With a career that includes research grants from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Department of Energy (DOE), Missile Defense Agency (MDA), along with grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and U.S. Air Force (USAF), and successful entrepreneurial environmental remediation experience, Dr. John Freim brings a distinguished track record to his new role as Director of Materials Science at REGENESIS®. With over 30 years of expertise in materials processing, and 15 years in the environmental remediation industry, Dr. Freim would seem to be the ideal choice to join REGENESIS and lead the effort to establish the company’s first state-of-the-art colloidal product manufacturing facility. Before joining REGENESIS, Freim had been serving as President of OnMaterials, which he founded as a “conduit” of sorts to use his expertise in the synthesis and processing of nanopowders and other engineered materials. His research grants from the EPA, NIH, and USAF enabled Freim to develop procedures to affordably manufacture and apply ZVI remediation amendments to contaminated soil and groundwater. Subsequently, in 2003, OnMaterials began selling ZVI products and services to environmental contractors that resulted in several hundred product applications.
Joining the REGENESIS Team
With a Ph.D.. in Materials Science from the University of California San Diego (UCSD), and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, coupled with his professional experience, Freim is confident in his new role with REGENESIS. Shares Dr. Freim, “I will be involved in both the design and implementation of materials and processes to manufacture colloidal materials, including PlumeStop®, colloidal iron, and new products used in environmental remediation.” His work in materials science, which includes several patents involving the use of novel engineered nanomaterials, combined with the success of his Escondido-based firm OnMaterials, provided an ideal opportunity to join the REGENESIS team. Continues Freim, “OnMaterials’ and REGENESIS’ product lines are synergistic in that both include engineered, value-added materials for in situ remediation. In fact, in many instances these materials can be applied together into contaminated soil and groundwater. Joining forces with REGENESIS allows access to their worldwide sales, marketing and distribution networks, as well as their research team and facilities.”
Although Dr. Freim has acquired three decades of expertise in materials science, it was not until 2000 that he developed a keen interest in environmental remediation, when an environmental consulting firm asked if he would leverage his experience in materials synthesis and processing to produce colloidal iron for environmental remediation. Encouraged by the positive results, he decided to focus his research efforts to produce colloidal iron and other products specifically for use in environmental remediation.
Keeping an Eye Toward the Future of Remediation
For the environmental industry, his commitment and aim in this area could not be more timely. He continues, “With a nod towards the future, many sites that could be addressed using routine remediation protocols have been successfully addressed. We are now seeing an increasing percentage of what remains requiring improved and advanced materials and protocols.” When asked which specific REGENESIS departments are likely to garner the majority of his attention, Freim says Operations, R&D, Sales and Marketing and Field Services are at the top of the list.
A native of Illinois, and with professional work experience in South Carolina, Tennessee, Arizona, and Colorado, Dr. Freim and his family reside in Escondido, CA. With their two children now in college, Freim and his wife enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, with alpine skiing and travel as favorites. On the travel ledger, he and his wife have visited six continents that include nearly 30 countries. One memorable trip in particular includes traveling to Norway last November, and visiting the town where his grandfather was born. Shares Freim, “My grandfather, John Freim Sr., emigrated to the U.S. from Norway in 1912 at age 16. There are fewer than 100 Freims in the world today and all of them share ancestry to the Freim farm in Odda, NOR. We explored the Freim farm, which dates to the 17th century, and saw the house where and was born, and a tree which my grandfather planted when he was young. It was a wonderful trip and experience.”
When not working or planning his next international trip, Dr. Freim serves on review panels at the National Institutes of Health’s environmental health division (NIEHS). He continues, “Every six months I travel to Washington, DC and review proposals of new environmental technologies. My experience as a small business owner and former award recipient helps evaluate the commercial potential of these new environmental technologies.” Asked what the most rewarding aspect is about his work, Freim emphasizes it’s about developing customer relationships and seeing professional results. “Interacting with customers and others in the environmental industry and delivering quality products and services on time and within budget are just two areas of my work that are especially rewarding.” And the biggest challenge? “Although the in situ remediation products often react very quickly with contaminated soil and groundwater, the regulatory environment can result in long business cycles, which can make it difficult to keep up with projects that conceptualized many months or years ago.” When asked how he would encourage others to join his field of study, he cites patience as being especially important. He concludes, “My advice to those considering a career in environmental remediation is to anticipate and embrace changes because the materials and methods used to practice environmental remediation industry are always improving and can change rapidly.
REGENESIS is proud to welcome Dr. John Freim, Director of Materials Science, to the REGENESIS team, and looks forward to his leadership and expertise in helping to establish a state-of-the-art colloidal product manufacturing facility for the company and its clients.
From growing up in the Louisiana Bayou, to his studies at Sam Houston State University, where he received his BS in Environmental Science; James Cobb, Director of Health and Safety at REGENESIS, has always felt a close connection with nature and our environment. And REGENESIS, has become a natural next step in his storied career.
