A Day in the Life of John Hargraves
PM Environmental’s National Manager of Economic Incentive sits down with us to provide a glimpse into his to-do list, as well as share how he got to where he is now.
Q: Name, Title, Location
John Hargraves, National Manager, Brownfield and Economic Incentives, Chattanooga, TN and work throughout the other Midsouth offices.
Q: Tell us a little about your role and what you do.
I oversee the brownfield programs funded through EPA grants and other incentives, as well as some private clients. I am the primary or secondary contact for all of the grantees across the Midsouth, as well as bringing other public clients into the program. This involves education, public meetings, and conversations with stakeholders and public officials.
Q: How did you end up down this career path?
About 15 years ago, Pete Bosanic approached me about starting a brownfield grant team in the Midsouth. We worked together to market this service to area communities. Our first success was in Florence Alabama in 2006/2007. It continued to grow from there. We’ve expanded it into 5 Midsouth states and took our success back to Michigan to start programs there.
Q: What’s on your to-do list?
In the short term, EPA grant applications are due in about 48 hours as I’m typing this. That is my current emphasis. Normally, my to do list involves three aspects. The first is current grantees and their active projects as well as helping them look for other projects. The second is to work with clients who plan to submit EPA applications to determine their stories and priorities. The third is to recruit/educate new clients on the various brownfield programs.
Q: What would you say is the most interesting part of your job?
Interacting with existing and new clients, as well as seeing what successful redevelopment projects come from our work. Most of our client base is located in rural areas. There tend to be interesting characters in these small towns.
Q: What does the future of the industry look like?
I’ve been in this industry since 1989. It has evolved a lot from technical and business aspects. For many years, people have predicted the demise of parts of our industry. That never really happened. It will continue to evolve with new technologies and new chemicals of concern.
Q: How do you like to unwind after a long day?
I enjoy being outdoors, reading and listening to music. My wife is the Director of Quality for a 1,000-person engineering firm, so we unwind together with our dog and four cats. We enjoy sports (attending live or watching broadcasts) and watching British murder mysteries. I’ve taught for over 20 years and am working toward being a Certified Lay Speaker/Minister in the United Methodist Church.
Q: What are your favorite aspects of what you’ve built here?
It was created from the ground up. We’ve had to learn as we go and has been a challenge at times. My favorite aspect is seeing new uses for properties we assess and cleanup.
November 21, 2022