History

EnSafe was founded in June 1980 to advise industry and government in the then-nascent field of environmental science, safety, and regulatory compliance. The original founders, Phil Coop and Wendell Knight, were motivated by their strong desire in pursuing careers (then unavailable in the commercial sector) that intersected business, science and public policy related to environmental protection.

Still going strong over 35 years later, EnSafe continues to succeed and grow from the original founders' ethics and vision. Take a walk through time with us and view some of the important milestones in EnSafe's history.

1980

EnSafe Founding Makes Memphis News

EnSafe’s founding is announced in The Commercial Appeal, the major daily newspaper of the Memphis metropolitan area on June 28, 1980.

1980

Spill-Control Design Emphasis Highlighted in Article

The trade journal of the air cargo industry notes EnSafe founders Wendell Knight and Phil Coop will raise transportation industry awareness of the long-overlooked problems associated with small spills, which are no less hazardous than larger spills. They put the focus on spill-control design.

1980

EnSafe Promotes RCRA Seminar

EnSafe took its RCRA regulatory compliance show on the road to assist Nashville business owners in complying with new regulations.

1980

EnSafe Founders Make News

Memphis’ status as a transportation hub made it the logical place for Wendell Knight and Phil Coop to offer their expertise in the control, handling, and transportation of hazardous materials. They stressed controlling the materials, rather than having to respond to spills.

1980

Local Newspaper Notes EnSafe's Founding

A local weekly newspaper describes EnSafe as “unique” in an article on the firm’s founding.

1980

Journal of Commerce Notes EnSafe's Founding

The Journal of Commerce, a trade journal focused on transportation and logistics, took note of EnSafe’s founding.

1980

Ensafe Charter Noted in Newspaper

The weekly business newspaper documents the official incorporation of Environmental and Safety Designs, Inc.

1980

Environmental & Safety Consulting Firm is Incorporated

Environmental and Safety Designs, Inc. (EnSafe) is founded to help businesses cope with the continually mounting environmental regulations impacting American business.

1980

First Stock Purchase Made

Cofounder Phillip G. Coop, CHMM, purchases the first shares of stock offered by EnSafe.

1980

EnSafe’s First Logo

Environmental and Safety Designs, Inc. (EnSafe), is introduced with this logo. The abbreviated version of the company name was officially adopted in 1997.

1980

Product Bears EnSafe Name

A spill-cleanup product developed by founders Wendell Knight and Phillip Coop is the first to bear the EnSafe name.

1980

EnSafe Sponsors RCRA Seminar

EnSafe Vice President Phil Coop describes the complexities of the new RCRA regulations governing transportation of hazardous substances — involving both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

1981

EnSafe Opens First Branch Office

EnSafe expands beyond Memphis with its first branch office in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The office director was tasked with developing and presenting public seminars and industrial training in hazardous materials management and inspection and enforcement training programs.

1981

EnSafe Opens First Office

EnSafe opened its doors in 1981 in Bartlett, Tennessee, a suburb of Memphis, setting the stage for growth and diversity.

1982

The Roots of Longstanding Navy Relationship

EnSafe's Phil Coop meets with Joe McCauley, PE, of Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southern Division to discuss a project to be performed at the Charleston Naval Shipyard in South Carolina in one of EnSafe's first engagements with the U.S. Navy. EnSafe continues to perform services for the Navy to this day.

1982

Jim Speakman Joins EnSafe

EnSafe expands into engineering services with the hiring of James N. Speakman, PhD, PE, a former U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officer and later engineering consultant. Dr. Speakman was tasked with expanding EnSafe’s work in developing hazardous waste management plans as well as designing treatment, storage, and disposal facilities.

1984

EnSafe's List of Services Grows

EnSafe advertises its growing list of core competencies as well as its national experience.

1984

EnSafe Wins First Contract with U.S. Navy

EnSafe wins the first of many U.S. Navy contracts. This one was centered on developing and presenting a training course on oil and hazardous substances spill contingency planning.

