George Chris Pedersen of Kimre Clean Air Technology: The Power of Flexibility; How I Was Able To Pivot To A New Exciting Opportunity Because Of The Pandemic

Authority Magazine
Sep 14 · 7 min read

As an entrepreneur, there is a daily struggle to balance risk, opportunity, and costs. There are hundreds or thousands of decisions that I have made, mostly in my early years that had the potential to be either disastrous or useful. Risk evaluation became a part of life. As soon as the vaccine became available, I evaluated the risk, and it was a no-brainer. I have my vaccine and I still wear a mask, the PurePerformance mask, of course.

he COVID19 pandemic has disrupted all of our lives. But sometimes disruptions can be times of opportunity. Many people’s livelihoods have been hurt by the pandemic. But some saw this as an opportune time to take their lives in a new direction.

As a part of this series called “How I Was Able To Pivot To A New Exciting Opportunity Because Of The Pandemic”, I had the pleasure of interviewing George Chris Pedersen.

George C. Pedersen is the son of a Danish immigrant who farmed vegetables and instilled the values of hard work and determination. As a result, Mr. Pedersen was on the Dean’s list and received his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, minoring in Nuclear Chemical Engineering in 1962, Master of Science degree in Chemical Engineering Practice in 1963, Chemical Engineer degree in 1966, having completed all requirements for a doctorate in Chemical Engineering, except thesis, all at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Mr. Pederson is CEO and President of Kimre Clean Air Technology and Creator of the PurePerformance Mask, which utilizes Puramid Filtration Technology.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

eally my bio sums it up — I am the son of a Danish immigrant, so hard work and determination was instilled in me at a young age. It’s always been important to me to leave the world a better place.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

When you say that, I think of that picture or poster “Never Never Never Give Up.”

That phrase has been relevant quite a few times in my life. There have been periods when I was searching for the correct path and I managed to navigate the waters eventually, but there have been some extremely difficult times in my life.

Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

Several, “The Overstory” by Richard Powers and the book “Mercury Stories.” The “Overstory,” to me, shows the connection between trees and the rest of the world, and the complex mechanisms that go on in a forest, and that resonates with the complex relationships in society. “Mercury Stories,” well, I had, and was treated for, Mercury poisoning. Which sharpened my interest to prevent Mercury from entering the environment. So, this book really resonated with me. Most people don’t know, but the Minamata Convention on Mercury has been signed by 133 countries as of Aug. 23, 2021 It basically requires by law that there will be no use of Mercury, and there will be no products containing Mercury produced. That is why my work with Mercury projects related to metallurgical and sulfuric acid plants is extremely important to me. It fits with my mission, “to leave the world a better place for future generations.

Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. Can you tell our readers about your career experience before the Pandemic began?

My career comes down to one thing, on my birthday in 1997, I went to see a guy that helped me to develop my mission statement “A better world for future generations.” That is when I rationalized that mission and put that into my daily life aspiration. That is what I live for. It is on a plaque in my office, and I read that mission frequently, that is what my life comes down to.

What did you do to pivot as a result of the Pandemic?

I will say this, fortunately because of the type of customers we had, at Kimre we were not much affected business-wise but sadly we could not visit them. We, like many companies, had to figure out ways to get the job done remote from the office and the customers. We still need to see people and have a face-to-face interchange. Kimre therefore put energy into developing the PurePerformance Mask, launched earlier this year. I contributed the rationalization of why the PurePerformance Mask was a good idea. We still have a tremendous amount to learn about this virus and how life will be moving forward, and masks will continue to play a big role.

Can you tell us about the specific “Aha moment” that gave you the idea to start this new path?

We had been working with a company that was owned by a friend, providing masks primarily for woodworking. Another friend had terrible allergies and he tried on the PurePerformance Mask — this mask really helped my friend with his allergies. When COVID started, the idea was loaded. We had the right idea, the right materials and the right design for comfort.

How are things going with this new initiative?

I feel that things are going fairly well.

Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My mother and father. My father was an immigrant and my mother a first generation American. Each successful in their own ways. They encouraged me in so many ways. They never limited my activities and encouraged me to explore and be adventurous. Which did lead to many adventures and a few small hiccups. They did nothing but encourage me, and they provided the means for me to attend MIT and achieve my educational goals. They had four children in college at the same time, it must have been a burden. I did not think about it at the time, but I think about it now. I was very fortunate in my choice of parents.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started in this new direction?

It is a short story… I have given the PurePerformance Mask to some friends. And when I travel, I will be bringing many more with me to give away. The friends and others have told me that it is the only mask they will ever wear, and they thank me for making it available because It is comfortable and in their active lives, it’s the only mask they can bear to wear.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my organization” and why? Please share a story or example for each.

In 1973, nobody told me how difficult it would be to attract another entrepreneurial spirit to join my endeavor. Also in 1973, I didn’t know how extremely difficult it would be to obtain investors: I failed completely on both counts except for my mother and later my sisters. I know that is only two things, but for me, it weighs as heavy as five! My mother mortgaged her home to the hilt and my sisters also mortgaged their homes to provide me funds. (I paid them back).

So many of us have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. Can you share the strategies that you have used to optimize your mental wellness during this stressful period?

As an entrepreneur, there is a daily struggle to balance risk, opportunity, and costs. There are hundreds or thousands of decisions that I have made, mostly in my early years that had the potential to be either disastrous or useful. Risk evaluation became a part of life. As soon as the vaccine became available, I evaluated the risk, and it was a no-brainer. I have my vaccine and I still wear a mask, the PurePerformance mask, of course.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

I would like to be able to do more for the world. That is what we are trying to do with the PurePerformance Mask — inspire a movement that contributes to the health and safety of others on a global scale.

Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!

Although he has passed on, I would wish to have lunch with Nelson Mandela, Because he stood up for what was right against overwhelming odds and terrible personal hardship, like a Greek hero of old.

How can our readers follow you online?

If you wish to follow me, please visit pureperformanceco.com, kimre.com, facebook.com/KimreInc, or linkedin.com/company/kimre-inc.

Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!

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