Terry J Wickland
CEO and President
Location: Golden, CO
Industry: Nuclear manufacturing and environmental cleanup
It was after earning a BA in physics and an MBA that Terry J. Wickland begged for a job from one of the great entrepreneurs in Colorado, Gil Brassell. He landed an entry level job as a product engineer at NFT and the excitement of developing solutions to the toughest environmental and radiological problems the nation faced in a brand-new era of nuclear decommissioning created the perfect combination for his pursuit of science, creativity, the environment, and entrepreneurial business.
“It became my passion to create solutions to environmental challenges and grow the business with new products and inventions,” said Wickland. “My interest in business development, networking and sales were essential in my development and growth at NFT, and in business.”
Wickland now serves as the CEO and President of NFT, an environmental cleanup, manufacturing, and radioactive materials packaging company. “I love the combination of leading a business dedicated to environmental remediation while making people safer and our planet cleaner,” said Wickland.
According to Wickland, one of the things that most inspires him is the people he works with every day. “I believe that any successful business must have a culture of diversity, inclusivity and a spirit of entrepreneurialism,” he said. “When we all have different ideas, we are a better, stronger company and we can achieve anything.”
Under his leadership, NFT rose above significant losses in 2017 and 2018 to profitability in 2019 and 2020, with 15% growth projections over the next three years. He expects the footprint of NFT to expand over the next five years.
“I have dedicated my entire 30-year career to manufacturing, nuclear cleanup and environmental management,” said Wickland. “I have contributed to inventions in new technologies and helped solve some of the biggest problems our nation faced in cleaning up the Cold War Era legacy of radioactive waste.”
Internationally, Wickland has served as the Technical Chairman of the International Conference on Environmental Management and is an active member of the Program Advisory Committee for the Waste Management Symposium.
“NFT started as a great American entrepreneurial story,” said Wickland. “The late Gil Brassel started the business in his garage in 1984 and his company grew over the decades to become very successful.”
Wickland has carried on this tradition as CEO and President by expecting and planning for change. “Change is necessary for any organization to grow,” he said. “If you detect change is not happening, create it.”
For embracing change and encouraging a collaborative work environment built on trust and communication, Wickland has been named a Titan of Industry.
Fun Fact: For three years in a row Terry rode a single-speed bike on the famed 200-mile Double Triple Bypass bike tour, a ride that goes from Evergreen to Vail and back to Evergreen, and each time he did it in one day!