Seagull Environmental Technologies, Inc. was incorporated in the State of Kansas in October 1998 to provide environmental consulting services to government agencies and private entities. The company name, Seagull, evolved around the long journey undertaken by Mr. Vu to get to the United States. In 1978, Mr. Vu, his family, and friends left Vietnam by boat. During the journey, the boat encountered a catastrophic storm that damaged the hull and flooded the engine compartment. After the storm, the badly damaged boat lost its coordinates and barely staying afloat on the sea. Flooded sea water had to be emptied out by hand. Without food and drinking water, Mr. Vu looked for a seagull day after day as an indication that the boat was near land, hoping that the journey for freedom would not cost the lives of 53 people (including his family) aboard the 40-foot-long boat. He did not find any seagull. After seven days, the boat miraculously landed on the coast of Malaysia at night. Subsequently, the boat people were transported to an overcrowded refugee camp on a deserted island. There, his family spent 6 months before relocating to the United States under a sponsorship. Six years later, they were all sworn in as United States citizens. Mr. Vu worked many jobs to support himself through schools and graduated as a chemical engineer from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).
Twenty years later, thinking of the seagull that he was looking for during the journey from Vietnam and its impact on the boat people had one was found during the journey; coupled with his passion about making a better community and environment, Seagull Environmental Technologies, Inc. was founded to improve the quality of life, communities, and the environment.
“…you’ve got to understand that a seagull is an unlimited Idea of Freedom, an image of the Great Gull, and your whole body, from wingtip to wingtip, is nothing more than thought itself.” Richard Bach.
The company was originally built around Mr. Vu’s previous experience with private industries and with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 Technical Assistance Team (TAT) and Superfund Technical Assessment and Response Team (START) contracts, for which he served as an emergency responder, chemical engineer, Emergency Response and Removal Manager, Site Assessment Manager, Assistant Program Manager, Program Manager, and subsequently the National Director. The TAT/START contracts have provided technical support to EPA with emergency responses; counter-terrorism activities; site assessments; removal actions; preparedness and prevention activities; Oil Pollution Act (OPA)-related activities; and other technical activities, including engineering designs, risk assessments, special studies, community involvement, and geographic information system tasks. In addition, Mr. Vu was the Program Manager for homeland security services for a number of states, providing assessments, analyses, and implementation plans for emergency responses to terrorist attacks, incidents involving weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and public health emergencies.