Employee Spotlight: Lauren Perich, Designer
This time of the year is known for giving thanks. At NELSON, we are thankful to have many Teammates who are involved in multiple causes throughout the year, including Lauren Perich, Designer. Based at the NELSON Boston office, she has been an active volunteer with numerous organizations, most notably the United Way Community Builders.
Question: How and when did you get involved with the United Way Community Builders?
LP: Through personal connections made throughout my career and education, I got started with the United Way Community Builders three years ago. From there, I spent weekends and post-business hours dedicating some time to cleaning, landscaping, painting, and planning along with other industry professionals. We provide help to local schools and low-income housing units to complete projects that they can’t support financially.
Question: What is the most recent project you’ve participated in?
LP: My most recent venture was a skills-based project for the Dorchester Bay Community Development Corporation. We worked with them to plan an artisans’ collaborative-type facility using a practically abandoned warehouse that the corporation owned. The concept was to develop a space to support local artisans, create jobs in the community, and provide education. The facility has come to be known as ‘The Dream Factory.’
Question: What did the project entail?
LP: The project required multiple site visits and post-business meetings with the potential end-users, Fab Labs for America. They are a non-profit organization focusing on digital fabrication education in New England. I established a relationship and worked directly with them to create multiple feasibility plans, taking into account the necessary equipment. I created a phasing plan for the facility, since the potential for growth is very much achievable. We gave them recommendations for a rough business plan, using Somerville’s successful Artisan’s Asylum facility as a practice model. We were also able to provide them with cost estimates for the project by other industry professionals. Since our involvement, DBCDC was able to staff the project and begin fundraising and apply for grants. Once construction commences, the facility is set to be completed in 2016.
Question: What is your most memorable experience?
LP: The most memorable part of these projects continues to be the reaction of the client once our work is complete – after we clean, rake and weed a park; after we paint a mural on the side of a school; after we refinish classrooms. The facility managers are always exceedingly grateful, and it reminds me how much I can do with adequate determination.
Question: What other community service projects are you involved with?
LP: Later this month [December], I will be participating in the American Red Cross Boston Food Pantry and, along with the rest of my office, I will be involved with the Massachusetts’ Office of Children and Families to sponsor a family for the holidays.
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