The Farm SoHo Coworking Member Q&A: Chris Musei-Sequeira (Founder and Principal of consulting firm CJSC, LLC)

We had the pleasure of chatting with Chris Musei-Sequeira for this week’s Coworking Member feature. The founder and principal of “premier consulting firm” CJSC, LLC, Chris “asks the hard questions about social injustice in aviation.” His goal is to “help companies and governments answer those questions” for everyone’s benefit.  

Meanwhile, Chris also tells us that using The Farm SoHo’s coworking spaces has brought “major benefits” for his physical and mental well-being. 

Read on and learn more about Chris and his interesting field of industry.

Tell us a little about your consulting firm and your target market.

I provide strategic advice to airport operators and aviation-sector companies. I inform them about how their activities affect the environment and the communities around airports. Plus I help them turn their negative impacts and risks into positive opportunities for their stakeholders. These include (but are definitely not limited to) reducing noise and air emissions in the air and on the ground.

I target local and state governments, aircraft operators, and aviation consultants that need my specialized environmental and stakeholder engagement capabilities.

What is your professional background and how did it lead to founding a consulting firm?

I was trained as an aeronautical engineer and environmental policy analyst at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. My first job out of graduate school was helping to set energy efficiency standards as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Energy. Later, I joined the Federal Aviation Administration Headquarters in Washington, D.C. for 6 years. I helped establish domestic and international environmental policies for aviation. I also directed the development and improvement of software tools that the aviation industry uses to model aviation environmental impacts. After that, I consulted to airports across the country for five years. I specifically focused on environmental matters (noise and air emissions), including the computer modeling and public outreach associated with both.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I like to listen first. In my field, I’ve found that people outside of the aviation domain have taught me so much about social justice and environmental strategy. Listening first has helped me bring their wisdom into my work.

What new trends are emerging in your industry and how is your consulting firm CJSC, LLC adapting to them?

The global aviation sector is talking about going “net zero” on carbon dioxide emissions by the year 2050. Here in the U.S., the Department of Transportation is also focusing on topics of climate change and racial equity. I’m seeing massive opportunities for new ways of thinking and new business processes in these conversations. These could advance economic and health opportunities for communities that have been historically marginalized in transportation planning.

 When I go to aviation conferences and get invited to speak in panels, I specifically look through a justice lens. I want to highlight how traditionally marginalized communities need to be centered in these conversations going forward. Talk can be cheap, yes – so I focus more on helping people take action. 

What apps or tools do you use the most in your business?

Email, Zoom, Teams, Excel, and Word! Boring, I know, but they're fundamental to my work. Ultimately, I’m a strategic advisor, which means that communication is essential for me.

What do you love to do when you’re not managing your consulting firm?

I love to walk – yes, walk. New York City is the ultimate walking city. I’m always amazed at how a 15-minute walk can take me across neighborhoods that substantially differ in architecture and culture. 

I also like to hop on a motorcycle every now and again.

What’s the most meaningful advice you’ve ever received in life?

Tough question! I’ve learned so much wisdom from so many people on matters of relationships, career, race, justice, and more. But certainly when I look through the lens of my own business, I see the importance of being an active participant in my career and my life rather than waiting for people to give me opportunities.

When and why did you opt to base your consulting firm in a coworking space at The Farm SoHo?

I discovered The Farm SoHo through an app and company called Croissant back in 2017. I later learned firsthand how coworking can benefit my physical and mental health, as well as my professional relationships. 

The Farm Soho is a relatively quick journey from where I live in Northern Queens. It's also near a subway station with many lines that could take me all over the city.

Has your work-life balance improved since you started using coworking spaces? How so?

It sure has! The simple routine of getting up and out of the apartment to come to The Farm SoHo, rather than simply rolling out of bed to the computer at home, has major benefits for my physical and mental wellness. 

Being around people also gives me some of that social energy I miss at home, even when I’m not in active conversation with others.

Lastly, tell us about where people can find you and your consulting firm online.

I can be found on LinkedIn and those interested may also check out our official CJSC, LLC website.

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