Chemistry was Inevitable
For Robert Kincart ’72 a career in chemistry was almost inevitable. “My parents bought me a chemistry set when I was seven or eight years old,” he says. “I grew up in the space age with a good chemistry teacher.” After graduation, Kincart began working at Glidden–Durkee as a research chemist. When faced with the choice to advance his career by pursuing a PhD or moving into management, Kincart embraced his business skill set and chose the latter.
In 1980, he started a company offering services to ensure compliance with environmental regulations. His chemistry degree provided him a technical background in a business environment, giving him a unique set of entrepreneurial skills. He was able to sell his first company within seven years and, in 1987, launched A–C–T Environmental & Infrastructure, which offers consulting, engineering, and field services to help companies ensure compliance with environmental regulations and manage their risk. A large part of his daily work entails hazmat training, and for his contributions in Polk County, he was named an honorary Fire Chief. A wearer of many hats besides hard ones, Kincart also co-founded a wireless telephone provider, American Communications, Inc., in 1995, and five years later, jumped into real estate by founding The Kincart Group.
Kincart credits his wife, Laurel, as the pragmatist who keeps things in perspective. Accordingly, A–C–T has won Florida Trend’s Best Place to Work award and was listed in UF’s Gator100, which recognizes fast-growing businesses. Kincart is pleased to work with his children, Michael Kincart ’05, Robert Kincart Jr., and Jennifer Kincart Jonsson ’00, M’01, who all also attended UF. “We bleed orange and blue,” he says. He is proud to be a Bull Gator. In 2005, the Department of Chemistry honored him with the Outstanding Alumni Award and offered him a position on the Leadership Board. He accepted, seeing “an opportunity to show students the necessity of STEM education.” The opportunity is welcome in a time he feels that “we’ve fallen down in chemistry. The U.S. is not doing a great job with women in the sciences.” In serving on the board and helping to recruit students, he is proud to support the dreams of others. “It’s nice to be able to come full circle,” he says.