Photograph by Catherine Mayo
One Stop Environmental CEO and founder Shannon Riley was interviewed last week for StyleBlueprint’s FACES of Birmingham feature. Click the link below to learn more about Riley including how she got involved in the hazardous waste business and how she balances a busy career and being a mother of four.
Meet Shannon Riley, owner of One Stop Environmental, a full-service environmental company she founded in 1999. Asbestos, mold, hazardous waste removal and disaster cleanup are all part of her daily routine. She’s also a wife and mother of four. Smart and confident, Shannon’s success is no accident!
Where did you grow up?
I grew up here in Birmingham, graduated from Mountain Brook. I stayed in Birmingham because it is a great place to raise a family.
Tell us about your job.
I started One Stop Environmental as a hazardous materials emergency clean-up company in 1999. I was a new mom, and after several months of staying home with our first born I decided I wanted to run my own company so I could control my fate and my schedule. One Stop Environmental just celebrated its 15th birthday. Over the years, One Stop has grown into a full-fledged environmental maintenance and clean-up company with offices in Alaska, California, New Mexico, Idaho and Alabama. Our employees work literally all over the country for our clients. We have responded to countless hazardous chemical emergencies and natural disasters, and we work daily for great companies like US Steel, Alabama Power, foundries and tier 1 suppliers. Heavy industry and manufacturing facilities make up the industrial side of our business, and the commercial side of our business handles removal and disposal of asbestos, mold and lead.
How did you get into the hazardous waste business?
Furman University has a good chemistry program. I became a research assistant at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico where I chemically broke down nuclear waste into environmentally friendlier compounds. It was a wonderful job, but I wanted to be back in the South. I discovered the adrenaline-filled world of hazardous materials emergency response as a field chemist, where I literally would put on a rubber suit and air tank and walk into train wrecks and help determine how to clean up the spill. It was a thrill, just as running One Stop has been. Neither is as exciting as raising Griffin, James, Harris and Reagan — my four kids who keep me on my toes and often make me feel like I am in a hazardous chemical spill.
Earth Day is tomorrow, April 22. What are three things that our readers could do to make a difference on the planet?
Recycle your household goods; use glass cups or glass bottles, not plastic bottles and cups; and take one day a week off from the car and walk.
With four kids how do you find balance between work and home?
Some weeks I am a great mom, and other weeks I am an award-winning CEO. I am never both, but I have learned each role will ebb and flow. Thankfully, I have an awesome team at One Stop, and I leave each day in time to be the last mom in the carpool line to pick up my youngest two at elementary school. In the end, our family is close, and we make it work with a healthy dose of sacrifice, mercy and graciousness.