2019 marked a new era in the company’s top management as Rick Flesher retired September 1 after many years of loyal service. Rick lead the company to its highest point in revenues and number of employees. He moved Std Labs from being an important participant in the industry to being the dominant factor in coal testing in the United States. He also lead the company successfully in managing the downturn in the coal industry which has been a very difficult time. The company will always be indebted to Rick for his very valuable contributions.

Don Merritt replaced Rick as President and brings in a new era in the company’s leadership. Don has been with Std Labs for – years in a number of jobs both in staff and line positions. (need some more history here)

The company also lost another key Manager, Steve Miladinovich through retirement. Steve was the Western Division Manager and had lead his team to become the primary supplier of coal testing services in the western US coal fields. He was recognized as the most competent leader in that region. His contributions to Std Labs were very so very important and will be remembered for a long time. Steve was replaced by Kelly Olenyik who was the division’s Manager of Quality and Equipment. (need some more history here).

In April Std Labs purchased Tradet Laboratories of Wheeling, WV and Rick Malcolm became manager of both the Bellington and Wheeling laboratories. Tradet has a long and successful history with Std Labs. Bill Kalb and Troy Stallard had both been active in the American Council of Independent Laboratories (ACIL) and developed a lasting friendship. While both companies competed in the northern West Virginia market, there was a great deal of cooperation in other areas. In fact, there was a joint venture which is described in the Partnership section entitled “Kalb, Wagner and Std Labs”. Tradet had supported Murray Energy Corporation for many years and the new acquisition was based on a contract with Murray for services in the future.

During this year NARM1 was combined with NARM North and Steve Johnson was made manager the new combination.

In the fall of 2019 Becky Gainer established a new newsletter called “Coal Quality Quarterly” which provided employees with timely information on key issues in safety, quality, health programs and items of general interest. This initiative was similar to the previous “Standard Statement” described before. The first issue of the Coal Quality Quarterly can be located in the Appendix.