About Us

We are Emerge Knowledge

We are the proud developers of Re-TRAC Connect and RecycleSearch. We’re a close-knit team of environmental and technology professionals who are passionate about contributing new ideas to advance sustainability. We are dedicated to providing innovative software solutions and sharing our expertise to help communities and organizations achieve waste reduction targets.

Our Roots

Emerge Knowledge

Emerge Knowledge was founded in 2001 by Rick Penner and Jen Peters with the goal of developing innovative solutions that help organizations achieve their sustainability goals. The first version of our industry-leading data management software, Re-TRAC™, was launched in 2004 and the next generation, Re-TRAC Connect™, was released in 2011. Re-TRAC Connect is now being used by many city, county, state/provincial, and national government agencies as well as a wide range of other organizations to efficiently collect, manage, and analyze recycling and solid waste data. The user community is rapidly expanding as more organizations find out about how Re-TRAC can streamline their information management activities saving them time and money.

About the Founders

Rick Penner and Jen Peters have both been involved in the waste reduction and sustainability world for a very long time. Some highlights include:


Way back in the fall of 1990, Rick Penner coordinated a group of dedicated volunteers who successfully brought an exciting new idea to life; set up a store to sell donated used building materials and use the profits to support Habitat for Humanity building projects. Rick coined the name, wrote the business plan, and launched the very first "Habitat ReStore" in May of 1991. The new concept successfully made used building materials available to the general public at greatly reduced prices and prevented valuable materials (hardwood floors! used bricks! good windows!) from being sent to the local landfill.

The Habitat ReStore in Winnipeg was the first of its kind, but there are now over 900 ReStores across North America generating hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue each year to support Habitat for Humanity's home building program for low-income families. Millions of pounds of reusable materials are also being diverted from landfills every year.

After leaving the Habitat ReStore in 1994, Rick worked for several years as a partner in a small consulting firm helping local governments set up recycling programs, conducting waste audits, and working on a range of other waste reduction projects. Rick was also President of the Recycling Council of Manitoba (1992 to 1994) and served on both the Manitoba Product Stewardship Implementation Committee (1995) and the City of Winnipeg Waste Reduction Committee (1998 to 2001).



Jen has been involved in a range of sustainability-related projects since graduating with an Environmental Studies degree in 1994. From 1995 to 1997, she worked as the Compost Coordinator at the Recycling Council of Manitoba (1995-1997) where she coordinated a range of public education and outreach programs. Jen was also the Pan-Am Games Recycling Coordinator (1999) and the Manager of the Mexico-Canada Environmental Internship Program (1999-2001).

Jen also founded a successful employment-based program helping social assistance recipients gain access to the labour market. This program evolved into the Momentum Centre that has achieved a 92% employment and back-to-school success rate.


Become an Emergineer!

Join our innovative team and work with a team of experienced and dedicated solutions managers, developers, designers, environmental specialists, and marketers.

Emerge Knowledge

  • 401-250 McDermot Avenue
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • R3B 0S5

(204) 772-7239

Toll Free:

Rick Penner
President rick@emergeknowledge.com
Jennifer Peters
Administrative Officer Contracts & Business Admin jen@emergeknowledge.com
Chris Ronson
Senior Sales & Marketing Manager chris@emergeknowledge.com