Arleen and Steve Chafitz have a knack: a knack for seeing what’s coming before it arrives. The Maryland Department of Commerce and Frederick County officials recently recognized the couple for the ten years that their latest endeavor, e-End, has remained far ahead of the curve in cybersecurity and data destruction. The state and the county both commended e-End for their longevity in this fast-paced industry.

“e-End has been an integral part of Frederick County’s business community and a leader in the data destruction and electronic recycling services industries for 10 years,” said Helen Propheter, Director, Frederick County Office of Economic Development.

Their plunge into the industry did not involve tedious market research and business plans: it was intuitive, and happened literally overnight based on their previous business instincts. For many years they were leaders in the consumer electronics business, with a retail and mail order house.

Steve and Arleen’s background with digital devices goes back to the early 1970’s when they were recognized as one of the most significant leaders of the consumer electronic revolution. Together they established a company which became one of the nation’s leading marketers of digital devices that, at the time, used an innovative new technology: integrated circuits. Their electronic chess and backgammon games were among the first products of their type to use Artificial Intelligence.

“One day in 2006, we said to each other, all that stuff we were selling—it’s coming back around, and needing to be recycled,” said Arleen Chafitz, owner and CEO of e-End. The next day, Steve, who is president, who had been a real estate consultant in the interim, leased a 6,000-square-foot warehouse for their new electronics recycling business.

Beginning with three employees whose primary job was dismantling old electronic equipment and destroying hard drives, they have become a major player and expert in the fast-developing cybersecurity and data destruction business—growing also into elimination of other items such as health care records, confidential company information, top secret federal agency data, and destroying guns confiscated by law enforcement agencies. After beginning with local clients, such as Frederick Memorial Hospital, e-End expanded across the region and acquired specialized certifications such as R2:2013 for zero waste recycling and ISO 14001 (environmental) and OHSAS 18001 (health and safety) as their expertise and the demand for additional services has grown.

“ I knew there were special requirements with data destruction, and e-End was a local company that had all the right certifications. HIPAA is one of the big privacy and data issues we deal with, and I went over all the processes they did and recommended, and they did such a good job, it was an easy decision to use e-End.” said Brad Martin, Director of Information Technologies for National Spine & Pain Centers.

“When we first began educating businesses and institutions, they didn’t always understand what we were telling them,” said Mr. Chafitz said. “But now they are more aware that data breaches are not only very costly but can risk the goodwill of clients, so we teach our clients what they need to do to be compliant with the many federal regulations.”

From their current 20,000-square-foot facility, e-End plans to continue its regional growth. Steve is a subject matter expert on safeguarding and destroying electronic data. He is a speaker at conferences presenting the requirements needed to conform to data security laws and the required recycling of old electronics. As experts in data destruction and recycling electronics, ensures e-End will stay in the forefront of safe and environmental awareness methods for cybersecurity and data destruction. When it comes to the environment and recycling, Arleen said, “We don’t have another planet to go to.”

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