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Gerry Kirkpatrick Retirement – June 24

Happy Retirement Gerry!

On Saturday, May 11, 2024, colleagues, friends and family gathered at the Greencroft Club in Charlottesville, Virginia, to celebrate and toast the 30-year career of Gerry Kirkpatrick.

From childhood, Gerry wanted to be a Geologist. Some of his earliest memories are of being mesmerized and fascinated by the formations evident in road cuts. And, as he often says, “Who wouldn’t want to have a career where dinosaurs are a part?”

Growing up in western New York, Gerry became a proficient snow shoveler during his youth. A vow to avoid cold climes led Gerry elsewhere. After graduating from Florida State University with a master’s degree in geology, Gerry headed to New Orleans to work in the oil and gas industry. After years of flying on helicopters from oil rig to oil rig, and a crew boat ride in the midst of a hurricane, Gerry left New Orleans and joined the environmental consulting world, taking a job with ERM where he first met, David Blye. (Rock had left just 6 weeks before to start Environmental Standards. David would soon follow.)

One of Gerry’s favorite stories from his start at Environmental Standards involves his job offer.  Well before the days of email, he and David Blye agreed to meet in a parking lot, away from Gerry’s place of employment so David could hand Gerry the job offer. David arrived in his Nissan Maxima and pulled up beside Gerry’s car. David’s face appeared as the tinted window dropped. He then passed the offer across to Gerry, saying, “The red crow has landed in the backyard.” as if it was a spy transaction. 

It would take pages to detail highlights from Gerry’s exceptional career. The remediation and redevelopment planning work he and his Team performed on some of the most challenging brownfields sites in Pennsylvania resulted in their receiving Phoenix Awards, the highest honor the US EPA bestows upon such work. The Roberto Clemente Park was their first US EPA brownfields project, and as a former baseball player and long-time fan of Clemente, Gerry saw first-hand how public-private partnerships could result in the advancement and improvement of communities. The Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market is another one of the Team’s brownfields success stories and the one of which Gerry is most proud.

And while, Gerry’s hydrogeological technical expertise and remediation experience led him to work that was both challenging and gratifying, Gerry’s career was one led by example. Roberto Clemente is quoted as saying, “Any time you have the opportunity to make a difference in the world and you don’t, then you are wasting your time on earth.” Gerry continues to live by that.  As a sponsor of the Yellow Door Foundation’s, Rosie’s Place, Gerry is committed to ensuring that pediatric patients and their families have free long-term lodging while the children are treated for cancer or receiving transplants at UVA Children’s Hospital in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Gerry’s official title was Principal Geoscientist and Managing Partner of Environmental Standards. But on that Saturday in May, Gerry was celebrated for being a mentor, teacher, and friend.  Both Rock Vitale, Environmental Standards’ founder, and David Blye, President of Environmental Standards, paid tribute to their partner and colleague. The joyful sound of laughter and clapping was punctuated by the occasional tear. At the end of the toasts and tributes, Gerry thanked everyone for sharing in the evening and having been responsible for his amazing and memorable career.

You may enjoy the fun video my son-in-law produced for the event: Gerry Retirement Party Video (  You can change the playback speed to 2× to quicken the experience.

Ann Marie Gathright

Account Executive