It didn’t take long for Eric Dresdale and Louis Fisher to get on New York’s fast track.
While in their twenties, they moved up the ranks in the business world – Dresdale as a real estate broker at Jones Lang Lasalle; Fisher as a serial investor whose ventures include the Meatball Shop on the lower East Side.
But years of binge drinking, pill popping and hard partying took their toll. Both became addicts and lost nearly everything before heading to rehab.
“I hit rock bottom,” Fisher, 32, told the Daily News.
Today, the 29-year-old Dresdale, who grew up in Roslyn, L.I., and Fisher, who was raised on the upper East Side, are sober – and turning their experience and business know-how into a tool to help recovering addicts like themselves.
Along with a third partner, Ryan Jaffe, who they met while in recovery in Florida, Dresdale and Fisher recently launched the Next Step Prepaid MasterCard, the first general purpose reloadable card designed for people in recovery and for those who support them financially…
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One of the co-founders of an innovative money management tool tailored to individuals in early recovery recalls the degree to which financial management challenges threatened to compromise his own long-term wellness.
“My father had tried working with me, but I had no concept of the value of a dollar,” says Eric Dresdale, co-founder of the Next Step Prepaid MasterCard. “And a lot of the things I learned quickly disappeared as I was coming out of treatment.”
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Both Bieber and JPMorgan want to sell more of the cards, a part of the financial services business that holds as much as $1.7 billion in potential fees for banks seeking new revenue streams as they face growing competition and regulation.
Myriad players, including a firm catering to recovering drug addicts and alcoholics, are stepping up with their own products on the theory that some consumers may pay a slight premium for a card with novel functions — or Bieber’s visage printed on it.
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If you’ve ever had a recovering addict in your life—be it from drugs, gambling, or another vice—you know giving him or her money can be a squeamish proposition. Will the money be spent the way you hope, or will it end up at neighborhood liquor store?
Such a dilemma may leave you intrigued—or perplexed—about the Next Step Prepaid Mastercard, the first prepaid card designed for recovering addicts. It allows a caregiver to put money onto the card, and then monitor how the money is spent. Is it a godsend? An insult for someone trying to regain somebody’s trust while they reassemble the pieces of their life? Or maybe it’s exploitative, given the $14.95 monthly maintenance fee.
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