Client Spotlight: Pinyon Environmental Inc.



Karlene Thomas is a principal and owner at Pinyon Environmental, Inc. She is an Environmental Professional and licensed Professional Engineer with extensive consulting and project management experience. She has a strong background in environmental compliance, water quality, hazardous materials/waste, design-build project delivery, and permitting. Ms. Thomas’ experience has led to her being skilled at solving complex problems – including identifying strategies to reduce project costs, expedite environmental permitting, and negotiate practical solutions with regulatory agencies. She has a passion for STEM education and community service, is an outdoor enthusiast, and avid rock climber, and loves to call Colorado home.

Q: How do you see the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) funding helping to increase resiliency in addressing the impacts of the water crisis in the Southwest?

Karlene: I’ve been working on some projects with ARPA funding; however, these tend to be smaller types of projects. For example, one project recently advertised was for a rural mountain community, next to a beautiful lake which is heavily dependent on tourism. Most of the residences have septic systems so in order to be protective of lake water quality they want to connect to a centralized wastewater treatment plant.

I also attended one of the federal webinars on water infrastructure where they said that the IIJA funding would be coming through State Revolving Funds (SRF). The interesting thing is that 40% of those funds have to be allocated toward disadvantaged communities, which is a big dollar amount. I think in places like Colorado where you have the front range – so from Fort Collins down to Colorado Springs/Pueblo – where there’s a really heavy urban area and then the entire rest of the state is fairly rural, the biggest difference is that money will be spent in the rural areas to potentially increase resiliency. We also have a large number of dams that are structurally insufficient in Colorado that might also see funding. Either way, I think the rural areas are where we are going to see the biggest benefit in Colorado.

Q: How can we help municipalities be prepared for extreme weather events?

Karlene: Improving resiliency and sound “what if” planning are both key to helping municipalities prepare for extreme weather events. We, as an engineering industry, need to support our clients in building more resilient infrastructure. As environmental engineers, we don’t get involved in that aspect as much as civil engineers, but we can talk to them about resiliency needs and planning around those needs. The same goes for supply chain issues and the need for proactive planning; I think it’s more about planning and working with stakeholders that are associated with the municipality to get everybody on board to build better rather than fix it later.

Another area we work in is waste minimization, where we also use that type of systems approach. In other words, taking a systems engineering mindset rather than looking at individual issues in each department, in order to bring it all together. By doing so, we’re able to make considerable changes to how waste is being generated, stored, and disposed of, to reduce emissions and impacts to climate change as well as social impacts.

Q: Throughout your career, what regulatory changes influenced our impact on the environment? How has public opinion influenced regulatory changes?

Karlene: Over the last 20 years, I’ve worked heavily in the regulatory environment of the Clean Water Act, which has seen a lot of changes. I’ve seen the States and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) get serious about construction, industrial, and municipal stormwater management to protect our Nation’s water supply. In addition, regulations controlling point source discharges, for example, industrial and municipal wastewater, have become so stringent that new technology is needed to meet standards. Some of these changes have come strictly from regulatory agencies but the public plays a large part in this process. I am sure every student of the environment has seen the old pictures of the Cuyahoga River in Ohio on fire in 1969, the public outcry from that helped push forward the adoption of the Clean Water Act in 1972. Public involvement has only increased over the last 50 years, especially in my home state of Colorado where the public is passionate about protecting natural resources, which is a big reason why people live here.

Even more recently, we’re seeing a public push on sustainability/resiliency to reduce our use of and impact on natural resources. So, I think sometimes the regulators lead out, but there’s been a lot of pressure from the public as well.


For more market trends, check out our most recent article in which we explore how supply chain challenges are impacting project planning and implementation across infrastructure markets.

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Client Spotlight: Pelton Environmental Products

John Pelton is GM at Pelton Environmental Products, a manufacturer’s representative of process, chemical feed, and rotating equipment for the municipal water and wastewater treatment industry. He has a background in mechanical engineering technology from Purdue University and began working for the company in 2008. Initially, he served as a sales engineer with a focus on the central Ohio territory. He held this position until 2017 when he was promoted to the role of General Manager. Pelton Environmental approaches its customers with a consultative sales process that enables the company to understand the specific needs of each application and provide the appropriate solution.

Q: What are the two biggest trends that the water & wastewater market has been facing over the last year?

