Brittany Benesi is the Communications Director for Sierra Business Council, promoting programmatic work that catalyzes community, economic, and environmental vitality throughout the Sierra Nevada. Originally from Seattle, Brittany has lived and worked in the Truckee/Tahoe area for the past four years. While finishing her degree, Brittany worked as a Youth Mentor with Seattle Tilth’s Youth Garden Works Program, helping homeless and disadvantaged adolescents develop job skills through urban agriculture. Once in Tahoe, Brittany started her work with Sierra Business Council as a Communications Intern and quickly made her mark with her focus on positivity, team building, and a commitment to the triple bottom line. Brittany is a graduate of Seattle University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies, a specialization in Education and Communications and a minor in Psychology.
As a child of the Pacific Northwest, Brittany grew up with a full appreciation for the natural world and the amazing recreating opportunities found therein. As a Sierra Nevada resident, Brittany especially enjoys running, hiking, snowboarding, stand up paddle boarding, and any time she gets to be outside with her husband, Steven, and canine companion, Shasta.
More than a Job: Why the Sierra and I are Lucky to Know SBC
I know I’m lucky, and it’s not just because I love what I do. Many people love their job, (and goodness knows, many others - not so much), but my luck goes beyond that. I love not only the work, but what the work means, the impact it has and the implications it makes for the future of this region.
I don’t know that I would be so lucky if I had stayed in my home city of Seattle. There’s just something about these mountains, the communities scattered throughout them, and the people who live, work, and recreate herein. It’s hard to put a finger on exactly what it is – passion for the outdoors, bootstrapping mindsets, a culture of innovation – but Sierra Business Council gets it.
If you are even a semi-regular reader of this blog, (new articles weekly!), then you know that for over twenty years SBC has been advocating for the Sierra Nevada in both Sacramento and Washington D.C., aiming to make the all-important connection that California and Western Nevada’s urban downstream users rely heavily on the resources supplied by our upper watershed. You know that we have supported small businesses throughout the region via our energy efficiency retrofit program and Sierra Small Business Development Center, through our efforts to get travelers off the beaten path via our Geotourism project – just to name a few. Our Climate Planning Team supports community vitality through their thorough work on Greenhouse Gas inventories and energy action plans, cutting local jurisdictions’ energy use as well as their energy bills, plus the Team works to vet development proposals to make sure they fit the character of a community and encourage not only prosperity, but sustainability.
It’s a huge breadth of work that makes up Sierra Business Council. I understand that the variety and overlap can make it tough for our network to put their finger on exactly what SBC does, but I truly believe that breadth is our strength. Through dipping our toes into multiple muddied waters, we have found new solutions to long-standing problems and have acquired the knowledge and experience to implement and advocate for solutions. We have also gained a broad network of people who care about this region for a multitude of reasons. Perhaps you care about the Sierra because you enjoy mountain recreation, maybe it’s because you’re committed to preserving rural communities, or it could just be that you enjoy drinking water in San Francisco. Regardless of why you care about the Sierra, you’ll likely be able to find an SBC program that supports your affinity.
I know I’m lucky. I work for an organization that is doing the work I want to see done in my community, in the mountains I’ve grown to love, (please don’t tell the Cascades). I want you to know that if you care about the Sierra Nevada, you’re lucky too. You’re lucky to have an organization like Sierra Business Council working on behalf of the region you love.
Consider making a donation to SBC as part of your holiday giving today. We simply can’t do the work without your support.