2019
Paul Ahrns
Program Director

Paul Ahrns

Program Director

Paul grew up in Nevada City, spending his summers exploring the mountains and valleys around Truckee. His summers in the Sierra fostered his passion for protecting and sustaining the natural wealth and beauty of the Sierra Nevada region. Paul returned home to the region in 2010 to join the Climate Planning team and work on the first phase of the Green Communities Program. Paul has served as a Planning Technician and Project Manager for the Climate Planning team providing technical expertise and project management support to assist over 30 local governments, special districts and private developers with climate planning assistance. Paul brings his experience in sustainability, planning, community engagement and project management to his new role as the Climate Planning Program Director for the Sierra Business Council.

Personal Highlights:

Paul earned his Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science & Policy from California State University, Long Beach where he graduated Magna Cum Laude and was selected as the Department’s Outstanding Graduate for 2009. Paul combines his passion for the environment and desire to explore the world. He has had the pleasure of exploring 5 different continents and more countries than he can keep track off. The highlights of which have been working with communities in Kenya to drill water wells without using electricity or fuel and exploring the incredible history and culture of China.

July 18, 2019

The Importance of Time of Use Rates: Why Shifting Energy Use in the Summer Makes Economic and Environmental Sense

With summer in full swing, my mind often drifts to all of the outdoor activities that I can’t wait to get outside and enjoy: hiking in the mountains, riding my bike around town, and swimming in the Yuba and American rivers. While my mind is wandering towards the outdoors, I remind myself how important it is to not forget about the energy use back in our homes and businesses.

In the summer months, the costs for PG&E of procuring and delivering electricity can rise to over $15 per kWh ($15,000 per MWh) to meet peak demand. Spoiler alert, this is a lot higher than the typical 20-40 cents per kWh that we pay for electricity.

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Kerri Timmer
Vice President Climate and Energy

Kerri Timmer

Vice President, Climate & Energy



As Vice President of Climate & Energy, Kerri works in partnership with local, regional, state and federal agencies and officials to advance sustainable communities strategies, climate action planning, energy efficiency programs and other SBC activities.

Kerri is a communications and management specialist with more than 25 years of public- and private- sector experience in community and government relations, business communications, land and water conservation, and nonprofit management and capacity building.  Prior to joining SBC, Kerri spent six years with the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, where she served most recently as that agency’s Regional Policy and Program Manager.  Before that, she was Executive Director of a non-profit conservation group, operated her own consulting practice where she cultivated relationships with watershed organizations, land trusts and other community groups within and outside the Sierra, and served as account executive and creative director for a community and government relations firm in San Francisco.  Kerri holds a B.A. in English Literature from San Francisco State University and a certificate in Land Use and Natural Resources planning through UC Davis Extension.  Kerri has also authored a number of publications addressing land and water conservation and community sustainability issues in the Sierra Nevada. 

Personal Highlights

Kerri and her husband John live in the foothills of the western Sierra Nevada, where they enjoy hiking, biking, boating, camping and hosting backyard barbeques for friends and family.

July 17, 2019

Climate Change Affects Us All, But Not in the Same Way: A Climate Justice Statement

As a self-proclaimed policy wonk, I was pleased when SB 1000 (Leyva) passed in 2016 requiring California cities and counties to identify vulnerable communities within their jurisdictions and reflect the environmental justice and safety needs of those communities in future planning. As a pragmatist, though, I realize that moving from legislative language to meaningful action can be challenging.

Building on the work of environmental and social justice advocates throughout the state, SBC’s Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Partnership (Sierra CAMP) is taking a first step. 

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Nikki Caravelli
Climate Technician & Sierra CAMP Project Manager

Kerri Timmer

Vice President, Climate & Energy



As Vice President of Climate & Energy, Kerri works in partnership with local, regional, state and federal agencies and officials to advance sustainable communities strategies, climate action planning, energy efficiency programs and other SBC activities.

Kerri is a communications and management specialist with more than 25 years of public- and private- sector experience in community and government relations, business communications, land and water conservation, and nonprofit management and capacity building.  Prior to joining SBC, Kerri spent six years with the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, where she served most recently as that agency’s Regional Policy and Program Manager.  Before that, she was Executive Director of a non-profit conservation group, operated her own consulting practice where she cultivated relationships with watershed organizations, land trusts and other community groups within and outside the Sierra, and served as account executive and creative director for a community and government relations firm in San Francisco.  Kerri holds a B.A. in English Literature from San Francisco State University and a certificate in Land Use and Natural Resources planning through UC Davis Extension.  Kerri has also authored a number of publications addressing land and water conservation and community sustainability issues in the Sierra Nevada. 

