ENVIRO AgScience, Inc.


Dr. Conner Completes Tuck School MBE Program

Dr. Krystal Conner attended the Building a High-Performing Minority Business Program as part of Tuck Executive Education at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. The program is designed for minority firms to evaluate and strengthen their businesses by using the business as a case study. This week-long program gives business owners the skills to thrive in a rapidly-changing marketplace while surrounded by other businesses for inspiration and professional development.

“My participation in Tuck’s program helped me look at our supply chain and find ways to maximize performance and profitability across all sectors of our business offerings. I came back better informed and inspired to lead ENVIRO to the next level. In keeping with the execution of the succession plan, the Tuck School program was a great investment for the future of ENVIRO. We can now work to apply all the teaching and guidance in our strategy and planning for the coming year,” stated Dr. Conner.


A Way To Grow and Compete


That old adage rings true in business: sometimes, two heads are better than one.

As we grow ENVIRO Agscience into one of the premier construction and landscape firms in the country, we’ve learned that partnering with other companies helps advance our growth strategy tremendously. Joint Ventures (JV) and/or Teaming Agreements– with similar sized firms or larger ones – maximize the best that each company has to offer and increase the benefit for the client. It’s a win-win-win for all companies involved.

ENVIRO uses partners to strengthen long-term relationships and to collaborate on short-term projects.  Partnering helps us grow our business, increase productivity and generate profit.  They also help us gain entry into new markets, increase capacity, share financial risks, provide access to greater resources; including specialized staff, technology and project financing/bonding capacity. We have used joint venture, teaming agreement and strategic partnerships on most construction jobs over $10MM and currently partner with three JVs.

When ENVIRO was in the SBA 8(a) program, we found joint ventures to be a good tool for learning the processes, procedures and policies that help fuel the growth of our organization. These teaching opportunities provided us with significant on-the-job training and priceless preparation for future expansion.

As with any relationship, finding a good partner is critical. ENVIRO uses a team approach to identify opportunities and partners. Our marketing director, Ly Eldridge, researches opportunities that fit our corporate profile, and she never seems to sleep. Lonnie Leslie, our business development director, networks at events across the country to connect with corporations that may have an interest in working with us. Director of construction, LeRoy Courseault, recently joined our effort to ensure that opportunities are an ideal fit. Our team weighs the risks and benefits of each opportunity before presenting them to leadership. Thank goodness for a team that makes decision-making a lot easier.

A good opportunity begins with a good partner, and it’s best to pick a partner you can trust. Your ideal partner should share similar business philosophies and corporate cultures. You’ll work closely together, so like-mindedness helps to minimize conflict. Communication is key. Meet regularly and remain transparent with open, honest discussion about the direction you want to take.

(Remember that sometimes even a successful company on paper just won’t be a good fit for your company’s goals and objectives. Don’t force it.)

Once you’ve identified your ideal partner and established open lines of communication, you should reap the rewards of a solid business relationship. The opportunities can be endless, so make the most of them.

Learn | Lead | Succeed

Leave an Inheritance to Your Children


I don’t know what’s harder: raising children or building a business. But after doing both for several decades, I can say that, without a doubt, it’s more important to raise children. Nothing gives you more pride than watching your children develop into thriving adults. It’s our charge from God, and it’s one that my wife and I took very seriously.

God also instructs a good man to leave an inheritance to his children, and what better inheritance than to leave them than the business I started 30 years ago. So, when it looked like my time to step aside, step down or just step away was approaching, I prayed long and hard about how to pass the torch. My three children had all become accomplished in their own respective career paths, so I first had to transition them into the business. Then, I had to figure out how to transition the business to them.

As always, God sent me clear guidance and direction from a number of advisers and consultants including the Atlanta Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center.   My family and I began working with them about three years ago and learned right away that succession planning is not just about letting someone –even with your last name – step into your role. It’s about relinquishing the reins to the right person and making a smooth transition of power that doesn’t interrupt or disrupt the success you’ve created.  Sure, I’ve given my children many presents throughout their lives, but this was different. It wasn’t about wrapping up the business in a pretty package or putting a big C-suite key in a box. This was about preparing them, and myself, to pass down a legacy.

We all worked with the consultants to develop an action plan that would minimize the pitfalls that other businesses face when they fail to plan. We identified and talked about our strengths, challenges and vision for the future of the company. Coming in agreement, we found the right mix of skills, talent and aspirations to carry my vision forward and ensure success for those we work with and employ.

At the same time, I learned to step out of their way and not dictate to them how to lead. They each bring something unique to the business, and it’s my duty as the retiring CEO and their father, to help them develop their own leadership style. And that’s exactly what they’re doing.

