Faces of Alkota/Hydrus: Mike Gruver


Welcome back to Faces of Alkota, where today we jump over to our sister company Hydrus Detergents to meet the new general manager and head chemist Mike Gruver.

For those who aren’t familiar with Hydrus, here is a bit of an overview. Hydrus covers all things detergent and chemical-related. All our custom in-house created specialty chemicals are produced by Hydrus, and often sold under the Alkota name. Hydrus provides chemicals for: the cleaning industry, transportation, food and industrial applications. Hydrus is located in Estherville, Iowa, about 2 hours east of Alcester, home of Alkota.

Mike joined Hydrus in March of 2020 and has enjoyed the new challenges and opportunities this position has presented. “I had seen the Alkota name before, but did not know much until I started exploring the positions,” states Mike. “Once I connected with Scott (Hansen), it all seemed like it would be a great fit for me, less travel, more chemistry, and lots of opportunities.”

Mike is a native of Iowa. Born and raised in Sully Iowa, Mike grew up on the family farm. “My brother and I still farm the land today,” says Mike. After high school, Mike attended Central College in Pella as he pursued a BA in chemistry. He continued his education at Drake University in Des Moines, graduating with an MBA.

Mike worked in several chemical management positions out of college, everything from R & D work, to technology and sales. “The last few years, I have been managing different departments in chemical plants. I was traveling a lot, and wanted to find something closer to home to see my kids grow up.”

family pic 11.20

“The culture and environment at Hydrus/Alkota helped me decide to accept the job,” says Mike.

Mike and his wife April, who is teaching special ed at the high school, enjoy living in Pella and stay busy following their two boys, Quinn and Drake, to their various sporting events.

Mike still enjoys farming part-time with this brother. When he’s not formulating a new cleaning detergent, you can find Mike following NCAA track and field events and even volunteering as a certified official.

“I am excited to be part of Hydrus/Alkota. We have a great core of people here, and I am excited about helping things grow and expand. The year is already off to a great start!” exclaims Mike.

In wrapping up, we had to ask Mike what his favorite Hydrus/Alkota product was. “As a chemical guy, I like the 511 for cleaning up aluminum and also Chlor Clean. “It’s (Chlor Clean) perfect for institutions to strongly sanitize with being gentle at the same time.”

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