Eric Viele – Lead Extraction Operator

4 minute read

Originally from central Illinois, Eric made his way to Colorado where his obsession with perfection made him a natural fit at Extract Labs. Equipped with a college degree in auto body,  working with his hands has generated opportunities beyond the imagination.

Eric graduated from Virden High School in Illinois, where he spent the early part of his working life in fast food. This is where our paths first crossed– at an old run-down Hardee’s in Chatham IL. Eric was the lazy fast food worker’s nightmare: always pushing others to do more, to do it better, and to do it with pride. While most managers would plan to be out the door 10 minutes after closing, you could often find Eric and I there until 3am, dissecting the char broiler to get it totally spotless. The passion and pride he brought to work every day really made an impression on me. These are qualities I learned from him and that have shaped the outcome of my career path ever since. 

Following fast food, Eric ended up working for an emergency roadside tech for semi-trucks and doing onsite vehicle maintenance for construction and mining rigs. His last gig before making the jump west was at a hobby store in Springfield where he enjoyed working as a race announcer, track builder, and salesman. 

The Text that changed it all

The hobby shop was a huge quality of life improvement for Eric. At the very least, he didn’t have to worry about getting side-swiped at 70mph on the side of a highway anymore. But after Eric had learned of my move to Colorado, and after eying all the photos of the rockies I was sharing, he decided to check in to see how the west was treating me. That “check in” set off a series of events that eventually led to an opportunity for Eric to join me at Extract Labs.

“One day I noticed he (Grant) was posting all sorts of stuff from Colorado and I decided to ask him what happened… and how awesome it must be out there. He said they needed good help at his new job, and that I’d be a perfect fit” Eric says. “Long story short, I needed little convincing, and packed up the family to head west. It has been an absolute blast of an adventure for my family and I.”

“I never thought it was possible. It all happened so fast. I can only describe what attracted me to Extract Labs” Eric says with excitement in his voice. “I saw a new company that needed dedication and hard work to from all of us to push a dream. I saw opportunity to combine my appreciation of workplace hygiene from the food industry and the strict safety regulations of the industrial tire industry. There was, and will always be, new problems to figure out and equipment to understand.”

Eric began as a lab assistant, but his obsession with perfection and unmatched work ethic allowed him to quickly climb the ranks. You can now find Eric pulling oil from a CO2 machine, or disassembling a misbehaving piece of lab equipment in need of  repair. In typical fashion, no matter what he’s doing you can bet he’s doing it with a smile.

Q&A With Eric

Q: What is your favorite Extract Labs product?
A: I love our Muscle Cream!!! After spending years working with my hands, they get sore sometimes. It makes them feel so much better. And softer haha!

Q: Name a book that had a major impact on you.
A: It’s been a while since I’ve had time to sit and read a book, but I get through a lot of equipment manuals and technical data. Ill always be a repair guy at heart and I love learning how to service our machinery to keep it on the cutting edge and running as efficient as possible.

Q: What’s the best thing you’ve ever watched on Netflix?
A: Anything that is just utter nonsense. It’s great to laugh!

Q: What advice would you give to someone looking to start working in the hemp industry?
A: Never forget the basics. No matter what background, or degrees you may hold, the industry is still relatively new, so don’t be too proud to hold any position. Work hard, never let anyone do your work for you. Leave no stone unturned and learn everything you can but hold onto the basics. I started out as an assistant here and it didn’t take long to spread my wings and do what I do. Have a set standard and never waiver your professionalism for convenience. Dedication can take you a long way. Something I like to tell new trainees, “there’s a lot of competition coming into the industry, don’t just impress them if they see your work area. Make what you do so great, that they think they could never do what you do because you’re so good at it. Its not just producing the best CBD products. You can’t have the best products without keeping the best departments, the cleanest work areas, making every possible aspect of your craft such a shining example of greatness that you cement yourself in any branch of the industry.” I truly believe we’re the best and its because of the care we take to stay the best.

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