I first came to Reno when I was 20 to visit my father who had moved here after a brief visit. Like him, and many visitors to Reno, I came, I was wowed, I fell in love, and have made it my home.
I came for a visit, ready to return to college back east at the end of the summer. I was so taken with Nevada, though, that I wanted to stay. Since I was a geology major, my father suggested I go see the Dean of the School of Mines at the university about a late admission. This was a foreign concept to me, after the east coast elitism of college applications.
Much to my surprise, I was able to get a meeting with the Dean. He talked with me, asked me about my grades and scores and goals. At the end of the meeting he said “I believe in you” and admitted me to the university on the spot, assuming my paperwork backed me up when I got it to him.
The Dean of the Mackay School of Mines took a chance on me. Over the years, I hope I have earned that Dean’s faith in me. I’ve built a very successful business here, together with my husband of almost 30 years, Herb. Our company has pumped millions into the Nevada economy in the good years. We have also struggled through lean years, and know intimately what many other businesses and individuals have faced throughout this recession.
I’ve served the community as the Nevada State Water Planner, as Director of the Truckee River Flood Management Project, and on the boards of the Mackay School of Mines, DRI, the Nevada Diabetes Association, the Ward 2 Neighborhood Advisory Board, and many others. And all because of one fateful trip to Reno, and meeting a man, the Dean, who trusted and believed in me.
Why I Ran the First Time:
I ran for Reno City Council (and was elected) for the first time in 2014. I thought we needed someone who could build consensus and get things done, a “do-er.”
As the State Water Planner, I worked to develop the first state water plan in 25 years. This wasn’t easy – this is the West after all, where “whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting,” as they say – but the plan got a standing ovation during a joint session of the legislature, when Democrats controlled one house and Republicans the other.
As Executive Director of the Truckee River Flood Project, I managed to get local governments to come together to sign a joint powers agreement, and achieved more than 600 unanimous votes during my six years there. We secured millions in funding and contributions, finished four major construction projects, and developed many more, some of which are about to begin. These are projects that will not only help prevent costly flooding but will also put hundreds of people to work.
I believe the Reno City Council needs this kind of get-things-done experience and attitude. That’s why I’ve decided to run.
I am a Certified Professional Geologist and Reno Councilmember – Ward 2. For three decades I have co-owned my own mineral exploration and water consulting business and am the only elected scientist within our local governments. I have a BS in Geology (Mackay School of Mines) and a Masters in Public Policy and Public Administration, with a specialty in water and energy policy, both from the University of Nevada Reno.
Prior to being elected, I served as the Nevada State Water Planner, where I co-authored the Nevada State Water Plan and the State Natural Resources Plan, and started the State Flood Management and Walker River Restoration Programs. As Executive Director of the Truckee River Flood Authority, I purchased $50 million in flood lands and led construction of the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony Levee and Floodwall, development of the Virginia Street Bridge project and Hidden Valley Home Elevation program, and restoration of four sections of the Truckee River. As Executive Director of the South Florida Water Management District, I led a team of 800 scientists in restoration of the Everglades and other water systems.
I am known to my constituents as a “Do-er.” I am a strong public safety advocate, leading the way against illegal street racing, sideshows, and intersection takeovers, and adding fire and police employees and equipment to keep our city safe. I have championed the new geothermally-heated and solar-powered Moana Pool Complex (now under construction), wild horse management projects, a new Virginia Range trail system and nature preserve, and public safety and traffic improvements.
I am passionate about housing and water issues, and an advocate for smart growth. I am accessible to my residents and strongly committed to public involvement in decision-making.
As President of an 8-County economic development district (WNDD) I have helped bring millions to our region for infrastructure development and broadband expansion. I am an animal lover and for 6 years have chaired the Washoe County Animal Advisory Board. I also Chair the Washoe County Debt Management Commission, and serve on eight other regional boards and two advisory boards at University of Nevada, Reno.
While in office, I started ReLEAF Reno, a program to double the trees in Reno, and the Pesticide-Free Parks project, and am a solar, geothermal and recycling advocate. I am an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and host bees.
- Western Nevada Development District –– President. WNDD is a 50-member, 8-county Economic Development organization, responsible for building infrastructure, job training and expanding broadband
- Washoe County Debt Management Commission – Chair
- Washoe County Animal Advisory Board – Chair
- Truckee Meadows Water Authority
- Truckee River Flood Management Authority
- Western Regional Water Commission
- Economic Development Authority
- North Valleys Water Subcommittee
- Regional Planning Governing Board – Former Chair
- Ward 2 Neighborhood Advisory Board – Liaison
- Urban Forestry Commission – Liaison
- UNR – Mackay School of Earth Science and Engineering Advisory Board
- UNR – Masters in Public Administration Advisory Council
2020 — Golden Pinecone Award for ReLeaf Reno – Nevada’s Top Environmental Award, GreenUp!
2019 — Sierra Nevada Powerful Woman – Finalist, Northern Nevada Business
2018 — Leadership Award for Jack Tighe Baseball Park – Reno Continental Little League
2016 — Women in Leadership – Finalist, Girl Scouts of Northern Nevada
2000 — Golden Pinecone Award for Nevada State Water Plan
2000 — Most Notable Government Document in US for Nevada State Water Plan, National Association of State Legislators