We are excited to welcome Julia Stevens to the DG+ team as Marketing and Communications Associate, Clean Energy! She has a strong background in clean energy advocacy and policy and most recently worked at Strategic Elements, a national public affairs agency. We sat down with Julia to get to know her a little better. You can read our conversation below.
I grew up in Huntington Beach in Southern California. I studied political science at the University of California, Santa Barbara and was really involved in environmental activism during my time there. I took time off school in 2018 to work for the Iowa Democratic Party during midterm elections. I met my partner Steven there, as he volunteered at my campaign office every Sunday. Years later, Steven and I have moved to the Chicago suburbs, and he’s still the happy recipient of my love for baking. In my free time, I also love to hike, kayak, and generally spend time in the great outdoors.
The ocean and nature in general have always been really important to me. Growing up, I used to spend tons of time at the beach and kayaking or paddle boarding in the local nature preserves and harbors. Huntington Beach hosts a lot of offshore drilling, and even as a kid I always feared an oil spill would ruin the beautiful local ecosystems. In college, I bought a used kayak and would go kayaking off the coast of Isla Vista. It was tons of fun, and sometimes I’d even bring a rope and inner tube and would tow my friends around. I was sad to leave the ocean when I moved to the midwest, but I’ve since taken up canoeing on rivers!
I’ve worked for a bunch of different kinds of organizations – from corporations to more grassroots initiatives – and I realized that I’m really excited by mission-based work. As cheesy as it sounds, it’s become really important to me that I’m working toward making the world a better place, and it was clear to me that DG+ is dedicated to expanding the clean energy economy, both in the clients it works with and in day-to-day work.
I also love working with a small team. I really enjoy the sense of camaraderie and exposure to a larger variety of work, as well as the opportunity to get more involved in decision making and generally make a bigger impact in the company.
While I have worked a lot with nonprofits and industry associations in the clean energy sector, I have especially loved my experiences working directly with renewable energy companies. I’m excited to help clean energy companies and other mission-focused start-ups grow into truly impactful companies that make a tangible difference in the world. I truly believe that our clients’ work growing the clean energy sector will not only make a significant dent in global emissions, but also influence our culture and how we view corporate responsibility when it comes to the environment.
A perfect morning to me is reading in bed with a cup of coffee. After, I’d go out to get avocado toast for breakfast because the Californian in me has never stopped craving it! During the day, I’d go on a hike or canoeing in a nearby river and spend a few hours enjoying all of the natural beauty and fresh air. Even on a 20 degree day in January, I love to get out into nature and go for a hike. Steven and I love to cook from scratch with local ingredients, so I’d want to stop by a roadside farm stand to pick up produce to cook up some delicious Italian caponata, fresh baked bread, and pasta for dinner. Then, I would cap the night with an episode of Star Trek!
I was a weight-lifting coach during undergrad! I coached a wide variety of teams including the men’s and women’s rugby teams, men’s lacrosse team, the sailing team, and the men’s and women’s crew teams at UCSB. I would design workout programs for the teams based on scientific evidence about optimal weight, reps, and rest between sets. I also received weekly formal training for it, so in many ways it was like taking another class. Sometimes I encountered tricky situations working as a woman in a male-dominated field, but it was honestly the best experience I could have gotten before working in politics, as I learned tactful strategies for navigating situations where others questioned my competence or expertise. I also made some amazing friends along the way!
Also: I’m a big Sherlock Holmes fan! I have read every piece of Sherlock Holmes literature written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and have since moved on to reading authorized Sherlock Holmes literature written by other authors.
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