Social Entrepreneurship in Action
Sasha Glassman, Eller MBA ’10
Corporate Counsel, Artysen Embedded Technologies
Rodney Glassman, Eller MBA ’01
Attorney, Ryley Carlock & Applewhite
By Vicki Fleischer
With a combined 8 degrees from the University of Arizona, Eller MBA alumni Sasha and Rodney Glassman have used their business degrees, passions for literacy and sustainability, and commitment to social entrepreneurship to create a book series aimed at educating youth about renewable resources.
In addition to raising two young daughters, Sasha works as corporate counsel for Artesyn Embedded Technologies in Tempe and also serves as an elected member of the Madison Elementary School District Governing Board. Her husband Rodney, who was elected to the Tucson City Council during his last semester of law school, now works as an attorney at Phoenix’s third largest law firm, Ryley Carlock & Applewhite. Rodney is also a captain in the U.S. Air Force JAG Corp Reserves and was recognized for his outstanding service in 2012 as the 12th Air Force JAG Reservists of the Year.
A couple committed to adventure, the Glassmans were inspired at the 2009 Tucson Festival of Books to take on the challenge of writing a compelling children’s book series on sustainability. To date, they have distributed more than 125,000 free books featuring their character Jeremy Jackrabbit throughout Arizona. This spring they will be distributing an additional 55,000 free copies of their fourth book, Jeremy Jackrabbit Saves Every Drop, to Arizona kindergarteners.
Rodney credits much of the book series’ success to knowledge he and Sasha gained while at Eller. “Professor Steve Gilliland’s inaugural course in social entrepreneurship really engrained the importance of leveraging relationships and business resources to drive social benefit for the community,” he said. “Our children’s book series and the tens of thousands of children we reach each year through literacy and sustainability advocacy are a direct result of those lessons.” Their business acumen has also helped them raise approximately $100,000 to cover the costs of the publishing and distributing the books.
And, it is not just Sasha and Rodney who learned about social entrepreneurship at the Eller College. The lead character in their books, Jeremy Jackrabbit, is named after Rodney’s little brother, who earned his MBA at Eller in 2009. The Glassmans look forward to continuing to share Jeremy Jackrabbit’s adventures with the next generation of Arizona business leaders and social entrepreneurs, including their own daughters, who will be entering Arizona’s kindergarten classes in the next few years.
Top photo courtesy Sasha and Rodney Glassman.