1985

EnSafe Takes Multidisciplinary Approach to Hazardous Waste Management

EnSafe touts is multidisciplinary approach to hazardous waste management. EnSafe continues to use that approach today, knowing a wide range of skills is needed with such complex issues.

1985

EnSafe Adds New Services as Capablities Grow

EnSafe’s roster of services continues to grow with the additional of remedial action programs and engineering services.

1987

Principal Stoddard Joins EnSafe

EnSafe expands its technical capabilities to include geological investigative services with the addition of Paul Stoddard, PG. CPG. He later becomes a Principal of the firm.

1987

EnSafe Lands First Job with Fortune 20 Firm

EnSafe wins a contract to remediate a major manufacturer's Superfund site, thus beginning a relationship that continues to this day.

1987

Gray Davis Joins EnSafe

Due to the high demand for investigative services with the expansion of CERCLA and RCRA regulatory programs, Ms. Ginny Gray (Davis) joins EnSafe as a geologist. She later was promoted to Principal.

1988

Engineer Wise Joins EnSafe

With an ever-increasing demand for engineering skills, Craig Wise, PE, joins EnSafe. He later was named a Principal of the firm.

1989

EnSafe Opens Music City Branch

EnSafe expands its office footprint to Nashville, Tennessee.

1990

Headquarters Moves to Accommodate Growth

EnSafe’s move to 13,000 square feet of office space in Memphis is driven by staff expansion.

1990

Joint Venture Established for Navy Contract

EnSafe formed a joint venture with Allen & Hoshall, a Memphis engineering firm, to win a major environmental restoration contract with the U.S. Navy in 1990. EnSafe acquired A&H’s interest in the joint venture in 1997 and continued serving the Navy through 2005, following a contract expansion and extension based on quality of service.

1990

EnSafe Wins $100M Navy Contract

EnSafe, at 31 employees, wins a 10-year, $100 million Navy contract for environmental restoration services. The Comprehensive Long-Term Environmental Action Navy (CLEAN) award was granted an unprecedented extension to 13 years and a contract ceiling expansion to $160 million. EnSafe completed 174 contract task orders valued at $150.8 million.

1992

Coop Named EnSafe President

Phil Coop, CHMM, ascends to EnSafe President and Jim Speakman to Vice President of Engineering, along with other staff additions.

1993

EnSafe Adds Unique Service - Geophysics

EnSafe becomes unique among environmental/engineering firms by initiating an in-house geophysics program that relies on non-invasive tools to lower environmental investigation costs. In addition, EnSafe Vice President Craig Wise is named to lead the remedial services group. EnSafe also increased its footprint, with offices in Nashville, Tenn.; Raleigh, N.C.; and Pensacola, Fla.

1993

EnSafe Branches Out with New Offices

Due to rapid revenue growth and contract wins, EnSafe opens branch offices in Nashville, Tennessee; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Pensacola, Florida.

1993

EnSafe Extols Career Freedom

Career freedom at EnSafe is promoted in this recruitment poster.

1994

EnSafe Headquarters Expands

EnSafe adds a fifth building to the former “Quad Campus” in Memphis to house its growing staff. Even in the face of double-digit staff increases, EnSafe committed itself to managing growth and maintaining the highest quality and technical standards.

1996

Memphis Campus Grows to Five Buildings

EnSafe’s new building enhances its ability to present seminars onsite, through a state-of-the-art, expandable classroom. EnSafe’s growth to other locations also is noted, including Knoxville, Tenn.; Mount Pleasant, S.C.; Hampton, Va.; and Milford, Ohio.

1997

EnSafe Congratulates Firm for Contract Win

EnSafe congratulates Bechtel Jacobs on its selection for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Management and Integration contract for facilities in Oak Ridge, Tenn.; Paducah, Ky.; and Portsmouth, Ohio. EnSafe was performing a remedial investigation at the Paducah plant in 1997.

