Meet Kara

Founder & Climate Lead

Career Accomplishments:

  • Led a team of 40+ subject matter experts using a collaborative framework to write the City of Spokane’s 2021 Sustainability Action Plan that includes the City’s first climate action plan.
  • Developed a methodology for conducting climate risk assessments for financial institutions by combining a variety of tools including assessment frameworks from NOAA's climate programs and standards from the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB).
  • Founded and grew Spokane’s B Corp community by providing leadership and technical support to local businesses using B Lab's B Impact Assessment as a framework. Certified B Corps make a formal commitment to transparency and accountability in the areas of social and environmental sustainability.
  • Co-managed the Spokane Climate Project to research and communicate climate impacts and vulnerabilities across the Spokane region in partnership with NOAA’s Regional Sciences and Assessments program.
  • Created community engagement plans for the five Upper Columbia United Tribes (UCUT) as part of their priority climate action planning funded through the EPA’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Grant.
  • Adjunct instructor for Gonzaga University’s new professional certificate in Climate Action Planning. The program is the first of its kind in the US and is designed to help professionals develop the skills and learn the tools for climate action planning at both community and organizational levels.
“It’s important that our climate is livable for future generations. To address the challenges brought on by climate change, we must reimagine our cultural, political, and economic systems to become more just and regenerative.”


About Kara’s work:
Kara is the fire and vision behind Measure Meant. Her broad professional background would make anyone blush, and she took some admirable leaps of faith to get us here. Throughout her career, she has worked in aerospace, information systems and technology, marketing, hospitality, real estate, city government, and nonprofits. Everywhere she worked, she just wanted to do more.

In 2017, she began using her experience to help transform ‘business as usual’ into systems with more accountability and transparency. Under her leadership, the Measure Meant team has worked with dozens of companies across the Pacific Northwest, throughout the U.S., and overseas, to use their resources to improve environmental and social outcomes. Kara spent four years working with the City of Spokane as Manager of Sustainability Initiatives to update the City’s Sustainability Action Plan, which includes a comprehensive climate action plan. She did this work by leading large project teams and conducting robust community engagement to ensure the final project was supported by Spokane residents and key partners.

As part of her dedication to addressing the impacts of climate change, Kara spent several years working with the Climate Impacts Research Consortium and fellow Spokane colleagues to conduct a climate impact and vulnerability assessment for the Spokane region. In August of this year, Kara began teaching climate action planning at Gonzaga University with her co-instructor, Brian Henning. The course is a professional certificate program offered in partnership with the Gonzaga Institute for Climate, Water, and the Environment and the Gonzaga Center for Lifelong Learning.


Education:

  • Master of Professional Studies in Leadership for Sustainability, University of Vermont Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources
  • Bachelor of Arts in English, University of Washington


Certificates and Speaking Engagements:

  • Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Business Practices, University of California San Diego
  • TRUE Zero Waste Advisor
  • Northwest Climate Conference (2019 & 2021)
  • Spokane River Forum (2019)
  • NOAA Climate Programs (2021)
  • Hope for Creation Earth Day Event (2022 & 2023)
  • Multiple guest speaker engagements at Gonzaga University (Business & Economics), Eastern Washington University (Planning & Environment), and Whitworth University (Business)