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Tri-City Herald


Ex-Hanford Manager Starts Business

Published: January 11, 2013
by Annette Cary, Herald staff writer

Shirley Olinger, a former top Hanford Department of Energy manager, has launched a management and technical consulting business in Richland.

Olinger was the manager of the DOE Hanford Office of River Protection from 2007-10, overseeing work by more than 5,000 employees to operate the Hanford waste tank farms and build the $12.2 billion vitrification plant.

Since then she has worked for DOE headquarters and was given the energy secretary’s Exceptional Service Award as she retired from 32 years of work for the federal government in September.

She’s recruited a team of 21 experts, many of them well-known in the DOE complex, who will work as needed on projects for the new company, Independent Strategic Management Solutions, or ISMSolutions.

They include Ines Triay, the former DOE assistant secretary of environmental management, who also will continue to serve as the executive director of the Applied Research Center at Florida International University.

The ISMSolutions team also includes former DOE headquarters officials and former Hanford officials. They include Nick Ceto, the former Hanford program manager for the Environmental Protection Agency; Herb Berman, the former chief engineer for Washington River Protection Solutions, and Rich Holten, DOE’s former deputy assistant manager for central Hanford.

All are people Olinger has worked with through her career and all share her emphasis on executing work in an effective and safe manner, she said.

“We’ve created a highly motivated team of industry professionals with proven track records of obtaining solutions to difficult challenges in complex and heavily regulated work environments,” she said.

The new company will provide professional technical consulting services initially in areas Olinger knows well, environmental cleanup and the nuclear industry. In addition to seeking work at Hanford and other DOE cleanup sites, Olinger also is interested in opportunities as cleanup continues from the Fukushima, Japan, nuclear disaster.

ISMSolutions also will be offering services in the national security, energy, electrical utility and defense sectors.

Olinger expects ISMSolutions to be needed during temporary workload peaks, when government organizations and contractors do not want to hire fulltime staff, she said. It also will be available for assessments to prevent problems or for troubleshooting when independent and experienced technical experts are needed, she said.

The new company’s strategy is to offer superior expertise at a competitive price because of its low operating costs during a time of uncertainty in the federal budget. Members of the team she has assembled will work as their expertise is needed for specific projects, and many are retired from contracting or government jobs and do not need health insurance or retirement benefits.

Olinger, the founder and president of the company, allows the company to qualify as a woman- and minority-owned business under federal guidelines. Her great-grandparents were living in Nagasaki when the atomic bomb fueled by Hanford plutonium was dropped there at the end of World War II.

Olinger is married to Matt McCormick, the manager of the DOE Hanford Richland Operations Office. Olinger said she would work with DOE legal counsel to clear any potential conflict of interest issues that might arise for work at Hanford.

The new company will help ensure that federal dollars stay in Eastern Washington, said Carl Adrian, president of the Tri-City Development Council, in a statement.