WBE VMX International celebrates a decade of growth
VMX International (Detroit, MI) is an environmental engineering consulting firm with clients across the U.S. and a presence in Canada. Vickie J. Lewis, president and CEO, and Marilyn Stengle, VP and COO, started VMX in 2001. "Marilyn and I hit it off" says Lewis. "We've been working together ever since."
Lewis, with an associate's degree in business admin from Davenport University (Detroit, MI), brought the business smarts to the venture. Stengle, who has a BS in chemistry from Eastern Michigan University, brought the technical expertise.
Both women had worked as consultants in the waste field. They met at Laidlaw Inc, a large hazardous and non-hazardous waste disposal company.
Talking together, the two saw an opportunity to offer alternative waste disposal and waste reduction strategies to clients. Back then companies were still sending valuable waste to the landfills. The new VMX International would help these companies turn "waste" into "resources."
VMX has brought this concept to the automotive market and its suppliers, and to global beverage companies. The VMX pros can offer environmental compliance help as well.
"We work as a team with our clients," Lewis says. "For example, we might manage waste stream identification or pickup and delivery to the final destination, and provide expertise on government regulations involved."
"We hire the best"
VMX has sixty-five employees, including engineers, technicians and scientists. "We hire the best talent in the marketplace," Stengle notes. "Most of them already have certified hazardous material manager (CHMM) certificates, and we put them through several technical training modules before they work with our customers.
"Together with the very best people we have a strong understanding and knowledge of environmental regulations. The result is an excellent technical approach to resolving waste management, recycling and compliance challenges!"
Serving varied clients
The company's clients include both small and large industrial customers and municipalities. For some clients VMX manages large-volume facilities with thousands of tons of waste; it can offer reduction programs with a "zero landfill" goal. The firm also focuses on water-use and energy reduction, in an effort to green up any size facility. "That saves valuable resources and money at the same time," Stengle points out.
VMX also manages waste transportation, disposal and recycling for several U.S. military installations. These are large-scale projects, and the experience the company has with large auto-makers "fits perfectly into the service and scale of what the U.S. military bases require," Stengle says. "Both are large, complex operations, and that's something VMX has extensive experience with."
In its first year of operation VMX generated $1 million in revenue. That has tripled since 2001.
This WBE brings value to the table
"We are really proud of what we've been able to accomplish, and we're also grateful for all the help we've received," says Lewis. "Initially we didn't know about the certifying agencies for MBEs and WBEs, but our clients gave us guidance."
The firm joined the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC) in 2001, "and that's given us the opportunity to work for other clients," Lewis says. VMX is actively involved in MMSDC, going to seminars, networking and attending procurement fairs.
Back to Top