We are excited to announce that Lauren Luckett has joined Paladino and Company as client development manager in the DC region. We’re proud to have her on our team, and we want to give our clients, colleagues, and peers the opportunity to get to know Lauren better through a Q&A.
Lauren, tell us about your background and the path that led you to Paladino.
It’s an intercontinental journey!
I’ve been working in the commercial real estate industry for about six years, working with commercial real estate developers and property managers to solve issues primarily related to parking and janitorial. I loved making the connection between our services, our clients, and their businesses. And along the way, I’ve become integrated into DC’s amazing community of real estate leaders through organizations like CREW.
This past summer I spent a month in Africa on a trip that was life-changing in more ways than I could have imagined. I went there to climb Kilimanjaro, safari, visit Victoria Falls, and volunteer at a wildlife orphanage. I never anticipated coming home with more than memories, but the time away, immersed in nature helped me to quickly realize that I had lost my way over the past year and that my priorities, along with my understanding of what truly is important in this world had gone askew.
The people I met and experiences I had during that month reminded me that life is short and that I needed to start doing what I love as a career. Upon returning to the US, I made the tough decision to part ways with my previous employer and then took some time to travel and reflect on how I could make the next chapter fulfilling personally and professionally.
And when I was ready, the universe connected me to a recruiter who had found me through my CREW DC network. We discussed the Client Development Manager position at Paladino and Company, and the rest is history.
Where do you find inspiration in your work?
Polar bears. I know it sounds silly, but every time I see a polar bear I’m reminded of what a hotter, wetter future holds for them, thanks to mankind. I went to the North Pole a few years ago hoping to see one in the wild. The bears were hiding, but I still think of them as I define my work in sustainability. I’m inspired by our connection to nature, and the power we have to stop global warming.
What direction do you think green building is headed? Where do you see the industry in ten years?
I’m inspired by the members of the commercial real estate industry who make a real commitment to sustainability. We are seeing a real drive to combat climate change through the built environment and corporate climate commitments. We are seeing an increase in the call for policy initiatives and climate action plans from cities, states, and countries. Ten years goes by quick in real estate, but the benchmarks for sustainability are getting more rigorous, and building owners, designers, developers, and operators are rising to the challenge.
What role does sustainability play in your life outside of work? What does it mean to you?
I’m excited to immerse myself in the sustainability world and build upon the amazing foundation my parents set for me. From as far back as I can remember, my father talked to me about the basics: turn the lights off, recycle (I’m from New York and want our nickel deposit), don’t be wasteful, reuse/repurpose. I’ve carried these simple steps with me and expanded on the concepts. I became a vegetarian when I was 12, I carry a water bottle daily, use reusable products, and pick up trash on the trails.
What is one positive impact you feel sustainability will support most in the world?
I hope a focus will be put on existing buildings. We don’t have any more land, so we need to master creative ways to reposition them to accommodate current client and market demands. I want to feel good when I see a picture of a polar bear! I want to know that our work made the difference the world needs!
What do you do in your leisure time?
I usually spend my free time outdoors. I love participating in hiking challenges. A couple of years ago I completed the Sierra Clubs 100k in one day. This year I am going to sign up for the Hiking Across Maryland event and the 52-hike challenge. Next year will be the Grand Canyons Rim-to-Rim Challenge. When I’m not hiking, I like live music and sporting events.
What are three things you can’t live without?
My Merrells, The New York Yankees, and dogs
What are you most proud of?
I hiked Kilimanjaro this summer, and it was physically and mentally the hardest thing I’ve ever done. The eight-day trek forced me to push past the limits I had created for myself, and I will never forget the feeling that rushed over me when I completed the summit.
What is one thing that you wish more people knew about you?
I startle very easily, so please do not surprise me!