A Passion for the Environment
“I think it all started when I was a kid growing up near the rural wetlands of Louisiana,” shares Cobb. “I loved nature at a young age, and the environment was amazing to me. Years later, while in college, I met a friend in the environmental sciences program who encouraged me to pursue it as a profession.” Working out of the REGENESIS San Clemente headquarters, Cobb joined the team in October, and brings a distinguished background in environmental health and safety. His years of experience, coupled with his leadership abilities, support aspects of REGENESIS’ business, including safety training and program implementation, near-miss reporting and analysis.
Joining the REGENESIS Team
Prior to joining REGENESIS, Cobb served as a Regional Safety Officer for an environmental consulting services firm. He’s also held positions as a Regional Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) Manager, overseeing several companies on the west coast, as well as Safety Manager for a chemical supply company that developed laboratory related products. When asked what he feels he will enjoy most in his new role at REGENESIS, he points to the ability to interface and collaborate with the company’s various departments. “I know I will enjoy the interactions with staff and management the most, as I help make safety a part of everyone’s life. Environmental health and safety should not be limited to the workplace. It is also a part of our home and family life as well.” Armed with deep experience, and certified in Environmental Health and Safety, Cobb is looking forward to making a difference and supporting the REGENESIS products, research and services teams. He shares, “I always looked at this profession as a way to give back to the planet so that my kids can enjoy what I had when I was younger.” His passion for helping our environment is shared with REGENESIS. Cobb continues, “Honestly, choosing to join REGENESIS was easy. It was the meeting with the Executive team, and seeing the energy and compassion they have for the work done at REGENESIS. Their efforts made me want to be a part of this world-class team.”
What the Future Holds
When it comes to staying current with the rapid changes in environmental health and safety (EH&S), Cobb routinely takes classes to keep up with changes in various regulations, and he actively maintains his existing certifications. Cobb continues, “Currently I am working toward my Certified Industrial Hygiene Certification. I also have more than 30 certifications in different types of safety and environmental compliance.” With his vast experience, he is looking forward to interfacing with nearly every department at REGENESIS. “I hope to work with each department in one way or another. There is always a need for EH&S and I see it every day when talking to people in different areas of the company.” When asked what he feels the future holds for environmental remediation, Cobb points to where REGENESIS is taking technology, thanks to the company’s research and development (R&D) team. He shares, “I see REGENESIS’ technology as the way of the future. Working closely with the R&D team, I can see what the future holds with regard to technologies that are in development.”
Currently living in Long Beach, CA with his wife and two dogs, a Great Dane and a Pug, Cobb will actively be working with the team across the US and Canada to support REGENESIS’ growing operations. In his free time, he and his wife enjoy traveling, and have been to Thailand, Spain, Morocco and Jamaica. He also finds time for fishing, golf, scuba diving and wood working. Recently, he’s picked up playing the violin, which he enjoyed as a teenager. “I enjoy my free time,” says Cobb. “It gives me an outlet to the challenges of my work, such as keeping up with changing regulations in different states, which is never easy.” And the most rewarding aspect of his work? “I’m most gratified when people tell me stories of how something I said or trained them on helped them avoid an accident, either at work or at home.” This sense of gratification helps to describe why Cobb encourages others to join his field in health and safety. He concludes by sharing, “Safety is a passion that drives me to change lives for the better. In order to be effective, safety professionals need to have a passion for this job and truly care about their co-workers. It’s not always an easy job, especially when it comes to investigating accidents, but if you love helping others and making the world a safer place, this field is for you.”
REGENESIS is proud to welcome James Cobb, Director of Health and Safety, and looks forward to his expertise in EH&S as the company moves forward in providing successful remediation solutions for its clients.
When Paul Erickson transitioned from his former role as a Senior Scientist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich) to his current position as Research Scientist with REGENESIS®, he knew immediately his move would enable him to apply his accomplished academic and scientific background to real-world solutions. “I had already started exploring my next career move when I heard about this opportunity,” explains Erickson. “I had first started looking for opportunities in Switzerland, and then beyond. When I became aware of the opening with REGENESIS, I was immediately interested. My new position allows me to combine my prior expertise, with what I was hoping to do in the next phase of my career- identify and develop new environmental solutions.” With an accomplished background in environmental chemistry, Erickson’s move to REGENESIS was, in his words, “a natural choice,” and he is excited about immersing himself in his work and collaborating with the various REGENESIS departments, particularly with remediation services, sales and marketing.
Putting Academic Training into Practice
Erickson became aware of the REGENESIS opening through a contact he shares with Kristen Thoreson PhD, Director of Research and Development at REGENESIS. He continues, “Our mutual academic advisor alerted me to the position. I contacted Kristen, whom I had worked with about eight years ago at the University of Minnesota.” Erickson continues, “What attracted me most was the chance to put my academic training into daily practice.”
