Dade Moeller of Richland purchased by NV5

Dave McCormack, Dade Moeller president, was interviewed by Japanese public broadcasting station NHK-TV for a news segment on radiation exposure on the fourth anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Dave McCormack, Dade Moeller president, was interviewed by Japanese public broadcasting station NHK-TV for a news segment on radiation exposure on the fourth anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Courtesy Dade Moeller

Dade Moeller, a homegrown Tri-City business, will be acquired by NV5 Global, a Florida-based company providing engineering and consulting services.

NV5 announced the deal Wednesday, hours after a definitive agreement was signed.

“We are still local,” said Dave McCormack, Dade Moeller president. “It’s entirely true we are no longer a small business, but we are absolutely committed to the community and our local clients and neighbors.”

Dade Moeller will retain its name and will continue to be based in the Tri-Cities. The sale is expected to be final May 20.

The price to be paid for the company was not immediately available.

NV5 filed documents with the Security and Exchange Commission on Wednesday, saying that it expected to receive $41 million from a public offering of stock shares. A portion of the proceeds could be used to acquire Dade Moeller, among other uses.

NV5, with offices across the United States, focuses on construction quality assurance, infrastructure, engineering and support services, energy, program management and environmental solutions. It is a subcontractor for Bechtel National, which is building the Hanford vitrification plant.

NV5 shares our vision of protecting people and the environment.

Matt Moeller, Dade Moeller chief executive

Dade Moeller — a niche company providing radiation protection and other environmental, safety and health services — was founded in Richland in 1994. It started in a one-room office it rented from the Port of Benton for $100 a month, said chief executive Matt Moeller.

It has held Hanford contracts since then, including having employees currently assigned to many of the major projects at the Department of Energy environmental cleanup site. It also has expanded the company to perform other safety-related work, helping to bring more work home to the Tri-Cities.

Its projects have included radiation exposure protection assignments at national sporting events and concerts, as well as work to estimate radiation exposure for ill nuclear workers applying to a federal compensation program.

Its employment grew from nine workers by the end of the 1990s and peaked about 2012 at more than 300 workers as it supported work to assess damage at the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Current employment is about 150 professionals, including certified health physicists, certified industrial hygienists, certified safety professionals and professional engineers. The company said earlier this year that it employs more certified health physicists than any other company in the United States.

The gulf work brought annual revenue to more than $50 million, but without that work, revenue is back to about $25 million annually.

The company has been looking for opportunities to grow and find new markets, Moeller said. It talked to NV5 two years ago, but the timing was not perfect then and Dade Moeller continued to grow and diversify on its own.

(The sale) is all about creating new opportunities for our employees through growth.

Matt Moeller, Dade Moeller chief executive

In March the two companies reopened discussions. The agreement was reached quickly because of the two companies’ common background of professional consulting and each placing a high value on their employees, Moeller said.

The sale “is all about creating new opportunities for our employees through growth,” Moeller said.

Becoming part of NV5 provides assurance and sustainability for employees, as Dade Moeller has access to new markets and new financial resources, Moeller said.

He sees the move as respecting and enhancing the legacy of his late father, Dade Moeller, a former Harvard University dean for whom the company is named. Dade Moeller was one of the three founders of the company and took a broad view of protecting workers, the public and the environment, his son said.

Dade Moeller’s leadership team will remain, including Moeller and McCormack, and the company will be kept almost intact, Moeller said.

NV5 is organized as a group of companies, which will soon included Dade Moeller, and there are opportunities for Dade Moeller to market its services to those companies and also to outside companies, McCormack said.

He expects Dade Moeller to continue its community involvement, which has included being a prime sponsor for the Eerkes Memorial and helping to develop Washington State University Tri-Cities’ new graduate certificate program in radiation protection.

Dickerson Wright, chief executive of NV5, said in a statement that Dade Moeller has an accomplished team and will be instrumental to NV5’s growth, particularly in the federal and energy sectors. The Richland company will become its “platform organization” for its environmental health and safety business line, he said.

Annette Cary: 509-582-1533, @HanfordNews