WCS Member of the Month highlights the amazing stories of female leaders in the industry. This month, we spotlight Courtney Condon, Senior Project Manager at Lucid.
WCS: Please introduce us to Lucid and the work it does.
Courtney: Lucid’s BuildingOS is the leading data analytics platform for commercial buildings. We help our customers centralize data from utilities, sensors, building automation systems, IoT devices, and other sources to create a 360 degree view of resource use. BuildingOS helps organizations improve building performance by analyzing and reporting on your energy use using rich, easy-to-understand graphical dashboards. Opportunities for efficiency, conservation, improved comfort, and productivity are quickly revealed through the system. In all, we make it easier—and faster—to transform building operations data into performance improvements that save money, enhance sustainability, and drive employee productivity.
WCS: Building energy management has grown more sophisticated in recent years, with opportunities for robust data analysis, machine learning, and responsive systems. What are some of the most significant recent advances in the building energy management business?
Courtney: Building energy management has shifted to focus on the human experience as a means of reducing energy consumption and increasing ROI for commercial spaces. We’re now seeing commercial real estate developers embrace initiatives for occupant engagement, productivity, and health such as collaborative workspaces, properties with more open space, recreational areas, and biophilic design elements. Additionally, commercial buildings are increasingly becoming equipped with smart building technology, such as occupancy sensors, which can help us better understand and respond to the use of space by automatically controlling lighting, ventilation systems, or temperature.
WCS: Your work requires engaging with many players, including internal and external teams. What skills do you rely on in achieving successful project outcomes?
Courtney: The key to successful project management is using a human-centered approach to planning, organizing, and communicating all aspects of the project.
Planning: Clearly outline goals, expectations, and roles and responsibilities at the onset of the project. Create and stick to defined systems and processes to manage chaos.
Organization: Get organized and stay organized. Build a repeatable, easy-to-follow process that scales across different market verticals and stakeholder groups.
Communication: Plan ahead and conduct regular temperature checks. Foster open and honest communication, particularly about project risks and obstacles.
WCS: What has your career path been so far? Based on your experience, what advice do you have for other women seeking to enter work in cleantech?
After college, I immediately pursued my MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School to gain the skills I needed for working in a sustainability-focused role, while also working to gain experience.
I started out in sales for a small solar start-up called One Block Off the Grid (1BOG), working to qualify leads for account executives. I identified that 1BOG was close to losing its certification as a San Francisco Green Business, and ultimately a huge tax incentive. As a result, my managing director allowed me to create a part-time sustainability internship to re-certify the company and engage employees in green office practices. This is how I transitioned into a sustainability-focused role.
I left 1BOG to join Mazzetti as a sustainability program coordinator, overseeing operations and content for an energy efficiency program for healthcare facilities. I worked with facility, energy, and sustainability managers from hospitals and medical offices across the United States to implement energy benchmarking and conservation practices using the free resources from the program.
In my current role at Lucid, I work with corporations, municipalities, and schools to achieve their resource efficiency goals using BuildingOS. I guide customers through the implementation process, helping them understand their building portfolio and how best to integrate the data streams available into our platform while also teaching them how to leverage their data using BuildingOS’ applications and features. I also oversee the daily operations of the professional services teams.
My advice to other women seeking to enter the cleantech workforce is that networking is key to success. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there – go to as many events and conferences as you can so that you can connect and learn from others in the field. Every job I’ve had since I left 1BOG, I got from networking.