In his new role with REGENESIS, Erickson will have a chance to see his efforts through to commercialization, and the results will likely provide confirmation for his earlier motivation in pursuing a career in environmental sciences. “When I embarked on my career, I wanted to combine my love for both chemistry and the outdoors”, he says. In addition, he will bring a fresh, and at times, creative approach to many projects. Shares Erickson, “I’m coming on board to both help with the current workload and to offer a new perspective into some of the projects being worked on.”
Solving Soil and Groundwater Remediation Challenges
In addition to his experience at ETH Zurich, where he oversaw one of the user labs within his research group, Erickson holds a BS degree in Chemistry from Florida State University, a Masters in Chemistry from the University of Minnesota, and a PhD in Environmental Chemistry from ETH Zurich. Shares Erickson, “I think my strong background in Environmental Chemistry, from both my university studies and professional training, will help me quickly contribute to REGENESIS’ products. I’m looking forward to applying my scientific experience to some of the more complex environmental challenges facing our clients.” He continues, “My detailed approach to chemistry and the environment will assist me in identifying and developing new directions we can take as a company. Additionally, my training outside the US prepares me for working with people from many different cultural backgrounds.” Erickson looks forward to acclimating to the soil and groundwater niche where REGENESIS is considered an industry-leader, especially in the areas of how sites are profiled prior to remediation, and the various regulatory aspects involved.
Married and with three young children, Erickson will be working in the San Clemente, CA corporate office. In his free time he enjoys rock climbing, skiing, and hiking, as well as bike touring with the family. “In Switzerland we did a lot of bike touring as a family”, he shares. “This entailed packing all of our camping gear. It’s a family activity we thoroughly enjoy and it gives us an even greater appreciation for our environment. I know I’ll also have to try surfing eventually, since I enjoy swimming.” When asked what he likes most about his profession, Erickson points to the opportunity to use his scientific background in helping to preserve our planet. “Using my scientific training to make the world a better place is extremely gratifying,” he says. “I feel fortunate as a contributor to improving the environment and having an impact on public health.”
REGENESIS is proud to welcome Paul Erickson, Research Scientist, to its team and looks forward to his future contributions in environmental science as the company continues to provide successful remediation outcomes for its clients.
Logistics, Miracles, & Air Traffic Control
As a Customer Service Specialist at REGENESIS, Shannon Suangka is responsible for a broad range of client service functions that include credit processing, delivery setup, product shipping, and logistics, as well as the occasional “miracle”, such as pulling off same day shipping on a last-minute order. Add to this the challenges that come with unanticipated changes in project scheduling, planning parameters, and order tracking, and you could say Shannon is much like an air traffic controller at LAX. Shannon juggles a myriad of time-sensitive variables on behalf of REGENESIS’ clients. Multi-tasking within this ever-changing, often stressful environment makes it easy to understand why the term, “Super Hero” is often used to describe Shannon and her fellow department co-workers in the Customer Service Department.
A Positive Approach
Shannon and her family reside in San Clemente, where she is an “easy five miles from REGENESIS.” Upon joining the company in her role as Customer Service Specialist she progressed quickly and made an immediate impact with her positive, “can do” approach in working with clients. Shares Shannon, “I get excited when I have exceeded a customer’s expectations. Knowing I was able to get an order processed for a customer, especially against all odds, is a great feeling. I’m passionate about making sure our clients are happy and I think that shows.” It is often said, ‘timing is everything’, and at times this could not be more true in the day-to-day responsibilities within the Customer Service Department. Shannon continues, “It’s rare that an order will be shipped the same day. Trucks have to be scheduled in advance and the warehouse needs time to pull, pack, and shrink wrap product. Ensuring we do everything possible to guarantee the client receives their product on time is my focus and ultimate goal. Easing their mind regarding delivery and knowing they will be happy makes me happy.”
The REGENESIS Family
In addition to feeling a great sense of satisfaction from helping clients, Shannon also feels she’s developed a family bond with her fellow co-workers. This stems from her 11 years of dedicated service experience and the fact REGENESIS fosters such a positive, team-oriented culture. “REGENESIS is my second family,” says Shannon. “We celebrate birthdays, barbecue, have holiday parties, and exchange gifts. Sometimes we bring in homemade treats to share, such as pastries, fruit, and desserts. It’s a welcoming environment here.”
As one would expect, every job has its challenges, and Shannon’s is no exception. One of the most demanding aspects of her job is time management and prioritizing. She goes on to say, “Meeting the demands of all our clients can be difficult. You need to be able to juggle multiple tasks in a timely manner. On occasion, shipments may get delayed, lost in transit or even damaged. There’s so much to do in so little time in these circumstances, especially when there’s a crew of drillers and consultants on-site waiting for a delivery. Being solution-oriented and responding quickly to demanding situations, while remaining calm, is extremely important.”
Making Time for Family
When not serving clients in the office Shannon is quick to point out that she makes time for her family, which may include practicing softball with her 14-year old daughter, watching re-runs of her favorite TV shows, (Seinfeld and Modern Family), or taking in a movie.
