“We’re growing at 20 percent a year. And as we grow, we will continue to look at Clarkson as a source of talent.” — Brian Jacot ’77, ’85
When Greystone Consolidated Companies Inc. needs new employees, chances are high that they will have a Clarkson degree next to their names. To date, Greystone has 21 employees and nine of them are Clarkson graduates, including Brian Jacot, the firm’s chairman and founder.
Greystone offers diversified consulting services in the U.S. and abroad in the areas of the environmental, engineering and industrial hygiene and safety. It has five northeastern offices in addition to its headquarters in Saratoga Springs, New York.
And as the fast-growing company has expanded, Jacot often looks to Clarkson because its graduates deliver what he needs.
“It’s a matter of the practical education that Clarkson gives,” says Jacot ’77, ’85. “The students coming out of Clarkson are not theorists. They will typically have hands-on experience that makes them good candidates for our business. They’re level-headed and down-to-earth. They’re prepared to go to work.
“The caliber of student that comes out of Clarkson is very high. In addition, Clarkson’s programs in engineering and environmental health science (EHS) match up well with Greystone’s needs.”
Jacot cites two recent hires, Katlin Wenzel ’11 and Rachael Rodriguez ’13 from the University’s EHS program. Both have been assigned to work at Momentive Performance Materials, a manufacturer of silicon, quartz and ceramics. “They are there because of their ability to efficiently integrate into the company’s operations.” Among other things, they work to prevent worker exposure to hazardous conditions, and to ensure that hazardous waste management programs are being correctly implemented.
Rodriguez is one of the most recent Clarkson alums hired by Greystone. The EHS major, who graduated with a 4.0 GPA, joined Greystone in 2014 as a staff consultant. “I work with clients to support their safety and industrial hygiene project needs,” she says. “This includes safety program implementation, industrial hygiene assessment and monitoring, health and safety training and other things.”
The company has been a good fit for her. “Greystone is a tight-knit company with a supportive and positive culture,” she says. It values the expertise and skills of the individuals within the organization. I am self-motivated and have a strong work ethic and there is a lot of autonomy in the projects I am responsible for.”
At the other end of the spectrum is Dave Myers ’72, who joined Greystone as President of Greystone Engineering in 2010 after a long and successful career in nuclear and civil engineering. “Back in the 1970s, the nuclear business was very strong,” he says. “I got involved with one of the leading nuclear engineering and architecture firms. I travelled all over world — including a stint in Iran.” When the nuclear field began to fold, Myers moved on to more traditional civil engineering work.
Today, Myers is engaged in both the civil and environmental fields. “We don’t necessarily just set out to hire from Clarkson because first and foremost you want to hire someone with the right credentials and who will be a good fit,” says Myers. “Clarkson graduates have high standards and are sharp. So far, we have been happy with everyone we’ve hired.”
Michaele-Lynne Jacot’s ’09 relationship with Greystone started long before she came onboard as a trained professional. “Since my father was the founder, I grew up with the company,” she says. “To his partners, I was Brian’s daughter and to me, they were my dad’s colleagues.”
After graduating with a degree in psychology, Michaele-Lynne worked for a year as a consultant for Accenture and received a master’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. She then joined Greystone and worked full time for a year, before changing her position to work as a contractor for the company in the Human Resources Department.
She describes the move from being the owner’s daughter to a valued professional colleague as her “worlds colliding.” “To be honest, it was a little strange at first!”
Meanwhile, Greystone expects to come back to Clarkson as it expands. “We’re growing at 20 percent a year,” says Jacot. “And as we grow, we will continue to look at Clarkson as a source of talent.”
“It is very cool to swap stories with other CU alumni. Although the campus and a few professors have changed over the years, there are quite a few constants all Clarkson graduates can relate to. As Clarkson graduates, we have similar values and work ethics which make working together a good match.” — Rachael Rodriguez ’13