New president named for Hanford tank farm contractor

Dave Olson
Dave Olson

The chief operating officer for the Hanford tank farm contractor, Washington River Protection Solutions, has been named president of the company.

Mark Lindholm will replace Dave Olson, who announced his retirement Thursday after 30 years with AECOM and AECOM’s predecessor companies. AECOM is the majority owner of the tank farm contractor after acquiring URS.

“Dave has been an outstanding leader for WRPS and their tank farm operations,” said Kevin Smith, manager of the Department of Energy Office of River Protection, in a statement. “I have nothing but praise for his dedication and professionalism and I wish him the absolute best.”

Olson, who has led WRPS since the summer of 2013, sent employees a message saying he was retiring with mixed emotions.

“Our team remains one of the safest I have been a part of, with one of the best safety records in the complex,” he told employees. “The Voluntary Protection Program Star certification last year was affirmation that others outside of Hanford view it the same way.”

Tank farm workers know the meaning of teamwork, he said.

“A large influx of new employees recently joined our ranks, and we have benefited form the infusion of new energy, new ideas and new approaches to our business, while continuing those programs that have been successful,” he said.

He called work at the Hanford tank farms, where 56 million gallons of radioactive and hazardous chemical waste are stored in underground tanks, “one of the most important environmental cleanup programs in the world.”

“Working together with the Department of Energy and the state Department of Ecology, this team has put in place the vision, the strategies, the projects and the people that will help us achieve long-term mission success,” he said. “Know that I have been blessed to have been a small part of these successes.”

Lindholm, who has 30 years of experience in government nuclear facilities operations, will take over leadership of WRPS Oct. 1.

He has been the chief operating officer for WRPS since January, concentrating on production operations, waste retrievals, small projects execution and capital projects, including the associated engineering functions.

Before that he was the manager of commissioning, readiness and operations at Hanford’s vitrification plant, leading a team of nearly 300 AECOM employees. He also served as executive vice president and chief operating officer at the Idaho Cleanup Project from 2010 to 2012.

This is is second stint at WRPS, after serving as manager of single-shell tank waste retrieval from 2008 to 2010. Much of his earlier work was in management at DOE’s Savannah River Site.

Annette Cary: 509-582-1533; acary@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @HanfordNews