Appalachian States Analytical, LLC

In 1997 Ama Bowman (later Bentley) and Troy Stallard met at a Coal Age Conference in Lexington, Ky. In that meeting Ama informed Troy that she was leaving her current employer, McCoy and McCoy {located in Pikeville, Ky but headquartered in Madisonville, Ky), because the owners did not have the same objective that had initially drawn her into the business. The founder had died and his wife began changing the firm’s original objectives. As McCoy and McCoy under Ama’s direction had been a very strong coal testing competitor against Std Labs in the region, Troy knew and respected her abilities. Ama indicated that she felt an opportunity existedfor Std Labs to start a water and environmental business to serve eastern Kentucky. This suggestion ignited Troy’s Imagination as he considered such a venture would greatly supplement their efforts in Mountain States Environmental (see under Partnerships) and later in Central States Analytical (see under Diversifications).

Therefore, discussions begin immediately on how best to structure a viable partnership venture to be headed by Ama. She developed a business plan outlining the facility, equipment, personnel and financial requirements for a startup to be located just outside the city of Pikeville. In the process of negotiating the legal agreement Troy suggested that Terry Sammons, owner of Gilbert Testing (a coal testing laboratory in Gilbert, West Virginia) be included into this partnership. Gilbert Testing was positioned in southern West Virginia with considerable knowledge of the water and environmental testing needs in that area. Terry and Troy had been acquaintances through the American Council of Independent Laboratories and they had a great deal of respect and friendship for each other.

In late 1997 the three principals met and signed a partnership to establish Appalachian States Analytical (ASA) and on April 1,1998 the new firm begin to do business at 4562 Chloe road Pikeville, KY.

Ama created a small staff of people she knew from old McCoy and McCoy personnel, modified a facility, purchased and installed equipment, set up procedures and begin to introduce potential clients with ASA services. In short order she was able to attract some clients who had known of her work previously. The business began to grow as more and more clients began to depend on ASA for their testing needs and McCoy and McCoy began to be more inclined to focus on clients in other areas.

In the second year of operation the business began to approach breakeven in net income and more equipment and personnel were added. While several more years were necessary to develop acceptable returns, steadily the business grew and grew. In

August of 2003, because of the work volume had increased to the point a new building was needed, the business was moved to a larger facility at 181 Longview Drive, Pikeville, KY A new office building was added adjacent to the laboratory in 2011.

Std Labs acquired Gilbert Testing in 2013 and Terry Sammons was bought out of the partnership.

Ama’s health which had been a continuing concern over a number of years begin to bother her more and more and she eventually approached Troy to buy her shares and allow her to retire more comfortably. So after 18 1/2 years and the building of a substantial business entity, Ama retired in November 2016.


State of Kentucky Microbiological – Drinking Water

US EPA – E.Coli – LT2

State of Kentucky Inorganic – Drinking Water

State of Kentucky Organic – Drinking Water

State of West Virginia – Waste Water

State of Virginia – Wastewater

Scored 100% on Kentucky Drinking Water inspections several times.


ASA was a very active member of both the Kentucky Rural Water Association and Kentucky Water and Wastewater Operators Association. Ama Bentley received the KWWOA Eugene Nicholas award for her dedication to the association and commitment to the improvement of water quality.

Local Involvement

ASA was very supportive of local schools, especially University of Pikeville. Classes often came to laboratory for tours and training.

Work With Government Agencies

Ama was a member of the state of Kentucky’s Drinking Water Advisory Group who helped review regulations and work on new areas of concern with state agencies, the legislature, and the governor. Eventually committee duties were expanded to include working on the Wastewater laboratory certification program and regulations.

Ama worked closely with the federal EPA and the state of Kentucky in the development and execution of electronic submittal for DMRS.


Ama Bentley had wonderful staff throughout the years who without their hard work and support Appalachian States would have never been a success. She especially credits, Lyndon Johnson, sampling supervisor, Teresita Trivette, Bacteriological supervisor, Michelle Belcher, Ama’s assistant, and Shannon Chapman, who was the laboratory supervisor for many years. Shannon’s departure was not only a great loss for the company, but possibly Ama’s biggest misstep, not fighting harder to get her to remain at ASA. Without these four people ASA would have never succeeded.

Major Clients

Contract with the State of KentuckyAlpha Natural Resource


Did drinking water and wastewater work for 75% of municipalities east of Lexington Ky. South of Maysville, Ky, and east of Somerset, KY.

Projects and Milestones

Probably not the largest monetary project, but no doubt one of the largest and most difficult projects was the Martin Count Slurry Spill in October 2010. We were the first laboratory on site and the only area laboratory equipped to check for all the heavy metals the environmental agencies were requiring. Not only samples from the spill were required, but every drinking water system downstream of the spill had to monitor their intake for contaminates from the spill.

TTHM and HAA – When ASA acquired GC mass specs in 2004 and began doing

TTHM, HAA, and VOC in house, this was possibly the greatest increase in revenue in the history of the company.

In 2015 An additional building was acquired for a wet testing laboratory. Performing our own Wet testing in house was also a great saving and increase in revenue.

ASA was the first lab in the state of Kentucky to submit Kentucky Drinking water analysis electronically. This saved both time and money. Ama’s 16 year old son Vince worked with the state of Kentucky to develop the programming.