Appreciating the Planet
When asked how she would encourage others to join the field of bioremediation, she explains that it starts by having a greater appreciation for our planet. She concludes, “Before I joined REGENESIS, I did not think much about our planet’s resources. Now I’m aware of how dry cleaners, gas stations, and old military sites may have caused issues in the environment, and how hundreds or even thousands of contaminants are polluting our earth. I now realize how important it is to do more to conserve energy, preserve our water resources, and take care of our environment.”
REGENESIS is pleased to have Shannon Suangka as its Customer Service Specialist, where her resourceful, positive approach to servicing our customers helps ensure we meet client expectations, even in the most challenging of situations.
When it comes to dealing with the uncertainties of our planet and Mother Nature, Hieu Nguyen, Senior Research Engineer at Land Science®, knows all too well that successful vapor intrusion mitigation means being prepared for the unexpected. “Regardless of how well I assess a site’s condition,” he shares, “There are always unknown forces that can affect the outcome of the design and/or performance of a gas vapor barrier. Despite some of these uncontrolled variables, I strive to reduce the number of uncertainties where possible to ensure our recommendations are appropriate for the site conditions.” Preserving our natural resources, is important to Hieu, and was a key reason on why he chose his profession in research engineering. “I wanted to make a direct impact on protecting the environment and improving indoor air quality, which promotes better human health. I also enjoy working closely with the USEPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) throughout different regions and with various state level regulators to help solve various challenges as a result of vapor intrusion.”
Armed with 10 years of professional experience, a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Idaho, Hieu’s passion for protecting people from the effects of harmful vapor intrusion is evident in his efforts to provide the highest level of technical support to Land Science clients. Hieu’s core responsibilities include providing technical support to Regional/District Managers, as well as clients, and providing both technical support and oversight of product implementation at various construction and remediation sites. But where Hieu adds tremendous value is the research and testing he is conducting in the Land Science lab, to ensure the highest level of safe and effective vapor barrier product development on the market today. Using a VI permeameter apparatus, a proprietary testing device developed by Land Science and unique in the industry, Nguyen is able to test Land Science barrier solutions to ensure efficacy. In addition, he assists in the development of AutoCAD details, specifications, and proposals, and provides remediation design recommendations. When asked what he enjoys most about his work at Land Science, Hieu points to the satisfaction he receives from impacting positive change. “I enjoy the fact that I am making a difference and able to provide long term solutions that will protect our communities from vapor intrusion. At the end of the day, I feel I’ve contributed in the effort to prevent families, or companies and their employees, from the threat of vapor intrusion.”
Hieu’s has a wide range of experience in remediation technology and engineering which includes eight years as a technical engineer for a multi-national environmental products group, supporting their vapor intrusion, remediation, and lining technologies divisions. He also spent time as a Product Technical Manager working on corrosion protection solutions. Early in his career, he served as a Field Engineer at Schlumberger, the world’s largest oilfield services company.
To stay current in his field, Hieu is an active member of the ITRC (Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council) Petroleum Vapor Intrusion workgroup. “I attend numerous training courses and seminars on vapor intrusion, solidification/stabilization, and sediment remediation. I am also an active member of the asphalt emulsions workgroup ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) D.04 specifications and testing.”
When asked about the challenges in successful vapor mitigation, he points to the emergence of an increasing number of variables, listing spatial and temporal variability, seasonal changes in weather conditions, groundwater fluctuations, pressure gradient from wind effects, and structural building usage, as well as unknown contaminant sources, as variables that can impact vapor intrusion. Hieu shares, “Based on some of these variables, it is impossible to predict and/or model a specific site condition to fully protect it from vapor intrusion.” He goes on to say, “As a vapor barrier manufacturer, it is our responsibility to provide an effective vapor mitigation method for all of our clients based on these known variables, their needs, and their expectations.”
When asked about how working with REGENESIS and Land Science has changed his thinking about our planet, he cites increased awareness. Shares Hieu, “I understand everything takes time to improve, especially our planet. I feel that my small contribution to protecting human health and increasing awareness of harmful chemicals in the ground is a step toward successful cleanup efforts to improve our planet.”
A resident of Orange, CA, where he lives with his wife and daughter, Hieu enjoys swimming, hiking, and doing his own research in his spare time. He also donates his time in support of Buddhist temples in Orange County, assisting with major ceremonies, events, and monthly activities. In addition, he and his wife help sponsor the temple’s youth activities, which include continuing education and fund raising.
Hieu is proud to be working at REGENESIS and Land Science, and feels the company has gained significant credibility and acknowledgement from consulting engineers, developers, and application companies. Shares Hieu, “We are often viewed as a solution provider and not just a product company. Working for REGENESIS/Land Science is rewarding because it affords me the opportunity to work closely with extremely talented individuals. I absolutely believe that every employee’s voice, opinion and ideas are heard by the upper management team.”