1997

EnSafe Evolution Examined

EnSafe’s expansion into ISO 14000 and business continuity services is highlighted in a roundup of environmental and engineering firms’ diversification developments.

1997

EnSafe Earns State Approval Under Drycleaner Program

EnSafe gains approval from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation as a Drycleaner Approved Contractor under the new Drycleaner Environmental Response Program.

1997

New Logo Developed for New Business Line

This logo represented EnSafe’s new computer networking / information technology division in 1997.

1997

EnSafe Diversifies into Computer Networking

EnSafe purchases Network Resources to enhance its computer-related consulting services. By this time, EnSafe has expanded to locations in Kentucky, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Germany.

1997

Fourth Tennessee Office Opens

EnSafe opens an office in Jackson, Tennessee, to reach local businesses in need of its expertise, particularly services related to ISO 14000, the international standard for environmental management systems.

1997

Information Technology Service Launched

Recognizing its growing expertise in computer networking, EnSafe initiates an Information Technology group. The group continues EnSafe’s philosophy of focusing on client need, rather than being project- or product-driven.

1997

Advertisements Promote Expanding Services

EnSafe’s roster of services continues to expand to meet client needs. Two versions of an advertisement demonstrate the wide array of services offered with consummate professionalism.

1997

EnSafe Logo Redesigned

EnSafe’s logo is redesigned in 1997 and remains in use as the company marks its 30th anniversary in using creative thinking to develop custom solutions for our clients’ issues involving engineering, environment, health & safety, and technology.

1998

EnSafe Atop the Green Revolution

By adapting its services to changing legislation and industry attitudes about environmental safety and stewardship, EnSafe stays at the forefront for the next wave of its industry — the green revolution — as in pollution prevention and waste minimization.

1998

EnSafe Supports Cancer Research

EnSafe staff members participate in the Bartlett, Tenn., Relay for Life, a fund-raising event for the American Cancer Society.

1998

Ad Features Diverse Services

EnSafe advertises its diverse services in the Memphis Business Journal.

1998

Gray Named Principal

Ginny Gray Davis is named an EnSafe Principal, leading the Cincinnati, Ohio, office.

1999

EnSafe Acquires IT Company

EnSafe purchases a Covington, Tenn.-based computer consulting firm to further enhance its information technology offerings. A Network Resources office also was opened in Jackson, Tenn.

1999

EnSafe Leads Environmental Firms List

EnSafe, as usual, leads the list of environmental consulting firms in the Memphis metropolitan area.

1999

EnSafe Opens Cleveland Office

EnSafe opens its second Ohio location with an office in Cleveland. The Cincinnati office opened in 1995.

1999

Networking Service Expands and Grows

EnSafe’s computer consulting unit expands its space and its staff.

1999

EnSafe Wins First Engineering Excellence Award

EnSafe’s very first entry into the American Council of Engineering Companies of Tennessee’s Engineering Excellence competition earns a Grand Environmental Award. The award recognized EnSafe’s “Innovative Remediation of Stamina Mills NPL Site, Smithfield, Rhode Island.”

1999

EnSafe Practices Good Corporate Citizenship

EnSafe’s Paducah, Ky., office supports the Spouse Abuse Center with a monetary donation, in keeping with the company’s philosophy of being a good corporate citizen.

1999

New Mid-South Offices Open

EnSafe’s further expands in the Mid-South with locations in Arkansas and Mississippi — as well as overseas.

1999

Ad Cites International Location

An advertisement highlights the evolution of EnSafe’s services and locations, including a new office in Bratislava, Slovakia.

1999

Compliance Calendar Features Children's Art

EnSafe produces an environmental compliance calendar featuring art by employees’ and friends’ children. The calendar is distributed to clients during the holidays.

2000

IT Partnership Thrives

EnSafe and TechSoft collaborate on several information technology projects.

