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2014
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.

January 31, 2014

California’s Drought Makes it to the National Stage

Despite the glorious rain and snow that fell Wednesday and Thursday across northern California, we are still undeniably in the midst of the most serious drought in the state's recorded history.

The situation has gotten even worse since early January. DWR just released the results of its second snow survey of 2014, which showed statewide snowpack water content at only 12% of average for this time of year.

Before this, the lowest similar readings were 21-25% of normal – which doesn’t sound half-bad right now.

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Kerri Timmer
Brittany Benesi
Communications Director

Brittany Benesi

Communications Director

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. 

Personal Highlights:

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.

January 28, 2014

Putting a Human Face on California's Drought

Earlier this month I posted a Sacramento Bee article on Sierra Business Council’s Facebook page that described how January’s snowpack measurements, combined with the record-breaking dryness of 2013, indicate that California is facing one of its worst droughts in recorded history. Along with the article on Facebook I posed a direct question asking, “How has the drought affected you and yours?”...

What we got was a serious dose of reality.

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Project Assistant

Brittany Benesi

Communications Director

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. 

Personal Highlights:

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.

January 22, 2014

Lincoln Light Swap - For the Community, Made Possible by the Community

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to organize and complete the Sierra Energy Watch Program’s light swap event in charming Lincoln, CA...

Being just a few months into my fellowship and entirely new to the process of going door to door talking to downtown businesses, this idea seemed pretty intimidating at first.  I wanted to make it clear to business owners that we are not simply a for profit company trying to sell lamps!

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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.

January 17, 2014

What California’s Drought Means to the Sierra

As you know by now, California’s Governor Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency for the state earlier today in response to what has been the driest water year on record in the state.

Precipitation is at 19% of normal to date in the Northern Sierra region and only 7% of average for the whole water year (Oct. 1 through Sept. 30), according to the Department of Water Resources.

As you'd expect, Sierra snowpack is alarmingly low...

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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.

January 15, 2014

Can Old Buildings Meet New Energy Standards?

The California Energy Commission’s Energy Efficiency Standards, commonly known as Title 24 Part 6, have saved Californians more than $74 billion via reduced electricity bills since 1977.

The success of these standards and other energy efficiency efforts has played a significant factor in keeping California’s per capita electricity use flat over the past 40 years while the rest of the country’s use continues to rise.

The problem for the Sierra Nevada is that a significant percentage of the buildings in this region were built prior to 1977...

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