J. Dan Kelley, COO, Principal Engineer, and Managing Member, Tierra Dynamic Company.
Sometimes you should just listen to your Mom. It worked for Dan Kelley and the environmental remediation business he opened in Phoenix in 1992. Dan had worked in the offshore oil business for five years and found that both his future and fortune could be found ashore, where he thought he could make good use of his degrees in environmental and oil engineering.
Dan’s mother was working at a bank that was trying to liquidate foreclosed real estate with environmental liabilities. Banks couldn’t sell certain properties without first meeting Environmental Protection Agency cleanup requirements. Tierra Dynamic offered environmental studies to assess the Superfund liabilities of properties banks and potential buyers sometimes find upon foreclosure. Dan’s new business evolved to specialize in removing toxins from soil and water, and expanded in the late 1990s – to include remediation of problems caused by leakage from underground fuel and chemical storage tanks.
In 2009, after nine years in SBA’s 8(a) business development program, Tierra Dynamic graduated. During those years, Dan led the firm’s expansion into the federal, state and municipal marketplaces. Since 1992 Tierra Dynamic has expanded from one employee to 30, and grown annual revenues from $50,000 to $4.5 million.