REGENESIS is pleased to have Hieu Nguyen as Senior Research Engineer, where his experience and commitment to successful treatment in vapor intrusion helps keep REGENESIS and Land Science in a leadership position within the vapor intrusion mitigation industry.
When Joy Gravitt started working at REGENESIS in October 2008, she was unsure what her future role with the company would be. Originally under the impression she would be responsible for routine tasks in the lab, her accomplished academic background and experience quickly set her on a path to become an integral resource to the Research and Development (R&D) team. Today, as the company’s Operations Supervisor/QC Officer, Joy manages a variety of responsibilities, including warehouse operations, manufacturing, inventory and quality control – while still overseeing environmental health and safety, analytical maintenance, and method development. The diversity in her responsibilities at REGENESIS is just one facet of her work that she enjoys. “Although I currently hold the title of Operations Supervisor/QC Officer,” shares Joy, “I feel like I’ve done a little bit of everything.” She goes on to say, “When I started, I worked in R&D doing various experiments and projects, however, my role expanded as R&D and the company grew, and I was able to work in other departments. These projects and roles helped broaden my experience and ultimately prepared me for my current position.”
As someone who always wanted to make a difference when it comes to the environment, Joy initially found herself making her mark in some of the flavors we taste with some popular beverages. “I always liked chemistry,” she says. “So straight out of college I went to work for a flavor chemistry lab compounding flavors and finished beverages for clients such as Monster and Coca-Cola.” She continues, “But a part of me really wanted to play a role in solutions impacting our environment.” Joy learned of her initial position with REGENESIS through a job placement firm. She goes on to share, “I’ve been in the lab ever since, working hard to find solutions for widespread environmental problems.”
Joy came to REGENESIS with an academic background in science and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from the University of California, Irvine. While Biology was her original focus in school, she “became hooked on chemistry” after taking an organic chemistry class. And most recently, Joy completed a Master of Analytical Chemistry from Illinois Institute of Technology. To keep pace with the ongoing changes in her field, she tries to read the latest papers pertaining to research and concepts that can be used in R&D, and keeps up to date on regulations from the EPA, OSHA and DOT that pertain to the operations side of her job.
When asked what she enjoys most about her job, Joy points to those few instances when hard work rewards you with a breakthrough. “I think the best part of my job is discovering something new. Research is extremely frustrating sometimes. You have to try 999,999 things before you find something that works, but when you do, it is the most satisfying feeling. Here at REGENESIS we are making the world better one site at a time and that makes me proud.” As you might expect, she also has some demanding aspects of her work. Continues Joy, “No matter how often I get asked about the most demanding part of my work, I always say it’s time-management. Maintaining a high level of client service, while also providing strong product support, requires managing your time efficiently and I feel this is one of my best qualities as a manager.”
In an industry that is constantly evolving, Joy feels REGENESIS is well positioned for continued leadership in environmental management. “REGENESIS has really solidified its place as a front-runner in the industry,” shares Joy. “On top of that, we are coming out with new game-changing technologies, thanks to the incredible R&D team. That strength in ingenuity, coupled with forward-thinking management, is a recipe for success.” In addition to the science-based remediation solutions the company develops, Joy likes to work for a company that consistently maintains a positive company focus. “Everyone at REGENESIS is really an expert in their field and that makes for a great support system and a growing company.”
When it comes to encouraging others to join the field of environmental remediation, Joy is quick to add how much she loves telling others about her work, adding, “I love talking about what I do. I think people find it really interesting because it’s not something that people really know about. I love science and chemistry, so I try and engage young would-be scientists to make sure we have generations of up-and-coming chemists!”
Married and living with her husband and a “very precocious 2 ½ year-old daughter,” Joy and her family make their home in Orange County. In her free time, she loves to host parties and bake, which works out nicely since her husband loves to cook. She also enjoys indoor spin classes and traveling, and can claim 20 countries from her list of international travel destinations. Her latest passion is ballet, which she enjoyed as a child. Joy attends ballet class 2-3 times a week and has been on pointe for about a year now. “Ballet has been a wonderful stress reliever and it was great during my pregnancy. I was able to dance until I was 38 weeks along!”
Joy also stays active in volunteer work, supporting LGBT rights through the NOH8 campaign, Human Rights efforts, and other similar organizations. In addition, she is a regular blood donor for the American Red Cross and participates in several cancer awareness and fundraising events. When asked how working for REGENESIS has changed her thinking about our planet, Joy is quick to look to the next generation as her motivation for impacting change. “Working at REGENESIS keeps me aware of how I can change my life to make sure my daughter inherits a planet in better shape than I did. Little things like recycling, going solar (which we did late last year) and turning off the water when you brush your teeth can really make a difference.”
REGENESIS is pleased to have Joy Gravitt as Operations Supervisor/QC Officer, where her superb organizational skills, diverse experience, and concern about our environment help to make a difference in providing successful remediation outcomes for REGENESIS and its clients.
