About Me

Michelle L. Wade

AKA: “Michelle from Kansas”

Download my resume here

michelle-office-shotMany in the environmental laboratory industry know me as “Michelle from Kansas”. I feel it’s best to give you a little bit of my background – that way, it can’t be argued that I don’t have the education, job skills or necessary background to be a consultant in the industry.

I did not choose to work in the environmental lab it chose me.

In high school I became the default Water Science competitor for our Science Olympiad team, taking first in state my senior year. I then went off to follow my dreams of becoming a forensic medical examiner. For two years as an undergrad I worked with the Oklahoma Water Resources Board performing field sampling, and participating in report writing utilizing analytical data. I felt that any job in the science field was better than continuing customer service. I have a B.S. in Forensic Science and an M.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences with a concentration in Forensic Drug Chemistry (needless to say, this was not the job I was envisioning myself in).

Upon graduating I spent a little over two years as an analytical chemist for a large commercial environmental laboratory (I have been through both NELAP and 3rd party assessments), followed by three years in a pharmaceutical lab (during which I worked on and received my graduate degree), and a little over a year at a not-for-profit research organization, finally using my forensic science skills for, ironically, environmental forensic samples.

After a program cut I find myself searching for a new career. And for  four years I was the NELAP Assessor, Drinking Water Certification Officer, and at times the Program Manager for the NELAP Accreditation program with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

I have a diverse background in analytical techniques. I have performed field sampling. I have been a data user. I have worked in a large commercial laboratory. I have even experienced other federal regulations, and worked in the research and development industry, and have been VERY involved on the national level when it comes to environmental laboratory accreditation.

My previous position as the Kansas NELAP Assessor provided me with the opportunity to learn and grow in ways I’d never dreamed possible. After receiving my basic training and attending my first TNI Conference I knew that this was the right place for me to be. I chose to get involved on the national level so that I can learn more, and to help shape the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program into something that would work for all of the stakeholders.

With the recent push on a national level for privatization and utilization of third parties I took on the role as an advocate for small municipal laboratories. It is my personal opinion that any lab; large or small, commercial or municipal, has the ability and should have the means to be certified to the TNI Standard. I feel that there is a role for third parties; but, that we must consider all of the stakeholders when making the decisions.

My passion for the industry does not just come from a fascination with science, or a developed love of quality systems, but also with the knowledge that each and every sample analyzed by environmental laboratories has an impact on our day to day lives. Having data of known and documented quality isn’t just important for legal reasons, but also to help maintain the earth for our children.

Through the support of my family, friends, and colleagues it is my dream that through Wade Consulting & Solutions that I can help others in the environmental laboratory industry develop and implement quality system programs that help provide them with the best quality data possible.