Tom Deck, Senior Project Manager and Business Lead of EnSafe’s Jacksonville, Florida, office, was voted as Vice Chair of the City of Jacksonville Environmental Protection Board in February of this year.
This volunteer board develops regulations necessary for administration and enforcement of the city's environmental laws. It conducts investigations of complaints, takes testimony in matters under its jurisdiction and provides a hearing platform for environmental matters within the city. In addition, the board may conduct studies, surveys, or efficiency tests, make periodic reports and recommendations for improvement of environmental quality in the city.
We “sat down” with Tom recently to learn more:
EnSafe: We hear a part-time job in college started you on your track to become an Environmental Professional?
Tom: As a chemistry major, I thought a part-time job at an analytic laboratory would be an ideal way to make a little extra money and gain some experience before I started a career as an analytic chemist. Little did I know that I would be doing field sampling, getting paid to be outside, canoeing the lakes in Tallahassee. I was hooked. That job really did shift my career trajectory and cement my appreciation of our natural surroundings. The rest, as they say, is history.
EnSafe: The Board has outreach programs for schools and teachers. What’s the best advice you have for a young student aspiring to work in the environmental industry?
Tom: Academics are important but having real-life hands-on experience is equally important. Get involved in any of the multiple opportunities for students – from internships to volunteering in your community.
EnSafe: What do you most enjoy about being on the Board?
Tom: I have truly enjoyed giving back to the community that means so much to me and my family. We have such an amazing City and it feels great to contribute to protecting its environmental resources.
EnSafe: What are your professional goals, passions?
Tom: I love supporting my clients with their complex environmental issues. I get a great sense of satisfaction being a part of a team that strives to be a trusted advisor to each of our clients. That is what drives me.
Keep up the great work, Tom. It’s community involvement such as yours that makes EnSafe’s nationwide professionals such local experts!
Eric Tidquist, PE, Environmental Engineer, is serving as the new Chairman of the Memphis and Shelby County Air Pollution Control Board. The Air Board works with the Shelby County Health Department to set fees, hear appeals related to enforcement action (e.g. fines for violations), and rule on requested variances from the air pollution control code. As chairman, Eric facilitates the meetings, helping the group arrive at decisions on matters brought before the Board.
He's in good company, and follows a line of great Air Board leaders, namely EnSafe’s co-founder, Phil Coop, who actually served on Air Board years ago.
Want a window into the world of one of our environmental engineers? Eric answered some of our questions in a “virtual” interview recently.
EnSafe: What drew you to environmental engineering?
Eric: I’ve always been interested in math and science, and I love the outdoors. With environmental engineering, I get to use my technical skills to help the environment and get outside once in a while.
EnSafe: You’re part of EnSafe’s compliance group, as an air quality subject matter expert. What appeals to you about helping clients with compliance?
Eric: As a fairly rule-oriented person, the compliance group at EnSafe is a good fit for me. Air regulations can be convoluted and counter-intuitive, but problem solving within this rigid regulatory framework, when it works like you hope, can be very rewarding.
EnSafe: Has there been a moment in your career so far that’s given you that “this is what I was meant to do” sort of feeling?
Eric: I’m involved with water quality monitoring work for the local airport, which means I’ve had a chance to sample the creeks upstream and downstream of the airport countless times, in both beautiful weather and during torrential downpours. No matter the weather, I enjoy being part of it. … For a while I installed and maintained remote monitoring equipment that continuously recorded water quality parameters and transmitted the data in real time to a collaboration website. Learning the equipment well enough to troubleshoot and resolve technical issues made me feel like a “real engineer.”
EnSafe: Sounds like you enjoy a little adventure and challenge.
Eric: Definitely. I once had the chance to go to an air base near Venice, Italy, to help prepare a management plan for storage tanks containing hazardous substance and petroleum products. Memorably, after heading back to the on-base hotel late one night, the Italian guards on duty informed me that my base access pass had an error and turned me away. Luckily, I managed to find a small room in the neighboring town, so I didn’t have to sleep in the rental car!
EnSafe: Can you tell us about your professional goals, passions?
Eric: I try to do the best I can each day with whatever is on my plate, and trust that I’m making a positive impact on my clients, coworkers, and the environment. I’m hoping the rest will take care of itself.
You’re certainly doing a fine job, Eric! You represent EnSafe well – and keep the vision of our founders going strong.
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
We think that quote, attributed to Albert Einstein, epitomizes the instincts behind Thomas Wiberg’s success as a geologist and environmental scientist.
Tom isn’t quick to give his opinions and thoughts. He’s known for deliberate pauses, followed by thoughtfully delivered ideas that reveal his creative, status-quo-challenging approach to problem solving. He truly embodies EnSafe’s mantra T3 (Think Things Through).
That’s one of the many reasons EnSafe’s Board of Directors are happy to announce Tom’s promotion to Associate Principal.
With many stay-at-home orders lifting and businesses reopening, U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is asking employers to take the following six steps to reduce the risk of worker exposure to SARS-CoV-2 in their workplaces: Develop an Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response Plan Prepare to Implement Basic Infection Prevention Measures Develop Policies and Procedures […]Continue reading
EnSafe welcomes newly promoted Vice President of H&S Services and newly created H&S Operations Manager as former VP takes on new leadership role
Mike Palmer, CIH, CSP, Former VP of H&S Services takes on revised leadership and client development role
Motivated by the drivers of faith and family, Mike Palmer, EnSafe’s Vice President of Health and Safety (H&S) Services for the past 13 years, is scaling back his workload and taking on a revised role as a senior mentor and board member with a business development focus. Throughout 2020, Mike will be working closely with existing clients to transition certain technical components of his workload and to introduce the talented H&S individuals across EnSafe who have been carefully considered to advance client relationships.