Eric Henry, president of TS Designs, is one-half of the dynamic duo that owns TSD. Alongside his business partner and TSD CEO, Tom Sineath, Eric has been in the screen printing and apparel business for over 30 years. Eric’s duties at TSD range from sales to R&D to marketing. He is the foremost public face of TSD, attending numerous trade shows, giving speeches to groups and universities and hosting tours of the TSD facility. His boundless enthusiasm and energy have gained him a certain level of notoriety at most of them, even winning him the Sustainability Champion award from Sustainable North Carolina in 2009.
Outside of TS Designs, Eric devotes much of his time to furthering the sustainable agenda in various community organizations. He founded the Burlington Biodiesel Co-op in 2001 and has run his car on biodiesel (or straight vegetable oil) that now has over 250k miles on it. He along with Charlie Sydnor and Sam Moore founded Company Shops Market, a co-op grocery in downtown Burlington that reconnects local agriculture to Alamance County; and now, he serves the co-op board. He also serves on the Burlington Downtown Corporation board, which works to create an environment for development that enhances Downtown Burlington as the cultural, historic, social and economic center of the community. He also serves on the board of NC GreenPower, an organization that purchases and resells renewable energy, and Green America.
He has served on the board of Alamance County Chamber of Commerce, Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (he was the chairman in 2002), and Elon University Environmental Science and Martha and Spencer Love School of Business. His most recent start-up is the Burlington Beer Works Co-op, which will build on the success of Company Shops Co-op.
Eric was born in Radford, Virginia. When he was 3, he moved to Burlington, NC, where he has lived for most of his life since. He attended NC State University for 2 years to study agriculture, then transferred to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to study economics. While at UNC-CH, Eric founded Creative Screen Designs, a screen printing operation dedicated to the college market. Before the start of his senior year at Chapel Hill, Eric left school to join Tom Sineath as co-owner of TS Designs, Inc. He completed an online permaculture class at NC State University in 2011 taught by his friend and mentor, Will Hooker.
Eric and his wife Lisa recently purchased a small farm in southern Alamance County, moving from their home of 26 years in downtown Burlington. Lisa wanted to be closer to her horses and Eric wanted to get closer to the dirt. Their plan is to convert the 20 year old home on the property to a “net zero” energy home and in the last two years have installed a geothermal system, 4.3 kHw solar array and a wood stove insert. Working with Will Hooker, who helped develop a Permaculutre plan for the 12 acres, they have already planted over 200 trees on the property. They’ve also expanded the vegetable garden and added chickens.
Quote: “I want to push the window of sustainability in order to change the direction of the American society.”