Sheela Lal is BlueConduit’s State Lead (Pb) Service Line Program Coordinator and Water Equity Officer.
Here’s a quick Q&A with Sheela.
Why did you join BlueConduit?
Timing. I live in a house with lead service lines and lead paint. Even though we are proactive about our own lead abatement, getting lead out of homes and other buildings should not be the onus of individuals. The responsibility must be in the hands of our largest power brokers. It wasn’t until President Biden signed the bipartisan infrastructure plan into law that I had hope that lead abatement would start in earnest. I joined BlueConduit to make sure municipalities could affordably move from lead service line replacement conversations to action that positively impacts all residents.
What professional experience and expertise do you bring to BlueConduit?
I bring a decade of formal and informal public sector relationship building to BlueConduit. I care about meeting decision makers where they are, and providing policy options to create a better standard of living for their residents. My work history is varied, but all highlight my willingness to learn quickly, recognize what I don’t understand (and ask for help!), and build trust and teamwork in new environments. These traits are necessary for technology startups, especially when our clients may not be familiar with our tech solutions.
What does a day in the life of BlueConduit’s State Lead Service Line Program Coordinator and Water Equity Officer look like?
BlueConduit is a startup, which means my days are never the same. It ranges from working on Requests for Proposals, to sitting in on water infrastructure informational calls, to building relationships with other organizations within the water equity ecosystem, to providing support to the marketing and product teams. I close my computer each day knowing I’ve learned way more about water and water safety than I thought possible.
What work accomplishments are you most proud of and what goals have you prioritized for this year?
It is too early in my time at BlueConduit to list accomplishments! But I can look back on my first few months here and see how much I’ve learned and how I’ve grown into my role at the company and built strong relationships with my colleagues.
My goal for the year is to build and implement a strong sales and communication process, develop organic relationships within the water ecosystems and within our target states, and help onboard more than a few states to our software!
How do you spend your time outside of work?
I co-facilitate and curate the country’s only AAPI book club, so I tend to read a lot both for that project and for my own enjoyment. I enjoy going on walks, participating in my community through city commissions and county government, and cooking with my husband.