Meet a member of the Green Business Network, Carrie Luce. We recently chatted with Carrie to learn more about her business, passions towards advocacy and volunteering, and the green initiatives she is taking at home.
Luce is an independent contractor, working as the lead Solar Designer for Solar Design Studio, an EPC- Engineering, Procurement, Consulting, and Construction firm. They specialize in helping commercial and residential customers receive optimal returns for their clean power investments. Luce is considered the “glue” of operations.
Luce is a drafter by trade and graduated from Vatterott College with an emphasis in AutoCAD. Luce decided to leave the corporate world with an interest in solar, and by chance, she was introduced to Bob Solger after posting her interest on Facebook one day. She took a few classes from Solar Energy International, and the rest is history. She has now worked as a partner there for 2 ½ years. Luce’s computer skills are a perfect match for Bob’s personable skills and knowledge of business.
So why solar? Luce believes, “Solar energy is important because everyone needs energy, that will never change. Coal cannot last forever, and we have an abundance of sun.”
Most of Solar Design Studio’s work is based out of California because the Midwest is a little behind when it comes to renewable energy. Carrie says, it’s only a matter of time before solar makes its way to Kansas City in a big way. She believes that people want it and are just waiting for it.
Luce is determined to do work for the greater good. She says, “For as much time as we spend working, we should get paid to do what we love and are passionate about.”
For Luce, being a Solar Designer pays the bills, but what she is most passionate about are, “the bees, the trees, the butterflies, and seas.”
Her earliest memory of caring for the environment was back in grade school when she learned about how aerosol deodorants were affecting the ozone layer and how harmful they are to our environment. “At a young age I realized that I needed to be better and not selfish with my actions when it comes to our planet and small impacts.”
She believes that people who want to make a difference, will.
Luce is an advocate for all things environmental and loves to spend her free time volunteering and leading in sustainable efforts. That is actually how she found Bridging The Gap. She is an ambassador for KC parks, helping to maintain the lands while also hosting littler clean ups herself. To Luce, “it’s about people being involved and protecting our city,” and in order to properly lead, Carrie believes one must be passionate to help encourage others to do the same and follow.
In addition to those efforts, she has created a self-sustaining rain garden in her yard that includes native plants and grasses, multiple food sources, cover, a place for wildlife to raise young, and running water which qualifies as a certified wildlife habitat according to the National Wildlife Federation. Her mindset is that small changes make a big difference. She’s a conscious consumer and stays local in every way possible: who she connects with, where she eats, and who she buys from. “It keeps the city thriving, and it brings the community closer together. It’s up to us to keep our community going and thriving.”
Luce loves the Green Business Network because it allows her to see what else she can do to get involved around our city. It also introduces her to like-minded people with whom to collaborate. She appreciates the Green Business Network and other organizations that share experiences and provide a community or ecosystem. It’s important to encourage people while providing easy opportunities to get involved.
In the future, Luce hopes that future businesses and growing businesses in this industry “will be more inclusive with an effort in diversity. Diversity is big. There needs to be more women and people of color. We need to welcome all and continue to spread that message.” She is hopeful that she can set a new standard.