Chances are you’ve walked past Athenica Environmental Services’ office on Greenpoint Avenue and 45th Street hundreds of times without realizing. One of the few second-floor businesses in our district, Athenica is an environmental engineering and consulting firm working with government and private-sector clients to conduct environmental site assessments and advise on the removal of hazardous materials/wastes, lead, asbestos and mold. They are one of the neighborhood’s largest employers, with 40+ employees, many of whom are local residents. Their workforce of engineers, geologists, industrial hygienists, soil testers and administrative staff truly reflect this diverse neighborhood – they come from 20 different nations and speak 15 different languages. The “Athenica” name itself is derived from “Athen-s” and “Amer-ica”, which proudly reflects the owners’ Greek heritage and American home.
Athenica has deep roots in Sunnyside, having been in the neighborhood for 30 years. President Gena Dongaris and Principal Spiro Dongaris have seen a tremendous change in Sunnyside since opening the business 30 years ago. “Back in the eighties, this was a tougher neighborhood,” Spiro told us. He recalled coming into his new office after Halloween to find the windows covered with broken eggs. Now the neighborhood is full of young families and children. The change has been gradual, they say, but in the last five years has really accelerated. They love how culturally diverse the area is, and feel a strong camaraderie with neighboring businesses. “Our new employees are pleasantly surprised with our location,” says Gena, “they may come to New York expecting Manhattan, but they grow to love the neighborhood.”
Next time you’re on Greenpoint Avenue, look up! Athenica is also hiring, so if you’re an environmental consultant, check out their hiring page to see if there is a position right for you.
Athenica Environmental Services, Inc | 45-09 Greenpoint Avenue, Sunnyside, NYC | (718) 784-7490