Chancee Lundy and Veronica Davis are former Green For All fellows who own a professional consulting firm helping businesses, governments and not for profit organizations in achieving and implementing their sustainability goals. They share their story about their time at Green For All and the impact the experience had on their journey to today.
Meet Chancee and Veronica
Chancee and Veronica’s life experience shaped their desire to utilize their education to advocate for communities. Though worlds apart, their passion brought them together. Chancee Lundy was raised in Selma, Alabama where fighting against social injustices was a natural part of her upbringing. When she was 17, she went to numerous meetings around the Southeast to learn how to build power through an economic justice lens and during these conversations environmental justice would come up. Veronica was born in the DC area and moved to NJ when she was 5. Both her parents worked in transportation, her dad was a civil engineer and planner and her mom worked in human resources for the NYC transit authority. She’s been around transportation her entire life. Focused on becoming a technical communicator, Chancee went to college at Alabama A&M where she majored in environmental science and later got her masters in civil engineering from Florida A&M.
Veronica was naturally good at math and science, she decided to major in civil engineering specializing in transportation design. She also has a masters in civil engineering and a second masters in regional planning from Cornell University.
Chancee met Veronica at the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) conference in 2002 and hit it off. Within 20 minutes of meeting, they both discovered they had a passion for engineering and for people. They also realized they could use these two things together and that seed was planted. They committed to stay in touch and one day start a business together.
That fateful day came in 2009 when they started Nspiregreen with the hope to impact communities the way they wanted. Nspiregreen is a small minority and women-owned business consulting firm that assists businesses, governments, and nonprofits in developing and implementing their sustainability goals. The name Nspiregreen doesn’t have a deep meaning, they just knew they wanted to inspire and bring equity to communities by focusing on the sustainability aspect of planning.
Getting a Lift from Green For All’s Green Business Academy
In 2012, Chancee and Veronica attended Green For All’s Green Business Academy in Washington, DC. The Green Business Academy equipped emerging clean energy entrepreneurs with the tools, resources, and networking opportunities they needed to scale their operations and create more green jobs. During the academy, Chancee and Veronica pitched Nspiregreen to a ‘Shark Tank’ type panel and received some valuable feedback to learn how to grow their green business. They were assigned a mentor/coach over the course of a year following the academy. Both feel that this experience was beneficial, the skills and resources they garnered still reside with them today.
Today, Nspiregreen is 9 years young and still going strong. Nspiregreen has a deep commitment to the people their projects serve. Chancee and Veronica work hard to keep communities at the forefront of their work and they intentionally make sure this core value is engrained within their organization.
Making an Impact
Since starting Nspiregreen, they’ve had the opportunity to work on some unique projects. Chancee is excited to work on Chesapeake Bay’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC). She’s been working on this committee for two years, she was a mayoral appointee. There was a concerted effort to bring more people of color to the committee to talk to them about the work that’s being done to help protect the Chesapeake Bay.
Chancee and Veronica are proud to have worked on the District Long Range Transportation Plan “moveDC” initiative, this project gave them the opportunity to help shape what transportation access and connection for the next 20 years looks like in the District. Chancee expressed how rewarding it’s been to be able to see of those projects come to fruition.
Veronica was recognized as a Champion of Change by the White House in 2012 for her professional accomplishments and community advocacy work. She oversees most of their planning projects on the transportation side. She has a personal interest and passion for transportation and equity. Veronica notes that there are two great equalizers in society, education, and transportation. ‘You can have jobs, but can people access them? You can have healthy food, but can people get there? Can people get to medical facilities, grocery stores, places of worship, etc? Veronica also co-founded #BlackWomenBike. #BlackWomenBike conveys a strong message that Black women bike for health, recreation, wellness, and transportation.
Their Vision for the Next 10 Years of the Green Economy
One of the ways Nspiregreen is committed to communities is to make sure community voices are at the table and a part of the planning process. They have no problem popping up at a grocery store, metro station, church basement, etc. to engage people where they are and to make sure they can get the same information about projects that are impacting the community. This year, Nspiregreen wants to refine the way they do business. They would love to work with more foundations so they can help communities around their climate change plans, resiliency, and mitigation strategies. They firmly believe a rising tide lifts all boats.
Now the experts on how to start a green business, Chancee and Veronica offer these words of wisdom to other innovators: ‘Don’t doubt yourself. Get in it for the right reasons. Find your winning tribe. Find people who motivate you and love what you’re doing.’
Green For All will continue to follow Chancee and Veronica on their journey, we look forward to sharing what exciting projects they’ve worked on over the next 10 years.
Photo Credit: Small Business Authority