Editor’s Note: This story is part of our ‘Post Picks’ special issue where The Post profiles some of Athens’ most notable people and businesses. Read the rest of the stories here.

Alex Sheen always wanted to start his own company.

The Ohio University alumnus took that chance and founded the business “because I said I would” after his father died of small cell lung cancer on Sept. 4, 2012.

“For me, I was just trying to honor my dad,” Sheen said. “As it sort of grew into something that helped other people, I felt the sense of duty to continue it so I quit my job.”

Previously, Sheen worked at Hyland Software, an independent enterprise content management vendor. He graduated from OU in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing, and grew up in Powell after being born in Toledo.

“When it comes to my pursuit of my degree in business, my whole intent was to be an entrepreneur,” Sheen said.

“because I said I would” is a social movement and nonprofit trying to better humanity, and it creates promise cards to help people keep their word. They have distributed more than 5.46 million promise cards to more than 153 different countries. There are multiple ways to use promise cards, including trading them, posting it to social media and doing a different promise each week.

“A lot of people don’t keep their promises anymore,” Sheen said. “That has a huge impact on society. When we don’t keep our promises, the world starts to head in the wrong direction.”

The first promise card was introduced at his father’s funeral when Sheen gave his father’s eulogy. He centered his speech around how his father treated promises.

Sheen also gives speeches across the country about the importance of keeping promises.

He has remained involved with his alma mater and was the keynote speaker during International Week in April. He hopes to start an Athens chapter of “because I said I would” at some point.

One of his favorite memories of OU was eating breakfast at Nelson Dining Hall.

“Some nights we would stay up all the way through, and the omelet bar would open,” Sheen said. “So we would go and stuff our faces.”

During his time at OU, he played attack on OU’s lacrosse team.

“I really enjoyed playing all four years,” Sheen said.

He also served as the secretary of the Collegiate Entrepreneur's Organization.

One day, he hopes to be OU’s commencement speaker.

“There would be nothing more of a honor for me than to speak at commencement,” Sheen said.

Sheen was on the list of potential Spring Commencement speakers, but HSN President Bill Brand was picked to speak at commencement.

“Anytime I talk to anybody at OU, regardless of what they are position-wise or just a student, I have to mention that I really want to do that,” Sheen said.

@megankhenry

mh573113@ohio.edu

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