As the Central/East Regional Manager at REGENESIS, Barry Poling helps his clients execute successful remediation projects, while also satisfying his original career objective of combining many of the sciences he was interested in, such as Chemistry, Biology, Geology and Engineering. In addition, his work enables him to assist and advise clients in a variety of areas, such as product evaluation and regulatory approval assistance. “I really enjoy the combination of science-based responsibilities and the diversity in the technical support we provide to our clients,” shares Barry.
After studying Environmental Management at Indiana University, Barry launched his career with an environmental consulting firm in Louisville, Kentucky. Although it was a relatively small firm in size, Barry worked on some interesting and unique projects. “One project was a remote molybdenum mine outside of Ketchikan, Alaska where we performed site assessment and remediation work. Given the remote nature, my colleagues and I had to charter small aircraft (helicopter or float plane) to get in and out. To this day, it still is the coolest project I’ve ever worked on. On another site in Montana, I showed up to grab some soil samples from a mine, only to find four feet of snow on the ground. After a quick trip back to town to purchase snow shoes, I trekked the old mining road on foot and collected the samples as required. I still have those snow shoes in my office but unfortunately, or fortunately, they don’t get much use in southern Indiana.”
In addition to working on a diverse range of projects early in his career, Barry feels he was fortunate to have been involved on projects that stimulated his intellectual curiosity. He cites Phase I and Phase II site assessment, remediation, and industrial compliance as examples of experience that helped shape his future in environmental remediation. “This experience early on in my career helped me learn what I liked and what I didn’t like, which ultimately led me down the path toward environmental remediation.” Barry goes on to say, “Remediation was of particular interest to me because it combined many of the sciences. The added plus is I enjoy the challenge of solving problems. Now at REGENESIS, I help our clients develop effective solutions to environmental challenges every day.”
Barry lives in southern Indiana, in a suburb outside of Louisville, Kentucky, with his wife and two daughters, who are 5 and 3, and “the highlight of my life”. When not working, his free time revolves around his family. He coaches his daughter’s Little League softball team and enjoys family camping trips as much as possible during the summer months. He also plays an occasional round of golf, but admits he and his golf clubs don’t get on the course as much as they used to.
Throughout his 10+ years at REGENESIS, Barry has had the opportunity to work with environmental professionals in multiple states, where his experience in remediation assists clients in navigating the complexities of various state regulatory programs, which he says is particularly rewarding. “Having the ability to do my work, while still living in the town I grew up in, has allowed me with the work/life balance I’ve always desired,” says Barry. When it comes to continuing education and training, he stays up to date in his field by completing the required coursework credits in the areas of soil, groundwater remediation, and vapor intrusion, which enable him to maintain certification through the Institute of Hazardous Materials Management (IHMM).
When asked what he enjoys the most about his work, Barry points to the pride he takes in helping clients execute successful remediation projects. Says Barry, “Working with clients to provide support through the steps of technology evaluation, selection, implementation and ultimately site closure gives me a great measure of satisfaction. In addition, it’s been very rewarding to visit a site a year after our work was completed and see a new vibrant development which directly impacts the local communities and economy. It lets me know my work has a positive impact on society.”
As with any position that involves various layers of complexity, this pride and satisfaction is balanced with its share of demands. Barry continues, “Change is both the most demanding and rewarding aspect of my job. Regulations change. The market changes. Technologies change. As such, we (REGENESIS) have changed. This change doesn’t come without demands and challenges, but one of my goals has always been to work in an exciting and growing field, so it suits me well.” He concludes, “Staying relevant in a constantly changing market is not the easiest thing to do, but I maintain a lot of comfort in knowing that I work for a company that has, and will, continue to stay on the cutting edge of the industry by consistently introducing new technologies and services to the market.”
REGENESIS is pleased to have Barry Poling as the Central/East Regional Manager, where his diverse experience in environmental sciences continues to make a difference in providing successful remediation outcomes for REGENESIS and its clients.
Brittain Griffiths is the Technical Services Manager for the Western Region, and works within the REGENESIS® Tech Services group as a design engineer, serving as a technical resource for REGENESIS Technical Sales Team and REGENESIS Remediation Services (RRS). Brittain joined REGENESIS because he became deeply committed to the environment and felt a career in environmental remediation would make a positive impact on our planet. Currently based in Sacramento, CA, Britain started with REGENESIS in the company’s original corporate office in San Juan Capistrano, and subsequently held positions in New Jersey and Michigan, prior to returning to California.
When asked how working at REGENESIS has changed his thinking about our planet, he admits his views have evolved over time. “When I was young and I first started at the company, I did not think that much about the future of our planet,” says Brittain. “As I got older and had children I realized the importance of what we are doing. Humans are quickly destroying our “life source – Earth” in an attempt to make a buck. This trend of “we will deal with the problem in the future” is so selfish of each generation. We will wipe ourselves out at the rate we are polluting the earth. I am proud to be a small part of the solution.”