John: Effects to the supply chain and price escalation brought on by the global pandemic continue to impact us on a daily basis. Additionally, the Build America, Buy America act is forcing many of our partners to re-evaluate how they are sourcing their materials and components to meet the requirements of this new language.

Q: What specific features or aspects of Citylitics did you find most helpful or compelling?

John: Incorporating the source of the information, as well as the contacts, allows us to properly understand the opportunity and where it is in the project cycle.

Q: How has Citylitics helped you or your company achieve your goals or improve your business?

John: The biggest benefit we have received from Citylitics is on a number of occasions, we have been provided with information on an opportunity we were unaware of. This type of information is very valuable to us as it creates new opportunities.

Q: How does Citylitics compare to other solutions you have used in the past? or currently, using alongside?

John: Citylitics is taking a proactive approach to the market. Most other plan rooms and services are reactive and provide information too late in the project cycle to be beneficial to us.

Q: What are you most excited about within the water & wastewater market over the next 2 years?

John: The investment being made in our infrastructure, which is desperately needed, by the IIJA is very exciting as it will provide many communities with the resources they need to make improvements to their facilities which in turn creates opportunities for us. Along with this excitement, comes the challenges of meeting the BABA requirements associated with this funding. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.


Check out our most recent article “Increase Sales Efficiency in Infrastructure Markets” in which we explore how you can leverage early-stage predictive sales intelligence.

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Improving Win Rates in Infrastructure Sales: How to Stay Ahead of Competitors

The infrastructure sector is a fiercely competitive landscape, with companies vying for lucrative contracts to build, maintain, and manage essential facilities and systems. Success in this market hinges on understanding the complex dynamics of decision-making processes, staying ahead of the competition, and effectively targeting the right opportunities.

One crucial factor that can make or break an infrastructure sale is the ability to leverage data analytics. By embracing the power of data analytics, businesses can boost their win rates in infrastructure sales, ensuring their long-term growth and profitability.

Tapping into public data for a competitive edge

The first step to improving win rates in infrastructure sales is to recognize the wealth of information hidden within the mountains of public documents and data generated by cities, utilities, and public agencies. These sources contain valuable insights on future trends, project requirements, and competitive dynamics that can give a company the edge it needs to win contracts. By aggregating and analyzing this information, data analytics services empower businesses to make informed decisions and develop targeted strategies.

Early opportunity detection for sales success

One way data analytics services can help infrastructure companies improve their win rates is by identifying potential sales opportunities early. By examining procurement patterns, historical project data, and other relevant information, analytics services can forecast upcoming projects and their specific requirements. Armed with this intelligence, companies can position themselves to respond proactively to requests for proposals (RFPs), fine-tune their sales pitches, and demonstrate their unique value proposition to decision-makers.

Leveraging industry connections and optimized pricing for contract wins

Another critical advantage provided by data analytics services is their ability to uncover hidden connections and relationships within the industry. By mapping out the relationships between public agencies, contractors, and other stakeholders, infrastructure companies can identify key influencers and decision-makers. With this knowledge, businesses can forge strategic partnerships and alliances that will boost their credibility, ultimately improving their chances of winning contracts.

Furthermore, data analytics services can help infrastructure companies assess and improve their pricing strategies. By analyzing competitor pricing, historical bids, and other relevant data, analytics services can provide insights that enable companies to strike the right balance between competitiveness and profitability. This, in turn, will improve their chances of securing contracts without sacrificing their bottom line.

Proactive risk management for high-stakes infrastructure sales

Finally, data analytics services can also aid in risk assessment and management. By analyzing project data, potential regulatory hurdles, and other factors, these services can identify potential risks and help businesses develop strategies to mitigate them. This proactive approach to risk management can be a game-changer, especially in the high-stakes world of infrastructure sales.

In conclusion, data analytics services have the potential to revolutionize infrastructure sales by transforming vast amounts of public documents and data into actionable intelligence. By embracing these services, infrastructure companies can identify new opportunities, forge strategic partnerships, optimize pricing, and manage risks. All of these factors contribute to improving win rates in infrastructure sales, securing a company’s position as a market leader in this competitive industry.

Citylitics aggregates mountains of public documents & data generated by cities, utilities, and public agencies and transforms it into critical sales intelligence. To learn more about improving your win rates in infrastructure sales, contact us or request a free sample report.