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MWMCA Interviews Exploration Research, Inc. (ERI), a Full-Service Civil Engineering Firm

My goal is to grow ERI in such a way in which we continue to be distinctive and remarkable as well as committed to ensuring diversity and a positive, inclusive environment.
Deborah Shumaker, President, Exploration Research, Inc. (ERI)

What services does ERI provide?

ERI is a full-service civil engineering, environmental, land planning and surveying firm providing innovative, cost-effective, and sustainable design, environmental and planning solutions. We have collaboratively served the utility and public industries in the mid-Atlantic region since 1988.


What are ERI’s specialties? 

ERI specializes in navigating the complex regulatory framework of the various local, state, and federal agencies by utilizing a seasoned, dedicated, multidisciplinary group of professionals with education and vast experience in environmental sciences, civil engineering, planning, surveying, urban forestry, arboriculture and landscape architecture. Through the years, ERI has leveraged our thorough understanding of project development along with environmental and permit processes to eliminate impediments and expeditiously guide thousands of projects to successful completion.


What market area does ERI serve? 

Headquartered in Elkridge, Maryland, ERI is ideally located for responsive and efficient services for engineering and environmental projects in Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.


What makes ERI unique? 

We develop long-term lasting relationships with our clients through effective communication with all stakeholders and provide reliable cost-effective, cutting-edge innovation by utilizing an efficient hands-on senior management approach. This approach throughout each project provides the ultimate quality control, quality assurance and sound economics cumulating in a timely and successful project outcome.


What is my biggest challenge as a woman-owned business?

As a woman-owned business, the biggest challenge is defying social expectations in a scientific field.  It is rare to count the number of women beyond one hand when I go into the field or attend a meeting.  In some scenarios, I feel the need to adopt a stereotypical posture and be someone I am not.


How do I overcome this challenge? 

I believe that, first and foremost, I need to remain true to myself, find my own voice and rise above these preconceived expectations.  In other words, I do not feel the need to conform to others’ ideas of what a leader should look like.


What goals do I have for ERI’s future? 

My goal is to grow ERI in such a way in which we continue to be distinctive and remarkable as well as committed to ensuring diversity and a positive, inclusive environment.  My belief is that perspectives from a wide range of backgrounds generate novel and creative thinking; thus, producing the smartest and best results from my team.


How can one contact me? 

Deborah Shumaker, President

Exploration Research, Inc. (ERI)

410-567-5210 ext. 206

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