Tuesday, February 20, 2018
News Roundup

HSA finds right balance of business, pleasure

Don't let the khaki shorts and Polo-style shirt fool you. HSA Engineers & Scientists CEO Nick Albergo means business.

He just isn't your typical nerdy science guy — and neither are the folks he hires.

"We work hard and we play very hard," Albergo said.

The Tampa company packs 500-person tailgate parties, company cook-offs, golf tournaments and fishing trips in between handling some of the largest engineering contracts in the Southeast United States for top firms in the insurance, pharmaceutical and petrochemical industries, among others.

Over the past couple of years, HSA has repeatedly received recognition by business magazines as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the Tampa Bay area as well as the nation.

A firm that began with Albergo and his partner in 1989 has grown to 300 employees with 14 offices in seven states.

HSA joined the list of the Tampa Bay Times' Top Places to Work for 2012. The company came in at No. 17 on the list for small businesses.

"It's a really great environment to work in," said Meeghan Casey, a seven-year employee who manages operations involving soil, rock and underground water as well as serving as the president of the social committee. "Every day is different."

Casey said employees never know what they might encounter on the job, such as landing in the bottom of a sinkhole while surveying a property.

"There was an incident at a condo complex," company spokeswoman Kim Lamrouex said. "It started as a small depression and opened up underneath him."

"He just disappeared," Casey said.

No one was hurt. But the incident highlighted the sensitive nature of the work HSA does.

Following Albergo's lead on making the work environment light and entertaining, the sinkhole analysis became a celebration in May — Sinkhole de Mayo.

Albergo said he looks for creative, multi-faceted individuals, not just book-smart scientists and engineers.

"If you've got just techno-geeks — you know them from school; they're brilliant — they won't move much out of that comfort zone," he said.

Albergo, who works as an adjunct instructor at the University of South Florida, draws many of his employees from the school. His offices are across from the campus, and his conference room was once the university's book store.

Join and stay with the company and perform, and employees can become shareholders of the private firm, as about 45 staffers are now.

The company also offers an anniversary bonus for each year of service with the company; education assistance for continuing studies; safety incentives and exceptional performance bonuses.

And the company contributes financially to activities organized by the social committee.

Along with the entertaining workplace fostered by Albergo — whose eight children often can be found roaming around the offices while he works in his short khakis — expectations of the employees run high.

"It's still a very competitive, performance-driven place," he said. "It's largely performance-based but in a casual atmosphere."

HSA provides engineer analysis and consultation for an array of issues.

In addition to sinkhole analysis, the firm performs hazardous waste clean up, roadway studies, industrial decommissioning and demolition.

In the company's laboratories, workers study such things as water damage to cabinets and ceiling fans.

There are secure rooms where mold grows so the company can help insurance companies better understand the origins of in-home water damage.

And in the end, Albergo wants these scientists and engineers to know how to have fun while they do it.

"To find someone that can walk and chew gum at the same time," Albergo said, "is a gem."

     
Comments
Special counsel files new charge in Russia probe

Special counsel files new charge in Russia probe

WASHINGTON — The special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election charged an attorney Tuesday with lying to federal investigators about his interactions with a former Trump campaign official. A charging document filed in federa...
Updated: 4 minutes ago
Top 5 at noon: Mayors in Florida face fines of $5,000 if they enact stricter rules on gun control; Bucs release running back Doug Martin; and more

Top 5 at noon: Mayors in Florida face fines of $5,000 if they enact stricter rules on gun control; Bucs release running back Doug Martin; and more

Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com.MAYORS IN FLORIDA FACE FINES OF $5,000 IF THEY ENACT STRICTER RULES ON GUN CONTROLSouth Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard may be one of the most liberal mayors in Florida, so he would be a natural ...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Schools, Tampa police warn against ‘misleading’ school security reports

Schools, Tampa police warn against ‘misleading’ school security reports

TAMPA — During a news conference Tuesday morning, Hillsborough Schools Superintendent Jeff Eakins and Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan warned against misleading investigators with reports about school security."Spread the word," the school said in a t...
Updated: 21 minutes ago
Video released of suspect in sexual assault of Pasco woman, 71

Video released of suspect in sexual assault of Pasco woman, 71

NEW PORT RICHEY— Pasco County deputies have released surveillance video of a suspect in the home invasion and rape of a 71-year-old woman on Monday morning.On Monday, deputies said a woman was checking on a home at 7437 Heather St. for the homeowner ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Yes, we have some bananas: Port Tampa Bay welcomes first shipment in 21 years

Yes, we have some bananas: Port Tampa Bay welcomes first shipment in 21 years

TAMPA — More than two decades after the last bunch arrived on shore, bananas are back at Tampa’s port. More than 3,900 pallets of Chiquita bananas from Ecuador arrived last week at the new Port Logistics Refrigerated Services warehouse.It was the fir...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Middleton High student arrested after making threats about shooting, officials say

Middleton High student arrested after making threats about shooting, officials say

TAMPA — A Middleton High School student has been arrested after making a threat about a shooting at the school, according to the school district.The student, who had been suspended, returned to the school and when he was asked to leave, "he made thre...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Parkland students going to Tallahassee to push for gun law changes

Parkland students going to Tallahassee to push for gun law changes

PARKLAND — A hundred Stoneman Douglas High School students are busing 400 miles to Florida’s capital Tuesday to urge lawmakers to act to prevent a repeat of the massacre that killed 17 students and faculty last week. The students plan to hold a rally...
Updated: 1 hour ago
‘I would take a bullet for the kids’; Teachers struggle with life-and-death realities after school shooting

‘I would take a bullet for the kids’; Teachers struggle with life-and-death realities after school shooting

TAMARAC — The shooting was all over, but the emotional reckoning had just begun, and so on Saturday the teachers of Broward County in Florida packed their union hall to discuss what it meant to have become the nation’s human shields."Last night I tol...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Man featured on ‘Trump Dating’ site has child sex conviction

Man featured on ‘Trump Dating’ site has child sex conviction

GREENSBORO, N.C. — A North Carolina man with a felony conviction for indecent liberties with a child was one-half of the poster couple for a new "Trump Dating" website.News outlets reported Monday that visitors to the dating site geared toward suppor...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Pasco Briefs for Feb. 23

COUNTYWIDETrail to close for repairs, resurfacingPart of the Suncoast Trail, between State Road 52 and State Road 54, will be closed Feb. 27 through March 9 for repairs and resurfacing. The project is part of Pasco County Parks, Recreation and Natura...
Updated: 1 hour ago