Sean Fournier sat down to relax and talk to TRS after a busy day on a project site in northern Canada. He reflected on how he ended up in the environmental remediation field (hint: the work found him), and how he’s trying to recruit his son to work for TRS.
Position: Field Services Manager
Location: Templeton, Massachusetts
TRS Employee-Owner Year Hired: 2018
Specialties: Building and operating systems
Education: Associate of Science in Land Surveying
TRS Group: What single thing have you been most proud of during your time at TRS?
Sean Fournier: I’ve seen the completion of three projects from start to finish, and all three were very successful. We reached all our environmental goals on the projects, and that’s something that I’m very proud of professionally.
TRS Group: What is the most satisfying aspect of your job?
Sean: Building relationships with the people that I work with, and with our clients and our subcontractors. On some of my sites, we’re just overseeing the work, so we hire subcontractors that are doing some of the work. We’re technically just overseeing them, but I’m not the type of person that’s just going to sit and point fingers, so I’ll help out. Building those relationships leads to more projects. Not only that, but if you work with the drillers that I work with or anyone else, they know how I operate when I get on the site.
TRS Group: Can you think of any specific instances where you’ve made that connection and it led to another job?
Sean: We recently completed two projects in Rochester, New York, and we have leads from the company that we worked with.
Bob (Poulin, the senior project manager), Steve (Agostine, the systems specialist), and I mainly worked on those two projects together and we built a really good working relationship with this client. They’ve already contacted us for multiple quotes going forward.
TRS Group: Do you enjoy working with your TRS colleagues, as well?
Sean: Oh yeah. When you’re out on the road like we are, it’s important to have that good relationship with your colleagues.
If you don’t have a good relationship with them, it makes for a long workday. And if you’re in a hotel and you’re going out to eat at night or something like that, it’s important to have that.
We don’t all need to be best friends, but we need to have a good working relationship for sure.
There really isn’t anyone here that I wouldn’t work with.
TRS Group: What attracted you to the environmental remediation field?
Sean: In all honesty, I left my interview with the first thermal company I worked for and went home to my wife and said, “I hope to God they never call me again. I have no idea what the heck they’re doing.”
At the time, I had my own survey company doing work for engineering companies and work was drying up because it was back in 2007 and the market was crashing.
A month and a half passed, and the HR rep called me up and said they wanted to have a second interview with me.
Work had dried up even more for me, so I went in for the second interview. At the end of the second interview, they asked me if I had any questions. I said, “Just one – why the heck do you want me to work for you? I have no clue what you all do here. They said, “We just need someone with your experience, and we’ll teach you the rest.”
What attracts me to stay working in it is that we are doing something good for the planet. We are cleaning up these difficult sites that they’ve been pumping and treating for many years. Take the project I’m working on right now. They’ve tried so many different types of remediation. We still don’t have them convinced that what we’re going to do is going to work even though I keep on telling them it will work. They’ve been disappointed time and time again, and we can come in on those tough projects and prove to them that yes, it does work.
I remember my first training I went to in San Francisco. I was with a company that was taking away all the business from these companies that were going in and doing pump and treat. They were basically milking that cash cow over the years. I had a lot of dirty looks given to me because I worked for the enemy.
TRS Group: How did you end up working at TRS?
Sean: I had worked with this other thermal remediation company for six and a half years and was on the road a lot. I have a stepdaughter and a son. My stepdaughter was already out of high school, but my son was just getting into middle school. I always coached him, even when I was traveling. But now that he was moving up in age, I wasn’t around enough. I had the opportunity to go back to working in road construction for a local company. It was great being home for my son, but I forgot how cutthroat road construction is and how shady it can be. After working in a professional environment for six and a half years, it was tough.
After three years, Lauren Soos (Engineer and Sales & Marketing Manager at TRS) reached out to me on LinkedIn and asked me if I was happy where I was working. Thanks to Lauren, I got back into it.
My son graduated high school last year and went to a vocational trade school. I’ve been trying to get him to come work for us because he would absolutely crush it here. I’m 6’6”, 270 pounds. My son is 6’7, 230 pounds. He has all the skills that I have and would be a sponge. But he’s working for a general contractor in the Templeton area. He has a girlfriend, so he doesn’t want to leave town. Maybe someday we’ll get him out here.