When it comes to doing business, nothing seems too far out of reach for Lincoln Dix. 

Fourteen years ago, Dix started working at Staples in Iowa City. He researched the company, and after learning it was a stable and growing business, he took the job. Three years and a marketing degree later, he was promoted to an outside sales position -- a job, Dix said, he failed miserably in at first.

“It didn’t come naturally to me at first,” Dix said. “When I received a tremendous amount of support from one of my managers, that’s when I decided it was a company I wanted to work for.”

Dix now works as a district sales manager. He’s still with Staples, and he’s still taking professional chances. Origami Floral is one example, a hobby-turned-small business Dix created and made a profit within a month.

Origami Floral wasn’t just a business for profit’s sake, though. Origami is something he’s done since he was a kid, and the idea came to him when he realized he wanted to start a business with a more charitable angle.

How does it work? People place orders for origami arrangements. Dix gets paid and his profits go directly to a local nonprofit.

“I don’t think I’ve really made any money on it,” Dix said. “It’s turned into a way for me to be philanthropic, and it’s been a win all the way around.”

Dix, a father of three, is also passionate about mentorship, both personal and business. He has volunteered on several area boards and has worked with other nonprofits.

“I prefer to just be a worker bee,” he said. “I like doing what people need me to do and going home knowing I made a difference.”

There’s really no rhyme or reason as to how Dix decides to donate his time. In fact, he said he needs to learn how to say no, but there is no bitterness when he says it.

“What I’ve learned is there is no shortage of great causes in Greater Des Moines,” he said, “and every single one of them needs help.”

Reasons he’s a Forty:

• Member of Young Professional Connection’s charitable, professional development, social and membership committees

• Volunteer coordinator for the Korean Cultural Center’s Lunar New Year event and recruiting committee member with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa

• Also volunteered with Habitat Young Professionals, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation and the University of Iowa’s Career Leadership Employer’s Panel

• Led the charge to rebrand YPC’s annual nonprofit forum as the Greater Des Moines Volunteerism Fair

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