"There is a very nurturing environment at Kenan-Flagler. It allows one of my favorite things: to take an idea and bring the right people with the best skills to the table to produce the best product imaginable. "
Interviewed December 2007
Lisa Shpritz (MBA 2005) credits a great 9th grade ecology club advisor, an internship with Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Coalition in environmental justice in 1992, and many a summer day spent along the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay with inspiring her passion for environmental issues.
Lisa is currently a Sr. Vice President of Corporate Workplace for Bank of America in Charlotte, North Carolina. As a LEED Accredited Professional and Environmental Manager of the Environmental Risk and Sustainability Group, she is responsible for environmental programs and compliance for the approximately 95 million square feet of space occupied by Bank of America associates. She works to integrate sustainability into the workplace as part of Bank of America's commitment to maintaining the workplace as a competitive advantage. She spends much of her time on the utilization of LEED to drive sustainability and has been involved in the development of a Platinum-level LEED building at Bryant Park in New York City. But it's not just the real estate and buildings Lisa is responsible for; it's the everyday aspects found in the work environment, too — like recycling, environmental compliance and green cleaning — all of the sustainability concerns that cut across the entire company and in offices around the country.
Lisa doesn't see herself as a typical or traditional environmentalist since her interest lies with the "inside" environment and how to make the places where we live and work as sustainable as possible. With a BA in Biology from Cornell University and a Master's in Environmental Management from the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences from Duke University, Lisa was looking for a way to focus her interests and found that opportunity in the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School through her MBA concentration in Real Estate and Sustainable Enterprise. "UNC was the only school I applied to because they had both the Real Estate and Sustainable Enterprise concentrations."
In addition to the great classes and opportunities provided through the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, Lisa found the atmosphere to be a surprising benefit of her time at UNC. "I was surprised at how nurturing the environment was at Kenan-Flagler. With that base of support, I was more willing to take risks within my teams, and ultimately found that 'working the matrix' or resource utilization, was a true strength. One of my favorite things is to take an idea and bring the right people with the best skills to the table to produce the best product imaginable."
Lisa's greatest challenge was her career search. When businesses were on campus to interview, they identified themselves as being green or not, and many didn't understand the role sustainability could play in enhancing their competitive advantage. Lisa said one interviewer told her she was just "too green" for them. Lisa persisted in trying to find the right balance, and finally found Bank of America, where she could bring her blend of sustainability and real estate to the banking industry and have a tremendous impact on the people and the planet she loves.
Lisa is proud to be serving on the board of the U.S. Green Building Council and serves on the Finance and Audit Committee.
Favorite Leaders in Sustainability:
- Ray Anderson, Chairman and CEO of Interface Carpets
- Bob Berkebile, architect with BNIM architects
- David Gottfried — Founder, US Green Building Council and World Green Building Council
- Rebecca Flora — Chair, US Green Building Council Board of Directors, Executive Director, Green Building Alliance
- Cindy Shea, Director, Sustainability Office, UNC-Chapel Hill
Bank of America - Environment pages