REM is a Building and Environmental Health Sciences company providing indoor air quality and water treatment solutions. We are a recognized leader in raising radon awareness and education. The company is the only integrated provider of radon maps and mapping services, together with radon detectors and certified professional radon measurement services and advanced mitigation solutions. REM is also a leader in funding the research and development of new, innovative radon measurement and remediation technologies.
A strength of the company is its emphasis on strategic development through building strong customer and stakeholder relationships. Within a coordinated national approach, the company is guiding policymaker engagement and the development of public policy that will lead to legislation to mandate radon testing and mitigation.
Tell us about yourself?
For over 40 years, I have served on the Executive Boards of several private and public sector companies, operating in a diverse range of industries and international companies. I have built companies organically and through mergers and acquisitions, and I have been based in Europe, the U.S.A. and Canada. I was invited by the founding shareholders of REM on its formation in 2007 to join the company as President & CEO. My task was to develop a business plan and strategy to establish the company as a leader in the radon mapping, testing/measurement, and mitigation industry.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Work smart, surround yourself with the people who have the skillsets needed, and create an environment where they can perform. Always be resilient in the face of adversity and learn from your mistakes.
What problem does your business solve?
We provide solutions for healthy Indoor Air Quality in residential homes, schools, and workplaces. We also provide Water Treatment solutions to remove toxic pollutants from groundwater wells. Our focus is reducing public exposure to radon gas, which is the leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Radon-induced lung cancer is responsible for at least 4,000 deaths annually in Canada (source Health Canada) and 21,000 deaths annually in the United States (source EPA). Globally, the WHO estimates approximately 200,000 of all lung cancer deaths annually are attributable to radon gas exposure.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
My wife, Janet, was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2012 and subsequently underwent two thoracic surgeries to remove lobes and lymph nodes from both of her lungs. Janet was never a smoker, and we subsequently reached out to the owner of our former home in Rockliffe Park in Ottawa, which is a major radon “hot spot”. We wanted them to test the house for radon in order to protect them and their young family and also to determine whether radon exposure could be responsible for Janet’s lung cancer. The home tested extremely high, with 3,200 becquerels radon concentration being recorded on all three levels of the house. Health Canada’s radon action guideline is 200 becquerels, and the WHO “gold standard” action guideline is 100 becquerels. Janet worked from home and was exposed to radon levels 16 times the HC guidance and 30 times the WHO guidelines, leaving no doubt that her lung cancer was radon-induced. This inspired me to become a leader in raising radon awareness and education in order to prevent public exposure to radon gas in homes, schools, and workplaces to “save lives”.
What is your magic sauce?
Our radon mitigation systems for new construction and treatment of groundwater wells are based on advanced engineering technology, which is patented and is building code certified in Canada and the U.S. These technologies go beyond what is required in the provincial and state building codes to prevent radon entering a building structure. Our custom home and industrial construction clients recognize that building above the code is “Building it Right”.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
Our product line is proprietary, and we have huge opportunities to grow the business exponentially in North America, Europe, and Asia, where radon is recognized as a major health risk. We are the leader in radon testing and mitigation in Canada and have expanded successfully into the U.S. North America will continue to be our priority, and we will expand into other international markets through strategic partnerships, as we continue to do in North America.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
As a private company, our biggest challenge and my focus is ensuring the company has capital investment to achieve our goals. We have a small group of founding shareholders and management who continue to invest in REM, demonstrating their confidence in the company and our business strategy.
How can people get involved?
We would like to attract strategic investors, i.e. indoor air quality (IAQ) companies, groundwater treatment providers, building and construction companies, and private equity groups interested in joining us in the growing “Enviro Tech” IAQ and Water Treatment Markets. I can personally be reached at 778-829-5750. Please visit our website for a company overview: www.radoncorp.com.