Allison Reeves, 36
Land Counsel, Resource Environmental Solutions, LLC
- Part of the land team delivering the first turn-key project in Maryland for the Chesapeake Bay Nutrient Reduction Program.
- Working through the company rollout of an Enterprise Resource Planning system that includes all projects, financial transactions and reporting.
- Part of the land title team for the largest single piece of foreign direct investment in U.S. history: an LNG chemical expansion in Westlake.
President of the Thrive Foundation for Thrive Baton Rouge, as well as a member of the Charles W. Lamar Jr. YMCA Board, Junior League and an alumna of Teach for America.
NAME ONE BOOK THAT HAS INSPIRED YOU PROFESSIONALLY
Bayou Farewell: The Rich Life and Tragic Death of Louisiana’s Cajun Coast by Mike Tidwell. This is an odd choice for a professional book, but this book introduced me to the incredible need for wetlands restoration.
WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD, WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP?
I always wanted to be a journalist or an author.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB, HOW OLD WERE YOU AND WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM IT?
My first job was as a summer camp counselor. I was 15 when I started at the day camp at the Harris YMCA in Charlotte, North Carolina. Those days were hot! I worked at the same summer camp for four years and became the assistant director of the pre-school camp when I was in college. The Y taught me the value of teamwork. Everyone at camp had a role in the execution of a high-quality program. I keep up with my camp family to this day.
WHAT IS THE STRANGEST JOB YOU’VE EVER HAD?
Copy editor at the Austin American Statesman. The job itself was not unique, but I don’t think most people know what goes in to producing a daily newspaper. I arrived at work around 3 p.m. in the afternoon and left after midnight. My tasks involved designing newspaper layouts and editing stories.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE FOR A BUSINESS LUNCH IN BATON ROUGE, AND WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE DISH THERE?
Southfin Southern Poke. My order is the Wasabi Gras over zoodles with two scoops of tuna, extra jalapeños. The restaurant has great seating and it’s perfect for conversation.
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?
My husband and I have two daughters who are absolute firecrackers. My girls make every day exciting but challenging. Being their parent is my greatest achievement.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST FULFILLING MOMENT IN YOUR CAREER SO FAR?
I am fortunate to be a part of an incredible professional team of landmen, project engineers, accountants and a robust sales force. We’ve recently had several big “wins” on large project awards. My group loves a good celebratory email. Each time I receive one, I smile and think, “All right! Let’s get to work!!”
WHAT WAS YOUR PROFESSIONAL “AHA” MOMENT?
I’m still having them! I learned along the way to never ask someone else to do a job that I’m unwilling to do myself.
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED THE HARD WAY?
There are no shortcuts. My professional tasks often involve long, deliberate hours of review and comment. There is simply no way around sitting down with a survey or document and reading every word.
WHAT GIVES YOU PROFESSIONAL INSPIRATION?
Seeing a restoration project take shape and achieve its program goals.
WHAT IS THE BEST COMPLIMENT YOU’VE EVER GOTTEN FROM A COLLEAGUE OR BOSS?
“I support you 100%.” There’s no bigger compliment than to have put time into a plan of attack or an approach, and then to have superiors choose that path.
ARE YOU ACTIVE ON SOCIAL MEDIA? IF SO, ON WHICH PLATFORMS ARE YOU MOST ACTIVE?
I’m on Facebook and Instagram.
HOW MANY TEXTS DO YOU SEND ON AN AVERAGE DAY? HOW MANY EMAILS?
Ballpark 75 texts, 150-200 emails. Infinitely more if it’s a Deal Closing Day.
HOW LOW WILL YOU ALLOW YOUR REMAINING PHONE OR COMPUTER BATTERY LIFE GET (IN %) BEFORE YOU HAVE AN ANXIETY ATTACK?
No anxiety, but I don’t like for the battery to go below 50%
HOW MANY UNREAD MESSAGES ARE IN YOUR INBOX RIGHT NOW?
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE APP AT THE MOMENT?
I really enjoy the Seesaw app from my oldest daughter’s school. I like that the teacher can post updates and shots from the students’ projects.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENT OF THE PAST DECADE?
OK, land nerd here. I love that GIS and Google Earth data is readily available online. It can be tough to visualize project needs on a parcel of land that team members have never seen. Now, we have the capability to share a link and discuss a parcel in real time.
WHAT TECHNOLOGY DO YOU WISH WAS NEVER INVENTED?
My best friend and I communicate almost exclusively through GIFs. She and I text throughout the day. I’m not sure humanity is that much better off with cute animated photos, but I do love to send them!
WHAT TIME DO YOU GET UP ON WORKDAY MORNINGS?
