Neil A. Carousso produces and co-hosts WCBS Newsradio 880’s Small Business Spotlight series with Joe Connolly. Click here to watch the weekly video segments featuring advice for business owners on survival, recovery and growth opportunities.
  • Trailblazing Woman Breaks Down Barriers in Construction and Renewable Energy

    By Joe Connolly and Neil A. Carousso

    NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — There are few women in construction, electricity and renewable energy. But, Ellen Aschendorf has broken down barriers in each of these industries.

    Aschendorf started a construction-related business more than 30 years ago. Today, she’s on the leading edge again with her company Egg Electric, Inc., which specializes in commercial electricity and renewable energy projects.

    “People didn’t just accept me,” Aschendorf said on the WCBS Small Business Spotlight, sponsored by Dime Community Bank.

    Her mentality: “I was going to finish the job, do everything correctly, and give excellence.”

    Aschendorf said her superior work spoke for itself and became the only sales apparatus she needed when men in her industry would hang up the phone after finding out a woman led her company. Egg Electric relies on referrals and repeat clients, including Facebook, NYU Langone Health and Hudson Yards.

    “We did two buildings for the business school for Columbia University,” she said, continuing, “We’re working for mostly the big corporate world as in right now we have projects going on for Facebook at 50 Hudson Yards, for Amazon at 424 Fifth Avenue, we’re doing a DDC (Department of Design and Construction) garage project in Queens, which has the EV, we’re doing the hospital for a long client NYU Medical.”

    Many of Aschendorf’s clients have been with Egg Electric for decades. In fact, one of their early clients was the New York Mets. Electricians from Egg Electric were present at every home game at Shea Stadium to operate the scoreboard in right field. Company electricians still work with the Mets at Citi Field.

    The company started building cell phone towers in the 1980s.

    “So we started doing, right from the beginning, different work. And traditionally people were either, you did hospitals, schools, commercial, residential. You did one of those, but I didn’t know any better. So I started going wherever the jobs were.”

    That ability to be nimble allows Egg Electric to follow sales in a changing industry. Today, they’re one of the companies building New York City’s electric vehicle infrastructure.

    “(DDC) had us put a tremendous amount of infrastructure for phase two, like putting in empty pipes for future EV charters. That tells me that the city is already thinking about the future and they were expecting this to increase more and more,” said Aschendorf.

    Watch the WCBS Small Business Spotlight video above.

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