Partners in Green
Chancee? Lundy and Veronica O. Davis, P.E., first met in 2002 at a leadership conference for the National Society of Black Engineers. Within the first 20 minutes of talking to each other, one of them suggested starting a business together. The idea came to fruition seven years later when the two friends opened their own environmental consulting firm in Washington, D.C.
Their company, called Nspiregreen, works with businesses, nonprofit organizations, and governments to help design environmentally friendly communities. Nspiregreen provides environmental services and urban planning, and it focuses on generating public involvement in a variety of civil infrastructure projects, including transportation projects.
“We use our backgrounds and our experience to lead different sectors of the company,” Lundy said.
Davis received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park, and she earned a dual master’s degree in engineering management and urban and regional planning from Cornell University. Civil engineers are responsible for designing and supervising construction projects, including bridges, roads, airports, tunnels, and water supply systems. Lundy, a first-generation college student, received a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Alabama A&M University and a master’s degree in civil engineering from Florida State University. Environmental scientists use their training in the natural sciences to find solutions to environmental problems like pollution.
The Nspiregreen team is currently working on D.C.’s multimodal long-range transportation plan, called moveDC. The city’s transportation system is a web of separate transportation modes?cars, buses, street cars, and bicycles. Each one has its own plan, “but no one’s ever looked at all the plans together,” Davis said. Nspiregreen is on the team that is analyzing how all of these different transportation modes interact with each other to make the city more accessible by public transportation, linking communities together and reducing the need for cars, which helps reduce pollution.?
Starting a business together was the product of years of hard work and dedication. Lundy and Davis said an important component of their success was their participation in a variety of activities during high school and college. Both participated in sports and clubs in high school, and throughout college both held leadership positions in the National Society of Black Engineers, which has chapters at high schools and colleges across the country.
“I think the more well-rounded you are,” Davis said, “the better you’re going to be as an engineer and as an entrepreneur.”
Lundy said students don’t need to follow her and Davis’s path to be successful?but they should believe in what they’re doing, even when others say it can’t be done.
“Don’t worry about the naysayers,” Lundy said. “You can follow your own path.”