The story of Bayliss Technologies begins in 1989 when I forged a productive working relationship with Trema Verfahrenstechnik GmbH, a German company. I was awarded an amazing job and oversaw their inaugural installation of an air pollution control system in the United States. 77
This venture was in collaboration with their American customer, WR Grace, situated in Baltimore, necessitating an intermediary between their German engineering team and themselves.
Our team successfully implemented the design and installation of a comprehensive state-of-the-art air pollution control system. It was to complement a large Spray Dryer system conceptualized by my father for the WR Grace company in Baltimore, MD.
My father, who, as the then Director of Engineering at Grace, recommended me for this role, and after an interview, I was brought on board. It’s safe to say they made an astute choice!
Doug Bayliss, a proficient bookkeeper and financial manager, assumed all the responsibilities within the new US-based Engineering Office.
Trema North America
The triumph of this project prompted TREMA to maintain a presence in the US and actively pursue more business opportunities. Not surprisingly, the owner was impressed by my dedication and work ethic, and I offered the opportunity of a full-time position.
As we proceeded, a chemical engineer was required, and the German management team approved of my father’s expertise. Intriguingly, the owner even consulted me regarding my father’s engineering prowess before extending him the offer. The arrangement seemed to be an ideal match: my father excelled in spray dryer design while the German parent company specialized in the necessary environmental apparatus.
However, decisions were in order. Not long before, my father had sold his engineering firm, Bayliss Industries, and relationships were strained. When asked, I confirmed my father’s distinction as a chemical engineering expert and endorsed him for the role of Director of Engineering at Trema NA. Yet, in a private maneuver, my father negotiated the position of President with equity in the newly established company.
A standout project involved the design and control system of a spray dryer for SINOPEC and The China Petroleum Chemical Company, which provided a captivating experience collaborating with Chinese engineers.
So Long, Trema North America
Within two years, my father’s relationship with the parent company soured. For me, it felt like history repeating itself. He stubbornly disregarded business counsel from various sources, including myself, but his refusal to comply with overseas directives from the parent company led to their withdrawal.
Hello Bayliss Technologies, Inc.
This marked the advent of Bayliss Technologies, Inc. Notably, during this time, I registered the Internet domain bayliss.com and have retained it ever since.
My father and I sustained this endeavor for eight more years. In addition to overseeing all procurement activities, I managed a full-charge bookkeeper and two administrative assistants.
Things Were Looking Up
The pinnacle was achieved when we secured a contract for our most substantial project ever: a sprawling spray dryer system and comprehensive environmental equipment as part of a $100 million hazardous waste disposal facility in Texas. This facility employed molten metal to incinerate hazardous waste, including PCBs, and its technological basis is traced back to patents my father had obtained during his tenure at Westinghouse.
The proceeds from this project buoyed the company for years, propelling its success.
Following persistent encouragement from my father, and due to our relative success, my brother Jeff eventually joined the company.
Regrettably, hiring my brother proved to be my father’s gravest misjudgment and my brother began to dismantle everything we had built.
Funding for our remarkable project was derived from the Superfund, a US federal initiative aimed at toxic waste cleanup. Managed by then Vice President Al Gore, the Superfund faced criticism for potential misuse of funds.
In the midst of these allegations, government funding ceased for numerous projects, including our venture in Texas, which remained unfinished. Operations ground to a halt, leading to dire consequences for numerous smaller firms and ultimately spelling the end for Bayliss Technologies, Inc. (formally known as Trema North America).
I didn’t even know involuntary bankruptcy was a thing. However, a disgruntled vendor exploited the legal system to push us into involuntary bankruptcy.
Regrettably, I was tasked with overseeing every facet of the process, including notifying most of our employees. I worked pro bono in support of the accounts assigned by the court.
Despite the circumstances, I in fact worked for over a month without compensation to assist with all the paperwork.
My father was afforded the opportunity to reorganize a new business under a fresh new name, which he immediately passed on to my brother. I was informed that there was no role for me within the new company.
The dissolution of this remarkable venture was a disheartening event, leaving me with a sense of loss and nostalgia.
Originally Published Dec. 28, 2000
Me you ask? I became a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer in 1998 and changed careers. It worked out well for me although I did not enjoy it. While I enjoyed the fast pace, my preference was to hire and oversee IT people, not be one!
These events seem like a lifetime ago! My brother and father are now both deceased, one from cancer and one from a brain hemorrhage (from a fall) respectively.
I retired on disability in 2019 and moved to Carlisle, PA. in 2020 just in time for the onset of “COVID-19.”
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