Owner, Jo Simpson, from Liberal Arts to Heavy Industry

pollution control ownerSome people might rightfully question how a woman like me, with no engineering, science or manufacturing experience, could possibly manage a company like Pollution Control, or would even want to. There is nothing in my youth that showed a natural inclination toward science or engineering and my beginnings with the company were anything but auspicious. During summer breaks, my dad let me help out around the office, but nothing you could put on a resume. Dad was certainly not very encouraging. Maybe it was the “Generation Gap” or just what happens between two hard-headed know-it-alls. Whatever the reason, he and I rarely agreed on anything back then. He didn’t have much use for dance and theater majors and I, of course, didn’t have much use for welding rods and slide rules.

pollution control teamUnfortunately, my dance ambitions fell victim to my short stature: great dancers are tall – think Cyd Charisse!  So, I settled on a degree in marketing and off I went into the world of business. I made many stops along the way before finally forming my own business specializing in catalog marketing and merchandising. But even with a career and business that I loved, Pollution Control was always in my thoughts. From its beginning, the company was truly a family affair. We all, at one time or another, worked there and it was usually the number one topic at the dinner table most every night. My dad formed Pollution Control in 1971, about the time I was changing my major to marketing. As a result, the company became a constant source of material for school papers and my dad the “reluctant beneficiary” of my college education.

jo simpson executive staffOver the years as my “book learning” gave way to real world experience, my dad and I slowly began to discover each other through our common love of business. I found in him a true mentor and guide and, I think, he found in me, a trusted confidant and advisor. Whatever generation gap there might have been in the early years had vanished totally leaving us with the pure joy of talking about something we both loved. Most every morning for 25 years, over our morning coffee, we discussed marketing strategies, personnel problems, technical challenges, accounting practices, our triumphs and our failures. By the time he offered to sell me Pollution Control Products Co. in 2004, I was more than ready to run the company. Because, you see, I had a double Phd. in Pollution Control and Peyton Simpson. And brother, you can take that to the bank!