As you might expect from someone who has worked at the same company for over 20 years, Brittain enjoys working at REGENESIS, and points to his fellow employees as a big reason. Shares Brittain, “The employees are very talented and incredibly smart. I have learned a great deal over the years from my peers. Plus, everybody is so dedicated to making a difference in this organization. We all have this need to please our clients and help each other. It is a real TEAM effort,” he says. “I feel lucky to work here.”
In terms of how he’s seen the industry change, Brittain points to two major changes over the years. The first is the acceptance by clients and regulators that bioremediation is an effective solution to cleaning up sites. “When I first started with REGENESIS there was very little bioremediation going on,” says Brittain. “In the early years we had to do a lot of convincing that you did not need expensive mechanical equipment to clean a site. This is no longer the case. The industry realizes that bioremediation and chemical oxidation are excellent technologies when used properly.” He continues, “The second change is that the “easy” sites are gone. The complexity of the projects and designs is much greater than those we saw 10 or 15 years ago because most of the low level hydrocarbon plumes – which REGENESIS made a name in successfully remediating – have been cleaned up.”
As one might expect, a position involving environmental technology can have its challenges, and Brittain is no exception to that rule. Shares Brittain, “The most demanding part of the job is the relatively quick turnaround time for proposals and designs. Sometimes the sites come in quickly and it can be challenging to complete projects on schedule, but some of this is an internal pressure I put on myself. I really enjoy working with our clients and I want to help them with their sites. ”
Brittain prides himself on being a lifelong learner and is constantly working on staying current in his training and education. As an example, this past November he attended the Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council (ITRC) and Dense Non-Aqueous Phase Liquids (DNAPL) conference in Austin, TX. Outside of work, when he is not spending time with his three daughters, Brittain’s hobbies include Yoga, swimming, meditation, surfing, skiing, and weight lifting.
When asked what the most rewarding aspect of his job is, Brittain points to the satisfaction that comes from finding solutions to problems and helping others. “I like the idea that I will leave the planet in better shape than I found it,” he says. “I also like the fact that I can help site owners with their problems. I feel for the “mom and pop” gas station owner and dry cleaner that now has a huge liability (hydrocarbon or chlorinated plume) that was in part a result of their doing business. I try to figure out the least expensive option to clean their site. I would not want to be in their shoes, so I figure the least I can do is to give them a solid design to effectively clean their site.”
REGENESIS is pleased to have Brittain Griffiths as the Technical Services Manager for the Western Region, where his wealth of experience in technology and design engineering continues to make a difference in providing effective technical expertise to both REGENESIS and its clients.
If you ask Kris Maerten, Technical Manager of the REGENESIS EU, on how his 11 years with the company has changed his thinking about our planet, you may be surprised by his response. Rather than altering his view about the fragility of our environment, Kris feels his experience has changed his thinking about the people who live on our planet. He feels that, although cultural differences are present between people and countries can look significant on the surface, there are a lot of things that connect us. Kris’s views on people and their shared experiences stems, in part, from REGENESIS EU’s broad geographical territory, where Kris is not only responsible for sales in the Benelux district, made up of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxemburg, but also involved in the remedial design work for projects all over Europe, including the UK, Scandinavia, and France.
An Experienced Remediation Professional
Based in Leper, Belgium – a small town located in in the Flemish province of West Flanders – Kris received his degree in Environmental Engineering from Ghent University, in Belgium. Upon graduating, he pursued a career in environmental work, and benefited from new legislation on soil and groundwater protection that was introduced in Belgium in the mid-1990s. Bolstered by an increase in demand for trained professionals in the environmental industry, Kris joined ABO, an environmental services company, where he served as a Project Manager for several years. He joined REGENESIS in 2004 as a District Manager, responsible for sales and customer support in the Benelux district. In 2007 he was promoted to Technical Manager, and his role was expanded to include remedial designs for projects throughout Europe. During his time at REGENESIS, Kris has evaluated more than 2,000 sites for the use of in situ remediation technology, including aerobic and anaerobic bioremediation, in situ chemical oxidation (ISCO), stabilization, and abstraction system enhancement. He takes a consultative approach in his work, and interfaces closely with a variety of clients, while striving to provide the best possible solution for their remediation and site issues.
When asked what the most demanding part of his job is, he cites the quick turnaround required in responding to clients. “Urgent requests for designs are rather common,” admits Kris. “And can make the work load high. They all typically come in simultaneously, and the work is sometimes difficult to plan.” Although his position presents its share of challenges, Kris is quick to point out the rewarding aspects he enjoys. “Developing remedial designs, especially on difficult projects, is a highly creative process.” Kris shares. “The moment when you discover the right remedial approach for a challenging site is very satisfying. There are a lot of pleasant facets to my work: successful results of a remediation you’ve designed, and helping a client to win a project are a couple of good examples.”
