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.

Welcoming Chris Mertens, SBC's New Government Affairs Director

Encouraging a commitment to the larger community and fostering a sense of individual purpose are two of SBC's core values. We support these values not only with our partners in the region, but also with our own staff.  

It is in this spirit that I celebrate the recent changes in SBC’s Government Affairs program. Former Government Affairs Director Diana Madson has left SBC to expand her policy work with the Western Conservation Foundation, where she will direct the foundation’s Energy Program. As sad as I am not to be working with Diana every day, I am proud that SBC propelled someone like Diana to pursue a passion for western states land management, climate, and clean energy policy in a larger community context, especially at a time when such policies are at enormous risk.

In her three years with SBC Diana not only successfully launched Sierra CAMP and supported our advocacy work in Sacramento, but she was instrumental in building SBC’s and the region’s reputation with diverse partners ranging from our own Sierra community, to urban and Valley leaders throughout the state, and even on the national stage. Diana was also a primary instigator, along with Steve Frisch, of SBC's dogged pursuit to unite urban and rural leaders to better understand their mutual dependences and support each other’s needs and goals.  The substantial funding for Sierra Nevada forest, watershed, and community sustainability in the two 2018 park/water bond initiatives is a direct result of her efforts.

COMM ChrisMertens Pic 2018 02As it often happens though, when one door closed another opened – and in walked our new Government Affairs Director, Chris Mertens. I am so pleased to introduce Chris, who starts with us on January 29. Both SBC and our partners will benefit from Chris’ more than 10 years of government affairs, legislative advocacy, and political campaign work as Legislative Consultant and registered lobbyist for a Sacramento lobbying firm and as Associate Environmental Planner with the California Tahoe Conservancy. His work on issues of climate change, natural resource conservation, clean energy, alternative transportation, and sustainable communities is a perfect mix for leading SBC’s advocacy and government affairs team. Like Diana, he will be an amazing asset to SBC and the region.  

Chris' connection with the Sierra Nevada began at a young age exploring Lake Tahoe, the Tuolumne River watershed, and Yosemite with his family. After receiving his B.A. in Political Science from UC Davis and then working in Sacramento for six years, he moved to the Sierra fulltime. These days, his preferred method of travel in the mountains is on his mountain bike or split board. He is thrilled to be in a position where he can share his passion for the region with policymakers who can protect this special place and its communities for generations to come. 

Chris has a crack team to work with here at SBC, including Nikki Caravelli, [http://sierrabusiness.org/who-we-are/people/staff] who joined SBC as Sierra CAMP Project Manager and Climate Technician after her stint with us as a CivicSpark Climate Fellow, and Clarke Stevenson, [http://sierrabusiness.org/who-we-are/people/staff] SBC’s current CivicSpark Climate Fellow. Together they will continue SBC’s outreach and advocacy efforts to increase community vitality, economic prosperity, environmental quality, and social fairness throughout the Sierra Nevada. 

Please join me in welcoming Chris to the SBC family! You can reach him after January 29th at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 530-582-4800.