While new leadership brings change, I am proud that my children have kept and embraced the Biblical guiding principal that I used — Proverbs 16:3.   ENVIRO AgScience, Inc. continues to contribute time and resources to pay our civic rent in the communities where we do business.   I’m proud of the adults my children have become, and I’m growing increasingly proud of who they are becoming as the new leaders of ENVIRO. I thank God for providing me with capable, loving hands to pass the torch.

Dr. Lynn

Learn | Lead | Success

Don’t Ruin Thanksgiving Dinner

Adrienne Lynn Sienkowski

“Don’t ruin Thanksgiving dinner.” That’s the Lynn family mandate passed down from my grandmother.

This simple directive reminds us that working with and for family is not just business; it’s personal.  We’re family first, with other families depending on our business decisions every day. And that’s a responsibility we take seriously.

With that charge in mind, I didn’t step lightly into the family business. My 15 years in corporate America, working for major brands such as Sonoco and Campbell’s equipped me with transferrable skills and tools needed to run a business. Yet, my opportunities were limited.  Launching new products, rising through the ranks and working with some talented and amazing people was great, but my impact was limited. Ultimately, my tombstone would not read: “Adrienne was the best engineer we’ve ever had, thanks for this product launch!”  But the family business offered me leadership on a broader scope: touching more areas of strategy, contracts, IT, finance, etc. But most importantly, it offered endless opportunities to leave a legacy.

So, when relocating closer to home became an option, I not only moved geographically, I moved professionally. I carefully strategized with my family as making this transition would prove challenging for everyone involved. Succession planning for family business is critical, and there’s no road map on HOW to do it. It’s a deliberate, proactive and continuous process. We’ve worked hard on the succession plan going from a tricycle to a bike, and eventually to a car.

Along the way I’ve discovered that while corporate may shut down for the day, entrepreneurship remains open 24/7. I find myself thinking about ENVIRO almost all day every day. I’ve also learned that all of my corporate skills did not transfer directly to my new career with ENVIRO. The business models are different, and the people are different, so it wasn’t an apples-to-apples switch.  But, I’ve been able to use my experience to balance with the family business model.

I’ve also acknowledged that there’s only one Dr. Lynn, so I was not trying to replace him or fill his shoes. Krystal, Bryan and I have our unique personalities and talents that we bring to ENVIRO, and we’re building a team that believes in the company’s vision and future. Dr. Lynn provides us with his rich history, advice and knowledge, and we work together to continue growing the company. Like any business, ENVIRO has its ups, downs and challenges; but our goal is to build upon the amazing foundation my father has established.

Working with family in this capacity is truly a blessing.


4 Tips to Break the Imposter Syndrome

Dr. Krystal Conner

They say that leaders aren’t born; they’re made.

Well, as the new CEO of ENVIRO AgScience, I have yet to determine whether I was born for this position or if taking the reins of this company will make me the leader I need to become. Maybe it’s a little of both.

But what I do know is that stepping into an executive role is not for the faint at heart. It first requires you to overcome the fear of simply being in charge, as nothing is more challenging than overcoming your own doubts and fears.

This “imposter syndrome,” which I liken to “The Great Oz,” is a fear that the curtain will be pulled back and behind that big, booming voice lies little ol’ me cowering in a corner. Like other leaders – new and old – I work to find the balance between buying into my own hype and facing my own reality. So, here’s what I’ve learned thus far:

Find your source. Every leader needs to find her (or his) inner strength, and mine comes from God. I continually work to overcome my fears by tapping into my faith, knowing that God has put me in this position for a reason, and it’s surely not to fail. He is well aware of my abilities and my shortcomings, and He will fill in the gaps. This much I know for sure.

Build a network. An executive title might imply that you should know everything, but you simply cannot.  You need to build a knowledgebase — a solid team of individuals who support your areas of weakness. Identify male and female mentors to act as sounding boards for questions you have or unfamiliar situations you face. Start with your predecessor and more experienced executives in your organization or industry.  And don’t forget the importance of encouragement. Surround yourself with like-minded friends and associates who motivate, inspire and care enough to offer advice (solicited and unsolicited).

Be authentic. As you gain knowledge in your new position, there will be times when you might not have an answer. Own it! Know what you know and what you don’t know, and be sincere about it and not overly apologetic. Chances are that if you don’t have a clue, someone you know does. Being genuine is more endearing to potential partners and customers than faking it.

Don’t fear failure. This new opportunity will stretch you out of your comfort zone, and you’re going to do some things right and some wrong. That’s ok. It’s all in preparation. Keep growing and keep learning. Read, study and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Don’t be afraid to fail, knowing that you learn from your failures.

Learn | Lead | Succeed