What is your role at ILLUME?
I’m a Managing Consultant; my role is to lead research and evaluation projects. I work to help our clients understand the needs/wants of their target customer markets, calculate energy savings attributable to their programs, ensure they meet regulated standards, and ultimately, to provide data they can use to make informed decisions about how to reduce energy waste and keep energy costs low.
Where are you from and where do you live now?
I’m a Midwesterner at heart – born and raised in Indianapolis, IN. After a few years of service and traveling the United States as an AmeriCorps VISTA, I put down roots in Tucson, AZ where I live now. As The Little Prince’s Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said, “I succumbed to the desert as soon as I saw it.” I love the landscape of the Sonoran Desert and the artistic, passionate culture of this town.
Who or what inspires you in your work?
I have a long history of doing work that contributes to a greater good. It’s what inspires me. Even as a teenager, I was volunteering for a teen crisis hotline. Over time, I became involved with organizations and causes I believed in, like encouraging college student civic engagement with the Florida Campus Compact and teaching financial literacy with the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona. After grad school, I got involved in research and evaluation with LeCroy & Milligan Associates working to help nonprofits and public agencies assess program effectiveness and design strategies for improvement. It was a natural leap for me to join the energy industry through ILLUME. My work and the work of my team helps energy service professionals understand and enhance their efforts to achieve a cleaner, safer energy infrastructure. And I believe that’s so valuable.
Do you have any pets?
I have a wily Lhasa Apso named Itchy and small calico cat named Pinta. Both are in the twilight years, often causing my partner and I to feel like we’re running a facility for senior pets. That said, they spend a great deal of their time brightening our days with snuggles and warmth. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
What are your favorite hobbies?
My main hobby these days is caring for a growing baby which is set to meet the world at the end of this year. As you can imagine, we do everything together. We like to cook and enjoy delicious meals, take walks around the neighborhood, and of course, grab some salted caramel ice cream when the mood strikes.
What’s your favorite quote or motto?
I think the best quotes are those that you stumble over in times when you need to hear them the most. One that has always stuck with me from my younger years is, “When you’re at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hold on.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt.
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
The worst? I worked at a bank once. It was a fine job, but they required us to upsell customers on credit cards. I always felt that credit cards are not for everyone and can lead to more trouble than they’re worth. Needless to say, I never earned any of the prizes they gave to employees for selling. I have to say that’s one achievement I’m proud to have missed.
What is the best concert you ever attended?
The best concert I ever attended was with Devendra Banhart. It was a small venue packed with people dancing and loving the music. It was a great night.
What is your superpower?
I see the good in everyone. This doesn’t mean I’m naive, but it does mean that I live by the philosophy that we all do the best we can with the tools we have in the moments that we have them. Even when I disagree with others, I can still see that each person has their own real experience with the world, and I believe that experience is valid.
If you could have chosen another career path, what would you be doing?
In another life, I could see myself working for the Forest Service preserving and maintaining the beautiful lands we’re so lucky to access.