Local Business Owner Pays it Forward

Ed Meyer overcame challenges with the help of others — now he gives back to those in the same situation.

Ed Meyer knows the importance of giving back to the community and helping those in need — he and his family were once those who needed a hand.

While growing up in Beechview, Meyer’s family didn’t have a lot of money; they never took a vacation, didn’t have a car and there were times when there wasn’t food.

Meyer was born with lymphangioma, or a cystic hygroma, a cyst that is most commonly found in the neck, and needed surgery immediately after birth. Many thought he wouldn’t survive his medical challenges, and he was baptized and given his last rites only two days after birth. He overcame, but over the course of many years received countless treatments and surgeries that his already-struggling family scraped to pay for with loans and donations.

Today, Meyer is the president and owner of Tri-State Office Furniture, a business that sells both new and refurbished office furniture. He started his business in March 2010 with only six employees and has grown it to three locations, a sister company and 67 employees.

Tri-State Office Furniture says it has the largest selection of new, remanufactured and used office furniture in the region. At the warehouses in McKees Rocks, Charleston and Wheeling, West Virginia, customers can find brand name corporate and residential office furniture at a fraction of the suggested retail price.

In addition, Tri-State buys and rents office furniture, provides delivery and installation, professionally cleans office furniture, reconfigures existing workstations and offers free design layout and space planning.

“It’s not just about revenue, but about what we can create,” Meyer says. “More jobs, better jobs, making our business bigger and stronger and keeping our customer service is near and dear to me.”

As president and owner, Meyer oversees all of the stores and his entire company, but he makes time to give back to the community.

“We’re on earth to help ourselves and our families, but if you can’t also help other people and animals, what good are you?” he says.

As part of his philosophy, Meyer has involved his company in Pittsburgh Magazine’s Ultimate House project, where all proceeds are donated to The Free Care Fund at Children’s Hospital — a fund that wasn’t available to his family during his medical issues.

“When I started this, it was good for business,” he says. “But it was even better when I found out it was for The Free Care Fund.”

Meyer says because he grew up poor, he feels for people who don’t have money but are trying their hardest — especially those who are in the position of trying to figure out how they can help a sick child live.

“I give back as much as I can and help people, not for accolades, but out of the goodness of my heart,” he says. “It’s the way I was raised.”

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