Co-Managing a Small Business with Big Aspirations — and Succeeding
One experience stands out in particular as a crucial turning point in Nelina Loiselle’s college days at MUM. She had an important decision to make that presented a tough choice: face her fear and go forward or pull back and play it safe. The outcome of her decision has helped to shape her future.
Nelina had no problem mastering the complex architectural rendering software required in her senior year directed studies program in environmental science. But when asked to teach a class about it, that was another matter. “I didn’t know how that was going to go,” she says. “But it turned out well. I liked it. I liked being in charge, being a leader. I didn’t know that was going to happen.”
Now, four years later, Nelina has carried that lesson forward as Executive Vice President and Marketing Director of Above Green, a company she co-founded with her husband, fellow MUM grad Vincent Bataoel. Above Green builds high performance LEED-certified green buildings.
As managing partner, Nelina, 26, often finds herself in leadership roles, at construction sites and in meetings, directing builders, engineers and architects, many of whom are much older than her. “That teaching experience gave me the confidence I needed to lead these project teams,” she says. “I run meetings and I’m comfortable with it.”
In the highly competitive world of federal contracting in Washington, D.C., Above Green stands out as a rising star in the sustainability construction field, having completed more than 100 projects to date for federal, military and commercial clients.
Nelina’s strategic vision and marketing skills have been a big part of that success. She architects the company’s presence at conferences in the U.S. and abroad, expertly handles client needs, and often goes deep into the technical work of assuring that compliance and environmental standards are being met for projects.
But Above Green isn’t just another small business. It’s core staff is made up of MUM grads who practice TM. Transcending daily helps not only each person but the company as well — especially when customer service is a top priority. “Meditation helps with stress management and helps you be more compassionate with customers,” says Nelina. “And that’s of utmost importance.”
Have the benefits of MUM’s Consciousness-Based Education carried forward for Nelina personally? “Absolutely,” she says. “Consciousness-Based Education helps develop your self and your personality. Meditating with classmates, having time to talk about things like SCI, helps you get to know yourself better. It translates in the work environment as increased confidence.”
When Nelina isn’t at the office or on business travel, she’s often engaged in an avocation that she is very passionate about. An avid horse lover, she rides dressage in Virginia’s beautiful horse country, near the quaint town of Middleburg where she and Vincent live.
Written by Warren Goldie