Scottsdale’s R.J. Napolitano is the co-founder of Zebra, a multi-purpose, electric bike company designed to provide affordable and clean transportation for everyone. Zebra is expanding in Metro Phoenix, providing zippy, eco-conscious transportation in Old Town Scottsdale, Downtown Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, Phoenix and Arcadia. Learn about R.J. Napolitano…
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
First job: Golf caddy
Favorite ways to spend your free time in AZ: Hiking, walking and exploring the beautiful outdoor scenery Arizona has to offer.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: I’m still living through my biggest accomplishment with being a part of the innovative team at Zebra. Being able to take thousands of cars off the road and provide people with an alternative to public transportation has been awesome to see firsthand. We’ve had several customers write to share their experiences and tell us how we’ve changed their day-to-day life; there is truly nothing better than that!
The biggest obstacle you overcame: Taking the leap to start a business was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. I had so many reasons not to and moving across the country with no salary or expectation of what was coming next was hard to stomach at times. But thankfully my co-founder and I found some fantastic people along the way and the business was able to excel.
Someone who inspires you and why: My sister is the person who inspires me the most. She’s been there for me no matter what, points me in the right direction and is my best friend. I’m lucky to have her.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Being willing to adjust your views and opinions and admit when you’re wrong is a valuable skill that I’m still working on. It is easy to hold on to a theory that you’ve held, especially when it’s been right for a while. I believe it’s important to consistently revisit your decisions and confirm they are still correct based on the changing environment around you.
Favorite quote: “Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it.”
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I’ve always wanted to be a marine biologist and am fascinated by the ocean. Not many people know that.
What makes someone fabulous: Being a good listener and having empathy for everyone.