Riding through the Belgian Countryside
Away from work, Kris spends his free time with his wife and three children. Cycling is a favorite activity, and he can often be seen riding his race-ready touring bike around the Belgian countryside. “Nothing is better to clear the head than a long bike ride,” He says. He also enjoys soccer, reading, and travel. In addition, he and his wife enjoy volunteer work, often helping a small Belgian organization raise funds to assist Ethiopian children to go to school.
Adapting to Change in the Remediation Industry
As you might expect for one who has worked professionally within environmental services for over a decade, Kris has seen the industry evolve – especially with regard to bioremediation. “In 2004 hardly anyone in Europe had experience with bioremediation, especially chlorinated solvents, or in situ chemical oxidation. That has changed completely and I think REGENESIS has played an important role in this.” He goes on to say, “In the last couple of years I’ve seen less in new technologies. That’s why our new product, PlumeStop®, is something completely different from all other in situ technologies on the market and could become so important.” When describing what it means to work for REGENESIS, Kris points to the opportunity to work in a global setting. “REGENESIS gave me the opportunity to transition from working for a local consultant to working in an international setting, with high-end technologies and a very professional, experienced team.”
REGENESIS is pleased to have Kris Maerten as Technical Manager of the REGENESIS EU, where his diverse experience and consultative approach with clients helps achieve successful remediation outcomes for a diverse range of clients.
As the Eastern Regional Manager for Land Science Technologies® (LST), Jason (Jay) Canouse is responsible for working closely with environmental consultants, helping to bridge the gap between vapor intrusion mitigation solutions and site redevelopment. While Jay brings a wealth of experience to his position, including significant time in the field, it’s his 15-plus years of environmental experience as a consultant that helps distinguish himself and LST from others that provide mitigation solutions in vapor intrusion. With experience that includes time at Langan Engineering & Environmental Services, where he was a Sr. Staff Geologist, and Atlantic Environmental Solutions, where he served as Project Manager, Jay’s background offers clients proven field-tested experience spanning a wide range of products and services.
FROM THE GRID IRON TO ENVIRONMENTAL SOLUTIONS, CANOUSE HAS ALWAYS GIVEN 100%
Currently based in New Jersey, Jay received a BA in Geology from Hofstra University, where he also played on the Hofstra NCAA division 1 football team. His passion for football also opened the door to an internship with the NFL’s New York Jets, a team he continues to follow. Upon graduation, Jay’s interest in environmental remediation led him to the field of environmental consulting. His career path grew from a desire to protect the natural resources he continues to enjoy while spending time in the outdoors.
CANOUSE’S YEARS OF EXPERIENCE AND TRAINING PAY OFF FOR HIS CLIENTS
While a consultant, he especially enjoyed the challenge of helping clients navigate regulatory requirements and seeking solutions that helped clean up sites for redevelopment. In his role at LST, he brings all of these experiences to bear. “Incorporating the challenges of technical sales was extremely appealing to me as a trained geologist. Being able to utilize what I had learned in other positions has helped me provide valuable insight and a high level of service to our clients.” When it comes to working with clients in a variety of different situations and conditions, Jay feels the most demanding part of his job is being consistently responsive to their needs. With this he adds, “Responding to all of a client’s needs is so important because we are an aspect of the construction process, and in construction, timing is everything. Helping our clients provide their client with a solution within a limited time frame is always a challenge, however, I feel LST excels at that.”
NOT JUST PRODUCTS, LST OFFERS SOLUTIONS
Working for REGENESIS and Land Science Technologies provides a great deal of satisfaction for Jay because it allows him to ascertain the needs and expectations of clients with regard to both products and services. “We are not just a product-driven company. I think what sets us apart is that we are also a technical services company. We help provide complete turn-key solutions to our clients, so it’s not just about products.” And although he has seen a great deal over his 15 year career, Jay is quick to point out his experiences have not changed how he views our planet. “I’ve always felt committed to being involved with preserving and protecting what we can. Mankind has and continues to use our earth’s resources so I feel it’s critical we do what we can to keep what we have.”
PAYING IT FORWARD AND ENCOURAGING THE NEXT GENERATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROS
Part of Jay’s efforts in this regard include encouraging others, especially those who may be exploring a new career path. “I often look for opportunities to tell others, whether they’re just starting out in college or close to graduating, that working in the environmental field is doubly gratifying because we get to help both clients and our planet.” When asked how he’s seen the industry change over the years, he points to the increase in collaboration. “There are many areas of specialization within environmental remediation, and the range of technology and product development is constantly evolving. The most effective way to keep up with this rate of change is by creating and supporting a collaborative process.”
REGENESIS is pleased to have Jay Canouse as the Eastern Regional Manager for Land Science Technologies, where his diverse range of experience and ability to offer turn-key solutions to clients continue to make a difference in providing effective vapor intrusion solutions, leading to successful outcomes.