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“How To Use UV Light To Disinfect Surfaces” With John M Bolte & Fotis Georgiadis

I was allowed to fail (and I failed regularly) and was given full freedom to act without fear. I teach my employees to celebrate failure as the first step to success. I often thought, “Man, logistics is not an easy business”, and had the misconception that it would be easier to become successful and make […]

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I was allowed to fail (and I failed regularly) and was given full freedom to act without fear. I teach my employees to celebrate failure as the first step to success. I often thought, “Man, logistics is not an easy business”, and had the misconception that it would be easier to become successful and make a name for myself in just about anything else. The closer I got to the top, and the closer I became with my customers and their businesses, the more I understood there is no such thing as an “easy” business.

As a part of my series about “Big Ideas That Might Change The World In The Next Few Years” I had the pleasure of interviewing John M. Bolte, CEO of PathO3Gen Solutions. He joined the company two years ago as a minority shareholder, and now holds a majority stake. Prior to his role with PathO3Gen Solutions, John spent 45 years with BDP International, Inc. where he began as a messenger, rose to President and then was named COO. John and his brothers owned 100% of the company at the time of the sale of BDP International, Inc. in December 2018. BDP International, Inc. was one of the largest privately held logistics companies in the world, with 147 offices in 45 countries. The sale of BDP International, Inc. gave John the opportunity to move into other businesses aligning with his passion for people and saving lives. He is blessed with his wife, Nancy, their seven adult children, and four grandchildren. His hobbies include working, charity, and boating.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

After my retirement from BDP International, Inc., my wife and I were looking for ways to help our society. We started two charitable foundations and had some money to invest in humanitarian causes. Scott Beal, COO of PathO3Gen Solutions, and I had worked together in logistics, as he had worked for M2, a niche logistics company when I was at BDP International, Inc. After investigating various start-ups and multiple opportunities, I joined PathO3Gen Solutions through Scott, as this company intrigued me the most. PathO3Gen Solutions is a company driven by great businessmen and businesswomen who have a passion for helping others and for helping our world by saving lives. This was, and still is, the perfect fit.

Can you please share with us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

Not being a medical expert and not having a background in the medical, healthcare, retail, or food service industries, I operated on a learning curve. In my former role at BDP International, Inc., my brother was the face of the company and I tended to stay in the background. However, with the current pandemic and the recent independent study proving the shoe disinfection technology eliminated human coronavirus, we have received a lot of attention. The importance of the work combined with the efforts of our marketing whiz, Maria Paula Garces, has forced me out front for interviews. Recently, I agreed to do an interview and found the next morning that my face had ended up as the face of our company. I received emails, texts, and calls from all over the world. I remember my son commenting, quite whimsically, “Dad, if you end up saving the world, we will never hear the end of it!!”

Which principles or philosophies have guided your life? Your career?

Since I started in business 47 years ago, my favorite saying is “The least common thing in business and government is Common Sense”. For some reason, the higher a person goes in business, and especially politics, they seem to lose their basic common-sense skills. The upper ranks of many governments, and even some businesses, seem to be motivated more by politics and less by care and concern for people, namely employees, workers, voters, and customers. I believe in a “People First” philosophy above myself, regardless of any position I held or hold today. Whether it is your workers or your customers, when you treat your people like family, with respect and decency, your organization performs better. Happy people who have good leadership and clear direction understand their ability to personally impact the outcome of an organization and will create the best and most powerful business culture. Yes, all companies want to make money and have an impact on the world, but many companies and governments lose their basic common sense. The best way to make money and make an impact on this world, whether as a company or an individual, is to take care of people. All people, all the time. Common sense, right?

Ok thank you for that. Let’s now move to the main focus of our interview. Can you tell us about your “Big Idea That Might Change The World”?

Our multi patented UVZone shoe disinfection technology uses a combination of ozone (O3) + UVC light, creating some of the highest rates of disinfection in the world in just eight (8) seconds. This patented combination is on average 110 times more effective than UVC light alone for many dangerous pathogens, and over 24 times more effective in eliminating human coronavirus. The ozone cracks the shell of a pathogen (virus, bacteria, fungi, etc.) in one second, then the UVC rays denature the DNA or RNA creating an almost instant elimination of the most difficult superbugs (mutations).

The world will change dramatically as a result of the pandemic, and our UVZone shoe disinfection technology applies to so many sectors including mass transit, airports, airlines, stadiums, office buildings, municipal buildings, schools, hotels, cruise ships, amusement parks, theaters, medical offices, hospitals, embassies, military bases, etc., basically just about anywhere large groups of people gather or walk. People are demanding visible signs of safety as we continue opening the economy. They will want to see physical signs of new safety mechanisms and protocols. The applications for this ozone + UVC technology are endless.

Sanitation and hygiene must be part of our new normal and our UVZone is the first line of defense, proactively providing protection for everyone. Floors are riddled with millions of pathogens, and our shoes carry these everywhere. Most of us do not realize what we carry on our shoes. By using the UVZone technology, you can virtually seal off the perimeter of any facility, and these nasty pathogens and viruses are eliminated on your shoes, so they do not enter your building or space. It is well documented that once pathogens and viruses get into any facility, they immediately go airborne within 24 hours to all high-touch surfaces.

Two things that will help save the world from these deadly pathogens: disinfecting your shoes on the way in and on the way out of any/all places you visit. Once we understand that we are all potential carriers, we can become active participants in eliminating the spread of pathogens with our shoes.

How do you think this will change the world?

People are looking for visible signs of safety as we move through the pandemic, and the UVZone shoe disinfection technology is a first line of proactive defense. The visual reassurance it provides will allow us all to go back to working, shopping, eating at restaurants, and traveling.

