In 2020 the company sold its holdings in Appalachian States Analytical (see ASA in the Partnerships section) to Pace Analytical Services, LLC, one one the largest full service laboratories in the United States. This sale marked Std Labs departure from the eastern Kentucky coal fields after becoming established there over 71 years ago. This was a difficult decision but the business climate in that part of the country left little opportunity for continued success in our type of business.
The sale to Pace included the lab in Jacksboro, Tennessee which also had been a part of the Std Labs family for decades. Jacksboro's line of testing services were much more compatible with Pace's services than with those of Std Labs and as such the sale was appropriate for both companies. However, because of this, the company lost some very capable employees. Of special note was Scott Robbins who was Division Manager of both labs. Scott was an extremely capable manager with many years of service to our company. His spirit and can do attitude will be greatly missed.
On August 31 Brenda Briley retired from the company after an entire career with the company. She started in the Van Buren lab and continued as manager in many locations throughout the country as well as working on the Corporate staff. Brenda will always be remembered as the Company Cheerleader for her spirit and dedication.
Another major retirement this year is that of Ed Smith, Western Division Manager of Technical Services, who had been with the company since the Core Laboratories acquisition (see Core Labs in Acquisitions section). Ed was clearly the best known technical expert in coal quality in the western United States.
A new contract lab was awarded to Std Labs by Westmoreland Coal Company at their Absaloka mine in Hardin MT. Salenna Moehr is the manager there now.
A very significant event for the SAI partnership (see Partnership section) was the acquisition of the Dominion Terminal Associates (DTA) in Newport News, VA. DTA represented the final large contract among the major coal and coke shipping ports in the United States.
The Catlettsburg lab was moved into the Cannonsburg lab to better serve SunCoke Energy.
In January Tim Hutchison was named Manager of QAR.
2020 may be best known for the global pandemic (Covid 19). This event impacted Std Labs in revenues and income. Fortunately, the Paycheck Protection Program “PPP”was a business loan program established by the federal government at the start of the Covid-19 business shutdown. The government drafted the bill and disbursed considerable funds all within a few weeks. All funds were exhausted two weeks later. The rational for these funds was that they were to be used to offset payroll and operating expenses for six weeks while the economy came to a halt. This loan was to be forgiven under certain circumstances, the paramount; not reducing headcounts and payrates. This was to provide a short-term lifeline as well as encourage employers to retain employees so not to burden the unemployment system. Std Labs participated in this program as well did a number of its partnerships. These funds were used to great benefit in all our organizations.