2000

EnSafe Establishes Remediation Division

EnSafe launches a remediation construction division to provide turnkey environmental restoration services. “There are clearly a lot of companies … bigger than us, but you would be hard-pressed to find one locally with a more complete service package...” The new remediation division serves clients nationwide from offices in Memphis and Nashville.

2000

EnSafe Marks 20th Anniversary

EnSafe marks its 20th year in the environmental consulting industry, with the continuing commitment to protecting its clients resources, first and foremost.

2000

EnSafe Wins Multiple Grand Iris Awards

EnSafe has won the following Grand Iris (best of show) awards in the American Council of Engineering Companies of Tennessee's Engineering Excellence competition. 2000 — Remediation of Perchlorate Contamination at NWIRP McGregor, Texas 2002 — Use of Mine Spoils as an Alternative Capping Material for Sanitary Landfill Closure, Grundy County, Tennessee 2003 — 3D Imaging of Karst Bedrock beneath Engineered Structures, Dickson County, Tennessee 2007 — The Binagadi Challenge: Cold War Legacy Site Cleanup, Baku, Azerbaijan EnSafe also has earned nine category-specific Grand Awards since it began competing in 1999.

2001

EnSafe Acquires EMPE

The acquisition of Nashville-based EMPE Inc. enhances EnSafe’s capabilities in storm water and wastewater services.

2001

EMPE Acquisition Noted by Engineering Publication

EnSafe acquires Nashville, Tenn.-based EMPE, Inc., forming the largest Tennessee-based environmental consulting firm.

2001

Innovation Featured in Newspaper Article

EnSafe’s cost-saving innovation — using relatively inexpensive chicken waste rather than costly microorganisms to remediate wood-treating chemical contamination — is highlighted in the Memphis Business Journal.

2001

EnSafe Acquires Interest in Terraine

EnSafe acquires an interest in Terraine Inc. and establishes a mentor-protégé relationship to help grow the small disadvantaged business. The relationship leads to multiple Department of Defense contract wins for environmental services.

2001

Little Rock Office Promoted

EnSafe promotes the quality of its services in an advertisement for its Little Rock, Ark., office.

2002

EnSafe Opens Office in Kazakhstan

EnSafe further expands globally with an office in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The Kazakh government’s commitment to environmental protection following the end of the Cold War era as well as the country’s growing economy fuels the expansion. The office closed in 2009.

2002

EnSafe Shares Mold Expertise in Article

Growing concerns about indoor air quality led the media to interview EnSafe President Phil Coop, CHMM, regarding mold issues. He relates his perspectives on how the issue evolved and solutions to the problem.

2003

EnSafe Tops List of Memphis Environmental Firms

For yet another year, EnSafe leads the list of largest environmental consulting firms in the Mid-South.

2003

Article Focuses on Arena Environmental Complexity

EnSafe President Phil Coop, CHMM, elaborates on environmental issues complicating the “largest hole ever dug in Tennessee.” EnSafe performed the environmental assessment and screened soil being excavated for Memphis’ new NBA arena.

2004

EnSafe Names First Associate Principals

Preparing for the future, EnSafe names its first-ever associate principals: Brian Derry, EIT; Frank McInturff, PE; and Bry Roberson, CIH, CHMM.

2004

EnSafe Recognized for NBA Arena Role

EnSafe is recognized among the contractors that brought FedExForum, Memphis’ new NBA arena, to fruition.

2004

EnSafe President Receives University Award

EnSafe President Phillip G. Coop, CHMM, is among honorees recognized for distinguished service in engineering by the University of Memphis Herff College of Engineering. EnSafe supports the professorship program at Herff College through an incentive-based salary augmentation program. Dr. Speakman was similarly recognized in 1999.

2005

IT Upgrades Featured in Newspaper

EnSafe consolidates and enhances its information technology capabilities with a new data center at the Memphis complex. The addition of a Liebert Nfinity UPS System and a 100-kilowatt, natural-gas generator allows EnSafe to keep its business-critical systems operating during any power outages in the Memphis area. Six-strand, steel-wrapped fiber ensures connectivity and redundancy to each building within the EnSafe Campus.

