DG+ is excited to welcome Barbara Weber to the team! As Marketing Manager, Clean Energy, Barbara will play a pivotal role in building meaningful client relationships, developing marketing strategies, and delivering high-quality communications and creative content. She brings more than 13 years of marketing experience to the team and has worked with environmental heavy-hitters such as Patagonia and Protect Our Winters. We recently sat down with Barbara to get to know her.
GET TO KNOW BARBARA
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in northern Michigan, and earned a bachelor's degree in Advertising from Michigan State University. I was raised by a liberal social-justice focused mom and fiscally conservative (former) Republican father and am grateful for how the two taught me the importance of critical thinking and consideration of all perspectives. While I’m a Midwesterner at heart, I’ve lived out west for 15 years, between Colorado and California. I am equal parts intellectual, athletic, and adventurous and would say I operate with a healthy balance of optimism and cynicism. I’m a naturally curious person and love to travel not only to gain new perspectives, learn about different cultures, and see beautiful places, but because I enjoy going outside of my comfort zone and being completely reliant on myself. I also love anything active and outside, from organized sports like soccer and tennis to more freeform ones that allow me to explore like snowboarding, paddleboarding, and hiking.
Why did you choose to work at DG+?
I have always had an activist spirit, but it wasn’t until I started working in climate change in 2014 that I really found an effective way to channel it. It may sound cheesy, but the E.B. White quote, “I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world” epitomizes the tug and pull I constantly feel between building a life where I can experience new, fun things and a deep-seated desire to make a positive impact through my work. I joined DG+ in large part because I genuinely feel that my role here will allow me to do just that.
I was also energized by my individual conversations with DG+ team members. I’m blown away by the brilliant yet down-to-earth nature of everyone here. We’re all very different and I know I’m going to learn a lot from everyone, but we all share that same driving desire to be doing positive, impactful work every day. I’ve been drawn to smaller teams throughout my career as there’s something truly exciting about being a pivotal part of a younger company’s growth.
What do you hope to accomplish or learn?
I believe we are all lifelong learners – I know I certainly am. The clean energy sector has already grown and changed so much since I started working in climate change, and I’m looking forward to learning about new developments and innovations. I have worked mostly on the advocacy side in the past, galvanizing support for clean energy initiatives and am excited to now be working with the people enabling this energy transition to happen. I’ve already become a complete sponge, soaking up every ounce of information I can through articles, podcasts, and conversations with our clients, and don’t see that changing anytime soon. It’s pretty great I get to geek out on these things as part of my job every day.
How do you hope to make an impact for DG+ clients?
I’m a storyteller at heart. I love telling them and I love hearing them. Stories are a pivotal part of our society and I really want to bring my perspective and experience in climate change and marketing to help our clients tell their stories, connect the dots with their partners and broader communities, and stand out in this noisy world. I’ve gained a lot of experience taking complex information and crafting messaging that’s easy to comprehend, powerful, and speaks to people in a way that resonates with them. I feel like this has been missing among the larger environmental movement. I want to help communicate local-level answers to, “Why should I care about this? Why does it matter to me? Why does it matter to the broader community?”
Beyond effective and creative communication, I also want to support our clients in moving the needle towards growth and success on a broader scale. Their work is simply too important.
What are some of your favorite places for inspiration?
My parent’s front porch in Traverse City, Michigan, where I grew up. It looks out at West Grand Traverse Bay, which is fed by Lake Michigan, and is one of the most magical places in the world. Growing up surrounded by the largest freshwater resource on the planet (the Great Lakes) certainly informed who I am today and why I do this work. In all of my travels, nothing has compared to it. It grounds me and brings me back to earth. If you’ve been, you know.
Additionally, the mountain ranges of the American West where I have spent the majority of my adult life living and playing. They have a way of humbling and challenging me and rarely fail to take my breath away, both literally and figuratively.
I’d be remiss to leave out Oaxaca, Mexico. I first visited there in college while studying in Mexico and it left an indelible impression. I’ve never been somewhere that celebrates life so thoroughly. I spend a chunk of time there every year for a reason (and not just because of the food and mezcal) and it’s very much become a second home. People there are incredibly proud, creative, and welcoming – and their communities, families, and traditions are their top priority. That really resonates with me. As a local I know there once said, “If Mexico is the body, Oaxaca is the heart.”
And lastly, you can’t beat a good bookstore or library. Have I mentioned how much I love a good story?
What motivates or inspires you?
Thinking about how we’re leaving things for future generations. I also look at the communities already being impacted by climate change (and there are many) and it drives me to act. I’m a fierce advocate of justice, and believe the climate crisis is one of the largest forms of injustice in human history. We need as many voices, and as much brain power and conviction as possible to rectify the situation we’ve created for ourselves in the unending pursuit of growth. The earth is shouting at us, and it will take human ingenuity to answer.
I’m inspired by the multitude of activists I’ve had the good fortune to meet over the years, who in the face of continuous setbacks and challenges, continue to do the work. And I’m motivated by a deep desire to apply my talents and use my privilege to make a positive impact in the time I have here. It’s one of the reasons I’m so excited to have found the right fit at DG+.
Where are your dream travel destinations?
The list is long but if I have to be specific at this moment I would say Australia to see a good friend on the Gold Coast and then over to New Zealand to experience its ridiculous outdoor playground. I’ve been told by people who know me well that if I go there, there’s a good chance I may never come back.
Tell us something fun or maybe unexpected about yourself
My mom used to be a nun. Needless to say, I feel lucky to be here. Also, I was a state champion tennis player in high school but soccer was my real passion. It really bothered my tennis coach.