Pawprint Chats is a series where we chat with our friends, clients, and peers in our local Colorado community. It’s a chance to check in and see how everyone’s doing, in business and in life.
Today we’re talking with Danaya Wilson, CEO of woman-owned CHC Training. She has recently won the “Top Performer” award from the American Subcontractors Association of Colorado (ASAC), and she also sits on the Board of Directors for the Environmental Information Association (EIA).
YellowDog: Hello! Give us the “elevator pitch” version of what your business does.
Danaya Wilson: CHC Training provides regulatory and occupational training aimed at the next generation of environmental and hazard material workers. With over fourteen years in business, we are disrupting the industry with modern and innovative course content accessible 24/7 from anywhere in the world. Our course content spans the disciplines of asbestos, lead, and mold, as well as silica and OSHA training for certification.
YD: What has been your biggest win in the past year?
DW: With over 40 expertly designed online courses, we were way ahead of the competition when the pandemic first hit in March 2020. Our reputation for offering virtual certification solutions grew rapidly over the past year and we are excited to see where things lead going forward.
YD: This year has been a learning experience for everyone. Anything you’ve learned about your business during a pandemic?
DW: Flexibility is key. Every day we were faced with the need to pivot and shift to not only keep our students and staff safe, but also to stay in compliance with new (and changing) mandates. All of the local competition closed their doors temporarily and we were one of the only ones still operating because of our willingness to go the extra mile and pivot.
YD: What has been one of your proudest moments as a business owner?
DW: I bootstrapped for two years before CHC Training officially opened its doors, spending nights and weekends developing a product that we had no clue would even sell. My proudest moment was when our unique courses were not only selling in over 20 states, but then we started to see customers working on military bases in Turkey, Korea, and Japan. These new clients would normally have to have someone travel to them to maintain their certifications. With CHC Training, they can renew on their schedule and enjoy cost savings and lower their environmental impact!
YD: If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing about your business, what would it be?
DW: I would speed up the process for state regulatory agencies to review and accept differing mediums for training renewals. We see a trend where agencies are slowly moving towards allowing for virtual options, but the speed at which they are moving is not in line with the demand for accessible and virtual training classes. The more states that get on board with a solution, the better it is for an industry as a whole. Certifications would be valid in more places, aiding in seamless labor migration and overall cost savings. Not to mention lessening the impact on the environment, our online training reduces the requirement for commuting and eliminates the need for printing manuals and regulatory documents.
YD: Describe your brand in three words.
DW: Innovative Compliance Solutions
YD: Love it! Not for some rapid-fire questions:
Are you a dog person or a cat person?
Early bird or night owl?
Favorite local beer?
Blue Moon – although it really isn’t local anymore
What’s your best party trick?
What show are you currently binging?
Any book you’re currently reading?
Where the Grass Is Green and the Girls Are Pretty: A Novel, by Lauren Weisenberg
What do you miss the most about pre-pandemic life?
The ease of planning.
YD: Thanks Danaya! It’s been an honor to meet you through the Colorado Companies to Watch 2020 Awards and to get to know your business.
We’re always looking for business peers to feature in this series. Get in touch to find out more!
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