On a cool fall day in 1999, Edward Wimmer, IV, was training for his first marathon. His young feet pounded against the charcoal pavement. His eyes focused on the view ahead.
Then suddenly he was nearly face to face with a “King Kong-sized black pick-up truck.”
Before he could think, Wimmer’s reflexes kicked in. He jumped out of the way and landed in a ditch.
“My thoughts were mostly: ‘That truck almost clobbered me’ and maybe a few expletives,” Wimmer, now 45, of Lakeside Park, said. “In the moments after the near miss, my thoughts wandered to ‘What if I had been hit?’ and ‘Dad was right.’”
Earlier that fall, as Wimmer began training for the marathon, his father, Edward “Mike” Wimmer, III, worried about his son logging all those miles and reminded him to “be safe.” He even suggested that Wimmer carry an ID so that he could be notified if Wimmer had an accident while training.
“Of course, I dismissed that suggestion,” Wimmer said. “I thought: ‘What could possibly happen to me while running?’ So, there I was, in a ditch, on the side of the road, having nearly been hit. From that ditch, my father’s suggestion to carry ID started to make a tremendous amount of sense. I typically say, jokingly and half serious, that this was the first time in my life that I had to admit that my dad was right about something.”
The incident left Wimmer unsettled. So, he developed an idea for a wearable ID. A few months later, in his father’s basement, he and his dad launched Road iD, a company that is now a leader in athletic identification. They also offer wearable dog IDs and health IDs.
“To us, Road iD has always been far more than a business,” Wimmer said. “We are on a mission to save lives and make a difference in the world. We also provide peace of mind and fuel adventure.”
From humble beginnings – starting with two credit cards and a fax machine – Road iD, headquartered in Covington, has sold thousands of wearable IDs and has touched many more lives.
“Nearly every day, we hear from customers about the impact that Road iD has on their lives,” Wimmer said. “We hear stories of minor crashes where a wrist was raised to get a customer the help they needed. We hear stories from parents that have been reunited with their children in crowded spaces. We also hear stories of serious accidents where Road iD was used to save a life.”
Wimmer’s sister, Erin Eimer, joined the family business in 2001.
Eimer, 47, of Walton, said she loves coming going to work knowing that the company is impacting lives with the products and services they offer.
“I’m truly blessed to work with amazing people,” she said. “We are a great company made that way by our team. And getting to share this adventure with family is a gift.”
Family for Wimmer and Eimer means more than blood, but also includes those who work with them, their customers, as well as the community.
“Road iD has a core value called Purpose for Profit,” Wimmer said. “Simply said, this means that we’re very intentional about giving back and being good corporate citizens. To this end, we have raised and donated millions of dollars to organizations that are meaningful to Road iD and its staff.”
Currently, their primary philanthropic partner is 4 Paws For Ability, an organization that provides service dogs to children and veterans in need. Road iD also supports the American Cancer Society annually with their Pink With A Purpose campaign, which has enabled them to donate more than $70,000 in the last two years to the local ACS chapter.
Locally, they’ve partnered with the City of Covington to plant trees in the community, co-sponsored the Covington Beer Mile, supported Tri-State Trails, and participated in Covington Cleanup every year since 2018.
According to Wimmer, this community involvement is also a big part of Road iD’s purpose.
“We often say that we’re a purpose first, then who, then what company,” Wimmer said.