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Alumni Spotlight - Peter Forhan

Alumni Spotlight - Peter Forhan

Peter Forhan graduated from WBHS in 2014. He went on to study at the University of Michigan and earned a degree in Materials Science and Engineering in 2018. Peter worked throughout his years at Michigan, first as the Student Manager of a dining hall and then as the Vice President of an emerging
startup company.

After graduation, Peter focused full-time on a company called Puracycle, centered around a food rotation container label product he developed for food service organizations. The patented label he invented is re-markable and dishwasher safe and was inspired by his frustration with the other costly and unsightly labeling systems he encountered during his undergraduate work experience in food service.

His invention, the Puracycle 500-use label, won many accolades, including the international “Smartest Innovation” Award at the GulfHost trade show in Dubai, UAE in 2018. With his Puracycle product, Peter was able to secure partnerships with top distributors across the U.S., Europe, South Africa, Australia, and Saudi Arabia. He also secured customers from the #1 franchise in the world, Subway.

Today, he manages a network of factories and distributors that extend the reach of Puracycle across the world. During this time, Peter also managed to start a men’s underwear company, Keep it Brief, providing customers with “a brief history of art” (pun intended) that was wearable. Peter was joined on this venture by Joey Asker, another WBHS Alum.

Concurrently, in 2019, Peter also began work on a new invention, the laundry machine that cleans your clothes in under 10 minutes without water, soap or waste and that utilizes 99.7% less energy. This invention uses UV Light and Ozone to achieve this effect.

Peter received a generous grant from Ann Arbor SPARK to continue working on this project, leading to his establishment of yet another new company. His machine, Halo, can remove 99.99% of pathogens from your hands and phone in under 5 seconds, without water, waste, or soap.

With this breakthrough, he received a second grant from Ann Arbor SPARK to expedite the R&D, IP and marketing that will set him up for a launch in the near future.

How has West Bloomfield High School helped Peter on his current path?

WBHS has had a profound effect on my collegiate and professional journey. The most mentally taxing and discipline demanding days have not been college, startups, or even court cases, but rather High School morning swim practice, followed by seven difficult classes, followed by more swim practice. I still lean
on the mental and physical fortitude I had to develop in order to compete physically in swimming while maintaining a clear mind to manage my difficult high school schedule of AP classes and collegiate math courses.

WBHS went out of its way to provide opportunities to me that I will never be able to repay. The school district built an advanced math program to accommodate me and a couple of my other classmates and I am proud to now see full buses of middle-schoolers arriving at WBHS for advanced math courses.

I was unable to appreciate the amazing teachers, professors, and administrators WBHS had until a few years in the 'real world'. As a student who benefitted greatly from AP credits and extracurriculars, I would like to extend my deepest appreciation to my high school teachers.

What advice do you have for our current students?

Get involved! Some of my current closest friends and fondest memories were made during marching band and swimming. Take advantage of the amazing teaching staff at WBHS. We have the top teachers in the country and it is hard to appreciate their efforts in full until you leave high school.

The best advice I ever received was: “No one cares how much you know unless they know how much you care.” It has driven me to inject passion into all of my work.