Meet the Founder: Robert Weitz
Robert Weitz is an environmental testing expert. He’s also a certified microbial investigator and principal at RTK Environmental Group, a leader in the field of testing and consulting in mold, lead, asbestos, VOCs, water, soil, radon, and indoor air quality. What sets him apart is his passion for working with his clients, with whom he shares his 30+ years of knowledge and expertise on a daily basis. Mr. Weitz helps homeowners and commercial property owners by assessing their environmental situations, identifying root causes, and explaining the best methods to address the issues. Many top medical centers, hospitals, schools, housing authorities, government institutions, and corporations have trusted Robert Weitz and RTK to provide environmental testing.
Before starting RTK Environmental Group, Mr. Weitz founded and operated a construction firm in Westport, CT, where for over a decade he focused on commercial and residential construction and remodeling. It was during that time, he likes to say, that he gained extensive knowledge of building systems. He mastered the art of knowing not only how structures are put together, but also how they can fall apart. He also began hearing more about the health hazards of lead and purchased one of the first X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) instruments used to detect lead levels in soil, dust, and paint. After experiencing first-hand the importance of testing for lead before renovating a home, and seeing a lack of industry guidance on the topic, Mr. Weitz launched his own lead inspection company and founded the National Association of Lead Inspectors.
“The lead inspection industry was in its infancy stages, and our group helped shape practices that eventually became industry standards,” Mr. Weitz says of NALI, where he served as president for four years. “Our ideas steered the market in a direction that has been extremely beneficial to the general public in terms of how and when to safely test for lead.” At its peak, NALI boasted 300 members and held multiple conferences per year. Mr. Weitz was invited to participate in meetings at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he contributed to the establishment of high-quality, safe lead testing practices.
In 1995, Mr. Weitz expanded his services to include a wider range of environmental testing, under the newly formed RTK Environmental Group, which now operates offices throughout the Northeast including Connecticut, the metro New York area including Westchester, Rockland, Dutchess, Putnam, and Orange counties, Long Island and New York City, and New Jersey. He has personally performed over 4,000 home environmental inspections and reviewed over 30,000 environmental testing reports.
More important than the number of inspections he has done is what he shares while performing them: Knowledge. “The most important part of our inspection is education,” says Mr. Weitz. “We help our clients understand what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. Our inspectors are all highly trained, well-educated, and often have years of experience in construction and associated industries. And they are eager to share information—with consistency, accuracy, and professional courtesy.”
With tens of thousands of inspections under his belt, Mr. Weitz looks to reinvent his company every day. “After 20 years, I’m able to keep it fresh because of the clients whom we serve.” Mr. Weitz’s passion for his trade usually matches a homeowner’s passion for one of the most valuable assets to them—their home. “When I go into someone’s home, I care for the property as if it were my own, and so does my incredible team.”
Mr. Weitz personally trains and oversees a team of inspectors who perform an array of services for commercial, industrial and residential clients including lead, asbestos and indoor air quality including mold and bacteriological hazards testing. With an array of backgrounds—including college degrees in biology and environmental sciences—the inspectors each bring a unique set of experiences that enrich the company’s knowledge base and benefit all of RTK’s clients. “We learn from each other, and learn something new every day,” says Mr. Weitz. “That is critical for any business; you are either growing, or you are dying.”
Mr. Weitz has been featured in cover stories of several prominent publications including the New York Times, NBC’s The Today Show, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and the Stamford Advocate, serving as an expert source in the fields of mold, spore morphology, and of environmental testing. He is a Certified Microbial Investigator, board certified through the American Indoor Air Quality Association, plus, he holds numerous lead testing and consulting designations in New York and Connecticut through the Environmental Protection Agency and the Connecticut Department of Health. His community work includes performing free environmental inspections for low-income residents. He is a graduate of Siena College and resides in Connecticut.