Brent Hardman - Powell
December Member Spotlight - Brent Hardman (Powell)
CI: Tell us a little about yourself, and what you do?
My career with Powell, and in the chlor-alkali industry, began 25 years ago when I was a high school co-op. During my 25 years, I worked under Duane Powell, soaking in as much knowledge as possible while earning my Professional Engineer (PE) license and MBA. When Duane passed away in 2016, I became CEO and part owner. I’ve learned a lot over my years at Powell and continue to learn something new each day!
CI: When did you first become involved at CI? What activities have you been involved in at CI?
I’ve been attending CI functions/meetings since 2002. Through those years I have spent time volunteering on several pamphlet reviews and technical presentations.
CI: What is something interesting about you that few would know or guess?
My favorite place to be is outdoors with my family, and Michigan is the perfect state for that—whether it be spending summers on Lake Leelanau on the water, autumns hunting or catching a University of Michigan game, or even winters skiing.
CI: Tell us about your favorite CI memory or success story.
One of my fondest memories was at a CI meeting in Dallas, Texas early in my career. One night we had the opportunity to go to a Dallas Stars hockey game. At the game, I sat next to Pete Mayo. Most of my experiences with Pete up to that time were very mild and calm, but at this game he was a full-on fanatic. It was great. One of the best times I’ve ever had at a hockey game.
CI: What do you value most from your CI membership?
One of our company values is “Resilient Curiosity,” meaning you should strive to learn something every day. The Chlorine Institute provides a wealth of knowledge, not just in the technical knowledge contained in the Institute’s pamphlets, training materials, and so on, but also in learning from other members. I can’t tell you how many members I’ve been able to develop great working relationships with, who have shared their best practices in navigating the chlor-alkali industry as a whole. You simply don’t get that type of connection and knowledge anywhere else.
CI: What advice do you have for early career professionals in the chlor-alkali industry?
My first piece of advice for early professionals would be to learn as much as you can from as many places as possible. No matter how busy you may feel, always take the opportunity to learn. Then take what you’ve learned and make it your own. Being a member of the Chlorine Institute is the first step, now meet as many people as you can and leverage their experience for your own success.
My second piece of advice is to always leave things better than you found it. Whether that be making improvements in your position before moving to another, leveraging your outside experiences to improve team processes, mentoring others after you’ve gained some experience—anything. Learning and growing is only half the equation; the other half is sharing it with others.
Do you know an actively engaged CI member who would make a great Member Spotlight? Send their name and company to Cindy Kuranchie at Cindy@CL2.com.