BREAKFAST AT HOME? BREAKFAST ON THE GO? BREAKFAST AT YOUR DESK? NO BREAKFAST AT ALL?
Always breakfast at home with a large cup of coffee. For a while, I cultivated a sourdough mother. My favorite thing to make with the dough is homemade English muffins. I make a mean breakfast sandwich.
THE SAYING GOES: “BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD.” SPECIFICALLY, WHAT ARE YOU “BEING” TO MAKE BATON ROUGE BETTER?
I’m passionate about education. I absolutely believe that we can create a different narrative for students by investing in and improving public schools. I love telling community members about Thrive and offering creative ways to get involved in our programs with students.
WHEN DID YOU REALIZE YOU WERE “GROWN UP?”
I was 22 and standing in front of my very first class of second graders as a Teach for America Corps Member in Opelousas. It was 2004, and I was petrified.
WHAT WAS THE BEST VACATION YOU HAVE EVER TAKEN?
Christmas in London when I was in college. Best trip ever. The weather was perfect, and my family had a great time together.
FAVORITE GIFT YOU WERE GIVEN AS A CHILD?
As a teenager, my parents gave me glider pilot lessons. It sounds crazy, even now, that my parents would let their oldest child take to the skies, but it was an adventure.
WHICH TALENT OR SUPERPOWER WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO HAVE AND WHY?
Wouldn’t we all like to be able to fly? I could get more things done!
WHAT’S A NICKNAME YOUR FRIENDS OR FAMILY MEMBERS HAVE FOR YOU?
Lewis, my maiden name. High school, college, law school friends, everyone still calls me Lewis.
WHAT ARE YOU SUPERSTICIOUS ABOUT?
Bad things come in threes. I just know it.
I love an ice-cold real Coke. I don’t mess around with fake sugar.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BAND OR SONG?
I’ve been caught belting out Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way” in my car by other drivers. At this point, I just own it.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE?
“You’ve Got Mail”
WHO WOULD PLAY YOU IN A MOVIE?
IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR 18-YEAR-OLD SELF?
You’re fine. No one else really knows what they’re doing either. But study harder in economics; you’ll need those skills later.
A very lazy 10-year-old Weimaraner named Pledge.
I enjoy working out at the downtown YMCA. I try to go a couple times each week. I also needlepoint, and if you come to my house around Christmas, you can see some of my handiwork. I’ve done a stocking for each member of my family—I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m still finishing the one for my youngest daughter and she is four years old!
TELL US ABOUT A MOMENT THAT CHANGED YOUR LIFE.
My family lost my only sibling, my brother, in an accident eight years ago. It sounds cliché, but everything recalibrated when Jimmy died. I prioritize time with my family, especially our family dinners. I purposefully seek out ways to spend time with the folks that I cherish. Some of my favorite memories of my brother are the Sacred Simple Nothings that fill the life of a family—shared songs during road trips, conversations on the couch, silly talk during meals. I’m much more purposeful now about creating the time and space for friends and family to simply be together.
WHAT’S THE NEXT BIG PERSONAL OR CAREER CHALLENGE YOU PLAN TO TAKE ON?
My team at RES was recently awarded several large-scale projects. It’s daunting and intimidating to think of programs like these—the size and scope overwhelms me at times. But then I think about this advice: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
WHAT CONCERNS YOU MOST ABOUT THE FUTURE?
I’m concerned about apathy toward community and political engagement. Everyone cares deeply about at least one topic. It’s a challenge to stay engaged when there are an increasing number of work and personal commitments, but I’d encourage folks to stay active in the areas that they care about.
WHAT GIVES YOU THE MOST HOPE ABOUT THE FUTURE?
Watching my youngest child learn fundamental life skills. She’s in Pre-K so I see her class learning to write their names, and some starting to read. Watching a them develop is just incredible, and it’s hard not to feel extremely hopeful watching them.
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ADVICE FOR FUTURE FORTY UNDER 40 HONOREES?
Don’t take yourself too seriously.
DO YOU PLAN TO BE IN THE CAPITAL REGION FIVE YEARS FROM NOW? WHY OR WHY NOT?
Absolutely. My parents relocated to Baton Rouge from Charlotte, North Carolina, this spring, and we’re thrilled to have them so close.
IF NAMED KING FOR A DAY, WHAT IS ONE CHANGE YOU WOULD MAKE IN BATON ROUGE?
Everyone is going to comment on the traffic, so I’ll say I would like just one snow day again this year!
DO YOU HAVE A BUCKET LIST? IF SO, WHAT ARE THE TOP 3 THINGS ON IT?
- Two-week trip with my husband and children to France
- Enroll in a full-length culinary class for bread or pastry making
- Attend one NCAA Championship game, preferably one where the Tar Heels go all the way