Personal Highlights

Kerri and her husband John live in the foothills of the western Sierra Nevada, where they enjoy hiking, biking, boating, camping and hosting backyard barbeques for friends and family.

July 12, 2019

Tiger's Nest and Wise Coyotes: A Look at Bhutan and the Sierra Nevada

In early June, I had the awe-inspiring experience of visiting Bhutan, a small rural Vajrayana Buddhist country located in the Himalaya between Tibet, Nepal and India. Bhutan is the only country in the world that uses Gross National Happiness (GNH) instead of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to measure its progress.

As I trekked across the western, more developed side of the country, snapping photos of dzongs (fortresses), fertility temples, prayer flags and lush rhododendrons, I couldn’t help but notice the many similarities between Bhutan’s governance approach and SBC’s triple-bottom-line approach.

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Relating to:
Nikki Caravelli
BJ Schmitt
Analyst and Planning Technician

Kerri Timmer

Vice President, Climate & Energy



As Vice President of Climate & Energy, Kerri works in partnership with local, regional, state and federal agencies and officials to advance sustainable communities strategies, climate action planning, energy efficiency programs and other SBC activities.

Kerri is a communications and management specialist with more than 25 years of public- and private- sector experience in community and government relations, business communications, land and water conservation, and nonprofit management and capacity building.  Prior to joining SBC, Kerri spent six years with the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, where she served most recently as that agency’s Regional Policy and Program Manager.  Before that, she was Executive Director of a non-profit conservation group, operated her own consulting practice where she cultivated relationships with watershed organizations, land trusts and other community groups within and outside the Sierra, and served as account executive and creative director for a community and government relations firm in San Francisco.  Kerri holds a B.A. in English Literature from San Francisco State University and a certificate in Land Use and Natural Resources planning through UC Davis Extension.  Kerri has also authored a number of publications addressing land and water conservation and community sustainability issues in the Sierra Nevada. 

Personal Highlights

Kerri and her husband John live in the foothills of the western Sierra Nevada, where they enjoy hiking, biking, boating, camping and hosting backyard barbeques for friends and family.

June 21, 2019

Building Personal Resilience in the Era of Climate Change

This past spring, I attended the National Adaptation Forum in Madison, WI, which included a sessions on Resilience for Climate Change Professionals. Resilience is the ability to recover quickly from difficulties. Whether we’re working in a climate-related field or not, we could all use this capacity, and we need good strategies to help us.

In climate-adaptation work, resilience is about helping communities prepare for unknown threats expected from climate crises - rapid, constant change and great uncertainty. The opacity of the future makes planning all the more difficult.

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Peter Brown
CivicSpark AmeriCorps Fellow: Gold Country Broadband Consortium

Kerri Timmer

Vice President, Climate & Energy



As Vice President of Climate & Energy, Kerri works in partnership with local, regional, state and federal agencies and officials to advance sustainable communities strategies, climate action planning, energy efficiency programs and other SBC activities.

Kerri is a communications and management specialist with more than 25 years of public- and private- sector experience in community and government relations, business communications, land and water conservation, and nonprofit management and capacity building.  Prior to joining SBC, Kerri spent six years with the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, where she served most recently as that agency’s Regional Policy and Program Manager.  Before that, she was Executive Director of a non-profit conservation group, operated her own consulting practice where she cultivated relationships with watershed organizations, land trusts and other community groups within and outside the Sierra, and served as account executive and creative director for a community and government relations firm in San Francisco.  Kerri holds a B.A. in English Literature from San Francisco State University and a certificate in Land Use and Natural Resources planning through UC Davis Extension.  Kerri has also authored a number of publications addressing land and water conservation and community sustainability issues in the Sierra Nevada. 

Personal Highlights

Kerri and her husband John live in the foothills of the western Sierra Nevada, where they enjoy hiking, biking, boating, camping and hosting backyard barbeques for friends and family.

June 11, 2019

Rural Broadband Access, or Lack Thereof: How Did We Get Here?

A great number of residents of the Sierra Nevada, like so many rural Americans, remain without adequate, reasonably priced connections to the Internet. Given the dominance of this technology in our economy and culture, and the seeming ease with which others can get connected, it is well worth wondering why high-speed internet is either inaccessible, overpriced, or of low quality for so many people in this otherwise innovative and wealthy country. So what happened?

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