Where do you live? San Francisco, CA
What is your profession? I do PR for the planet, which entails using storytelling and strategic communications to educate audiences on the effects climate change is having on the environment and life, as we know it. My work includes advocating for and advancing policies, technologies and partnerships to reduce carbon emissions, increase the use of clean energy, and mitigate and adapt to the new normal we’re experiencing here and around the world.
How did you get this role and what was your path leading up to this? In short, it was a calling that I answered more than 10 years ago. My passion has been centered on environmental protections — primarily helping to raise awareness of climate change issues and what can be done to address them. The catalyst for answering that calling was a series of incidents that included a bike accident in Central Park that put me in the hospital for two weeks, turning 40, breaking up with a man I thought I was going to marry, and reading Crimes Against Nature by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. During that time, the orchestrated effort to deny climate change took off and I couldn’t wait any longer to do my part to counter that.
What did you study in school? I studied Print Journalism and Political Science because I wanted to be an investigative reporter and cover environmental and social justice issues. I always believed in the power of mass communications to effect change, which, for me, started in grade school with a Save the Seals letter writing campaign. While I worked as a reporter when I graduated, I ended up in PR because there were more opportunities in that field. After 10 years of working for global agencies and private-sector companies, I started my consulting under the name All Things Green PR and have also been fortunate enough to serve as a California communications director for Environmental Defense Fund and as an appointee to the California Energy Commission heading up its strategic media department.
Has anyone been a mentor to you? What role did they play and how do you feel about mentorship now? I have had mentors throughout my career and each one of them taught me something uniquely valuable or helped me grow and develop as a professional. The roles included helping me become more strategic, a better writer, manager and leader, and overall, a more empathetic and authentic colleague. In today’s corporate environment, especially here in Silicon Valley, people often work 50–60 hours a week. This leaves little time for mentoring, which is unfortunate. My belief is you have to pay it forward and I actually enjoy helping people — whether they work for me or not — grow personally and professionally.
What’s the hardest thing that you’ve had to deal with in your career so far? I have had to deal with being laid off and fired, which were both significant growth experiences that taught me a lot and turned out for the best.
What has been a really rewarding moment in your career? Getting appointed by Governor Jerry Brown — whom I consider a true climate champion — to serve as the California Energy Commission’s first Deputy Executive Director of Strategic Planning and Media. It was an incredible opportunity to say the least.
What do you want to accomplish in your lifetime? So many things: doing PR for a documentary filmmaker who’s producing the next Chasing Ice or Merchants of Doubt; handling media for the ACLU or Southern Poverty Law Center; helping a non-profit group like NRDC publicly counter what’s happening at the federal level under the current administration and working (again) for one of the state agencies in California that are leading on climate change.
What’s something you want young women to remember when thinking about their future? Given the amount of time they’ll spend in the workplace and workforce, it’s imperative to find a career and a job that will be rewarding and would do even if they weren’t getting paid. One of the best books I read on this was by Po Bronson, What Should I Do With My Life? You can also create your own job if you have a passion and a vision. It’s also to remember to value yourself and you’re your contributions in and out of the work place. Finally, every job choice you make will affect the choices that come afterwards.
What’s one thing you want to try to make an impact on in your lifetime? Climate change for sure and civil rights given what is currently happening to our country.
Where can people find you online?
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