2005

EnSafe Ad Congratulates Client

EnSafe’s IT division extends its congratulations to a client for significant facility upgrades.

2005

EnSafe Wins Two Engineering Excellence Awards

EnSafe wins Grand Awards in two categories of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Tennessee’s 2005 Engineering Excellence competition — Surveying / Mapping and Studies / Research. EnSafe has won numerous ACEC awards, including multiple Grand Iris Awards, since it began competing in 1999.

2005

EnSafe's 25th Anniversary Noted

The Commercial Appeal reports on EnSafe’s significant developments over the course of 25 years in business. EnSafe officials point to lasting relationships with clients as a sign of the company’s success.

2005

EnSafe Wins Another Secretary of the Navy Award

EnSafe is a member of the team that won the Secretary of the Navy Award and precursor Chief of Naval Operations Award for Environmental Restoration. The award recognizes work performed at NAS Pensacola, Fla. EnSafe won two other Secretary of the Navy Awards (2000 and 2006) for environmental restoration work at NWIRP McGregor in Texas.

2005

Brownfield Work Gains Attention

EnSafe’s work to remediate a lead-impacted site near an elementary school merits notice in the major metropolitan daily newspaper.

2005

Katrina Work Merits Newspaper Attention

The Commercial Appeal reports on EnSafe’s support of recovery operations following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. EnSafe crews were onsite within one week of hurricane landfall, providing multifaceted environmental support. EnSafe assisted in prioritizing the cleanup of environmental impacts from the one of the worst natural disasters to strike the U.S.

2006

EnSafe Project Wins Engineering Excellence Award

EnSafe wins the Environmental Grand Award in the American Council of Engineering Companies of Tennessee’s 20006 Engineering Excellence Competition. EnSafe not only shortened the time frame for readying an environmentally impacted site in an economically impacted community for beneficial reuse but also developed an innovative engineering design that fast-tracked the remediation of more than 170,000 tons of contaminated fill material and 2.75+ million gallons of groundwater.

2006

EnSafe Establishes Presence in China

EnSafe, in response to client demand, opens an office in Shanghai, China.

2006

Newspaper Features Innovative EnSafe Project

EnSafe’s accomplishments in fast-tracking the restoration of the Macalloy Superfund Site earns recognition in the Memphis metropolitan daily newspaper. The U.S, Environmental Protection Agency celebrated the Macalloy Project as the 1,000th “Construction Complete” Superfund site in the U.S.

2007

Global Capabilities Advertised

EnSafe advertisement reflects capabilities and global service reach.

2007

Navy Environmental Magazine Features EnSafe Work

EnSafe’s restoration of NWIRP McGregor in Texas earns the cover spot for the Summer 2007 edition of the Navy’s environmental magazine. Twelve pages are devoted to telling the compelling story of teamwork and innovation.

2007

EnSafe Wins Two ACEC Awards, Including Top Honors

EnSafe takes home its fourth Grand Iris Award as well as the “Small Projects” Grand Award in the 2007 American Council of Engineering Companies of Tennessee’s Engineering Excellence competition. The Grand Iris Award recognized the innovative remediation of petroleum contamination in Azerbaijan; a cost-saving lagoon closure in Ohio won the small-project category.

2007

EnSafe Project Wins South Carolina Award

EnSafe’s fast-track investigation and remediation of the Macalloy Superfund site merited the top environmental award in the 2007 American Council of Engineering Companies of South Carolina’s Engineering Excellence competition.

2007

EnSafe Wins Third Secretary of the Navy Award

The accomplishments of EnSafe and other members of the team that readied NWIRP McGregor for its return to the community for beneficial economic development are detailed in the program for the 2006 Secretary of the Navy Award. The Secretary of the Navy Award was EnSafe’s third.

