Our total combined staff and contiguous affiliates total 25. Below you will find information about personnel that you are more likely to have contact with.
CEO/Senior Biologist – BJ Hook
BJ, RespirTek’s Senior Biologist (Since 2001), is a 30-year veteran of scientific and/or technical industrial and government work. She has trained, worked, and collaborated with the top respirometric scientists in the world over the past 23 years. Her work in the government sector includes microbiological laboratory typing of human pathogens and inspection and compliance of edible and inedible seafood products for the US Department of Commerce. To her credit are two patents in the field of pollution control. She has set up two laboratories for compliance purposes in the industrial sector. The laboratory installations included the operation and methods development of GC, GCMS, HPLC and wet chemistry analysis, while utilizing multiple respirometers. She has been both a permit writer in the state of Mississippi and corporate waste management administrator for a fortune 500 company. B.J. oversees the day-to-day operations of the respirometric laboratory and is the affiliate liaison. (Note – BJ passed away on April 20, 2013, after a long battle with breast cancer. In honor of her extraordinary contributions to the company, and one of the founders of RespirTek, we leave her bio information on our website.)
CEO/President – Jerry Hodges
As one of the two founders of RespirTek™, Jerry has provided the leadership in organizational and business development that has propelled the company into being recognized internationally for its superior bioenvironmental services (Since 2000). He began his career with an international CPA firm. Subsequent to this experience he began a consulting firm offering chief financial officer/business management expertise to businesses and organizations. After 30 years of experience and responsibility for the financial, business and systems development for numerous multimillion dollar startup organizations, he recognized the need for and the lack of customer service oriented laboratories. Jerry visualized a “consulting lab” that focused on client needs and concerns. The new corporation, RespirTek™, would focus on hiring the best potential staff team members with a commitment to long-term successful client relationships.
Technical Director – Emmy J. Radich, Ph.D.
Emmy is a born and raised Mississippi native who obtained a B.S. and M.S. in Chemical Engineering from Mississippi State University and a Ph.D. in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering from the University of Notre Dame. Energy and water challenges have been the central theme in Emmy’s research career focus. Emmy brings years of experience with RespirTek (Since 2005) to the table, as well as previous experience in environmental remediation and petroleum refining. The diverse nature of Emmy’s background enables a technical service experience unmatched at other laboratories across the world.
Assistant Technical Director – Pradeepa Rajakaruna, Ph.D.
Pradeepa holds a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from Auburn University. Her undergraduate degree is in Chemistry with Mathematics and Physics as minors. Within the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Auburn, she served as Graduate Research Assistant and Graduate Teaching Assistant for the General Chemistry Laboratory for three years. She brings her passion for environmental remediation to RespirTek’s Technical Team (since 2021).
Project Operations Manager – Jude Martin, B.S.
Jude graduated at the top of her class with the highest honors from the University of Southern Mississippi with a Bachelor’s of Science in Mathematics with a minor in Business Administration. She has 15 years of managerial practice and prides herself in offering superb customer service. Her strong organizational and management skills assist her in insuring that every client is treated with the special attention that they deserve. Her diligent efforts are much appreciated by the RespirTek team (Since 2009) and clients.
Quality Manager – Brenda Faz, M.S.
Brenda holds a bachelors degree in Bioenvironmental Science from Texas A&M University and a Master’s Degree in Environmental Management from the University of Maryland University College. Her career has been focused in environmental testing, with over 15 years of laboratory experience. Brenda joined the RespirTek team in 2005 and assisted in developing the Quality Assurance program that enabled RespirTek, Inc. in obtaining ISO/IEC 17025:2017 accreditation. During the last several years, Brenda has focused on developing a superior quality program for the lab to ensure that accurate and reliable data is produced while maintaining and exceeding accreditation requirements with routine internal audits and reviews. Brenda’s experience in laboratory management, quality assurance and customer relations are an asset to both the RespirTek team and our clients.
Vice President/Business Manager – Rebecca Watson
Rebecca’s business experience spans over 30 years. It includes 24 years as partner and Business Manager in a regional computer programming, sales and service organization. Her background and organizational skills enhance and support the RespirTek team’s ability to meet and exceed client expectations. (Since 2014)
Our lab technicians hold degrees in either biochemistry and/or biology.