Welcome to our January installment of our Staff Spotlight feature, where we share a brief interview to introduce you to some of our amazing staff members here at GRID Bay Area! We’re starting the year off by introducing you to our Bay Area Regional Director, Renee Sharp! Renee was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a true adventurer and nature lover. She leads our Bay Area-North Coast team with a holistic approach that reflects and promotes our triple-bottom-line of People, Planet, and Employment. Keep reading to hear more about Renee’s story!
How did you come to GRID?
I had been working in the environmental advocacy/policy/research world, and was a research director at the Environmental Working Group. But my master’s degree was on the environmental, economic, and social impacts of energy production, specifically electricity, so I was really interested in renewable energy and mitigating the negative impacts of fossil fuels. Ready for a new challenge, I discovered GRID and thought, “Really?! I could help low-income communities, the planet, and help people get jobs all at once? I want to do that!” I feel so lucky to be at this great organization -- we literally have wins everyday.
What GRID Value most resonates with you?
This is a tie between Community and Innovation. Community because we’re all in this together, literally. We all live on this planet, all the people and plants and animals, and we’re all intertwined whether we like it or not, so we owe it to each other to work together. Innovation because I’m always interested in new things we could do to help both people and planet, and new ways to do the great things we’re already doing. Humans are complicated but we’re so creative, and I love the innovative ideas we’re coming up with on a daily basis here at GRID.
Favorite GRID moment?
At our 2017 Solarthon in Menlo Park’s Belle Haven neighborhood, I talked to a homeowner that had lived in the community for 30 years, and she felt like this was the first time that people had come to her and really, truly did something to help her. She was clearly very moved and excited and was incredibly grateful. You could tell that it was personally quite meaningful, and not just for the energy savings or to help the planet, but that there was a real group of people out there willing to spend their Saturday doing this great thing for her and her family. She was part of a new community through GRID.
Fun fact about you?
One of my life goals is to see every national park - there are 59 all over the country, and so far I’ve visited 43. My favorites are Zion, Glacier, Yosemite, and Katmai. At Katmai, in Alaska, they have the highest concentration of grizzly bears in the world that gather and fish at this one waterfall, which I personally got to witness -- the fewest group I saw was 6, the most was 21!