Entrepreneur Profile: Mike Dresen, hydrogeologist, CEO and president of Weiss Associates
- March 29, 2012
By Aaron Tilley
What it (Weiss Associates) does: We provide our government and commercial clients with professional hydrogeologic and engineering services to assess and clean up contaminants in the environment, largely at superfund sites.
2011 revenue: $8.3 million.
Education: Bachelor’s in geology and Master’s in environmental geology from Cal State Hayward (now California State University, East Bay).
Residence: Castro Valley.
How’s business: Business for us is stable. There’s been a bit of contraction in our industry affected by the recession. We’re seeing more growth in private sector work.
Biggest challenge for your company: Finding new clients who want good value for work they need done, rather than just focusing on the lowest price. A lot of price pressure in our industry.
What will change at your company in the next year: In the upcoming year we want to add new service areas in storm water and storm water management.
Biggest business strength: We’re a small company, but we have capabilities of larger companies. We can be more nimble than large companies and also have technical strengths of large companies.
Biggest business weakness: Because of contraction in the industry, it can sometimes be hard to find experienced, more serious, top-end staff.
Smartest move: We recently hired one of the best in business developers in environmental field in the Bay Area, Ellis Wallenberg.
Biggest worry: The economy is showing some signs of improvement, but I worry it’s going to be slow and contracted.
What do you wish you had known from Day 1: I think it would have been better knowing more about the business aspect of running a company. I’m a geologist by training.