GILBERT, ARIZ. (September 8, 2021) – Seven years ago Earthworks Environmental moved from a concept to a business, launching with a single client and 15 projects in Metro Phoenix.
“I recall conducting those 15 inspections, completing the office duties, and dreaming of how I may grow this company into something bigger,” said company founder Cherie Koester. “You never hear anyone claim that starting a business is easy, and for good reason. Nearly half of new businesses fail in the first five years I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’ve spent many sleepless nights worrying about how Earthworks will survive.”
The environmental consulting firm now boasts 54 employees nationwide with work performed in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Texas. Earthworks Environmental consults on more than 1,100 permits nationally.
Seven years ago, Koester left a prominent job with Maricopa County to start her own business. From her home in the East Valley she founded Earthworks Environmental LLC, a woman- and minority-owned firm.
Services provided include stormwater pollution prevention, Phase I and II Environmental Site Assessments, dust control, and construction safety compliances. The firm primarily serves land developers, vertical developers, commercial construction, and land-holding companies.
“I joined Earthworks in 2016 when the company was local to Arizona. Tucson was the extent of my travel at that time, so it is hard to believe that our presence currently spans from Hawaii to New Jersey,” said Brendan Haugh, National Operations Analyst and Advisor for Earthworks Environmental. “The anniversaries provide an opportunity to reflect on the journey and accomplishments, but the real excitement is looking ahead at our future potential. We have only scratched the surface of our capabilities in environmental management and software.”
A proprietary program that Earthworks Environmental employs – ERX – has also played a key role in the firm’s growth, Koester said. ERX is an environmental reporting software program that puts all aspects of environmental compliance into one program. This includes any permits and inspections. Koester said nearly 75 percent of the violations in her industry occur in the paperwork process.
A client can hire Earthworks Environmental to handle the entire process including ERX. A client may also decide to opt out of the consulting and use ERX themselves. In that case, Earthworks Environmental will apply a nominal fee for use.
“We were thrilled when we reached the 5-year milestone only to be greeted by a pandemic in our sixth year,” Koester said. “My tumultuous younger years as a single mother feels like a walk in the park as compared to the challenges that COVID brought to this life and business in 2020-2021. Not only from a business aspect but the personal loss of a loved one to the virus realigned my priorities.
“My biggest challenge is trying to keep up with my need/drive to win. I feel like I am not even halfway to where I want to go. Yes, I have accomplished a lot, but I am not done,” Koester said.
To learn more about Earthworks Environmental visit earthworksenv.com.