Laurie Chester Lessans
OGS Order Green Supply LLC
As an entrepreneur starting her business in her 50s, Laurie Chester Lessans didn’t even think about the long hours and hard work it would take to make OGS Order Green Supply a success.
Instead, she was focused on the opportunity to build something of her own. Ten years later, Lessans is still at the helm of the wholesale building material supply company, and this year it was recognized by Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council as a Top 100 Minority Business Enterprise.
The company works with general contractors to provide cost-effective environmentally safe materials for development for the future.
Lessans encourages young women to enter the world of construction in Maryland, giving presentations and mentoring one-on-one so they can be part of a diverse team.
“We’re a strong woman-owned business. We embrace the strength of all individuals, and I encourage women to enter into the construction business in wholesale distribution of building material supply, as well as other realms,” Lessans said.
Lessans spent much of her career specializing in helping companies rebuild after losing their footprint, and also creating new divisions. She was owner of Organize IT! before launching OGS Order Green Supply.
In 2015, Lessans earned her MBA from the University of Phoenix, augmenting the bachelor’s in community development she already had from UMBC.
Lessans was also inspired to create a new nonprofit to benefit her hometown of Baltimore while on a trip to Indonesia.
She noticed debris-free neighborhoods and found out there was a competition between neighborhoods to be the cleanest areas. B-Baltimore Green Corp was formed to help communities work together to create a debris-free Baltimore.
“Debris isn’t just about trash, it’s about the wellness and health of our city, Baltimore,” Lessans said. “B-Baltimore Green is looking at it debris as really a contamination of every aspect of a person’s health and well-being: psychologically, emotionally, physically and socially. It impacts the health and welfare of every single neighborhood.”
What is the best piece of advice you ever received and from whom?
The best piece of advice I ever received was from Dr. Dolores Hunt, a very wise professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. On my last day of class, Dr. Hunt said, “Laurie, someone else’s inconsistencies have nothing to do with you, so just remember that you take you wherever you go and you are that one candle has the potential to light the whole world.”