Rooted in the Keweenaw
Janet has lived in Houghton County for most of her life. She was born in Houghton County, and was raised on the farm her grandparents established during the Finnish migration in the early 1900s with her 4 sisters and 1 brother. Her parents operated a dairy farm in Chassell Township for over 50 years on the properties inherited from both sets of grandparents. She graduated from Chassell Township Schools and then attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where she received her B.S and M.S. in Chemical Engineering in 1980. Following graduation, she was employed at Eastman Kodak in Rochester, NY as a Development Engineer for 3 years, and then as an Environmental Engineer at EPA’s Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (OAQPS) in Durham NC until 1988. She then returned to the Copper Country when her husband, Michael Mullins, accepted a faculty position at Michigan Technological University.
While at the EPA Janet became an expert in public policy and developed a talent for explaining complex issues to a diverse audience. She networked with engineers, scientists, lawyers, environmental and industry interest groups, State regulators and other Federal Agency staff while developing regulations to protect air quality in National Parks and Wilderness areas.
Dedicated to Community
Upon returning to the Copper Country, she used her technical expertise to build a successful consulting practice specializing in air and water quality issues. Her clients include the EPA, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), the American Chemistry Council (ACC), private companies, the US Army, and the U.S. Department of Energy. Her consulting work focuses on establishing high-quality environmental databases and development of environmental impact assessment models. She has collaborated with researchers at Michigan Tech and experts at several other universities across the U.S.
In 2005, she established Vesitech, Inc. to develop and commercialize new, innovative water treatment technologies. Vesitech has received several Phase I and Phase II Small Business Innovative Research grants from the Army Corps of Engineer, the US Marine Corps (2), and NASA. She collaborated on commercialization of several the new technologies with Cascade Designs, Inc. of Seattle, WA, a major supplier of outdoor gear and military equipment. Vesitech’s work has led to two patents and several other commercially promising inventions.
Janet is running as a Democrat focused on bringing new jobs and businesses to the area.
"As a business entrepreneur and former KEDA Board member, Janet has been an important force in building the Western UP economy. Janet not only started her own business but was also a key person on the KEDA board in designing and carrying out an aggressive economic development strategy for the Western UP at a time when businesses had closed and jobs had been lost. This is again a critical time when the Western UP needs to continue to reinvent its economy to create family sustaining jobs as it emerges from the pandemic. The Western UP region needs economic savvy leaders like Janet," said Philip Musser, former KEDA Executive Director and Smartzone Chairperson.