Member Spotlight: Bernie Andersen, AW Drew Environmental
We are inspired daily by the different businesses we have the pleasure of working with and have watched grow. It’s amazing what they have achieved, how they have reached success and how they have impacted the local community. For this month’s member spotlight, we were thrilled to sit down with Bernedette (Bernie) Andersen of AW Drew, an environmental consulting firm.
Bernie works with homeowners following the removal of their heating oil tanks by sampling soil and/or groundwater in the tank excavation area. She uses a hands-on approach conducting site sampling, working with contractors, analyzing lab data and writing reports to obtain a “No Further Action” clearance letter issued by the NJDEP. For commercial clients, she conducts Phase I property assessments by identifying potential environmental concerns at properties her clients hope to purchase. She opened up for business in May of 2015, and has been operating solo until about 6 months ago when she hired an entry level environmental scientist. She now has assistance with data entry and research – we love seeing our member’s teams expand!
She finds that a perfect day in her work life is obtaining a NFA letter so that a homeowner can sell their residence or submitting a Phase I ESA for a commercial entity so they can sell and/or purchase a new site. The combination of client interaction and hands-on work are the key reasons she started her business after climbing the ladder to a senior managerial position at other companies.
Opening a small business allowed her to interact with clients more closely while doing the work she loves in the field. She loves the feeling of explaining the remediation process to homeowners that might not understand where to begin when they have an oil tank that needs to be removed in order to sell their home. However, her favorite part is the last step of the process: calling her clients and saying that the house is ready to sell because the NFA letter has been issued.
She learned about Office Evolution Somerville through a networking group about 5 years ago, which the owner of Office Evolution is also a member of. This networking group allowed her to talk about her company weekly and learn about other businesses that could support her. Overall, she credits this group with allowing her to “gain more confidence” in running her business. She joined Office Evolution as a Virtual Office member – giving her a professional mailing address which allows her to receive packages and samples and utilize it on her website and in online searches for her business. Along with phone and front desk services, she emphasizes that this “professional look” is important when running a business, especially when clients stop by to drop off a check or when the laboratory picks up site samples. She especially likes how our front desk team sends emails whenever a check comes in and that she can upgrade at any time. Besides working with Office Evolution for a professional look and client services, she provided some advice for others looking to start a business: Honesty and integrity is a must as it puts “more on the line as a small business”.
You can visit her website www.awdrew.com for all your environmental consulting and Phase I inspection needs, and contact her at bandersen@AWdrew.com. Thank you Bernie for your time and your kind words about Office Evolution! We are so happy you took the time to speak with us about your business and we look forward to seeing it grow.