December, 2018

ARA COO DeWees an “Emerging Leader”

Aaron DeWees, Chief Operating Officer of ARA, is a recent graduate of SBA's Emerging Leaders program, which provides education and ARA COO graduates Emerging Leaders Programtraining for executives of small, growing companies throughout the country. It's an intensive, 7 month long executive entrepreneurship initiative, with nearly 100 hours of classroom time, plus coaching, mentoring, networking & workshops.


The Emerging Leaders Initiative was created to help  ‘high-potential’ small businesses grow. The itinerary includes topics such as Growth Strategy, Finance, Government Contracting and CEO Mentoring. Upon graduation, participants must produce a three-year strategic growth action plan with benchmarks and performance targets as they move toward their growth and strategic goals.


DeWees said of the program, "At first I wasn't sure I’d be able to carve out the time for this kind of intensive training, but after the first few classes I quickly realized how valuable it was going to be for me personally, as well as for the company. The direct access to educational materials and industry professionals was great, but even more rewarding was the ability to connect and collaborate with the other small business leaders in the class. We discussed our common challenges, and brainstormed some amazing ideas and concepts that I am excited to integrate within our company.”


Studies have shown that small businesses in underserved cities add almost 3 times as many jobs to their local economies as large firms. SBA launched the  Emerging Leaders Initiative to help more small businesses achieve high levels of success, stimulating growth to the local economy. Congratulations to Aaron and all of the graduates!


Great Catch!

If you are a regular customer at ARA, you know how much we pride ourselves on customer care. We take a lot of effort to get to know as much as we can about our customers and their projects, so that we can offer our expertise along the way, often saving you time and money!  


Attention to detail in our Login Department is crucial to smooth project performance, and our staff pays scrupulous attention to matrices and the analyses being requested on the chain of custody (COC) forms. Our analysts are also very familiar with our customer’s needs, and play a key role in ensuring that customer expectations are met. Here are just a few examples of how attention to detail has helped clients save money while avoiding resampling, project interruption, and other headaches:

  • A customer sent in a semi-annual VOC project. Not only were the sample IDs indicative of residential addresses, but historically all of the samples were run by drinking water methods. The customer had mistakenly checked off the VOC groundwater method on their COC. ARA caught this at sample receipt and confirmed with the customer that these were indeed drinking water samples and should be run by that method. This catch helped the customer identify a discrepancy on the front end of his sample submittal, and made for smooth sailing through the lab and final reporting!
  • Sometimes we see projects come in from the same site, for a variety of parameters and matrices, at no regular frequency. Fortunately, our analysts often look up project history in our LIMS prior to analyzing samples. A customer submitted an aqueous sample and marked the COC for chlorophyll-a, however ARA’s project history indicated that this customer also always ran another test alongside chlorophyll-a, but had not asked for it this time. The analyst brought this to the attention of the lab manager, who contacted the customer; it turned out they did need both analyses!
  • In our Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Department, before booking a job, our IAQ staff will always talk with the customer over the phone to assess the best plan of attack. One recent caller was comparing quotes for someone to inspect and test their attic for asbestos.  During the phone interview, our IAQ Manager discovered that their attic insulation contained vermiculite. This customer did not realize that vermiculite is always assumed to contain asbestos, and that there is a trust* set up to help certain consumers with the testing and remediation costs. The other company either did not ask or did not want to know about the vermiculite before quoting their inspection and lab fees. In the end, this customer was able to save nearly $4000 after talking with ARA. (*see sidebar & next article  for more info on the trust & how to qualify.)

We know you have a options when choosing an environmental  firm, and the staff at ARA is happy to keep working hard to make sure our customers keep coming back. Thank you for putting your trust in ARA!


The Zonolite Trust for Vermiculite

From 1919 to 1990, 70% of all vermiculite sold in the US came from a mine in Libby, Montana, and was used in the majority of vermiculite insulation marketed under the name “Zonolite”. It was later discovered that the Libby mine also contained asbestos, and since such a large percentage of Zonolite was used in construction during that time period, buildings today containing vermiculite insulation are assumed to also contain asbestos. Those working on buildings who encounter vermiculite are mandated by the EPA to manage it as though it is asbestos, and can be fined if they do not follow protocol.


In 2014, W.R. Grace, the producer of Zonolite, announced the formation of the Zonolite Attic Insulation Trust, which was implemented in order to educate the public about the possible health effects of vermiculite insulation, and provide financial assistance to those who qualify for abatement reimbursement.


Claimants must prove that the vermiculite in their home is the Zonolite brand, and may submit insulation samples to the Trust for free testing.  ZAI will reimburse a portion of the funds for containment or abatement for those proving Zonolite was used.  FMI:



SB247 & Reminder to NH Schools

NH Senate Bill SB247 requires that all NH Schools' 1st round of testing for lead in water be completed by 7/1/2019 & repeated every 5 years until 3 rounds of testing show that your lead levels are below the standard. Need more info? We’re happy to help! Email or call 877-320-7373



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