Published on November 24th, 2015 | by Millennium Magazine Staff0
ENVIRO AgScience Celebrates 30 Years of Business
Pictured Dr. Louis Lynn, ENVIRO AgScience, Inc.
Columbia, SC – It is estimated that minority-owned businesses are two to four times more likely to fail than majority-owned businesses. In fact, a report by the Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration stated that black-owned businesses have a 60 percent chance of surviving for four years. These startling statistics make the 30-year business anniversary of ENVIRO AgScience, the largest minority-owned landscaping firm in SC, all the more poignant.
On November 18, 1985, Dr. Louis Lynn founded ENVIRO AgScience after he was down-sized from Monsanto Corporation, an agriculture company. He took his severance pay and founded a company that combined his love for horticulture, his respect for the environment and the science that links the two together.
Entrepreneurship was not a foreign concept to Dr. Lynn. His father was an entrepreneur; he owned a butcher shop in Darlington. His grandfather owned and operated a grocery store in Hartsville, near Lamar where Dr. Lynn was born and attended school. For 15 years, Dr. Lynn used his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in horticulture to climb the corporate ladder. When Monsanto initiated a reduction in workforce, Dr. Lynn decided it was the perfect time to follow the path his father and grandfather had taken.
The first contract ENVIRO AgScience was awarded was for site-wide grounds maintenance at Mack Trucks in Winnsboro, SC. Until then, the ENVIRO team had been installing, landscaping and maintaining the grounds of upscale residential and multifamily housing communities.
While horticulture and working with the earth have been Dr. Lynn’s passion since taking 4-H in high school, he accepted other opportunities along the way that helped ENVIRO evolve into the full-service construction and landscaping firm it is today. In fact, the company now receives 70 percent of its revenue from construction. It regularly services government agencies, military facilities, public school districts, municipalities, airports, institutions of higher learning, as well as, private sector organizations.
ENVIRO construction and landscaping projects can be noticed across the Columbia cityscape. Highly visible projects include Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, Colonial Life Arena, Hilton Columbia Center and several houses in the USC Greek Village. ENVIRO is currently part of the team that is building the new Columbia minor league baseball stadium, Spirit Communications Park.
Fostering a relationship with the City of Columbia played a major role in ENVIRO’s success. Bob Coble was mayor of Columbia from 1990 to 2010, during the company’s most integral years of growth and establishment. “When I look at ENVIRO AgScience today, I couldn’t be happier with the progress it has made. It has always been the City’s goal to nurture minority businesses by providing them with the tools and opportunities they need to succeed. I congratulate Dr. Lynn and appreciate the contributions that he and his company continue to make to the City,” Coble says.
Over the years, numerous awards and accolades have been presented to Dr. Lynn and ENVIRO. In 2012, ENVIRO was named Small Business of the Year by the US Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency – Columbia, SC. That same year, Dr. Lynn was awarded the Ronald H. Brown Standards Leadership Award by the US Department of Commerce. In August of this year, Columbia Chamber of Commerce named Dr. Lynn Small and Minority Business Advocate of the Year.
As Dr. Lynn settles into a more philanthropic role, his children, Dr. Krystal Conner, Adrienne Lynn Sienkowski and Bryan Lynn are taking larger leadership roles in the business. Now that he has turned over the day-to-day operations to his team, Dr. Lynn serves as chairman of the company and spends a lot of his free time being of service through board affiliations and appointments.
He currently serves on the corporate board of directors for BB&T bank and is a senior member of the board of trustees for Clemson University, his alma mater. Dr. Lynn also serves on the board of the SC Commission on Higher Education and the national board of the National Association of Minority Contractors. He is also president of the SC Chapter of the National Association of Minority Contractors.
Dr. Lynn and his wife of 42 years, Audrey, are members of First Nazareth Baptist Church in Columbia. He says being of service to civic and religious organizations allows him and ENVIRO to “pay their civic rent”.
City of Columbia mayor, Steve Benjamin, says, “ENVIRO AgScience has become such a mainstay in Columbia. Companies like this, that are ‘in it for the long haul’, add stability to our economy. I couldn’t be more proud of Dr. Lynn and ENVIRO. I wish them 30 more years of success and dedication to our great city.”
Thirty years ago, Dr. Lynn declared he would never again allow his life to be uprooted by an employer. Today, as he looks back upon his path with fond memories and great appreciation for his struggles and triumphs, he isn’t the least bit regretful of his decision.
To congratulate Dr. Louis Lynn and ENVIRO AgScience on their longevity and success, call (803) 714-7290 or email Louis.Lynn@enviroags.com.
About ENVIRO AgScience, Inc.
ENVIRO provides exceptional construction management, design-build landscaping and grounds maintenance services, but also brings a culture of accountability and responsiveness to every project – a culture that ensures the highest quality work and a commitment to addressing issues and meeting our customers’ needs.
About the MBDA Business Center
The mission of the MBDA Business Center – Columbia, SC is to assist Minority Business Enterprises compete in the global economy and to stimulate the national and local economy through job creation. To fulfill this mission, we assist MBEs with access to contracts and capital, strategic business counseling, and becoming export-ready. Complete information about the MBDA Business Center and its services can be found b visiting www.ColumbiaMBDACenter.com or by calling (803) 743-1154.