Come Home Profile: Amanda Marks, Safety Manager, RET Inc.
By Leslie Fitzwater
Bridgeport-based Reliable Environmental Transport Inc. (RET) has grown exponentially since it was created in 2005, becoming a multimillion dollar company in just over five years. With this great success came well-deserved recognition, including being named the 393rd fastest-growing company in the nation by Inc. Magazine in August 2009. The recognition also created more work for the small business and a great opportunity for Amanda Marks. RET Owner and President Jonathon Marks decided the time was right to expand and offered his daughter Amanda a position with the company.
Marks says that her job title at RET is hard to pinpoint. “My main responsibilities are as safety manager. I develop safety programs, teach classes and maintain the DOT regulations such as driver qualification files,” she says, adding with a laugh, “But I’m also a jack-of-all-trades, dipping my hand into everything that’s going on. I am here to learn."
Safety is a top priority for RET. The company provides a wide range of services across a multistate region, including servicing the needs of the oil and gas exploration industry; transporting hazardous and non-hazardous waste materials, including liquid natural gas and propane; drum management; mud management; lab packing services; industrial vacuum services, Mobile Frac tank and storage tank rentals; indirect heating units; potable water services; flatbed transportation; and emergency response.
Although working for the family-owned business was not originally in her long-term plans, it has become a strong area of interest for Marks over the past few years. In fact, she says she is interested in pursuing overall management responsibility of the company in the near future. “Being raised by parents who demonstrated a strong work ethic and desire to succeed instills a drive that pushes you to continue the tradition.”
Marks pursued a double major at Fairmont State University and is currently working on her master’s degree in Integrated Marketing and Communications at West Virginia University. “I love the process of coming up with a plan and carrying it out to the best of your abilities, because you never wonder where your time has gone; you can see it every day in your employees’ and customers’ satisfaction.”
Marks was born in North Carolina, but she and her family have lived in West Virginia since her father retired from the United States Navy in 1992. She is a fan of the state’s outdoor recreation opportunities and recently completed her first overnight backpacking trip to Spruce Knob. “It was trying because I’d never done anything like that before, but when you got to the top of that mountain and saw that overlook, it was like, wow!”
As far as the future goes, Marks says she would like to see other parts of the country but always plans to return to the Mountain State. “I like West Virginia. I want to stay here and raise a family here.”