2021 was a difficult year as the Covid 19 pandemic enveloped the entire world. Standard Labs was not excluded. Many of our employees across the nation contracted the illness. Standard Labs lost Mike Kulow, a lab manager in the Western Division. Cheryl Gardner from the NARM lab was put on a ventilator. The pandemic caused economic disorder as many employees were sick for many days or quarantined and many employees began to work from home.
Fortunately, SL handled the crisis well. SL was considered a critical vendor with a duty to keep our labs open and provide our customers and country, the analytical services needed for continued and consistent electrical power generation. Even with limited staff at nearly all lab locations, SL provided exceptional service to our customers and weathered the year without major financial or operational losses.
Allan Seaman retired as Corporate Technical Director after 15 years of outstanding service. His experience and technical knowledge made him a valuable resource for not just the SL family, but he was highly regarded nationally for his contributions to the coal industry.
Allan was very influential and a great representative of SL in both ASTM and ISO associations. He was extremely helpful in implementing ISO 17025 within SL network. Allan spent the last year working with Claudette Young and Jeremy Lutsy training them as his replacement.
Kelly Olenyik, SL Western Division Manager, left Standard Labs to pursue other interest. Don Merritt assumed her duties while looking for a candidate to replace Kelly as the Western Division Manager. Judy Looney, a long-time Western Division Manager, retired after managing multiple labs in the Gillette WY area, leaving the Buckskin Lab as her final lab that she managed. Cameo Madewell replaced her.
SL promoted Rick Malcolm as the Eastern Division Manager. Rick had been responsible for the Belington and Wheeling Labs in WV. The promotion added 10 other SL labs, all east of the Mississippi River, under Rick’s leadership.
Don Merritt was promoted to CEO (from COO) of Standard Labs. With Rick Malcolm’s being directly responsible for the Eastern Division, Don was able to work with Touchstone Testing Lab. TTL labs include the central testing lab in Triadelphia, WV and the on-site lab for Constellium Aluminum outside of Ravenswood, WV. The 3rd TTL lab closed in 2021 as the customer, JSW Steel, decided to run the lab for themselves.
Standard Labs added a new business entity, Standard Advanced Products and Services (SAPS). This company is managed by Narsimhan (Simhan) Raghunathan. SAPS specializes in low volume specialty metal production of wire and plate for engineering firms developing new materials. SL management recognized that these R&D engineering customers could not find production centers interested in helping them develop their new products.
In October, American Electric Power purchased the corporate HQ and S. Chas. lab building. Adjacent to the SL’s property, AEP owned and operated a transformer station. AEP needed to expand their station and made SL an extremely good offer which was attractive enough for SL to consider closing the S. Chas. lab, move the lab business to Cannonsburg, KY and Belington WV, and relocate the corporate HQ to Scott Depot.