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Springfield, MO

12 People You Need to Know in 2017: Jerry Nichols

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Jerry Nichols isn’t an actual diplomat, but he travels like one. His business takes him far and wide, crisscrossing the globe to speak with foreign officials. 

In 2015, Nichols traveled 1.1 million miles as he visited 38 countries to promote AGC Refining & Filtration LLC. 

“Most of my work is on the political side, not the sales side,” says Nichols, a day before heading out on an 11-day trip mostly spent in the Philippines.

Chief among AGC Refining & Filtration’s product line is a process of re-refining waste oil Nichols invented that doesn’t leave behind a carbon footprint. Only irrigation water is left as a byproduct, Nichols says, noting it’s at least a tenth the price of other solutions that can be hazardous. 

He recently patented the idea, and his business is now focusing on the concept. 

“We’re the only ones that have this technology in the world. Supposedly it’s impossible to do, but somehow we’ve stumbled across it,” Nichols says. “We’ve been selling like gangbusters.”

Using the technology, AGC Refining & Filtration makes re-refining plants that are built to scale in Springfield and shipped in parts to other countries. Most of the company’s sales are international, with equipment represented in over 100 countries.

“It would probably be tough to find an oil rig in the world that doesn’t have some of our equipment on it,” Nichols says. 

While traveling, Nichols’ main role is to talk with government leaders in developing nations to transition the conversation toward business and the products his company can provide. 

Typically, Nichols visits developing nations where standards aren’t up to par with the likes of the United States. Thus, the very nature of the business means America isn’t suitable for sales. 

“With global warming and the emphasis on carbon footprint, I tend to go to the worst places in the world because they’re getting global pressure to bring it up to the standards of first-world countries,” he says. “I can come up with a solution that helps out their country in a significant way.“Obviously going to California would not be as globally changing as the former Soviet countries.”

Nichols says AGC Refining & Filtration’s re-refining solutions run in the $6 million to $10 million range and buyers typically can realize savings within six months. 

As such, Nichols says the products are easy to sell and international government and business officials are eager to get on board. 

Because AGC Refining & Filtration’s products are 100 percent American made, the company is able to take advantage of tax incentives. Coupled with a low cost of living, the Ozarks is a proper headquarters for the global company.

Beyond the bottom line, Nichols sees his role as parts philanthropic and humanitarian. 

“This is one of those inventions that comes along that can actually change the world,” he says.

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