2007

EnSafe Acquires PSC Safety and Health

EnSafe becomes one of the Southeast U.S.’s largest providers of health and safety services with the acquisition of Knoxville, Tenn.-based PSC Safety and Health Services, Inc.

2008

EnSafe Donation Benefits Adopted School

EnSafe donates warm-up sets, shoes, headgear, and gear bags for the Frayser High School wrestling team, when it became aware of its adopted school’s needs. As part of the Memphis City Schools’ Adopt-a-School program, EnSafe also sponsors scholarships, donates supplies, and provides tutoring by the technical staff.

2008

New Principals and Associates Named

Dave Backus, PG, CPG, and Mike Palmer, CIH, CSP, CHMM, are named EnSafe Principals. Jeff James, PE; Jay Spence, PG; Shaun Winter, PG; and Michelle Smith are named associate principals.

2008

Jim Speakman Recognized

Senior Vice President Jim Speakman, PhD, PE, (now retired) whose engineering career spans three decades of achievement and many “firsts,” is honored with the 2008 Award of Excellence given by the Memphis-Area Joint Engineers Council. He prepared the first RCRA Part B permit application submitted by the U.S. Navy and managed the first risk-based RCRA facility closure in South Carolina.

2008

Final Check Marks End of an Era

The 15-year Navy environmental restoration contract that helped EnSafe grow from 18 staff members to more than 200 comes to a close. EnSafe set management and technological precedents that merited contract extension and expansion.

2008

EnSafe Celebrates ACEC's 40th Anniversary

EnSafe Senior Vice President Jim Speakman, PhD, PE, marks the American Council of Engineering Companies of Tennessee’s 40th anniversary. He is pictured with Candy Toler, the organization’s executive director. Also, EnSafe’s Ric Federico and Troy Estes are pictured at upper left.

2008

EnSafe Wins Two Engineering Excellence Awards

EnSafe wins two Grand Awards in the American Council of Engineering Companies of Tennessee’s 2009 Engineering Excellence competition, “Metal Management: Engineering Revitalization” wins the Environmental Grand Award while “Wetlands Investigation: A Study in Cost-Avoidance,” wins the Studies, Research, and Consulting Engineering Grand Award.

2009

EnSafe Receives 2008 Boeing Performance Award

EnSafe is honored to receive a 2008 Silver Boeing Performance Excellence Award for arc flash protection, energy control, and indoor air quality services at multiple facilities.

2009

EnSafe Endows Charitable Trust

The EnSafe Charitable Trust is established and endowed at the Community Foundation of Memphis. The fund was created to support organizations and charities, regardless of geography, that further education in the fields of math, science, and engineering.

2009

EnSafe Wins 2009 Engineering Excellence Environmental Award

EnSafe earned yet another Grand Environmental Award in the American Council of Engineering Companies of Tennessee’s 2009 Engineering Excellence competition. EnSafe and its remediation construction arm, Ops Contracting Services, LLC, expedited the remediation of a Brownfield tract in Arkansas for beneficial redevelopment.

2010

EnSafe Wins Engineering Excellence Mapping Award

EnSafe earned the Surveying and Mapping Grand Award in the American Council of Engineering Companies of Tennessee’s 2010 Engineering Excellence competition. EnSafe used innovative, non-invasive technology to cost-effectively assist the Tennessee Department of Transportation with the tremendous challenge of siting a freeway through an area with a multitude of issues, both engineering and environmental.

2010

New Principals and Associates Named

Promoted to Principal were Bry Roberson, CIH, CHMM; Don Bradford, CPEA, CHMM; and Brian Derry, EIT. New associates were Steve Skipper, CIH, CSP, CHMM; Thomas B. Green Jr., PE; Derek Shadoan, CHMM; and Kip Barnett.

2010

Jim Speakman Retires

Jim Speakman, PhD, PE, retires after a distinguished 28-year career at EnSafe, where he mentored two generations of engineers and won and managed numerous major contracts with the U.S. Navy and other Department of Defense agencies.