Insights

Q&A with Julia Stevens, Marketing and Communications Associate at DG+Design

Kathleen Gill
November 22, 2021

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.

GET TO KNOW JULIA

Tell us a bit about yourself.

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.

Where did your love for the environment come from?

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!

Why did you choose to work at DG+?

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.

What do you hope to accomplish at DG+?

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.

What’s your favorite way to spend a day off?

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!

Tell us something fun or maybe unexpected about yourself

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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