Earlier this year, we announced the birth of a new CDM Smith subsidiary…Trinnex. Six months later and our company has crawled, walked, and is now fully running! I’m so proud of how far we have come and eager to see us continue along our growth curve. Things have been moving so fast and furiously, this midpoint affords us an opportunity to pause and reflect on some early accomplishments and lessons learned that have helped us reinforce our why and how.
Reinforcing our why
Trinnex was created to help our clients achieve greater digital success. As I said back in January:
“Trinnex is about helping clients navigate their digital journey; providing them the right tools and advising them on the right approach to transform their data to make the right decisions.”
Back then, I couldn’t have imagined the day-to-day challenges our public infrastructure clients face could become even more dire. Our clients have traditionally juggled financial, operational, and regulatory constraints, but now the “new normal” requires operating and maintaining aging infrastructure despite supply-chain issues, all while trying to recruit and retain staff amidst a growing workforce gap.
In the face of all these mounting challenges, embracing digital strategies and solutions to make the right decisions is even more imperative… and we are even more resolute in providing our clients with trusted guidance and tailored software and solutions to do just that.
An unprecedented industry challenge met with an unprecedented solution
In March, the City of Newark and CDM Smith won the overall Water Data Prize by the Environmental Policy Innovation Center. The City of Newark represents one of the first US municipalities to completely remove lead service lines across the city and serves as a model for other cities working towards Lead & Copper Rule Revisions compliance.
Trinnex’s very own Mark Zito and Brittney Gibbons worked on the digital solutions originally delivered on that project and have applied those award-winning insights and offerings in leadCAST™. Seeing that project celebrated for its integration of public communication and outreach, engineering expertise and innovation, and efficient use of data/technology was a powerful affirmation of the potential success that can be achieved with an integrated strategy fueled by data-driven processes and decisions.
A digital extension of resources made possible
In May, our client Michelle Cock from the City of Salem, VA participated with us in a panel at SWAN 2022 on “Who Led the Lead Out” from our water systems. Salem has embraced technology as an extension of its resources, especially for achieving Lead & Copper Rule Revisions compliance. For every public entity in the country facing full Lead Service Line Replacement needs like Newark, NJ, there are dozens of organizations like Salem who are subject to the same compliance requirements, regardless of size. Salem values the ability to centralize service lateral reporting information and the ability to easily convey their program status to ratepayers through tools like leadCAST.
Reinforcing our how
Trinnex would not be possible without our team, partners, and cultural values guiding us along the way.
Growing internally and externally
Our team has evolved over the last six months. Since January, we have welcomed nearly a dozen new employees to the Trinnex team – from CDM Smith alumni looking to expand into a digital career, to new college graduates, to industry veterans. While the team has a diverse range of backgrounds and expertise, we all share a common vision and passion for designing, building, and implementing ‘smart solutions’ with tangible impact. And we are still hiring!
We have also made new partnerships along the way. In May, we announced our new partnership with SimpleLab, Inc. to provide a one-stop-shop for Lead and Copper Rule Compliance. While this will certainly expand our leadCAST offerings, we are excited about the potential sampling analysis affords our entire portfolio of products in the water industry – both current and planned.
Establishing our culture
Perhaps the greatest labor of love in this 6-month journey has been creating a sustaining and unique culture within Trinnex. Culture is the heart of an organization and ultimately, it plays a huge role in our long-term success. For over 22 years, I have benefited from a strong company culture at CDM Smith and aspire to foster something similar in Trinnex.
Culture doesn’t develop overnight, and it requires a commitment to honest, open-communication, inclusion, engagement, and active leadership. Amidst the hustle of our day-to-day, it’s far too easy to overlook these activities – especially when the team is distributed geographically and the majority of employees are fully remote. I touched upon some of our early work in my LinkedIn post below, but that was only the beginning. Cultivating our culture is not a one-and-done exercise – for it to be genuine and sustaining, it will take contributions from all of the Trinnex team members – but I can’t think of a group of folks that I’d rather build it with than this team.
Onword and upward
In our short span, I can’t help but look at what we’ve accomplished and smile with pride. It’s amazing to see the passion our employees have for their work, especially when they get involved with a new client or project. The response from our clients and the market has been positive, further confirming that we are on the right path.
However, our success to date largely relates to the unwavering support we have received from our parent company, CDM Smith. We have benefited from top-down, bottom-up alignment since our inception, which is attributed to the firm’s vision and leadership. Tim Wall, CEO of CDM Smith, has been instrumental in supporting Trinnex:
“There’s a renewed commitment to resiliency, sustainability, and addressing aging infrastructure. Our responsibility for getting that done in new and compelling ways is why we created Trinnex.”
Our identity is still being shaped, and we are open to taking thoughtful risks to get us to the next level because we are so committed to the cause and our clients. As a veteran startup, we are uniquely different; we have the initiative and passion of a startup, combined with the wisdom and hands-on experience in public infrastructure of a 75-year firm. We are here to help our clients take the next step in their digital-first path. That first step can be the hardest, but starting today is the only way to ensure a more predictable tomorrow.
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