The MSC recently spoke with Jeff Walentosky, President and CEO of Moody and Associates Inc., an environmental consulting firm founded in 1891, to learn about their business and the services they provide for the oil and gas industry. This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.
Q. Can you tell us a little bit about Moody and Associates?
Our moniker is groundwater and environmental professionals. We are primarily geologists and environmental scientists, however the family owned business was started by drilling water wells. The company has evolved over time – we started into the consulting business back in the 1960s, and today we have grown to three offices located throughout Appalachia with about seventy employees.
We tailor our services to our clients’ needs, no matter how small or large of a project. It is extremely important for us to be responsive and knowledgeable about the required responses under the regulatory authority that our clients operate under, while maintaining a positive relationship with state and federal regulators. We take a lot of pride in making sure we do all this for our clients in a timely manner.
We serviced the oil and gas industry long before the known resources of the Marcellus shale started to be developed. Back in the 1970 and 80’s, Moody’s drilled their own oil and gas wells. While we don’t drill wells anymore, the company services a significant amount of unconventional and conventional operators throughout Appalachia. While services related to oil and natural gas is a significant portion of our business, there are other consulting sectors that make up our portfolio. The company conducts significant amounts of consulting work for the mining industry in PA, WV, OH and a few other select states. We also provide a fair amount of our traditional consulting services (environmental and groundwater) for commercial and industrial clients, along with municipalities and public entities.
The company has gone through some significant changes over the past two years. We recently went through an ownership change. In January 2018, our water well contracting business was sold in preparation for the sale of the company. In March 2018, myself and three internal minority shareholders purchased the company.
Q. Can you talk about how you acquired the business and where you all are taking the business now?
This was a family owned business for over 125 years. Jeff Moody was the sole owner of our company until 2018. Shortly after I succeeded Jeff as the company president in February 2017, he offered for me the opportunity to purchase the company. As part of the acquisition, I brought in three internal business partners, Mark Miller, Matt Mitchell, and Travis Bennett, and the four of us took over ownership in March of 2018. We are currently in the process of making some needed positive changes to further empower our employees from an operational and safety standpoint. It will always be a work in progress, but after 18 months of ownership, we feel very good about the future direction of the company.
Q. How has the Marcellus Shale and MSC added value to your business?
The oil and gas industry, particularly the Marcellus shale, has offered us a lot of good opportunities. We had a fair amount of involvement in the industry prior to the development of the Marcellus shale, which helped us quite a bit. I also think that a big part of why we are afforded a lot of opportunities is mainly because of our heavy involvement in organizations like the Marcellus Shale Coalition.
Our MSC membership offers us great networking opportunities and allows us to get involved and be able to have a voice in the industry. It also allows us to be able to make some direct positive changes in regulations, policies, procedures that relate to what we do on behalf of operators.
Q. If you could explain one thing to external stakeholders about the opportunities that have been created for your company by the natural gas industry, what would it be?
The natural gas industry has had significant positive impacts to Moody and Associates and our employees. The company has experienced positive growth, along with experiencing continual improvement in our practices. This industry has also created opportunities for our employees (primarily scientists) to gain meaningful employment in their field within Appalachia.
While there were these types of job opportunities in the science and environmental fields prior to the Marcellus shale, the amount of available positions within Moody, oil/gas operators or other consulting firms were not as prolific as they have been over the past 10+ years. We would see many environmental and scientific professionals leave the area for employment in their field. This industry and the Marcellus shale helped reverse the trend, where we are seeing our hometown resources stay in the area, plus attract talent worldwide to work in the Appalachian Basin.
To learn more about Moody and Associates Inc., please visit www.moody-s.com.
Previous Member Spotlights:
- MSC Member Spotlight: Gateway Engineers
August 19, 2019
- MSC Member Spotlight: Borton-Lawson
August 5, 2019
- MSC Member Spotlight: Groundwater & Environmental Services Inc. (GES)
July 22, 2019
- MSC Member Spotlight: Waste Management Energy Services
July 8, 2019