Lawrence Lamondin

Lawrence Lamondin, A.B. '12
Making a profit out of water conservation

Billions of gallons of fresh water, a finite resource that is becoming scarce, are wasted annually. To Lawrence Lamondin, A.B.'12, this is not just a problem for the environment – it’s also bad for business. And, more importantly, there is a solution.  

EcoSystems, the company he co-founded with his brother (and best friend) Richard and with some help from UM’s Launch Pad program, promotes smarter use of water in the real estate industry. They get to the source of the problem, promoting and installing more water efficient toilets, showerheads, and faucet aerators.

As Environmental Chief Officer, Lamondin, a Miami native, has now led more than 40,000 bathroom upgrades nationwide and completed projects in over a hundred properties, in 21 states and 76 cities. The result? Close to $15 million and over two billion gallons of fresh water saved.

Lamondin has always been an entrepreneur at heart - his first ventures included selling baseball cards and dog walking as a kid. He was recently selected, along with his brother, as an Endeavor Entrepreneur at Endeavor’s 79th International Selection Panel and also administers Denver Water’s Low Income and Non-Profit conservation program in Colorado.

We touched base with the successful UM alumnus to learn more about his life and work.

How did you come up with the idea for this company? What inspired you to create it?

My brother and I started EcoSystems with the knowledge of building budgets and how they limit any asset-a condo or multifamily property, etc. We had the assumption that we knew the best way to maximize those savings - our proof of concept.

The inspiration for us was our passion for educating people that water conservation is not just good for the environment - it’s good for business. Everything we do is centered around that belief.

What does a typical day look like for you?

At a high-level, on a daily basis, I focus on scaling our personnel, our business and our team structure--putting ourselves in a position to pivot, if needed, based on market shifts. I manage people and logistics with the goal of providing the best service to our clients.

With that said, we are a nimble team and client demands can necessitate that I roll up my sleeves and install toilets at a property clear across the country. And the next day I’ll meet with the president of a top 10 multifamily management company for a sales meeting.  I think this is very unique and exciting to someone in my role.

How has your degree in psychology contributed to your professional or personal success? 

For me, the biggest contribution my degree has made to my career is my connections with people. I am involved in a variety of sectors of our business, from management, sales and marketing, to HR. A background in psychology - understanding human minds and behavior - has enabled me to lead a team of 30 blue-collar professionals with various skill levels. The majority of our team works on projects all across the U.S. and are up against various deadlines and weather issues.

In order to be a successful leader, I need to be able to understand their needs, what makes them tick, and how to communicate in a way that resonates and inspires - sometimes from 3,000 miles away.

What do you think alumni will find most interesting about your story?

Our first big break for EcoSystems was a contract with a fellow UM alumnus, Rob Rothschild. He was in my graduating class in 2012 and gave us two thirds of one of his buildings to enable us to show proof of concept. He ended up saving a significant amount of money and we still work with him today. Rob also introduced us to our biggest client. Relationships are so important!

Any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?

1. Be intentional about your experience at the University. Have fun, but take whatever resources you can out of it. For me it was to have fun and build my network - and that paid off for me.   

2. A lot of people have ideas. If you’re able to figure out how to bring yours to life and stay determined to weather the highs with the lows, then don’t wait another day to start your business.