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It’s not just a business… it’s personal!

Mike Watts is the founder and owner of an incredible company that is making a tremendously positive impact on the environment throughout its extensive range of operations. Mike began his company in 1998 after working in the transportation industry, supervising drivers and training them on DOT and HAZMAT issues. As he became more aware of the environmental issues involved in that industry as well as the amount of waste that most companies simply send to the local landfill, he saw an opportunity to help businesses manage their waste streams to reduce their impact on the environment. And so Pinnacle Environmental Services opened its doors for business. In less than two decades, Pinnacle has grown from just serving the Greenville, South Carolina area to having clients in 16 states ranging from Wisconsin and Michigan to Florida… and as far west as Oklahoma! Pinnacle’s satisfied customers continue to recommend Mike’s services to others and so the business continues to expand.

Pinnacle Environmental Services isn’t a fancy name for a trash collection service. Mike and his team of experts—with more than 100 years of combined experience—work with business management to develop a comprehensive waste management plan. They examine all of a company’s waste streams to identify what’s in it, then implement a plan that separates and recaptures recyclable resources and establish a service schedule. Ask Mike what his greatest accomplishment is in this business and you’ll get a big smile, a twinkle in his eye and this answer: “I’ve taken several different businesses to the point they have zero landfill from their operations.” Think about that! ZERO landfill! ALL of the waste from their industrial processes is reclaimed and put to other positive uses rather than just moving into the nearest landfill. That’s truly amazing. “And,” Mike adds, “we know our waste management plans have a positive impact on the employees of our clients. They begin to be more aware of recycling opportunities in the trash they generate at home. It all adds up… effectively preserving our environment.”

So… how is this personal to Mike? He is an avid fly fisherman. That’s his passion. To find the trout for which he so loves to fish, he travels to clear, cold streams and rivers—most often in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. In Mike’s words, “beautiful places.” It’s not enough that he enjoys this sport, he wants to preserve these beautiful places so that his children, grandchildren and future generations will also be able to enjoy them as well. And he is eager to give back to the sport that has provided him with such enjoyment. For nearly a dozen years, he’s been teaching a Fly Fishing college class at Clemson University every semester. The classroom time is spent teaching the basics, learning the skills, tying flies—then he moves the outdoors where they’re catching fish. “In fly fishing,” Mike says, “you’re not just looking at a river, you’re looking deeper—understanding the river and where the fish will be. In the flies you create, you’re imitating nature—you’re trying to imitate insect forms, minnows and other aquatic food. With that deeper understanding comes a passion to preserve and protect these beautiful spaces.” Many of Mike’s fly fishing students remain in contact with him long after the course is over, sharing their latest fly fishing stories. That also gives Mike a lot of personal satisfaction.

Spend a few minutes with Mike and you’ll see how his passion for his business fuels his passion for his hobby. And the time he spends fly fishing only intensifies his determination to grow Pinnacle Environmental Services, knowing the good work he does with Pinnacle pays off with those clear, cold rivers where the trout are waiting…