Antimicrobial Blog

Journey from the Past to the Present

I walked into a small company called Thomson Research Associates in 1981, not really even knowing what an antimicrobial was! I had worked with antibiotics at the University of Toronto, but I have to admit I never came across antimicrobials during my studies. My career started at TRA as a microbiologist and QC chemist in the early days, sliding into sales in the early 1990’s, becoming Director of Sales and then – on my 30th anniversary with our company – becoming President. After 33 years with this company I can now say with pride that I am an antimicrobial expert!

In the early days, there were only 5 of us here at TRA spearheading the unknown territories where no one knew what an antimicrobial was or what it could do. The landscape back then definitely had its challenges, but all the while it was a thrilling experience each time we broke into a market to expand the antimicrobial business. Since then, we have come a long way in establishing Ultra-Fresh and Silpure programs with a wide customer-base consisting of large and smaller regional operations. Now, our 20 different antimicrobial products, including our silver antimicrobials, are counted on by our customers to provide antibacterial and antifungal protection on multitudes of materials and articles. It’s amazing how far we have come.

TRA Employees photo 2

Today our TRA team is made up of over 40 enthusiastic and dedicated people spanning the globe and bringing business to over 50 countries. I’m excited to be heading our company into a fresh new chapter, recently adding offices in Dublin, Shanghai and New Delhi – with more to come! Our success is due entirely to our staff’s passion for this business to grow. We have come a long way from sending out mail, to door-to-door visits, to faxes, to emails, to now social media – an avenue that is unfamiliar to us old folks like me but much needed for today’s competitive edge. It’s an exciting period, and the young talent we have developed makes for a great future – so much so, that I might just have to stick around for a while yet!

Glenn Runciman, President, Thomson Research Associates



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