authority, Metro, the Houston Independent School District, and the State of Texas. Also, Nation Waste Inc. is a Historically Underutilized Business with the State of Texas.
In 2011 Rios was accepted into the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative, which was delivered in consortium through the City of Houston, Goldman Sachs, Houston Community College, the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Houston Partnership, the University of Houston Small Business Development Center and the Houston Minority Supplier Development Council (HMSDC). “I am thrilled that Mayor Parker and others brought the Goldman Sachs's 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative to Houston. I was one of the first companies to participate. This program has been a catalyst for my plan to expand my business in Houston and across Texas.”
Since completing the program, Maria has secured key new contracts, expanded her location and service area, and built a new sales office. By following the growth plan she developed in the program, Maria plans to grow revenues to more than $15 million and employ over 50 more people within five years.
As Rios has built her company, she has never lost sight on serving her community. Nation Waste, Inc. played a critical role in the recovery of areas devastated by Hurricanes Katrina and Ike. Additionally, Rios is avid supporter of Aldine Little League, the Harris County Sherriff’s Department, the Girl Scouts of America and the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, where she currently serves as an Executive Board Member.
At the end of the day, Rios has never forgotten her business beginnings 17 years ago. “Every day, when I see my fleet of trucks, I never forget about the first two and the dreams I set out to accomplish. Back then, I had glass ceilings that were miles up. Now, I have shattered those ceilings, and we are just getting started.”
About Nation Waste, Inc.:
Nation Waste, Inc. is a fully-certified commercial waste disposal company specializing in commercial and industrial solid waste removal and recycling services. Nation Waste, Inc. offers a full range of compactor, front-end load dumpsters, large roll-off waste container solutions, and a variety of portable sanitation facilities for commercial, industrial, government, office, emergency relief, special event venues, and television and film production. Nation Waste, Inc. is certified as a Minority Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) and as a Small Business Enterprise (SBE) with the Cities of Houston, Sugar Land, and Baytown; Port of Houston Authority, Metro and the Houston Independent School District. Nation Waste Inc. is in compliance as a Historically Underutilized Business with the State of Texas.