Sessler Environmental Services

By Barbara Spector

A new service offering.

When COVID-19 began to spread through the United States, the Sessler family saw an opportunity for one of their businesses.

Sessler Environmental Services (SES) of Rochester, N.Y., provides environmental remediation and demolition services for private- and public-sector clients. The company, which offers mold and asbestos remediation services, now also provides coronavirus remediation, including disinfecting and surface protection.

“It wasn’t even a hard decision to say, ‘Hey, there’s going to be a market and a need for this,’ ” says Brian Sessler, managing family member at SES.

The new line of business caused some logistical problems. Schools were closing because of the pandemic, and SES’s school district customers began asking if asbestos remediation projects they had scheduled for the summer could be started earlier. That meant the company’s crews would be busier than ever.

“All of our jobs have been deemed essential, so our normal work hasn’t necessarily slowed down, and we’re now offering this other service, which is ramping up. We’re doing more and more,” Sessler says.

To adhere to social-distancing protocols and keep workers safe, the number of people on each crew was reduced, requiring plans to be altered. At the same time, the office was in the middle of a renovation. “It was a stressful couple of weeks,” Sessler says. Since the pandemic began, the company has hired about 15 additional people.

Managers were consulted before the company took the leap into coronavirus remediation. “It was vitally important to bring them into the mix,” Sessler says. “We didn’t want to stress operations just because we wanted to do the COVID cleanup.”

Crews have been issued full face masks rather than cheaper masks that cover only the nose and mouth. “We had to implement protocols,” Sessler says. “We’re documenting all of our employees’ temperatures before and after every shift.”

The family enterprise was started by Sessler’s grandparents. SES, owned by the third generation, was formed to complement Sessler Wrecking, a demolition company that is owned by second-generation members. Other family companies include a development company, a marina and campgrounds.

“As long as you have the right people within your company, from your top managers all the way down, it’s very easy for a company to shift direction and morph into something that’s needed at the time,” Sessler says. 

Article categories: 
July/August 2020

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