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Alumni Profile

Meet Green Entrepreneur and Executive Gina Dennis, WCL/JD '03, Kogod/MBA '05

By Isaac W. K. Thweatt

Gina Dennis

Gina N. Dennis, LEED AP, WCL/JD '03, Kogod/MBA '05 leads a team of consultants and professionals with expertise in green buildings, solar and wind energy, the LEED green building standard, green technology, and much more. As a graduate of Spelman College and two-time alumna from American University, we thought our sustainability-conscious alumni would find her work and journey through AU as interesting as we do.

AU: Thanks for taking time to chat with us, Gina. Can you tell us a little about yourself and your inspirations?

Dennis: I am from D.C., near AU. My family inspires me. My father is a brain surgeon (neurosurgeon) and my mother advocates for children with disabilities. My twin brother Gary is a dentist (endodontist) and my brother Gregory is an immigration, IP lawyer. I am the CEO of Relerience, an international "green" consulting firm. I enjoy long distance running for hours at a time. I also enjoy public speaking on sustainability, green energy, and social entrepreneurship.

AU: That's is living near AU how you discovered us?

Dennis: I have long ties to American University. My childhood home is on the same road where AU is located. I also have relatives that attended American University. In 2000, during my law school selection process, I was immediately impressed with AU's Juris Doctor/M.B.A. dual degree program. I knew AU was a natural fit.

AU: What at AU fed your passion for what you do today? 

Dennis: AU gave me the tools to solve problems and use strategic communication to create value. At the Kogod School of Business and the Washington College of Law, my professors were practical. Kogod taught me how to develop and implement growth strategies for companies. WCL taught me how to identify obstacles, prevent challenges, and resolve complications. I use that knowledge with consistency as I advise companies on LEED green building compliance, sustainability strategies, and business growth.

AU: Interesting. Is there anything "cutting edge" all AU alumni should know about your industry?

Dennis: Sustainability, green buildings, and green energy are a global reality that will grow exponentially as the demand for energy surges worldwide and as the need for energy diversification increases. The industry still needs better technology. New technology and innovation will enable essential outcomes for sustainability, green buildings, and green energy.

AU: What one or two points of advice would you give a young alumnus or current student aspiring to own his/her own company or lead in the field of sustainability management?

Dennis: Everything begins with the individual: (1) You must always move forward, and (2) you must always have a passionate belief in your invention, your service, or your product.

AU: Thanks for sharing a bit more about who you are. We can see that you're a social media maven as well, so we'll be sure to share your LinkedIn page with our AU family.