Alexa Stone, founder of ecoPreserve, first shared her startup experiences for our 1000 Stories Campaign
Fluent in Chinese, Alexa started her career in electronics, working for a company importing custom-engineered products from China. As she learned more about the industry she decided to focus on energy efficiency and preserve the environment. She started ecoPreserve to help companies and large organizations employ sustainable practices and work for the common good.
Reason for starting
Upon returning to the United States (from teaching English in China), I worked for a start-up company, importing printed circuit boards and test equipment from China and became knowledgeable in engineering and electronics. In 2001, I was hired by Home Depot Supply as the Marketing Manager for the electrical division. With the support of management, I worked toward a greater focus on energy efficiency and was promoted to the newly created position of Lighting and Energy Specialist. In this capacity, I completed energy efficient lighting upgrades for major commercial and government clients. As a result of this focus on building performance, I recognized the extent of negative environmental and health impact that organizations can have through their operations.
How do you define success?
Success is taking action and progressing toward a goal that benefits the greater good. It’s wonderful to perfect yourself and be the best version of yourself, but there is more satisfaction in working toward the good of your community.
In 2009, while working on a grant for the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC), Alexa led a team of volunteers to successful completion of LEED Certification for the first commercial building in downtown Orlando. In response, the OCCC Director of Operations invited Alexa (the newly formed LLC called ecoPeserve) to guide the OCCC through LEED Certification. The OCCC is at the heart of the convention and visitor corridor in Orlando, a major business and tourist destination.
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
The top challenge is to see and to recognize the value of the comprehensive lens of sustainability. In healthcare, for example, sustainability can mean resource reduction (energy & water savings), improvements in recycle, safer cleaning chemicals, healthier menus and more access to commuter options. so, this doesn’t fit neatly into one department, but requires communication and collaboration. One of the best strategies is to find a national initiative that support the organization’s vision and participate actively. We have worked closely with ENERGY STAR and the US Green Building Council with positive results.
Who is your most important role model?
I have many role models…I call them the “grey hairs”! They are a group of retired professionals from fields including engineering, construction, and distribution. They are smart and generous with thoughtful idea sharing. I can’t tell you how lucky I feel to have the grey hairs 🙂