In the early mornings, one might could find Brent Willson riding his bike to the office, or at times making the commute on foot to spend quality time with his wife. He usually arrives bright and early and, after checking his messages, makes the rounds to say hi to everybody. That is, in fact, one of his favorite things about a small town office – where everyone says hi to everyone.
Brent is the Go-To Guru, The Man With The Answers. He is absolutely brilliant yet humble, and everyone knows it. Brent works in the Dustless Technologies Research and Development Department, primarily as Project Manager. He holds several official and assumed titles: R&D Project Manager, Head of Project Management, Compliance Manager, and Market Expert. Brent has spearheaded the creation and design of several primary products, presented overseas on OSHA Silica Compliance, and revolutionized the market database of our company.
Even knowing that he is a sharp analyst, you might not know that he grew up on a farm, ran track as a college athlete, and worked on classified jobs for the US Government in the former Eastern Bloc as a Russian translator and interpreter.
Farm Boy to College Athlete
Brent calls a 40 acre plot of land in Elmo, Utah “home” – just a 15 minute drive south of his office. Of his early years, Brent stated:
“Farm boy. I spent a lot of time doing farm work. Taking care of the animals, hauling hay. We also did a lot of camping, a lot of outdoors. A lot of camping, a lot of skiing. Those kind of things. I also like to read. Sometimes during the summer I would spend a whole day just reading.”
His love for learning would propel him to Southern Utah State College in Cedar City (later renamed Southern Utah University). Brent ran track for the College and studied for three years in Utah until he was called to serve as a full-time missionary in Hungary.
After returning from Hungary, Brent had no more college funds. He joined the Air Force to pay for college, which propelled him into a future of stunning military success and achievement.
Jet Mechanic to Russian Linguist
With a background in Hungarian and German, Brent’s work as a jet engine mechanic was short-lived as his potential as a linguist was realized.
“I went to Monterey and learned Russian, so I was a Russian linguist. I worked as an Arms Control Interpreter, both with conventional forces, so tanks and artillery, and conventional bomber aircraft and helicopters and stuff. And the last time I did it was with nuclear stuff, nuclear missiles.”
Brent was directly involved in nuclear weapons counts, helping American forces keep track of Russian nuclear weapons. Brent continued “when the they came and counted ours, I was part of the team that escorted them.”
When asked where he operated, Brent laughed and remarked:
Want me to start naming countries? I worked in over twenty countries, throughout mostly Europe but I’ve also been in Japan and China.”
In addition to this, Brent taught Russian, worked in POW archives for soldiers in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam, and interpreted for high profile government visitors. Brent continued, “I also did some project management, which got me the job at Dustless”
From Virginia to Utah
After nearly 22 years in the military, Brent moved back to the United States with his family. None of the jobs in the Washington D.C. area felt right, so the Willsons “packed up our stuff, packed up our camping gear and started camping across the United States from Virginia to Utah looking for jobs.”
Brent and his family eventually made their way back to the area they loved – the area Brent grew up in. Far away from cities and located in the beautiful terrain of Eastern Utah, this is where they would settle down and continue to raise their family.
Brent was selected for a military internship program which allowed him to explore the local economy and meet with different businesses. He began at Zions Bank “making sure people’s finances were good on their small business loans.” While participating in this program, he attended a business conference in Price where he spoke with current CEO, Spencer Loveless. It wasn’t long before he joined the Dustless team as a vital teammate.
Off The Job
With six kids ranging from ten to twenty-one in age, Brent and his wife Anne are all about family.
When asked what the perfect day off would entail, Willson stated, “It would definitely be with my family and outdoors is nice.”
“This may not seem relaxing to some people but I watch documentaries – mostly science or history, astronomy, physics, on YouTube – often with my kids. I’ll also do yard work and stuff. After looking at spreadsheets all day it’s kinda nice to get out and push a lawnmower.”
Willson chuckled and remarked, “I think my kids know more about quantum physics than any self-respecting teenager should.”
Willson is also actively involved in scouting with his kids. He and his son Stephen recently earned their Vigil Honors as part of the Order of the Arrow. This is one of the most prestigious rewards in advanced scouting.
A Valued Employee
Brent Willson is, to our team, the Go-To Guru. When nobody else knows how to respond to questions from customers and employees alike, everyone knows that Brent can figure out the problem.
When asked what his favorite part of the job was, Brent remarked, “the customers.”
“Focusing on what the customers want and need so that we can solve their problems. The data is part of that, and it’s kind of fun to dig into the data, but understanding our customers – what they need, what they want, and how we can help them – that’s the most important part of that. The customers is why we do it.”– Brent Willson
With a friendliness and upbeat attitude that resonates throughout the office, Brent is an essential part of our team. Thank you Brent!
Each month we will write about another employee so you can get to know our team. We think they are great, and we hope by reading about our friends you will get to know our company better, too.
To learn more about our company story click here to read about how the Love-Less Ash Company and Dustless Technologies came to be!