Lyndsay Graham, PMP, CSM, GISP
“Opportunities are everywhere, even if disguised as challenges.”
We can’t close out Women’s History Month 2022 without highlighting one of our stars from our geospatial division, GeoDecisions. As a successful project manager and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) professional, Lyndsay Graham, PMP, CSM, GISP, leads teams of application developers and GIS specialists in enhancing the spatial data of state and local government clients. She continuously strives to learn more and make connections to benefit her clients and teams and help her become a more well-rounded advisor.
We asked the University of Mary Washington graduate a few questions to get to know her:
How long have you worked in your field, and what brought you to Gannett Fleming?
I have worked with GIS since 2004 and have been managing GIS and application development projects for the past nine years. I became a part of the Gannett Fleming team when GeoDecisions acquired WorldView Solutions in 2018.
Tell us about your role here. What solutions do you provide to your clients?
I serve as a senior project manager, assisting state and local government clients wishing to improve or leverage their spatial data. I work closely with brilliant technical team members to develop spatial datasets, implement asset management systems, and build spatially-aware web applications.
How does the firm support your professional development and career growth?
Gannett Fleming has been very supportive in this area. Not only do I have a library of continuing education courses available to me, but I’ve also been able to attend the firm’s Leadership Academy, which supported my passion for building strong teams and contributions to cross-business line initiatives.
Are you a member of any committees or employee resource groups at Gannett Fleming?
I serve on the Connected Women at Gannett Fleming™ Steering Committee as the Connected Ambassadors subcommittee co-chair. This employee resource group strives to create a culture that empowers women to achieve success at Gannett Fleming, and the ambassador program helps to distribute our message and initiatives to each office.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is when I have a high-functioning team that works completely in sync with our client as one cohesive unit, and we can achieve success on the project together. I value establishing trust with our clients and working toward a common goal.
What’s one professional achievement you’re especially proud of?
I’ve been working with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) on their SMART Portal application for six years. The project team has changed over the years, but the mission of providing a solution for the intake, screening, review, and prioritization of transportation funding requests for the state has remained the same. We’ve been able to support the application and make improvements by working together with VDOT using an agile, iterative process, ensuring that we build the components needed the most.
What behavior or personality trait do you most attribute your professional success to and why?
I am, by nature, very curious, but I also love a good challenge. I enjoy learning about the different motivations and missions of our clients. I typically don’t hesitate to ask questions if it means I can more completely understand the task at hand, and I encourage my project teams and reports to do the same. Opportunities are everywhere, even if disguised as challenges.
Why is it important to have diversity around the table when working on projects?
I love this question! If everyone were the same, we’d never get better or learn, we’d never innovate, and we’d never expand our world views and grow as people. Everyone has unique perspectives and experiences that add to the collective understanding of a project or task to make the outcome stronger. Using those individual strengths and experiences as a team is so much more powerful than a singular voice.
What can AEC firms do internally to create a stronger sense of belonging across diverse groups?
Representation matters. Having diverse representation throughout the firm’s hierarchy shows a commitment to inclusion and that the firm values the contributions and different perspectives that everyone can bring to the table.
What are your favorite hobbies?
I need fresh air and sunlight to thrive, so my hobbies include most anything outdoors. I was introduced to mountain biking by a coworker a couple of years ago, and I love it. It provides exercise, a challenge, and a little element of risk. I can combine biking with other hobbies like camping, travel (it’s a great way to explore because you can cover so much ground up close and personal), and foraging (edible plants, fruits, mushrooms).
Let’s talk family!
I have an amazing daughter who is the funniest and most caring little buddy. She’s always up for an adventure.
What’s the best piece of personal advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t read too deeply into the tone behind texts or emails, and don’t make assumptions. The best way to gauge a person’s intentions is by talking face-to-face or at least on the phone.
What’s your favorite way to unwind after a busy day?
I like to turn on some loud music and make dinner while simultaneously having a dance party with my daughter. This seems to be the best stress reliever for both of us.
If you could live in any city, where would it be and why?
I’m from Richmond, Virginia, and have never really left because I love it here. It’s equidistant from the beach, the mountains, and Washington, D.C., and there is plenty to do and explore.