In October, Company President, Tom Pfitzer, was re-elected for a three year term as the Chair of the Launch and Re-entry Safety Committee of the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (IAASS). This Committee of international range safety experts prepares and publishes analyses and policy recommendations on the safety issues of protecting the public from the hazards of launch and reentry. The Association also holds an advisory seat at the United Nations (UN).
Before attempting to transport any explosives within or into the U.S., with certain exceptions, they must be submitted to a Department of Transportation (DOT) approved explosives testing laboratory to be tested and assigned a recommended shipping description and hazard class/division. The laboratory then submits a report to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) where the explosive is approved and issued a DOT classification approval number (EX number). One exception is that Division 1.3 or 1.4 fireworks may be classed, approved, and offered for transportation without prior laboratory examination if the item conforms to the requirements of American Pyrotechnic Association APA Standard 87-1. The approval process can take up to 120 days or more to obtain a classification for the firework.
Effective August 15, 2013, PHMSA established an alternative to the approval process for Division 1.4G consumer fireworks. Now, firework manufacturers may submit applications directly to a DOT-approved Fireworks Certification Agency (FCA) instead of applying to PHMSA. APT was the first explosives testing laboratory to be designated as an FCA by the DOT. As an FCA, APT is authorized to review and certify that division 1.4G consumer fireworks conform to the requirements of the APA Standard 87-1 (UN0336) based on test and criteria prescribed in 49 CFR § 173.65. APT’s commitment to our customers is to issue every certification as quickly as possible – measured in hours, not months. In an effort to continually improve our customers’ level of satisfaction and the speed with which we can respond to customer requests, we will soon offer the ability to quickly and securely enter information and process all transactions right on our website at www.fireworkscertification.com.
Officers at APT gathered Monday, December 15, with members of the Community Foundation of Huntsville/Madison County to celebrate the launch of the company’s Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) transaction.
The event at APT’s headquarters in Huntsville also recognized the company’s new Corporate Giving Fund to support local charities and the donation of more than $680,000 to the Foundation. The ESOP transaction, giving fund, and donation marked a new milestone for APT, which was incorporated in 1990 and is now 100-percent employee owned.
The APT Annual Awards Banquets were held on December 5, 2014 at the Ledges in Huntsville, AL on December 12th in Cocoa Beach, FL. Congratulations to all the winners! Click here to see photos from the Huntsville banquet.
APT is pleased to announce that effective November 19, 100% of the company’s stock has been sold to its employees, through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).
While APT has been privately held by employees since it was founded, as the company has grown the percentage of employees who were also shareholders has decreased. The transition to an ESOP will allow all employees to become owners.
“It has always been our desire for APT to continue the tradition of being employee owned, and the ESOP will help us achieve this goal,” said Tom Pfitzer, President of APT. “The ESOP will enable the continuity of leadership and will not change the way the company operates. The management team is confident that the ESOP will make us an even stronger company.”
Tom and Pete Yutmeyer, Chief Operating Officer, view this as a natural step consistent with their recognition of the contributions of each of their employees in the success of APT, and of their desire to share the rewards of that success. “The reasons for converting to an ESOP are three-fold,” adds Pete. “The ESOP is the best way to provide for future company stability; ensure a smooth long term leadership transition; and share the financial rewards of ownership to our employees.”
Both Tom and Pete plan to continue on in their roles for the foreseeable future. “We still have a lot at stake both emotionally and financially, and we plan to stay around for some time” said Tom. “I’m thrilled for our employees; adding this element to our culture where our employees contribute in significant ways every day, and the future couldn’t be brighter.”
APT is proud to announce placement on the Inc. 5000 List again! The list represents the most comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy—America’s independent entrepreneurs. This is the sixth time APT has made the Inc. 5000 List in the last seven years and therefore continues the additional distinction of being on the Inc. 5000 Honor Roll.
The F-35 Joint Program Office has selected the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) to perform independent software safety analyses of the next generation strike aircraft commonly called the Joint Strike Fighter. Based on their extensive software safety experience, APT personnel Rhonda Barnes, Terry Songy, Leslie Alford, Howard Kuettner, and Danielle DeBraccio have been selected by Mr. Josh McNeil, SED Software Safety Lead, to work alongside Government personnel in performing the analysis. APT is honored to participate in this highly critical new effort.
The video below highlights AMRDEC’s efforts on the F-35 software assessment.
APT received our sixth consecutive Beautification Award! These awards are sponsored by the Beautification Board of Huntsville, Alabama in partnership with the City of Huntsville’s Operation Green Team. This organization has been devoted to keeping and establishing Huntsville and Alabama as an environmental and landscaping example for over 35 years. Each year, properties are judged on first impression, originality, distinction, design, selection and quality of plants (trees, shrubs, flowers, grass, ground cover), hardscape design, maintenance, and litter control. Winners are honored at an Awards Ceremony and receive a Beautification Award sign to display on their property. APT is proud and feels privileged to be honored as a recipient of this award. APT’s award is unique in that the designing, planning, planting, and weeding were all accomplished by APT employees who volunteered their time. APT appreciates everyone who participated to make this effort a complete success!
APT is pleased to announce that we have won the OASIS BPA (One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services Blanket Purchase Agreement) for Pool 3 (Engineering Services)! The objective of OASIS SB is to provide a streamlined mechanism for all Federal agencies, including all organizations within the Department of Defense (DoD) and National Security Community, to obtain a multitude of professional services on a global basis. These professional service requirements may call for solutions that cross over multiple disciplines, include ancillary support, and require commercial and/or non-commercial items, using a variety of contract types. We are excited about this new opportunity and look forward to our team providing innovative solutions to Customer needs!
Companies interested in joining APT’s OASIS Team should contact Clark Kilgore at firstname.lastname@example.org or 256.327.3373.
At the 2013 International System Safety Conference (ISSC), the SAE International G-48 System Safety Committee accepted an action to investigate the utility of the Safety Case approach vis-à-vis ANSI/GEIA-STD-0010-2009. APT offered to organize and host a workshop for that purpose. Leaders in the field were invited to present at the workshop, and a panel was selected, led by Moderator, John Frost. Panel presenters included Dave West, SAIC; Don Swallom, U.S. Army AMCOM; John McDermid, Professor of Software Engineering at the University of York, UK; Barry Hendrix, Lockheed Martin; Dr. Homayoon Dezfuli, NASA; Robert Schmedake, Boeing; and Tom DeLong, A-P-T Research, Inc.
The presentations from the workshop are provided below.