Dr. Norman D. Shutler, founder and former President, CEO and Chairman of the Board of TechLaw Holdings, Inc., Chantilly, VA, and a former Deputy Assistant Administrator for the US Environmental Protection Agency, died Saturday at Inova Loudoun Hospital in Leesburg, VA. He was 76.
Dr. Shutler was born and raised in Arkansas City, KS, son of the late Harry and Mildred Moffitt Shutler. He attended the Wentworth Military Academy in Lexington, MO, graduating in 1955 with the highest Senior Scholastic Award. He obtained a BS in petroleum engineering (1960), an MS in nuclear engineering (1962) and a Ph.D in chemical engineering (1964), all from Kansas University. He obtained a JD from the University of Houston School of Law (1970). He won several academic awards, including an award for his doctorate thesis from the Mechanical Engineering Society—which was not even his engineering discipline. He was a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity at Kansas University and he was a devoted Kansas Jayhawk basketball fan. On Sept. 15, 1962, he married Sandra Miller in Lawrence, KS.
Dr. Shutler worked in production research and government relations for Exxon in the 1960s, where he helped develop the company’s plans to find and transport newly discovered crude oil in Alaska. He joined the US EPA in Washington, D.C. in 1971, shortly after the agency was established. As the Director of the EPA Mobile Source Enforcement Division, he worked with the EPA’s first Director, William Ruckelshaus, to assemble a team of attorneys with engineering degrees and other engineers with backgrounds or interests in enforcement to set up the first programs to enforce Clean Air Act standards for motor vehicles and fuels. He appeared frequently before Congress and in the media to explain the EPA’s mission and actions. In 1976, he was named the EPA Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Mobile Source and Noise Enforcement, where he oversaw policy development and implementation in nationwide enforcement of Federal air pollution laws pertaining to motor vehicles, as well as Federal noise abatement laws. In 1978, he went into private law practice as a partner at Deane, Snowden, Shutler & Gherardi in Washington, D.C., and in 1986 he left to become a partner at Shutler & Low, specializing in environmental, energy and safety law, and cases involving technology and law.
In 1983, he used that knowledge of law/technology interaction to form TechLaw, Inc., a firm that developed from one Federal government contract run from two small offices in Virginia and Colorado into a nationwide, multi-million dollar consulting firm specializing in litigation support for law firms and public and private environmental services contracting. Dr. Shutler served as President and CEO of TechLaw until 2003 and remained as Chairman of the Board of Directors of TechLaw Holdings, Inc., until 2013. He genuinely loved the people he worked with and mentored over the years, and he was proud of building a business that continues to thrive 30 years later, and one with a high degree of the ethics and morals he practiced and encouraged. Dr. Shutler was a Registered Professional Engineer (Texas) and a member of the American Nuclear Society, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Texas Bar Association, the D.C. Bar Association and the Virginia State Bar.
Dr. Shutler was also a contemporary Renaissance Man who had a lifelong interest in education and personal improvement. He was a wine, classical music, computer technology and wood-working enthusiast who designed and built his own home in Middleburg, VA. He also used his research on vehicle emissions to start a small business called Tune-Ups, Inc., an auto inspection and tune-up shop in Washington, D.C. that he later sold. He loved all animals, formerly raising and competitively showing German Shepherds. He enjoyed canoeing the boundary waters in Canada, skiing the slopes in Colorado, scuba diving and sailing the Caribbean waters, and generally doing anything with family and close friends. After retiring, he and his wife, Sandra, divided their time between homes in Middleburg, VA and Keystone, CO, where they were active in many philanthropic and charitable causes in those places, as well as in his home state of Kansas. He also enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren.
In addition to his wife, Dr. Shutler is survived by two sons, Brian (Beth) Shutler of Ashburn, VA, and Blake (Carolyn) Shutler of Keystone, CO; a brother, Marvin Shutler of Kansas City, MO; a sister, Linda Rahn of Parkerfield, KS; and three grandchildren, Chris, Colin and Sydney Shutler. A celebration of Dr. Shutler’s life will be held on Friday, Feb. 7, at a time to be determined at the Buchanan Hall (www.buchananhall.com), Upperville, VA. Memorial donations in Norm’s name may be made to the Wentworth Military Academy (www.wma.edu), the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) or the American Cancer Society. Arrangements are being handled by the Royston Funeral Home, Middleburg, Va.