DeGroote alumna is saving the world’s most precious resource, one innovation at a time
Jodi Glover, BCOMH ’02, is working to find solutions that will protect water on a global scale.
A wife, mother of three young boys, and CEO and co-founder of Real Tech Inc., Glover is driven to change the way the world looks at and uses water.
Her award-winning company designs and manufactures real-time water quality monitoring sensors and custom software. In short, Real Tech helps detect contaminants, reduce energy and water consumption, protect public health, and minimize pollution of our waterways.
What began in her home office 13 years ago has grown exponentially, thanks to Glover’s drive and clear vision to improve access to water quality monitoring through the development of practical, accurate, and affordable solutions.
Now in their third manufacturing facility, Real Tech products can be found in 50 countries around the world, in municipalities big and small. With the support of their strong customer base, they are empowering people and communities to bring intelligence and control to water.
"What gets me up in the morning is the impact that we are making globally," shares Glover. "We help identify contamination events in real-time. People around the world have no idea what is going on with their water, until too late. We empower people. We are making an impact, but that impact can be far greater than what we have achieved so far."
Akin to how the DeGroote School of Business transfers knowledge to students and the community, Real Tech transfers knowledge to schools, students, and a variety of other interested groups. They want children to know they can do and be anything by providing hands-on lab experience on how to test water, use different equipment in a manufacturing plant, make hypotheses, and complete sampling. Glover firmly believes that if you expose children to different opportunities and careers, it will lead to self-discovery.
This way of thinking stems from her experiences at DeGroote. While completing her Commerce degree, Glover started a solar panel business during the summer between her third and fourth year. This experience through Summer Company, a government initiative, changed the course of her life.
"I worked harder than I ever had. I made no money, but was building something that I believed in. I discovered a real passion for the environment and making a difference," Glover expresses. "I am a builder. The sense inside me, the self-discovery that if I believed in something, I could make a business out of it. It was life changing."
Glover returned to DeGroote, enrolled in marketing, sales, and entrepreneurship-focused courses, and focused on the skills she needed to make a business. "It is when you have the cross-pollination of different disciplines that innovations can occur."
In her current role, Glover is a compassionate and gentle leader. As a woman in a male-dominated industry, Glover recognizes the need for work-life balance. "More employers need to recognize that their employees need that family dynamic and flexibility. Employers should empower their women so that they can reach their potential. Being an entrepreneur and creating a company that I am proud of has been a fantastic avenue for me."
Real Tech is an example of how leadership combined with management can empower employees to build a successful and transformational company.
"Employees fit together like a puzzle, all are inter-connected. We have a vision and how to get there, but we must be adaptable. Our employees help us on our mission," explains Glover. "We have created an atmosphere where we can adapt, change and foster a strong working relationship. Real Tech has my back, and I have theirs."
At Real Tech there is a clear desire to make a global impact on health, the environment, and economy.
"We are going into communities to help reduce impact on the world. I want to improve the world and my hope is to do that through water. I have big goals. We are on the tip of the iceberg on what we can be doing for the planet advancing water technologies. I am very excited about what I am building."
Over the years, the growth of the business and Glover’s personal life have blended together. Founding and operating the business with her husband Andrew, an engineer and fellow McMaster University graduate, Glover is happy that her passion and her business are one and the same. "For me, I go to work and make safe water. But it is more than that. At Real Tech, we want to teach about water quality, entrepreneurship, and what different careers can look like."
Jodi Glover was awarded the 2012 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur of the year for the TPH Sustainability Award, was recognized as one of Canada's Best and Brightest in Water 2013 by Water Canada Magazine and was a 2016 finalist for Ernest & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year Award.