Keeping “Black Mirror” and the “Law of Unintended Consequences” in mind, can you see any potential drawbacks about this idea that people should think more deeply about?

Yes, being on the ground during the pandemic in New York City, our units were utilized in hotels for medical workers’ respite and we encountered something needing clarification. The medical community loved having the shoe disinfection technology available. However, struggling to get masks, they asked if they could use our shoe disinfection technology to sanitize masks. The answer is no. The UVZone is meant for shoes and is not meant to be elevated close to one’s face or body. After all, these are UVC rays, which should not be near the face, so we strongly advise against that. We have a patent pending on a hand-held wand using this technology, and these wands will be used for instant sanitization of clothing, high-touch surface areas, masks, lab equipment, etc., and will be out sometime in the near future. As you can see, multiple sized hand-held wands for sanitization will have many applications moving forward.

Was there a “tipping point” that led you to this idea? Can you tell us that story?

The technology was created, and the patents were secured before I came on board. The tipping point for me was seeing the technology using the patented combination of ozone and UVC rays. UVC on its own is not very effective because it only damages the shell of pathogens (viruses, bacteria, fungi, etc.). UVC-only methods leave too many particles behind that are healthy, and damaged particles can mutate into superbugs that are much harder to kill. Once I understood the patented technology, my mind went wild with ideas about how this could be used in just about every industry, and eventually even households, especially with the development of hand-held wands.

What do you need to lead this product to widespread adoption?

We need other sectors outside of the medical community, such as mass transit, municipalities, hospitality, casinos, stadiums, agriculture/food processing, to understand the role of the floor and shoes in the spread of pathogens and disease. There have been many independent studies published on the role of the floor, including a recent one by the CDC, showing that in China, approximately 50% of the medical workers working in labs, COVID-19 containment units, and hospitals, were spreading coronavirus on their shoes into other parts of the facility. Additionally, contaminated shoes were tracking coronavirus into public spaces, hence rapidly increasing the spread. Other independent studies show that many pathogens (including viruses) go airborne in less than 24 hours and end up on high-touch surfaces, clothing, patient beds, and door handles. Within 72 hours these pathogens are spread throughout an entire facility, so understanding how to keep pathogens out by proactively sealing off the perimeter of a business or a facility is an important step any business owner can take to reduce the spread of pathogens, including coronavirus. Our multi patented UVZone shoe disinfection technology eliminated human coronavirus, and 99.999% of other pathogens, in seconds, making it a visible sign of safety and an easy and seamless way to seal the perimeters of businesses without causing a disruption to customers or their employees.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?

  1. Being humble and young does not mean everyone else is smarter than you.
  2. Experience is the best form of education.
  3. We all make mistakes, so failure is your first step to succeeding and should not be chastised, it should be encouraged.
  4. There is no such thing as an “easy business”. It takes an all-out effort to make it and be successful.
  5. There are a thousand ways to succeed in life, what is yours?

When I started in business at the age of 15, most people were older and more aggressive than me. As a 15-year-old, my nature was not a threatening one. I had many bosses whom I thought were smarter and better businesspeople than me because they were threatening in nature.

It took me 15 years to realize that being humble and staying within your nature is the best way to become successful.

With a thousand ways to succeed, I had finally found my way. Everyone has their own path to success, and once you find yours you are on your way forward. Once I understood that simple lesson, which I learned in a very difficult fashion, it changed my career path and life. I realized I was as smart as anyone, and with experience it put me in a position to see the forest through the trees.

I was allowed to fail (and I failed regularly) and was given full freedom to act without fear. I teach my employees to celebrate failure as the first step to success. I often thought, “Man, logistics is not an easy business”, and had the misconception that it would be easier to become successful and make a name for myself in just about anything else. The closer I got to the top, and the closer I became with my customers and their businesses, the more I understood there is no such thing as an “easy” business.

Can you share with our readers what you think are the most important “success habits” or “success mindsets”?

  1. Work Ethic.
  2. Never give up. Failure is not trying again, and again.
  3. People are the keys to your success, learn how to motivate them and treat them well.
  4. Listen… just shut up and listen. Not just with your ears, but also with your head and your heart.
  5. Loyalty. Always be loyal and it is returned in spades.

Some very well-known VCs read this column. If you had 60 seconds to make a pitch to a VC, what would you say? He or she might … this if we tag them 🙂

Floors are the key to infection control and virus containment, and at PathO3Gen Solutions we have some of the highest kill rates for the most difficult superbugs in the market. We even eliminated coronavirus at a rate of 100%.

Our sole mission is to prevent infections and save lives by creating cleaner and safer environments. The UVZone shoe disinfection technology is the first and only UL Certified disinfection equipment that uses an exclusive and multi patented combination of ozone (O3) + UVC. In an independent study, the technology is proven to be on average 110 times more effective than UVC light alone for eliminating pathogens, and over 24 times more effective in eliminating human coronavirus. UVZone destroyed up to 99.999% of the deadliest pathogens, including superbugs such as MRSA, C. diff, and E. coli in mere seconds. It plugs into any standard outlet, is easy to use in almost any entrance or exit, and works with any footwear, including shoe covers. The UVZone is manufactured by an IS0 9001 certified facility in the U.S.A.

How can our readers follow you on social media? Include your personal social media handles and the company’s.

Personally, I am a private guy, but you can follow us on

Twitter: @patho3gen

Facebook: @patho3gensolutions

Instagram: @patho3gensolutions

LinkedIn @patho3gen.

You can also find us on our website, www.patho3gen.com.

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