2018
Jessica Carr
Jessica Carr
Program Manager
March 20, 2018

Sierra SBDC celebrates #SBDCDAY March 21st

Tomorrow, March 21st, Small Business Development Centers all over the country will come together to celebrate #SBDCDAY, a “national proclamation of the impact of America’s SBDCs on the success of our nation’s dreamers, innovators and doers - America’s small businesses.” 

This is a day when SBDCs will be sharing their client’s successes, economic impacts, and results nationwide. To celebrate our own Sierra SBDC version of #SBDCDay, we wanted to share the national impacts of America’s SBDCs, as well as highlight some of our results from our 2017 impact report.

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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.

March 16, 2018

Unaccounted for Water and the Value of Leak Detection

While water is always a hot topic in both California and Nevada, most of us aren’t typically thinking about where our water comes from, let alone how it reaches our taps. When we are thirsty, we just walk to the sink or refrigerator and fill up a glass. We expect there to be water available when we turn on the faucet.

The truth is, however, that there is quite a bit of unseen work required to make sure that the water is available when we turn that faucet handle.

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Clarke Stevenson
CivicSpark AmeriCorps Fellow

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.

March 09, 2018

Workforce Development: Finding Balance in Expectations

In the last month alone, I have heard the topic of workforce development discussed everywhere from closed rooms with office chairs to  the chairlifts of mountain resorts. The question of how to fuel an industry with qualified candidates, coupled with the demand to get the job done is constantly in conflict. As a recent graduate, I have been personally navigating this gap.

I remember the feeling of entrapment after college. The smell of fryers and the grease-covered burns on my arms followed me home from my kitchen shift at the pub.

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Justine Quealy
Climate Planning Technician

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.

February 23, 2018

Climate Change, the Olympics and Solastalgia

I’ve always enjoyed watching the Olympics, but there’s something a little off about the experience this time around. The athletes this year are as impressive as ever, but seeing all the wintery weather of Pyeongchang on my TV has me wishing for more snow here in the Sierra Nevada.

While a few inches of snow have accumulated this week and hopes for a “Miracle March” are strong, it’s not nearly enough to create a solid and stable snowpack, which measured at only 27% of normal on February 1st.

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Ben Maritato
Climate Planning Technician

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.

February 15, 2018

Anticipating the Effect of Trump Administration's Solar Tariff

On January 22nd, President Trump approved a tariff on imported solar cells to safeguard US producers from cheaper international prices. The tariff will begin at 30% the first year and decrease annually by 5% over the next four years. Additionally, the first 2.5 gigawatts of cells imported each year will be exempt from the tariff. While this tariff is significant, it is not as steep as many in the solar industry feared it would be. The question remains though, what will its impact be on solar energy production in the U.S?

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