Christi Redfearn (PMBA ’06)
Cleaning the Path to a Greener Future
When it comes to janitorial services, Christi Redfearn (PMBA '06) knows the ins and outs of the industry. Her grandfather and father started REDLEE/SCS, Inc. one of the nation's leading minority janitorial organizations, and Redfearn grew up around the business. After graduating from Texas A&M in 2001 with a BBA in finance, Redfearn tried working for midsize and Fortune 500 companies, but her heart was in the family business. She went to work at REDLEE/SCS as the staff accountant, handling contractor payments and budgets.
In 2004, Redfearn began the Cox PMBA program because of the school's strong national reputation and the opportunity to go back to school while still maintaining her day job. In school, she learned how to look at a business opportunity and consider how it can be done better, what the failure points could be, how to take an idea successfully through the different stages of business and how to take a business and move it through emerging technologies and techniques so it doesn't become an obsolete business.
Today, Redfearn runs marketing and development for REDLEE/SCS. She has helped create a comprehensive green cleaning program, working with the US Green Building Council's (USGBC) LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system - an internationally recognized green building certification system. Redfearn became an expert on the USGBC to ensure corporate processes and procedures would comply with LEED requirements, create stages of green cleaning and validate sustainability.
REDLEE/SCS helps its customers work through the complicated LEED rating system.
Pieces of LEED can be applied to operate every building in a more sustainable and responsible way, with the end goal of reducing operating expenses. One of those pieces is REDLEE/SCS's cleaning program, which works in stages to give customers a level of sustainable cleaning depending on their budget, end goals, etc. Each stage is based on LEED standards.
"We were able to take advantage of our years of industry experience to create our sustainable cleaning program that provides a true customer benefit while helping them navigate through some of the pitfalls that exist in our industry with the goal of operating sustainably as a whole," said Redfearn.
Outside the office, Redfearn serves on the marketing and finance committees of the American Indian Chamber of Commerce, where she is a junior board member. She also volunteers with the North Texas Chapter of the USGBC were she reports to the executive director.
"I love being a part of something that brings sustainable building architecture and operation awareness to the Dallas-Fort Worth area," said Refearn. "It's easy to let the East and West coasts take the driver's seat in many things, but helping in any small way to make the Dallas/Fort Worth area a leader in this movement is critical to me."
In June 2009, Redfearn was named one of the Dallas Business Journal's 40 Under Forty for her accomplishments in business and to the community. In addition, REDLEE/SCS, Inc., has made the Cox School's Dallas 100TM Awards three of the past four years. This list identifies and honors the 100 fastest-growing privately held companies in the Dallas area.
Redfearn's success is inspired by her grandfather and father who built the company with no outside funding, and have managed to grow and remain successful since 1982.
"They've managed to bring some tremendous talent on board over the years, they've been smart enough to spot emerging trends and move on them before their business model becomes obsolete, and they've managed to create an environment where extended family works well together and still enjoy each other's company after business hours," said Redfearn. "Just one of those things can be incredibly difficult, but doing all of it is nothing short of astounding, and I know I have some well-respected shoes to fill one day."