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History of Cardinal Environmental


During the 1980’s electrical power companies on the Great Lakes were required to conduct biological studies to assess their impact on water quality. James Yanko saw this as an opportunity to combine his background in chemistry, biology and environmental engineering with his desire to own and operate a business. In 1982, Mr. Yanko formed Yanko Environmental Services.

Yanko Environmental Services successfully completed power plant studies for the next three years, while developing the capability to assist local industries with environmental regulatory compliance. By 1985, Mr. Yanko had more work than he could handle and was ready for a business partner. He reached an agreement for joint company ownership with James Bird, a laboratory manager for a large consulting engineering company. Mr. Bird brought experience in industrial wastewater treatment and laboratory management to the company. With James Yanko as company President and James Bird as Vice President, the two scientists formulated a business development plan to expand their services and client base.

From 1985 to 1992, the company continued to grow primarily by referrals from satisfied industrial clients. The laboratory was expanded, the company invested in complex field testing equipment and new areas of service were developed. The Yanko Environmental Services staff grew to 10 employees and new offices were constructed. Scientists were added with expertise in asbestos management, occupational health and safety, air emissions testing, and hazardous waste management. Their primary focus was on customized services to meet the special needs of environmental compliance. New clients came from a variety of industries, primarily for northeastern Wisconsin.

After the death of James Yanko in 1992, the company purchased Mr. Yanko’s stock from the Yanko Family. At that time James Bird became the sole owner and President of the company, and Jennifer Beimel, a long-term company employee, accepted the position of corporate secretary and Office Manager. In 1993, the family requested the name of the company be changed, since there were no family members in the business. The company name was then changed to Cardinal Environmental, a name chosen by the employees.

Early in 1994, James Bird realized the company needed more management capabilities to strengthen and enhance the company’s current organization. He sought the advice and counsel of two former business associates, Peter Madden and Scott Hanson. Peter and Scott joined Cardinal Environmental in April 1994.

From 1994-2003, Cardinal Environmental experienced steady growth, increasing its staff to 15 employees, and further developed its areas of expertise in environmental assessments, regulatory compliance, and laboratory services. Cardinal Environmental 30th anniversaryAlso in 2003, James Bird and Peter Madden sold their shares of stock to Scott Hanson and Jennifer Beimel, the current President and Vice President respectively.

Since our inception in 1982, our main focus has been maintaining and improving customer services, as well as providing professional and specialized environmental services. We continue to expand our capabilities to assist private residents, schools, municipalities, and industries with environmental regulatory compliance and testing services. Today we continue with that same focus, knowing it is the proof of our continued success.