iSi Celebrates Career of Founder Gary Mason
Mason Retiring from Full-Time Duties at iSi Environmental
On February 1, 2022, iSi Environmental’s longtime CEO and co-founder Gary Mason is officially retiring.
Gary started Integrated Solutions, Inc., dba iSi Environmental and iSi Industrial Services, or, iSi, with his wife Karma Mason in 1990. They built iSi from their dining room table to a thriving company with two divisions and over 115 employees in 4 office locations.
iSi is a WBJ Small Business of the Year, Best in Business and Family-Owned Business award winner.
Gary started out his career at the EPA and then with the State of Missouri’s environmental department. After a short time with an environmental consultant, he moved to Wichita to become the Environmental Compliance Coordinator, then Environmental Manager at Vulcan Chemicals. Karma also worked at Vulcan Chemicals.
When they decided to start their own business, Gary left Vulcan and Karma stayed on at Vulcan, working nights and weekends to help keep the business running until she joined full time in 1991. Gary was the operations manager and worked projects. Eventually he transitioned into managing business development and became CEO.
Always with an entrepreneurial spirit, Gary helped iSi develop a number of new service offerings throughout the years, helping to grow the company exponentially. He has also worked on other notable research and development projects such as carbon fiber recycling, and more recently has supported a soil amendment startup, PrairieFood. PrairieFood manufactures a micro-carbon rich soil amendment which is made from recycled biomass waste sources such as animal manure, eliminating the need for synthetic and mined fertilizers.
Gary is a graduate of the former Kansas Technology Enterprise Corporation’s Pipeline program and the later mentored other entrepreneurs going through the program.
Business Advocacy and Community Leadership
One of Gary’s focuses has always been community involvement, advocating on behalf of businesses, whether it be local, state or national in focus. Among these include:
- Member, EPA National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology
- Region VII EPA Representative to the National Compliance Advisory Panel
- Kansas Supreme Court Nominating Commission
- Kansas Chamber of Commerce Chairman of the Board
- Chairman, Kansas Small Business Compliance Advisory Panel
- Leadership Kansas Graduate
- KTEC Pipeline Vice Chair and Board Member
- Member, Kansas Entrepreneur Coalition Board
- Wichita Chamber of Commerce Board and Executive Committee Member
In 2015, Gary briefly left iSi to become the Deputy Secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. While there, he administered all aspects of the environmental side of the agency which included being the primary liaison with Governor’s Office, Kansas Legislature and Kansas U.S. Congressional Delegation. At the conclusion of his appointment, Gary returned to iSi as its CEO.
Gary and Karma have seven grandkids, so Gary hopes to spend more time with them. When not with grandkids, you will likely find Gary either at Reflection Ridge playing golf or at their lake cabin in Council Grove.
He also plans on staying involved with startup business mentoring through Wichita State University’s entrepreneur programs and supporting PrairieFood as they move into its commercialization phase.
iSi is having a reception on Tuesday, February 1 from 3 to 6 pm. You’re invited to attend. It’ll be at 215 S. Laura in iSi’s Training Center. Well wishes can also be sent to [email protected] or iSi’s offices at 215 S. Laura, Wichita, KS 67211.