Our Insights

Navigating Uncertainty by Embracing Partnerships

July 27, 2020

By Maria Gou, Environmental Division Manager

This article was originally published in Currents, POWER’s quarterly Environmental newsletter.

This year started with a lot of promise and enthusiasm.  Our nation’s economy was doing well, there were strong forecasts for growth in many sectors, and—for me personally—I was excited about stepping in as manager of POWER’s Environmental Division.

Transitions are often invigorating, but sometimes things don’t go as planned. Enter the COVID-19 pandemic. In today’s environment, making decisions is particularly difficult for data-driven thinkers such as myself. We like certainty and stability.

Although every situation has its own set of challenges, I find the key to successfully navigating change is embracing partnerships.

Staying Flexible and Responsive

Many phrases describe the present day: unprecedented, tumultuous, disruptive, uncertain. The entire world and certainly our nation are going through difficult health, political, social and financial stress. Triggered by the pandemic and socioeconomic tensions, 2020 has certainly challenged us all.

In the various roles I have served over the years, I have benefited from being adaptable and prepared for the unexpected. Along with so many other firms and businesses, POWER has adjusted the way we live and work. We are focused on the long term, with a primary goal of ensuring the health and safety of our families, our teams and our clients.

Our commitment to our clients remains unchanged. In fact, it’s perhaps grown stronger since the pandemic began and the market sectors we serve—including energy, oil and gas and petrochemicals— qualified as essential services under the stay-at-home orders of most states. Our clients are working harder than ever, and we are there to support them every step of the way.

The partnerships we’ve built over the years have proven to be vital to our continued success in these challenging times. And adversity provides us the opportunity to continue to strengthen these relationships.

Sharing Knowledge

One of the ways we build trust is by communicating and sharing our expertise.  As engineers and scientists, we seek continued knowledge to become experts in our field, and we’re eager to share that expertise to benefit our clients.

This year, we’re celebrating 25 years of publishing Currents! Through this publication, we’ve shared knowledge and perspectives and often had some fun along the way, particularly with the From the Trenches articles.

The constancy of reaching out and communicating valuable information reminds us that especially in turbulent times, relationships are vital for stability and our professional fulfillment. We are committed to this mission and thank you for your partnership through the years.

Looking Ahead

While we look to the future trying to glean what the “new normal” will be, as leaders, we depend on our colleagues and partners. POWER’s culture of putting clients first, working as a team, staying flexible and being transparent will carry us through the months ahead.

POWER has always focused on the mutual success of our clients, our employees and our company. Continuing to cultivate that mutual success will be the result of maintaining shared trust with our clients and bringing value through these uncertain times and into the future.

About the Author:

Maria has three decades of experience in environmental, state and federal permitting and compliance. A licensed chemical engineer, she has extensive experience in all aspects of air quality engineering and has managed projects for a variety of industrial clients, including chemical, refining, electric utility, pharmaceutical, asphalt and metallurgical facilities. Maria has held various leadership positions in her career, including environmental director and manager, chairman of the board, president and, most recently, environmental division manager.
Got a question? Send her an email at maria.gou@powereng.com.