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Alumni Series: Margaret Dunn- Owner, Dunn Transportation

Margaret Delaney, Owner, Dunn Transportation


Margaret Dunn: I am Margaret Dunn, and I graduated from the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University.

This year celebrates my 26th year in business. I did everything probably a little bit backwards where I went to Arizona State back in 1982, and I didn’t quite find my niche until I drove a trolley. Then I quit school, and my part-time job became my lifetime passion. The School of Sustainability at Arizona State just seemed perfect, especially when I found out about the track and the focus in sustainable urban dynamics, and then further on I did my Capstone Project in transit-oriented development. I mean, that had my name written all over it. It was just such interesting concepts and such a dynamic way to look at our community, our cities and how we provide transportation and how we can do that better.

My degree in sustainability and my studies at the School of Sustainability opened up my eyes to a lot of things that, I think that if you’re just doing your day to day business that you don’t see, and part of that is being in a room of students that have different experiences. I’m twice their age, and it opened up my eyes that I really don’t know a whole lot. I think that we get kind of in this place where we know everything, and then you put yourself in a place that you really don’t know anything, so that was the dynamic of the classroom. The students and the professors are amazing and came from all over the world to get perspective on the economy and the environment and how we and how I, as a business owner, can make a difference.

Every day I implement sustainable practices at my business. Just recently we’ve implemented a new program with EcoWash, so we have reduced our water consumption by 25 percent. We’re very excited about that. We utilize biodiesel fuels every day as well and are looking at trying to convert more vehicles to an alternative fuel. Our goal and purpose really is to create a lighter footprint. I think that sustainability is about sustaining your culture. It’s about sustaining your environment that you have within your company. It’s about utilizing your resources better, being more efficient. Sustainability is being a better business, and sustainability means that you will be able to make it the next 26 years in creating those resources and using those resources more efficiently every day.

I incorporated all of these things through this class of society and sustainability and developed Rosemary, that’s my mom’s name, connecting Center City kids to nature, adventure and culture. We take kids from the Center City and we take them to the zoo. Many kids have never been to the zoo. We take them to the Audubon, the new Audubon facility right off of Central, and so many of the kids have never even had binoculars or looked through the binoculars. We take them out of the concrete just for a couple of hours and give them an opportunity to run around and play and joke. It’s just a little initiative that makes a big difference in their day and hopefully, members of our staff go and volunteer their time as well. I think that that really shows here within our own culture at Ollie the Trolley that giving back is so very important to our community and our sustainable future.

One of the things that I learned at the School of Sustainability is that it’s incorporated into every single aspect of everything that we do. Everything is so interconnected. Sustainability is more just ingrained in me now more than it ever has, and I really pay tribute to the School of Sustainability for that knowledge and for that conscientiousness.

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