A decade ago, Pat Esposito risked everything to start a company she thought Greater Cincinnati was lacking but badly needed. With her own money, she created Environmental Technologies and Communications Inc.

"There was a void in the [environmental] consulting world," says Esposito. "Information wasn't being transferred into something useful for the general public."

Although at one point Esposito was a chemistry major interested in cancer research, a 10-year stint at Procter & Gamble led her to transfer her interests to environmental engineering. Esposito attended graduate school and then jumped into consulting, which she's been doing for the better part of 30 years.

"I'm so happy I did what I did," observes Esposito. "Toxic chemicals and the environment are important. [But] it's been a curvy road."

The concept behind the Sharonville firm? Esposito believes the public often doesn't get enough accurate information from companies relating to environmental matters.

"I went out on a limb and started from scratch," she says about the firm. "And it's worked."

ETC claims to be the only company of its kind in the area, as no other communication consulting firms specialize solely in environmental issues. Esposito and her staff translate all the technical information, as well as bring in a different perspective.

"We solve problems from the inside instead of the outside," says Esposito.

One of the more specialized elements of ETC is the hands-on aspect. When they are contacted to solve a company's image problem, employees will make a point to go out to the site themselves and personally speak to the owners of the respective properties. With only 15 employees, much of the work is done by Esposito herself.

"I don't send other people to do my work," she says. "I go out there myself and talk to the people. We help avoid surprises "” people hate surprises. It's what I'm all about, to see that people get good solid information."

One of the larger projects that ETC has taken on in the last year is handling the customer service portion of the Metropolitan Sewer District's Water-in-Basement (WIB) Response Program.

Dennis Madden, the WIB response program manager, says he's pleased with the work that Esposito and the rest of ETC staff have provided. "WIB is a brand-new program still," says Madden. "ETC responded to the specifications that we wanted, and put together a program that worked quite well."

The WIB program was created in 2004 for customers who qualify to have their basement cleaned if sewage backs up. It provides cleanup assistance to both business owners and homeowners and helps document losses for insurance claims.

"This is the first year I've worked with Pat, and she definitely has the customer's approach in mind, which is what we wanted from a consultant," Madden points out. "They're looking to do the best job for MSD and our customers." Madden adds that since he hired ETC, the customer service approval rating has shot up to 88 percent from 43 percent."I would say a significant portion has to do with ETC," says Madden.

Right now, Esposito is satisfied with the company's success and continues to get the word out for her varied clients in the form of pamphlets, letters, public meetings and even going door to door.

She isn't worried about competition. "If another company came, we would still be the best because we've been here for 10 years and we have more expertise," says Esposito. "I invented it to a large extent, so I know the procedures and the techniques."

She thinks persistence is largely what has contributed to her success.

"I'm hanging on because I believe in this," she says. "I willed this into being."