Where do you currently work?
I serve as Deputy Director for Development & Operations at Pacific Environment. Pacific Environment protects the living environment of the Pacific Rim by promoting grassroots activism, strengthening communities and reforming international policies. We work in China, the Russian Far East and Siberia, Alaska and California, dedicating over 1/3 of our budget each year to funding and nurturing grassroots organizations on the frontlines. We confront taxpayer-funded banks that back oil, gas, mining and timber extraction and the companies that profit from these often environmentally devastating projects. We support and encourage sustainable fishing, renewable energy and initiatives that put environmental protection and communities first. It is a long-term and leveraged approach that gets results.
Discuss the career and educational path that led to your current employment.
I have held positions as executive leader for Bay Area arts organizations Teatro ZinZanni and earlier, the Midsummer Mozart Festival, among others. For six years, I led marketing, sales, and sponsorship at California Shakespeare Theater, and prior at ODC Dance/San Francisco. I spent over ten years as the owner of a music consulting firm to international recording artists. I received my B.S. in Business Administration from John F. Kennedy University, and am pursuing an MBA in Strategic Management.
What is your typical day like?
They are never the same! I am responsible for development, communications, and operations. I develop and oversee our fundraising and outreach efforts, including grant-writing and foundation relations, individual and major donor outreach, electronic communications, media relations, and event production, and also oversee operations, including human resources, financial accounting, technology, and office management. On any given day I wear many hats: personnel, forecasting revenue, making donor calls, board recruitment, planning a fundraiser or strategic planning – or approving expense reports.
What environmental issues are most important to you and how as individuals can we personally support these issues and increase awareness?
I believe climate change and excessive energy and resource consumption are the core issues. Our dependence on fossil fuel is accelerating global warming, along with the insatiable desire for consumer goods that requires ever-more aggressive resource extraction in fragile habitats, costly transportation of raw materials and finished goods over longer distances. Short-sighted energy policies are threatening indigenous cultures and their traditional lands at an alarming pace.
While my professional focus is to support efforts to combat these problems, there are things we can all do. It’s about mindfulness: embracing that often-quoted, but true “think global, act local.”
Choosing a cause to support and dedicating a portion of your income and/or time is incredibly important. So is sharing your concern for issues with your network and those who represent you and your interests. Let companies and merchants know if their practices do not align with conservation values. Vote with your pocketbook.
At home we compost and recycle obsessively (yes, I wash foil) and are enthusiastic urban farmers. It’s been fun to learn how to can, pickle and preserve the bounty of our garden. I’m addicted to salvage yards, and nothing tickles me more than the annual clothing swap with my girlfriends to re-purpose our wardrobes. Using public transport, planning auto trips carefully, and even observing the speed limit all help.