On a cool fall day in 1999, Edward Wimmer, IV, was training for his first marathon. His young feet pounded the charcoal pavement. His eyes focused on the view in front of him.
Then, suddenly, he found himself almost face to face with a “black van the size of a King Kong.”
Before he could think, Wimmer’s reflexes kicked in. He jumped out of the way and landed in a ditch.
“My thoughts were mostly, ‘This truck almost ran me over’ and maybe some swearing,” said Wimmer, now 45, of Lakeside Park. “In the moments after the near miss, my thoughts went to ‘What if I got hit?’ and ‘Dad was right.’
Earlier this fall, as Wimmer began training for the marathon, his father, Edward “Mike” Wimmer, III, worried that his son was running all those miles and reminded him to “be safe.” He even suggested that Wimmer carry ID so he could be notified if Wimmer had an accident during practice.
“Of course, I rejected that suggestion,” Wimmer said. “I thought, ‘What could happen to me running?’ So, there I was, in a ditch, on the side of the road, having almost been hit. From that ditch, my dad’s suggestion to carry ID started to make a lot of sense. I usually say, jokingly and half-seriously, that it was the first time in my life that I had to admit my dad was right about something.
The incident left Wimmer unstable. So, he developed an idea for a wearable ID. A few months later, in his father’s basement, he and his father started Road iD, a company that is now a leader in sports identification. They also offer wearable dog IDs and health IDs.
“For us, Road iD has always been more than a business,” Wimmer said. “We are on a mission to save lives and make a difference in the world. We also deliver peace of mind and fuel adventure.
From humble beginnings – starting with two credit cards and a fax machine – Covington-headquartered Road iD has sold thousands of wearable IDs and touched many more lives.
“Almost every day we hear from customers about the impact Road iD has had on their lives,” Wimmer said. “We hear stories of minor accidents where a wrist was raised to get the help a customer needed. We hear stories of parents who were 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, from Walton, said she loves coming to work knowing the company is impacting lives with the products and services it offers.
“I’m really lucky to work with great people,” she said. “We are a great company created in this way by our team. And sharing this adventure as a family is a gift.
For Wimmer and Eimer, family means more than blood, but also includes those who work with them, their clients, as well as the community.
“Road iD has a core value called Purpose for Profit,” Wimmer said. “Put simply, this means we are very committed to giving back and being good corporate citizens. To that end, we have raised and donated millions of dollars to organizations important to Road iD and its staff.
Currently, their main 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 each year with its Pink With A Purpose campaign, which has seen it donate over $70,000 over the past 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 helped clean up Covington every year since 2018.
According to Wimmer, this community involvement is also a big part of Road iD’s goal.
“We often say we’re goal first, then who, then which business,” Wimmer said.