ENID – Deanna Atkinson says working at a bank while she was a student at Enid High School helped her make an important decision about her future professional career.

"I decided that office work was not what I wanted," said Atkinson, who grew up in a rural area.

So Atkinson enrolled at Phillips University and received a degree in environmental science.

"Science was always one of my favorite subjects in school and growing up in the country, I've always loved the outdoors," she said. "Environmental science was a perfect blending of both interests."

It proved to be a successful career choice.

 

Atkinson is president of Oklahoma Environmental Inc., which has its home office at 717 S. Hoover in Enid and offices in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, and a licensed environmental consultant, well driller and storage tank remover.

She is also the new chairwoman of the Oklahoma Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, which has more than 300 members who own or supply fuel stations and convenience stores. The 3,000-plus retail outlets in the state represented by the association have more than 12,000 employees.

"At OPMCA, we educate our members on Oklahoma state laws and regulation to see that they comply," Atkinson said.

Atkinson is also president of the Oklahoma Ground Water Association and chairwoman of the professional development committee for the National Ground Water Association. She serves on the Vance Air Force Base Restoration Advisory Board and the legislative committee for the Oklahoma Agricultural Cooperative Council.

She is co-author of a patent for the remediation of contaminated soils and is completing her second term as the gubernatorial appointee for the Oklahoma Corporation Commission's Storage Tank Advisory Council.

Atkinson has been with Oklahoma Environmental Inc. for 10 years and president since 2004.

"I started my career as a project manager, became the operations manager and eventually the company president," she said.

Services provided by Oklahoma Environmental and its 25 employees include environmental consulting, petroleum service tank services, soil and groundwater remediation, asbestos and lead-based paint services, oil-field services and environmental site assessments. Engineering was recently added to the list of provided services.

Clients range from individuals, small businesses, large corporations and government agencies.

"We navigate the many government laws, rules and regulations for them so they can focus on their ongoing business concerns," Atkinson said. "We assist everyone from the individual needing to test their home for lead or asbestos, the small business tracking their fuel inventory, the corporation maintaining regulatory compliance to the government agency cleaning up impacted soil or groundwater."

The Oklahoma City office opened last year.

"We opened our OKC location a little over one year ago to be closer to the regulatory agencies we interact with on a daily basis," she said.

The home office in Enid is still the base for administrative and technical staff members, the operations manager and project management professionals.

Atkinson relocated her family from Enid to the Oklahoma City area to oversee the new office, which is in a former home at 4415 N. Classen Blvd.

Management for Oklahoma Environmental is divided between Atkinson in Oklahoma City and Jennifer Douma, OEI's operations manager, in Enid.

"We have worked together for a very long time," Atkinson said. "Even with duties and locations being split between us, maintaining balance is not a challenge."

With the move to Oklahoma City, Atkinson is no longer working in the field and is back inside, just like her high school job at the bank in Enid.

"While I miss working outdoors and the sense of successfully completing my own projects, I love my current job," she said.

by David Page
Published: September 2nd, 2011