From start-ups to multinationals, CJB Companies uses chemistry to connect with companies. We speak to Clinton Beeland, President and CEO of CJB Companies, about its pioneering roles from contract chemical manufacturing and development to commercializing advanced detection technologies.
FOCUSING ON THE FUTURE
Having been fascinated by building things and understanding the intricacies of how they work from a young age, Clinton Beeland, President and CEO of CJB Companies (CJB), may not have known the specifics of becoming a chemical engineer but possessed the innate curiosity and hands-on nature of such a career.
In the 25 years since forming CJB as an intimate start-up, with one small building and a repair and assembly contract in Valdosta, Georgia, Beeland’s passion for engineering and chemical orchestration has continued to inspire him and allowed the company to find significant growth while making a difference across a variety of industries.
Despite this incredible growth, CJB remains a family-run business at heart and keeps this intimate origin at the center of every decision made.
“As a family-owned company, we are grounded in the values of respect, integrity, trust, excellence, and stewardship (RITES), which guide us every day in our interactions with customers, employees, suppliers, business partners, and the community,” opens Beeland.
It’s these principles ingrained in the company’s DNA that have allowed CJB to consistently and organically evolve, now boasting a team of approximately 200 people at six locations throughout Valdosta.
Since its initial inception, CJB has developed into the parent company of three separate organizations – CJB Industries, CJB Applied Technologies, and Salvus.
“We started CJB Industries as a contract manufacturer supporting agricultural chemical companies, working with start-ups and multinationals to produce products primarily in the agricultural or life sciences space, along with supplying companies within the industrial, automotive, and other chemical-based sectors,” expands Beeland.
CJB Applied Technologies, meanwhile, was formed in 2015 after the discovery that some companies needed help with, or additional capacity for, developing products – from creating and testing formulations within high-tech labs and on-site greenhouses to packaging and generating small-batch formulations in a pilot plant.
Finally, Salvus came to fruition in 2018 after the agricultural industry was faced with drift challenges caused by dicamba herbicide.
“We saw the need for detection and approached Georgia Tech, who had been working on interferometric detection technology, and we were able to engage with them to help develop it for use within multiple industries – from agriculture and food to water management and healthcare,” notes Beeland.
Through the company’s value-driven innovation and an unwavering commitment to providing the best customer service in the industry, CJB has grown into an unparalleled life sciences partner of choice.
A CHEMICAL RENAISSANCE
“I see chemical manufacturing, or its most basic form, chemistry, and the problems it solves as going through an evolution and perhaps even a renaissance,” comments Beeland.
With the many developments that are making a rapid appearance, the chemical manufacturing industry is an undeniably exciting place to be in.
One such advancement that is making a prominent appearance across many industries is the drive toward sustainability.
“From a formulation development perspective, the move toward more sustainable or biological-based products is extremely tricky,” remarks Beeland.
“These types of products are more sensitive, so the formulations can turn bad faster if they’re not made, stored, or applied properly. There is also the challenge of making them robust enough for customer use.”
Nevertheless, the drive to safely and confidently produce such products is making headway throughout the industry, connecting both customers and businesses alike toward a cleaner future.
Alongside this collective push towards sustainability, technology is also making a transition within the life sciences industry. Specifically, CJB has observed the need to rapidly and accurately detect substances at the point of use to help speed up decision-making.
“We are working to deploy our Salvus Detection Technology at the point of use in aquatics, agriculture, food safety, and other areas where waiting on results from a lab can be costly in both time lost and delayed action,” explains Beeland.
Providing accuracy, specificity, and sensitivity all within an adaptable device, Salvus is poised to flip the detection market on its head.
Such new technologies provide the subsidiaries of CJB with the opportunity to constantly challenge themselves and remain engaged in an ever-evolving industry, whilst showcasing how the group is focused on the future with every decision made.
GROWING THROUGH SERVICE AND INNOVATION
As the future of chemical manufacturing continues to progress with every new scientific development, CJB is at the forefront of these industry-leading advancements with its consistent mindset toward innovation and working with those at the top of the field.
Looking ahead to 2024, the company is prioritizing growth through partnerships with new and existing customers along with developing its already highly adept workforce.
At CJB Industries, this entails enhancing current capabilities, developing talent, and applying analytics to data extracted from the company’s new data historian to ensure a smoother process for everyone involved.
Equally, at CJB Applied Technologies, it means hiring new talent and developing its capabilities in formulations, not only in agriculture but also other outside areas that require such expertise.
Finally, at Salvus, the future includes the commercial launch of new technology, thus bringing in new channel partners and increasing the speed of commercial detection assays.
“The key to any business is the people within it, and we are no different. However, what does make us different is our focus on culture, the intentional acquisition of talent, the further development of that talent, and the constant desire across our organization to successfully apply our skills,” enthuses Beeland.
In addition to these business objectives, CJB places a priority on its corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices and the impact it has on the local community.
“We take our role in creating a better community and environment seriously,” notes Beeland.
“We value our position in helping start-up companies realize success and also recognize the importance of education by supporting efforts from elementary schools through college. ‘‘Knowledgeable students are the foundation of our future workforce, so we’re committed to helping them understand the variety of careers available to them.”
Working with students of all ages, CJB has invested in programs including the Valdosta Children’s Imagination Center and the STEAM Center for Applied Creativity and Innovation at Valdosta State University, alongside many other opportunities such as sponsoring scholarships for those looking to obtain a degree in STEM.
Through both chemical manufacturing advancements and the investment in those who will encompass the future of the industry, CJB strives to continue its vision of working together to improve today for a better world tomorrow, furthering its reputation as one of the most respected chemical companies in the world.