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Meet Pilar Ortega of ITS Environmental

Today we’d like to introduce you to Pilar Ortega.

Pilar, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My name is Pilar Ortega, I am the founder and president of ITS Environmental. I was born in Bogota, Colombia and arrived in the United States of America in 1977. I came to the United States as a young 17-year-old woman who knew no English and who arrived without any family at my side. At that time, being Colombian was difficult since some of the people from my country were in the news for the wrong reasons. I came to the United States of America in the hopes to not only make a positive difference in my life but in the lives of the country that gave me the opportunity to pursue my dreams.

I graduated with my high school diploma from North High. Following high school, I was unfortunately not able to go to college. At the time, putting food on the table and keeping a roof over my head was a necessity that I needed to focus on, and I would not trade my life for a second because it has brought me to where I am today. Not only was I a young woman trying to make enough money to support myself, but I was also trying to assimilate and learn English on my own. I worked as a salesperson in various industries until I found my calling. I had worked in such industries such as fashion and insurance until ultimately finding what I did not know was going to be my dream job.

The company that ignited my passion for what I do now, was a company that was involved in selling maintenance products to heavy-duty industries. I worked for this company for almost 17 years before setting off on my own journey. While working for this company, I served many industries, and in the process, I learned so much about the environmental issues concerning them. I decided then that instead of criticizing the oil and gas industries, I wanted to help them comply with regulatory issues.

ITS Environmental’s goal is to help industries become environmentally friendly by reducing the usage of products and methods that create waste maximization. We have not only personally developed our products, but we hold a patent on a method of cleaning and degassing of storage tanks, vessels and pipelines. In addition, at the forefront of our concern, we continue to develop products with the environment in mind. We have a patent pending on composition and method for cleaners and degreasers that reduce the cause of hydrocarbon impact in air, soil and water. We also developed a VOC suppressant that helps industries meet South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) regulations and we hold a degassing permit based on this technology.

Our products are biological friendly because microbes can be used in most of our applications; because of this, I am known in the industry as LADYBUG. Microbes, like ladybugs, help to clean the environment. Like ladybugs, ITS Environmental leaves the area cleaner than we found it; Our company not only sales products but a solution.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I wish I could tell you that it is easy for companies with progressive ideas, like ours, to become successful, but it is not. There is always some difficulty when it comes to changing standard practices. Thankfully, my life has taught me to always chose resilience in the face of adversity. At the time that I emerged into my field of business, which was servicing major industries such as, oil, gas, water and power, with a variety of maintenance products such as, greases and oils for many applications, women were not a strong selling force in the field, it was a “man’s world.” Even though we still face some of the same mentality today, it is a lot better and there are a lot more opportunities for women in the industry.

Let me take you back to my personal experience of working within the industries during the late 80’s. Due to the regulatory issues that arose at the time, my concerns for the environment and the wellbeing of my customers, and after being a salesperson for over 17 years, I started my company in 2003 as a DBA., with the goal of developing products that would help the industries that I loved comply with environmental rules and regulations.

During the time that I emerged as a self-employed woman, ITS Environmental’ s sustainable goals were to develop new technologies that were both, effective and powerful in their cleaning and degreasing abilities, but that were also environmentally friendly. These technologies need to be proven and breaking the mold of the standard practice was hard to do, but I knew I had products that helped industries save time and money, while also helping them to make a positive impact to not only the environment but to their workforce.

In 2008 I became a corporation. It has been a challenging and long journey, but I am confident that our products are making a difference today. I also feel very blessed with the support and help of my customers and their belief in my products. Even though we have great products and technologies that are ahead of the curve, and even though we are making strides, we are still in the process of positively influencing the minds of large companies one industry at a time. This by no means has deterred us because we know that nothing comes easy and making a positive difference in the environment is ALWAYS worth fighting for.

ITS Environmental – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
International Technologies and Services, Inc., DBA ITS Environmental, is a small business, women-owned company, that develops specialty chemical packaged goods and proprietary environmental technologies that tackle the big environmental issues of large industrial and institutional operations.

We develop industrial cleaning agents, emulsifiers, surfactants, suppressants, and other chemical packaged goods that are non-hazardous, non-caustic, non-corrosive, VOC Compliant and readily biodegradable to address the complex maintenance, repairs, and operational (MRO) needs of any industrial sector while providing critical relief from economic, environmental, and social constraints.

The “whole product” solutions are tailored from a “hub and spoke” product model that enables a customer-centric solution and unique prescriptive sales model. ITS’s product line and proprietary technologies are deployed as a whole system, addressing multiple distinct applications in addition to functioning together as a system that is delivering exceptional and cross-divisional benefits that are highly desirable to the customer.

We are known for our customer service, reliability and sustainability for helping companies in their efforts to clean and protect the environment while performing maintenance operations.

The thing that makes us most proud is our dedication to leaving areas cleaner than we found it. We are proud to say that we not only sell products, but we provide a solution.

At ITS Environmental we focus on teaming up with our customers to help in delivering a prescriptive solution for sustainable methods in maintenance, repairs and operational issues (MRO). This strategy drives best practice standards for many industries, like, gas and oil, utilities, food and beverage, etc., delivering quantifiable returns through expertized value targets.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
How I define success in my industry is simple. To me, success means making a positive difference in the environment and feeling fulfilled from the results that follow. ITS Environmental is dedicated to helping reduce the contamination in air, soil and water, to help create a sustainable environment for future generations to come.

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  1. Grant Gillham

    February 27, 2018 at 17:12

    Fantastic story! Congratulations on your success!!

  2. Grant David Gillham

    February 27, 2018 at 17:14

    A great story. Thank you for sharing it. Congratulations on your success!

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