It’s Been a Great Ride!

I’m retiring at the end of the year.

What initially was just a sense of obligation to a good friend turned out to be a remarkable and successful 20-year journey. Stories like mine happen often in the most fun country on Earth, the United States of America.

More than 30 years ago, Scott Noland and I were teamed up by our employer to market environmental laboratory services. Scott was the “science guy” and I was the “sales guy”. We did pretty good but figured out that we liked working together more than we liked what we were selling. So, for ~10 years, we tag-teamed our way through several large and small environmental service/consulting companies. The lessons we learned at those various stops were the genesis of Remediation Products, Inc. (RPI) and RPI Group.

Early in this Century, Scott presented me with a substance that he had made “at his house” (I’m not making this up). When he explained the marvelous properties of this substance, I (within seconds) said he should call it Trap & Treat® – the rest has become history. Scott believed so strongly in his creation that he wanted to start his own company to produce and market a new and revolutionary class of in situ remediation products. I was honored when he asked me to be his partner in the new venture. Astonishingly, I pushed back a little because I was a finalist for a well-paid job in a totally different industry. I later found out that Scott’s late Mother, Elaine (RPI’s bookkeeper for many years), didn’t trust me, and Scott had to lobby her to get me on board. I decided to stick with Scott and roll the dice. As for Elaine, we became confidants, and she would often “rat out” her son to me 🙂.

Our 10-year “walkabout” prior to RPI produced some core values that exist today and will continue indefinitely. We believed that the formula for success was having superior products, leading-edge processes to apply those products, and surrounding ourselves with people equally committed to doing the right thing the right way. If I have any legacy at all, it might be the words I spoke several years ago regarding The RPI Group Approach.

The list of people that deserve to be publicly thanked by me is literally in the hundreds and wouldn’t make for great reading. My first thank you goes to Tree and Matt at Alpine Remediation. Alpine was our very first Approved Installer and believed in us long before anyone else did. Next up are Duane, Gary, and Tom with AST Environmental. AST has grown to now serve as RPI Group’s National Product Distributor & Project Design Center. The geologists and engineers that make up the AST project management team are some of the finest in our industry (you know who you are, and it has been an honor to work with you). Thanks to the mechanical stylings of AST’s Ray, RPI Group leads the World in successful remediation of bedrock sites. Internationally, many thanks to Bruce, Kevin, and Nathan at Vertex Environmental and Palle, Giorgio, and Carsten at Ejlskov. A very special thank you goes to Juli and her team at VOCO Creative. VOCO has helped me with producing our monthly newsletters since 2009 – we tried to inject a bit of humor and succeeded a time or two 🙂. I will dearly miss our young laboratory crew and sharing some laughs with Kathy and Jason (plus Tracy from our pioneer days). Last, but not least, a big THANK YOU to our loyal and talented Approved Installer Network, my many pals at Calgon Carbon and, most importantly, our multitude of customers across the globe.

Nothing is going to change much at RPI. Ed Winner joined our company last February and will take over some of my responsibilities along with adding his scientific skills & experience with the regulatory community to RPI’s toolbox. Scott is energized and will continue to improve our products and search for new ones (stay tuned). Although my daily participation in the company is ending, I’ll be helping on occasions such as Battelle next May – maybe I’ll see some of you in Palm Springs?

Now, a word about my friend Scott Noland. The only thing that truly annoys me about Scott is that he runs a 10k faster than me 😊. Seriously, he is perhaps the most brilliant individual that I have ever known. His leadership of this enterprise continues and it’s not a stretch to say that the best is yet to come.

Thanks pal – It’s been a great ride.

Kind Regards,

Bob Elliott
Remediation Products, Inc.

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