Our experts share their thoughts on asphalt sustainability, innovation, safety and creating a culture of care.

Meet the Team – Bob Rivers

Polyco is delighted to announce that Bob Rivers is coming on board as the new Director of Technical Sales for the West of the Rockies region. With over 40 years working in asphalt paving and roofing, Bob brings a wealth of industry experience to his new role. We sat down with Bob to learn more about his background, his journey to joining Polyco, and what he’s looking forward to.

Can you share a little about your background in the pavement industry?

I started way back in 1981 down in Southern California at an independent refining company that produced the complete gamut of petroleum products from fuels to asphalt. I didn’t like the tedious rotating shifts very much, so I went into the laboratory as a quality control tech for a year, testing aviation and automotive fuels, paving and roofing asphalts. I transferred to R&D for a more flexible schedule and went back to school. This role exposed me to all the nuances of the Dark Side of petroleum science — emulsions, rejuvenation agents, oxidized roofing asphalts, felt saturants, bunker fuels, printing inks and more.

Basically, the R&D team enabled the company to make consistent, finished product formulations from a changing refinery crude charge. Much like today’s Polyco lab folks continue to do now. Some things never seem to change. Same challenges, different day!

How did you first get connected with Polyco?

I met Tom Nichols in Stockton, CA in the 1980s when I was marketing the base asphalt for modified roofing products there. Even then, Tom had big ideas and aspirations for entrepreneurial success. We kept in touch through the years, and in 2014, I joined AST as a consultant, helping to market and sell PG asphalt and SigmaBond in California, Arizona and Nevada.

I’ve been in and around the asphalt game for over 40 years now and over 20 in PG-TR development sales. The SigmaBond technology really intrigued me from the start. Many other TR startups promised everything but could not deliver the goods. It is exciting to see the innovation and new technologies we are developing. Unlike other rubber modification processes that degrade the properties and performance when adding more ground rubber, SigmaBond keeps improving the properties at higher rubber dosages. It’s a game-changer, truly unique, and that got me hooked. As pavement experts and academia have said, SigmaBond PG-TR is the future of TR asphalt binder specifications.

As the new sales and marketing lead out West, what’s got you most excited?

Our biggest challenge now is going to be making enough SigmaBond to satisfy the demand we’re seeing! More and more states and agencies are looking to mandate high recycled rubber contents in their asphalt mixes for sustainability. With SigmaBond, we can finally give them those high rubber loads without compromising the pavement performance. That’s been the big issue holding the other technologies back.

Polyco is pioneering the future for higher recycled rubber contents and more sustainable asphalt mixes with SigmaBond. We’ve got a really remarkable opportunity to promote greater sustainability through more recycled rubber while also delivering better-performing asphalt pavements. Polyco has some awesome products, and I’m thrilled to be partnering with Polyco’s technical team to communicate the SigmaBond PG-TR benefits across the West.

Tell us a little about your life outside of work.

While the asphalt industry has been my career passion for over 40 years now, my greatest joys come from life outside of work with my family. I’ve been blessed with a sweetheart of a wife, Lili, for 41 years and three months so far. We’ve got three of the best children and their spouses that you could ever wish for, and they’ve given us four beautiful grandkids. We’re lucky enough to live near the whole family, and watching those little ones grow up is a priceless gift. Though, I will say… It’s great to see their headlights coming up the driveway, but it’s also a relief to see the tail lights when they’re leaving. They certainly have a lot of energy!! Without a doubt, we’ve been blessed!

Lili and I have a couple of mischievous, small but mighty dachshund-chihuahua mixes that keep us on our toes.

After 10 years of my AST consulting internship and now, I am finally a Polyco employee. I look forward to continuing to collaborate with all my new official co-workers. Again, and most seriously, I am blessed!