More than 250 people are expected to attend a first-of-its-kind conference on soil remediation in November created by Charis Y. Gehret ’01.
“It’s been an incredible experience to turn an idea into a well-publicized event with more than 50 presenters from around the country, coverage in four industry publications, sold-out exhibit space, and more than a dozen sponsors,” Gehret says.
General manager of EnviroBlend® Products, Premier Magnesia, LLC, Conshohocken, Pa., Gehret oversees the development of site-specific chemistries used to treat heavy metals contamination in soil, groundwater, and industrial waste streams. She noticed a gap between information available for remediating chemically contaminated sites, commonly known as brownfields, and the people who need that knowledge.
“Rather than answering questions over and over on an individual basis, I decided to put together a national event to bring the most up-to-date information on brownfield redevelopment to the industry,” Gehret says. The resulting RE3 Conference is set for Nov. 12-14 in Atlantic City, N.J.
RE3 (remediation, renewal, and results) will provide information regarding options and opportunities for redeveloping sites contaminated with heavy metals and organic chemicals. It is designed for technicians, regulators, developers, and owners.
“My career is 50 percent technical and 50 percent business development,” says Gehret, a psychology graduate. “I use my scientific knowledge every day as well as my ‘think-outside-the-box attitude,’ which was encouraged by my psychology professors. The most valuable lesson I learned is that expanding your horizons not only in experience, but also in how you view yourself and capabilities, is often what makes the difference between good and great.”
Gehret is the daughter of Charles H. Gehret ’55, founder of Premier Magnesia, and cousin of Melissa Stevens ’02. She hired Derek Pizarro ’04 to head the company’s remediation division after meeting him at a Marquis Society reception.
In designing the conference, Gehret solicited advice from some of the top engineers and geologists in the field, New Jersey and Pennsylvania environmental divisions, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The conference has two tracks–a technical one geared for engineers, geologists, and others that deals with contamination, and a development one for developers and owners who redevelop sites.