By: Jim Murphy and Rebecca Smith (with contributions from Kevin and David)
Our parade of well-wishes for our long-time employees continues as we congratulate our friends Saji George and Sareeta Nerkar on their 20 years of service at Pickering Labs. We can’t speak for the two of them, but on our side, Jim and I have loved every minute of our time with these two chemists!
Since Saji and Sareeta began working here in 2002, they have each been a big part of Pickering’s many milestones, from the launching of our Vector (2005), Pinnacle (2006) and Onyx (2020) instruments all the way to the earliest advent of our PTS product line (2007). We are so proud of both women and their many accomplishments, here at the lab and out in the greater scientific community.
In addition to her daily contributions as our brilliantly organized QA Manager, Saji has also been a driving force behind our emergence as a trusted partner in the AATCC textile-testing world, serving as our main ambassador and lending her technical expertise to that organization’s members. She has also taken on this role at the WEAR Conference, supporting both smart textiles as well as wearable electronics manufacturers. On the Post-Column side of our business, she has been part of the development of many analytical methods, most recently for Paralytic Shellfish Toxins and Formaldehyde analysis.
Meanwhile, Sareeta has long been a member of our small but dynamic R&D team. Her contributions as a Research Chemist (most recently in Cannabinoids, Nitrosamines and Mycotoxins applications) also extend beyond these walls, as Sareeta is an active member of the NACRW. She has recently expanded her NACRW role to include conference Social Chair in addition to representing Pickering while in attendance. Sareeta is also a repeat presenter at the Emerald Conference and this year, she’ll be showcasing a poster at the Cannabis Science Conference.
A long-time resident of the Bay Area, Saji raised her two boys (Isaac and Thomas) with her husband George in Palo Alto and while living there became great friends with Judy Pickering, the wife of our late founder Michael Pickering. Since her two boys have “flown the coop”, Saji and George have relocated back to her beloved Monterey Peninsula and, yes, she does make the drive up to our office in Mountain View daily (she’s very fond of audiobooks!). Saji’s favorite things include tennis and gardening and she’ll gladly tell you about her trip to Wimbledon, just ask!
Sareeta and her husband Nitin have also raised two children into adulthood. Over the years, her daughters Pooja and Revati have attended several Pickering luncheons. And Pooja even recently accompanied Sareeta to Rebecca’s wedding! Talk about family. 😊 When she’s not here at work, Sareeta enjoys the chemistry of cooking. Finding joy in the overlaps between laboratory and kitchen is a hobby she shared with Michael Pickering, as you might recall from newsletter articles in the past. Sareeta has shared her love of cooking with her daughters and husband, but these days she also shares a little taste here and there with her dog, Leo!
Jim and I appreciate both of these awesome chemists so much and we cannot thank them enough for their contributions during 20 years here at Pickering. Congratulations again to Sareeta and Saji! Cheers!