To our ECT family,
ECT Founder, Senior Vice President, Board Member, and Chief Financial Officer Kathy Pierce recently informed the Board of her desire to retire after 32 years of service to our organization. As one of the company’s original founders in 1988 — and the last founder to retire — it is a special moment in ECT’s history.
As a member of the original executive team, many describe Kathy’s role as the person who “got things done,” by tirelessly working to build the basis for many of the firm’s corporate and financial practices still today. While the other leaders focused on technical, client and project solutions, Kathy was committed to building a professional services organization known for quality work and excellent service.
“ECT started in my kitchen with a borrowed photocopier on my counter and the guys writing proposals at my dining room table. We all did whatever needed to be done, and we were profitable by the third month.”
As an experienced certified public accountant and a seasoned financial professional, Kathy’s career transcended the accounting function through her entrepreneurial and aggressive approach to business. When she joined Environmental Science & Engineering (ESE) in 1975, Kathy applied her B.A. degree in mathematics (from the University of North Carolina) and her M.A. degree in Accounting/Systems Management (from the University of Florida) to advance her career from the financial and insurance sectors to the nascent field of commercial environmental sciences and engineering. During her thirteen years with ESE, Kathy rose to the role of Controller and Corporate Services Division Manager, and continued as Vice President of Environmental Services after that firm was acquired by Hunter Environmental Services.
Her diverse and dynamic leadership experiences only continued after the founding of ECT. As its CFO, she managed all business operations throughout most of the firm’s history, such as Accounting, Contracts, Purchasing, Treasury Management, IT, Marcoms, and Human Resources. She was also responsible for stewarding ECT’s growth, including the design and construction of our Gainesville headquarter facilities in 1993 and the design of many of the offices still leased by ECT. In addition to her role inside ECT, Kathy is also a well-known and respected business leader in the Gainesville business community and across the national footprint of the environmental services industry. She chaired multiple boards throughout her career including the Gainesville Chamber of Commerce, The Economic Development Council, the Executive Committee for the Fisher School of Accounting at UF, and the American Cancer Society.
Her numerous and significant service achievements have been recognized by the Rotary Club of Gainesville, the Florida Commission on the Status of Women, the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the American Cancer Society.
Anyone who has spent any time with Kathy has come to understand and appreciate her passion for wildlife photography. Her travels and photography adventures have taken her to some of the world’s most remote habitats to capture portraits of endangered species of birds and animals thriving in their natural environment.
When asked for her parting advice and thoughts, Kathy offered, “always treat people with respect, learn the facts before making judgement, stand up for what’s right, and you will always be able to live with yourself. I am not ready to stop so my current plans include helping to improve elder rights, hunger, and animal protections. It should be fun focusing on something that helps others.”
Please join me in celebrating Kathy, her 50-year career, and her decades of service to ECT and its employee-owners. We thank Kathy Pierce and Jack Doolittle for starting ECT.