A few questions about the start of ESG and where we are today, answered by CEO Jinny Whittaker.
What was it that made Craig want to start ESG and what was it that kept him so passionate after many years?
Craig became interested in indoor air quality as he began learning of the links between indoor air toxins and health. We had a special interest in the quality of our household air because Craig had been diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2000 and we had two young children. The more he learned, the more he felt compelled to share information with others. This led to extensive hours of research and training to learn as much as he could about how to help individuals who were concerned about the indoor air quality of their home. As he began his work in the community, he was astonished by the effect indoor air has on individuals and their health. Our daily dinner conversations were centered around stories he told of people who suffered from mold or VOC exposure and how he was able to locate the source so they could mitigate the problem. This became his work and his passion for 12 years. He was fully committed to helping others live healthier lives by unraveling the mystery of hidden indoor air contaminants through scientific investigation and sharing his expertise. In 2009, Craig began training his son, Daniel, as an indoor air quality investigator. They worked closely together for five years as he shared his experience and passed his knowledge onto his son. These were special times for both Craig and Daniel. As Craig continued to gain expertise, he began to work with area remediation companies to help them better understand the best ways in which to rid homes of mold and other contaminants. Craig also developed relationships with low income housing organizations in our community to provide indoor air testing at a reduced cost.
What do you believe Craig was most proud of in all his years at ESG?
Craig was passionate about empowering others to take control of their lives through education. He regularly volunteered his time with homeowners, builders, and remediation specialists to share his expertise. He took pride in knowing that an individual can take control of their situation because they have a better understanding of the factors that affect their home air quality. He was especially proud of the work ESG did with the Greensboro Housing Coalition and Habitat for Humanity.
What was the catalyst for Craig to expand into other divisions in the building industry?
In 2005, business had expanded and Craig could no longer handle of all of the field work alone. He hired Steve Armstrong to join him with indoor air testing. Because Steve’s background was in residential and commercial construction, Craig and Steve decided to expand ESG by adding Energy Analysis of new and existing buildings as an additional service. It was so successful that soon Energy Testing became a separate division of ESG.
Is there anything, ESG related or not, that you would like people to know about Craig?
He was a visionary who had the unique quality of moving forward towards his goal despite any and all obstacles. Craig never made excuses and never expressed regret. He always kept the past behind him and focused on the future. He lived every day with integrity and honesty at the core of his thoughts and actions. Above all, he was kind and generous, not only to those who were close to him but to people with whom he simply crossed paths.
What was your main goal for ESG once you became CEO?
It was simple – to keep alive the mission of helping people and the environment through ESG and continue Craig’s passion and life’s work.
What are you most proud of accomplishing since becoming CEO?
I am most proud of the way the company rebounded after such a great loss. I attribute this to the relentless commitments of the amazing team of people that work for ESG and to the outstanding reputation that ESG has earned over the past 12 years.
How would you describe the current company culture at ESG?
Our office is located in a historic building in Fisher Park, formerly a home. It has a warm, friendly atmosphere. The company culture is similar to our unique office space. Our office doors are always open and we talk freely sharing ideas, concerns, and solutions. Everyone works well together as a team, sharing a common goal.