Next Rung Technology

Origin Story

Why Next Rung – The Story behind the Name

My mother - RoseMary Gustin - was unusual for her time. As a first-generation American, she grew up in New York City and earned a chemistry degree from Hunter College. She was a mother of four, and an early participant in the environmental field working as a member of the team cleaning up the Love Canal Superfund site in the 1970s, and later working for many years with CDM coordinating laboratory quality control at contaminated sites around the country.


While the Next Rung Technology name evokes the idea of developing the next needed steps on our path towards true sustainability, the name actually comes from a practice my mother followed when I was a child. Frequently she was required to travel to manufacturing facilities for “stack-sampling” - climbing smoke stacks that may be hundreds of feet tall to test regulatory compliance. In preparation, my 5-foot-tall mother would take a ladder and put it on the front of our house, climbing up and down ten times a day for several weeks to get in shape. (Clearly, she also foresaw the development of the StairMaster.) Although our neighbors may have questioned her sanity and perhaps her parenting, the image has stuck with me to this day — an unsteady aluminum ladder leaning against the front of our house, and my mother climbing it over and over again.

RoseMary climbed a lot of ladders to move beyond a poor, first generation Irish-American background, especially as a woman in her day. I strive to bring the same persistence and commitment to efforts to transition to our next forms of clean water, energy, food, medicines and materials - sustainable technologies. To this ethos and ideal, Next Rung Technology is dedicated.