Topical BioMedics, Inc., hosted Amsterdam resident Max Wohlgemuth Kitslaar when he made the company the final destination of his six-month, 10,000 mile journey from Santiago, Chile to Times Square and then Rhinebeck, New York.
During the trek—which he calls the “Connecting Las Americas” project—Max crossed six countries in 168 days on his 39-year-old Moto Guzzi Motorcycle on a mission to document socially-conscious businesses that work toward creating a better world, then sharing their stories on an online travelogue with text and videos. His goal: to counter negative perceptions by showing that there are inspiring people and socially responsible companies focused on addressing the world’s problems everywhere.
Headquartered in Rhinebeck, NY, Topical BioMedics is a B Corp—certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. To become a certified B Corp, a business must prove that it cares as much about society and the environment as it does about profits.
“We were delighted to meet Max, and honored that he chose to end his long, amazing journey by visiting us and listening to our story,” says Lou Paradise, president, chief of research, and inventor of the company’s Topricin and MyPainAway line of safe, natural pain relief and healing cream formulas. “We have always practiced business in a socially conscious way, and we were gratified when B Lab championed for-profits that are ‘doing well by doing good.’ To be documented by Max along with brother and sister North and South American B Corps as well as many other successful businesses that are operating with heart and soul, in a socially responsible manner, is an absolute honor.”
Thirty-two year old Max created “Connecting Las Americas” while vacationing in Mallorca, Spain, when he received news his next business project was cancelled. It was the same day he finished the book Man in het Zadel by Dutch journalist Paul van Hooff. Inspired by tales of van Hooff’s travels by motorcycle, Max decided to ride his own Guzzi from Chile to New York, capturing stories of those who have transformed their ideas for environmental and social impact into realities.
“I decided to do something similar to van Hooff, but wanted my journey to have a mission,” says Max. “I wanted to connect with socially-conscious businesses across the Americas. To give these businesses a stage to tell their amazing stories. To show the amazing people behind these businesses. And to inspire others all over the world by the incredible energy of these people.”
Max’s travels took him to Chile, Argentina, and over the Andes Mountains, as well as the Peruvian coast. In the U.S. he travelled from Florida to New York, stopping in major cities such as Miami, Richmond, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, and Manhattan. Last stop: Rhinebeck, in New York’s Hudson Valley. All on a motorcycle that is older than he is.
Max met with business in many different industries including: health and wellness, restaurant and hospitality, IT, sports, water management, waste management, food and beverage, education, manufacturing, footwear and apparel, graphics and signage, organic coffee growers and fair trade importers/exporters, and a Columbian peace-promoting outreach organization. Says Max of the people he met at these enterprises, “I see fire in their eyes. They want to be doing what they’re doing and they’re committed to change.”
Max is now writing an e-book about his journey, calling it “A story about hope, moving forward, and positivity.” Its format includes embedded videos and readers can interact by making comments and asking questions that Max will respond to, so the book will evolve and engage on multiple levels. https://medium.com/@max_maxmundo
“With Connecting Las Americas I hope to inspire people to act upon their ideas, no matter how large, small, or improbable they seem” says Max. “I’m just a normal guy and I thought ‘Why don’t I ride 10,000 miles from Chile to NY?’ and I did it. Others can do things, too. Even the smallest thing can have a huge impact.”
ABOUT MAX WOHLGEMUTH KITSLAAR:
When not traveling, Max Wohlgemuth Kitslaar lives in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. After earning a law degree and a Masters in Latin America Studies, he helped a friend’s technology business go multi-national. He imports organic cava, and is challenging soccer superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic to gather his teddy bears, to distribute them to kids in need.
From February-September 2015 he rode his old timer motorcycle from Chile to New York, in search of business doing good. After making it to NYC, he started writing an e-book about the trip.
Visit Max Wohlgemuth Kitslaar for more information.