We had the good fortune of connecting with Erin Deady and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Erin, let’s start by talking about what inspires you?
I’m inspired by my little girl. Growing up in Florida and spending so much time in the Florida Keys and in my hometown Lantana, I’ve seen the impacts of sea level rise and climate change up close. I’ve experienced flooding on the streets near my home. I’ve seen the degradation of our beautiful coral reefs in Florida. I’ve seen our counties and cities struggle to find solutions to the impacts of climate change and that’s what I am helping them do- find solutions. I want her to be able to grow up and experience Florida the way I did- seeing the wonder and awe of our precious natural and marine resources and being able to keep living in Florida in a sustainable community.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I am proud of the fact that my firm is the first of its kind in Florida. A woman-owned firm solely dedicated to helping local governments find solutions to climate change challenges by becoming more resilient communities. We are law firm and an urban planning consulting firm. We work almost exclusively for counties and municipalities or private sector clients on these issues including energy policy and financing.
People told me this area of legal and planning practice was a pipe dream that will never go anywhere. That it was bogged down in too many politics and there was NO way to “make money” at it.
I overcame these challenges by proving the naysayers wrong. We have secured over $20 million for local governments to do sustainability and energy planning, climate adaptation and policy work including litigation. We have become a statewide and national expert in these fields and are a well sought-after advisor, author and speaker on these topics.
Lessons learned along the way including “going with the gut”. When you know you can combine what you love with strong inspiration, dedication and creative problem solving, you can do anything. We are trusted partner and ally for our clients.
I do this because I love it. I am personally dedicated to the mission I perform for my clients. I consider myself an environmental steward and I combine that with hard work that balances my professional commitments and my family. My love is for Florida and all of our diverse, weird, fun and incredibly beautiful resources and communities. My goal is for my daughter to grow up and see that the way I have- so I want to sustain, restore and protect it.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
A nice weekend for us would be in the Keys, almost anywhere in the Keys, Upper, Middle or Lower Keys. There are just too many wonderful places to eat and things to do, but that weekend would certainly be spent on the water.
Closer to home, you can find us for breakfast at Dune Deck or Kona in Lantana where there is park to take our little girl to play after a little food. If the weather is good, we like to boat over to “Beer Can” Island sandbar inside Boynton Beach inlet where we will grill up some jerk chicken, float on the llama float and run around on the sandbar. We might go for lunch at Two Georges in Boynton Beach!
At night, since our office is right off Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach, you can find us taking an afternoon to take our little girl over to Sandoway House on the beach to see the fish and turtles and sharks and learn more about the area marine life. You can also find us at Delray Beach Children’s Garden some weekends. There is no shortage of great locations in downtown Delray including the Historic Museums, restaurants, bars, festivals and wonderful events. Finally, we have a great Market with a Food Hall and great eating all under one roof.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My first real professional boss was a man named Stuart Strahl. He was an incredible mentor and leader that believed in seeking solutions with all the right people at the table, regardless of their politics, economics or color of their skin. He was way ahead of his time in the conservation movement in Florida.