Weedoo Workboats

Social Impact Heroes Helping Our Planet: Why & How Tara Lordi of WeeDoo Greenboat Is Helping To Change Our World

Weedooboats - Tara Lordi

Don’t try to do everything yourself — Hire people you trust and let them do their job. Let your chosen team provide you with valuable feedback and listen.

As a part of my series about “individuals and organizations making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Tara Lordi.

An accomplished executive, Tara Lordi’s vast experience in operations, technology, development and business makes her a force of nature to help save our planet. Her company, Weedoo Greenboat, is the leading manufacturer of aquatic weed harvesters and weed cutters. In the world today, our natural resources are valued and Weedoo seeks out solutions to preserve nature and win the fight to clean aquatic vegetation from the waterways.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit. Can you tell us a bit about how you grew up?

Igrew up in one of the most beautiful areas in New York located at the bottom of the Catskill Mountains. Typical daily activities in our area were hiking, swimming, sports, and for me particularly equestrian sports. Lakes, rivers, and ponds were a staple to most homes and communities. Canoes fastened to the top of cars were a normal occurrence. My parents have always encouraged me to be aware of the world around me. They taught me to love animals and nature, and to care for it. Additionally, traveling the world as an equestrian at a young age enabled me to experience a variety of countries and their cultures.
You are currently leading a social impact organization that is making a difference for our planet. Can you tell us a bit about what you and your organization are trying to change in our world today?

There are a variety of agents used to treat aquatic weeds but they all have one thing in common, cellular death. My late husband and I started a company to build lightweight, powerful, shoreline aquatic weed harvesters. We have equipment that is fast, efficient, and easy to use for the removal of invasive aquatic weeds in our waterways… without chemicals. Removal of unwanted biomass is paramount to a healthy waterway and ecosystem. Chemical applications only sink the detritus waste to the bottom creating lower oxygen levels, decreased water depths, and increased temperatures.
Can you tell us the backstory about what inspired you to originally feel passionate about this cause?

As I mentioned, lakes, rivers, and various waterways were a staple in our community. When I first saw a sign posted to the side of a lake “No swimming for 24 hours” I started investigating and found they were pouring chemicals in the water to kill the invasive weeds. Well, fish can’t read! Our waters are extremely important to a community and to our ecosystem. It is imperative that we maintain the natural state of our waterways as best we can. It’s important we ask ourselves why not give back to the earth since we are technically guests.
Many of us have ideas, dreams, and passions, but never manifest them. They don’t get up and just do it. But you did. Was there an “Aha Moment” that made you decide that you were actually going to step up and do it? What was that final trigger?

It must begin with passion for an idea or a cause. For starters, set goals that are attainable and that you care about. Know what you realistically expect from yourself and your team in any given time period, and break it down into smaller milestones–these are what I call small wins. Good morale in any company comes from attainable, positive goals. Discipline is absolutely vital for success; it means that you keep working hard and embrace techniquest to skillfully navigate conflict resolution.

Healthy habits like health and nutrition are part of the discipline. Ensuring that you maintain balance in your personal life as well as your work life also falls under discipline. Lastly, develop group activities for your team. We fish, shoot sporting clays, go on trips, and have dinners together. We are a family.
Many people don’t know the steps to take to start a new organization. What are some of the things or steps you took to get your project started?

If you can write a good business plan and have reasonable expectations of projected sales, it’s a good first start. I have lots of people who ask me to review their plans and give feedback. I always tell them not to do the “hockey stick.” You don’t start off selling three products then 300 the following month. It looks good on paper but in most cases, is not realistic. Reasonable expectations of your capabilities are so important. Do proper research in your industry and determine the problem and build your product around fixing the problem or enhancing what exists. I base the success of Weedoo on my customers, not myself. Listen to your customers and their needs. Develop and enhance your services and products based on the feedback of your clients.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?

I was elated to hear that an astronaut was coming to buy a boat. I was so excited and privileged to know an American physician selected as a scientist and astronaut by NASA was interested in our invention.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson or take away you learned from that?

In order to get financing, I did elaborate presentations to over 12 potential investors. After each one, I did revisions and reworked the content. Getting the contacts and the appointments took weeks, a lot of effort and endless rewrites. Before presenting to the next set of investors,I stopped by my neighbors for a glass of wine. I showed them my PPM to get their feedback, as they had extensive experience in seed capital investments. A few days later, they were so impressed they offered all the funds necessary to fulfill the raise. Here I had traveled all over the country looking for the right partners, and there they were…right next door. Never underestimate the power of a the family and friends round…and a good Chardonnay.
None of us can be successful without some help along the way. Did you have mentors or cheerleaders who helped you to succeed? Can you tell us a story about their influence?

My Grandfather was U.S. Army Air Force during WWII and flew ACRECON missions in the P-51s from New Guinea to Japan. He then reenlisted with the U.S Army as a forward Air controller and was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross. He finished Green Beret training and commanded the Special Forces first aviation unit, the 57th Aviation Company and then retired to be head of FAA at Dulles. His fearless spirit and devotion to his country started my journey to what I need to achieve.

Are there three things the community, society, or politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?

  1. Increase awareness of what we put in our waterways and how the implications can negatively impact us.
  2. Encourage politicians to include more stringent guidelines to controlling invasive aquatic weeds.
  3. Develop state laws to protect homeowners against irrigation contamination.

How would you articulate how a business can become more profitable by being more sustainable and more environmentally conscious? Can you share a story or example?

Oftentimes, people aren’t aware that “over-weeded” waterways can also be a financial hazard. There is one municipality that comes to mind and it is their experience that gave me evidence of our product giving financial relief. In southern Florida we had a municipality approach us to buy a vessel. In their current budget at that time they had allocated north of $250,000 to spraying herbicides. One year later, they approached us again and bought their second vessel. They informed us that they had reduced their herbicide budget nearly half. On the third year, they purchased their third vessel and told me that the budget for spray has dwindled to nearly nothing. That looks like a mathematical certainty that our product unequivocally provided a return on their investment and a spray free environment.

Weedooboats - Tara Lordi

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Don’t try to do everything yourself — Hire people you trust and let them do their job. Let your chosen team provide you with valuable feedback and listen.
  2. Listen to your clients. This sounds basic but I’ve learned that when you ask their opinions, they not only feel like you’re listening, they feel like they’re involved. We have a few clients who are now ambassadors for the company. They’re not only our clients, they’re our best sales people.
  3. Take time off! Everyone needs to get away. Manage your health and stick to good habits.
  4. Treat your staff like family. They spend more time with their co-workers than they do with their own family. We often do meals together, outings, etc.
  5. Keep Innovating. You can’t live off today’s success. You constantly have to stay current, being the ones to set the trends, not the ones trying to catch them.

If you could tell other young people one thing about why they should consider making a positive impact on our environment or society, like you, what would you tell them?

I don’t expect everyone to have the same passion I do about the environment and our waterways. However, I would like to make young people aware of how poison water affects each of us.. It’s important to understand that what you put into something is what you get out.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

My Grandfather whom I mentioned previously, told me something and it was the last conversation I had with him. He said “Tara, remember, needle ball and airspeed” I took that as a pilot lesson but I believe it was also meant for a life lesson. Secondly, my Dad always said to me since I was a little girl to always be “Functionally Elegant.”

Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

Matt Damon. Not only do I enjoy watching him in the Bourne films, but I’m very appreciative and interested in his water.org charity.

How can our readers follow you online?


This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!