In this series, we take a look at some of the bright and knowledgeable people behind our success here at AdEdge Water Technologies and see how they tackle their day-to-day challenges. Today we are here with our CEO, Rich Cavagnaro.
I really get joy out of seeing my team develop and grow and giving them the opportunities.
What is your role at the company?
My job really is just to make sure the company is the environment and culture I want it to be. I work really hard at creating that inside the company. It starts with eye contact. When I walk around the office in the morning, I’ve got to make eye contact with my staff and make sure that we’re making a connection in that way. I ask them what’s happening? What’s involved in the day? What are the challenges? What do you need help on? What may be something that needs to occur today that’s going to make it a great day? Those are some of the questions that happen early in the morning.
Why did you decide to start AdEdge?
I started the company right when the rule-making change for arsenic happened back in 2002. Greg Gilles and I were both working at another company, evaluating different medias for arsenic removal. We felt that we had a better option than the one we were developing. We ended up saying, let’s bring this product into the marketplace.
What is your morning routine?
Before I even get to work, I send out a message of six words or less of a little positive phrase. I send it out to staff and various people to make sure we start the day off on a little positive note. Because once we get to the office, we know that there are a lot of things that happen and overwhelm us.
How did you get involved in the water industry?
I’ve been involved in the water industry for about 30 years. My earliest connection was selling activated alumina for fluoride removal. Back in the early '90s, that was just coming up as a solution. Then we realized that activated alumina could take out arsenic as well. My introduction to the water industry was selling a material that was going to be used by other companies to develop and design systems around, but it was really difficult for companies to understand how to buy the media and apply it. So with AdEdge that was one of the things that we always had the mindset of. It’s not a media, it’s a system that we needed to bring to the marketplace as a solution.
What about AdEdge makes you proud?
We have a really unique situation as a company because the good that we get to do is recognized by communities or businesses that we’re working with. We’re making the water better, right? Whether that’s taking harmful contaminants out of the water, or making it better in a processing way. So the joy that we get to have is obviously putting a solution to somebody where they can recognize the benefit of that. That’s obviously very gratifying to be able to have that kind of impact.
I really get joy out of seeing my team develop and grow and giving them the opportunities. When I drive into my parking lot in the morning, it used to be a handful of cars, and now the parking lot is full and we’ve got to move to a bigger building. To think that all that is happening, and families are having their mortgages paid for and buying new cars and paying college tuition because of what we do as a company, is very rewarding.
Can you tell me about some AdEdge projects?
Recently there was a news broadcast in Vermont of a system that we installed. You could see the people in that news interview were actually emotional and crying that they’re getting the arsenic taken out of their water. And we’re the company that’s doing that. It’s a great feeling to be associated with that.
What music are you listening to this week?
I am absolutely 100 percent locked in to Bruce Springsteen. Whenever we have a musical introduction of something, it’s probably going to be related to a Bruce Springsteen song of some nature. They all know, and they all roll their eyes, and they all go along with it.