Meet the Dream Green Team – An Interview with BEE Consulting’s Telman Gasanov, Chad Smith, PE, and Patrick McMahon, EIT, as well as Tadashi Shiga, founder of Evergreen Certified.
For almost 25 years BEE Consulting has fostered a reputation as a leader in building performance design. Now, with their merger with Evergreen Certified, the Pacific Northwest’s most respected green building certification provider, BEE is poised to become one of the nation’s only consulting firms to offer the full suite of in-house building envelope, energy and sustainability design, and field verification/certification support services for architects and developers.
What started as a building envelope consultancy has grown to include many interrelated service departments—first with testing, then energy, and now with certification. Why the interest in growth and how does your new merger with Evergreen Certified fit into that?
Chad Smith: As BEE’s new partners, we have a shared vision for a future BEE where we’re able to support the full spectrum of services related to energy, sustainability, and envelope—all in-house, all guided by an energy-sensitive approach—from design to testing to certification. Evergreen Certified has a well-earned reputation for excellence, in large part because of the positive, supportive, and passionate company culture that Tadashi Shiga nurtured. I’m excited by what this will mean for our team. Yes, we’re growing, but we’re also diversifying. We’re bringing in people with new expertise who are also deeply committed to designing better buildings. The conversations around the office will be rich with new ideas and perspectives. I can’t wait for the water cooler discussions!
Tadashi Shiga: This merger comes at a perfect time in the industry. With increasing regulations, costs, and a growing focus on sustainable, healthy buildings, our clients need quality work done as cost effectively as possible. Having everything in-house is a big service to our clients and something that hardly any other company in the industry provides. Evergreen Certified was at a turning point with our size limiting what we could accomplish in the industry. I’ve pretty much brought my team as far as I can take them. Merging with a larger company gives my team upward mobility. Joining BEE extends our reach—both in terms of client impact and professional development. And they have such an amazing reputation in the industry. When I started sharing news of the merger with my clients, every single one of them was excited about it.
“Yes, we’re growing, but we’re also diversifying. We’re bringing in people with new expertise who are also deeply committed to designing better buildings. The conversations around the office will be rich with new ideas and perspectives.”
What made Evergreen Certified the right choice for BEE and vice versa?
Telman Gasanov: We’ve worked on the same projects over the years and developed great working relationships. Even three to four years ago we started thinking…how can we work together more? How can we partner more? It just always felt like a perfect fit. Tadashi’s timing for reaching out was perfect—down to the day, down to the minute. We were actually in the process of hiring a verifier, someone who can inspect, test, and verify the energy performance of our designs. However, we were struggling to find a qualified and reliable candidate who could meet our standards and expectations. And then here comes the phone call from Tadashi, proposing to join forces and merge our companies. It was like a dream come true.
Tadashi Shiga: The leadership at BEE, their industry reputation, and the company culture are the same as what we’ve cultivated at Evergreen Certified: We have a good time, we work super hard, and we want to create a better world. Everybody at BEE has a lot of heart and they’re smart, resourceful, and funny. There is also a high level of mutual respect amongst the partners. Merger negotiations were a JOY and how often can you say that? We have total trust in each other and because of that I can’t imagine a better beginning to this new chapter in BEE’s story.
Chad Smith: I think the reason negotiations went so quickly is because we have a shared vision. And it is all about collaboration. Early in merger discussions, we brought the teams together to talk and get to know each other. We wanted to see the same level of enthusiasm and excitement for the possibilities among the staff as we felt in the boardroom. Because it’s not just about adding new services and capabilities—it’s about the team. We’re building the future together. It had to feel right for everyone. And it did.
How are your clients going to benefit from BEE now offering certification services?
Telman Gasanov: By bringing all these related services under one roof we’re making them more affordable for the client. The full cycle of design should be under one roof: design, inspection, testing, and verification which feed into the design. If you don’t have construction inspection, testing, and verification, you are not grounding your design in reality. If your project doesn’t culminate in realistic design, your client will pay the consequences for it down the road. So that was a missing part for us in energy performance design. Yes, we were doing great energy design, but we didn’t have that professional feedback. That’s what we needed at BEE. By joining our firms we’re closing the loop.
While exciting and full of benefits and opportunities, mergers can be stressful for employees on both sides. Did you have change management in mind when considering this?
Telman Gasanov: This is BEE’s first merger—we want staff to know that we’re serious about the investments we’re making. That includes being serious about change management. Everybody has their own pace for change, and we want to honor that so our teams grow together. That said, we’re already seeing positive impacts via the feedback we’re receiving from our clients on our recent projects where we delivered integrated solutions for energy performance design, verification, and certification. Our staff on both sides have expressed more confidence providing services to the clients now that we have these complimentary services in-house.
Chad Smith: The culture at BEE is about achieving efficiency through collaboration. The way we’re currently set up, we have several departments that support each other. When the Evergreen Certified team members came on board that same philosophy expanded to them. With Cybil Tribie, formerly the Director of Operations at Evergreen, now serving as our new Sustainability team leader her presence and leadership will serve as a bridge to further help the new staff acclimate.
Patrick McMahon: Successfully integrating these new BEE staff members, while acknowledging and celebrating all that great work they did while at Evergreen Certified, will serve as a strong symbol of the focus and commitment we have to growing the company into a well-rounded firm that provides the total package of services to our clients.
“By bringing all these related services under one roof we’re making them more affordable for the client. The full cycle of design should be under one roof: design, inspection, testing, and verification which feed into the design.”
The energy and enthusiasm around this merger are palpable! What’s next for BEE Consulting? Any other goal posts you’re running towards?
Telman Gasanov: We’re investing in new technologies, tools, and training to enhance our capabilities and services. We’re also building tighter relationships with our MEP and Commissioning partners to complement each other’s services.
Patrick McMahon: Making our services accessible to clients who traditionally couldn’t afford it in the past. We want to make envelope, energy, and sustainability services reasonable and realistic for projects of all sizes.
Tadashi Shiga: Changing the world! Making it a better place with this team. I really believe we can make a difference. In the last few years, I personally had an ‘aha’ moment. I went from a place of: “How can I retire?” to “How can I shape a life that I never have to retire from?” This is a team I feel like I could work with forever. It was so important to figure out who could take care of my team and take care of my clients. I finally got the team that I always wanted. Once I got to know Telman, Chad, Patrick, and the rest of the BEE team it really did feel like the perfect merger.
Chad Smith serves as a Principal Engineer, Principal, and BEE’s General Manager. In addition to his project work he oversees the company’s overall operations to improve efficiency and profitability.
Telman Gasanov serves as a Principal and BEE’s Energy Department Manager. He is continually striving to increase his team’s abilities to provide the most effective and energy efficient options to BEE’s customers.
Patrick McMahon serves as a Senior Project Manager and BEE’s Operations Manager. He works to ensure and improve the productivity, efficiency, and profitability of departmental operations.
Tadashi Shiga is the founder of Evergreen Certified and is now a Sustainability Business Development Consultant at BEE.