With one part sadness and one part pride, Placer Land Trust announces the departure of Assistant Director Jessica Daugherty for a new job in the land conservation community.
Jessica, who was recently named Auburn Journal’s “People to Watch”, has been with PLT for almost 11 years. She will be leaving PLT on Friday the 13th of May (really? Friday the 13th?) to take a new position with the Stewardship Council as their new Director of Land Conservation. We are sad to see her go, but happy she’ll be in the conservation community, and we wish her the best with this new opportunity.
In June 2005, Jessica was hired as a Program Assistant, our second ever employee. At that time, Placer County was growing exponentially, and the PLT Board was looking at ways to balance that growth by stepping up the pace of land conservation.
Today, Jessica’s role is similar to that of a chief financial officer and includes overseeing administration and finance, supervising staff and contractors, building relationships and raising funds, as well as leading special projects.
“Jessica’s pursuit of the American dream is inspirational – nothing’s been handed to her other than her natural ability,” says PLT Executive Director Jeff Darlington. “She’s earning the American dream through education, a tireless work ethic, planning, and teamwork. It’s been a real pleasure to see her grow personally and professionally in over a decade of public service with PLT.”
The last two years here have been very successful for Jessica personally. In 2014, she was named one of “40 under 40” by the Sacramento Business Journal for her leadership role in innovative, market-based projects like our oak woodlands carbon project. This project aims to create the first ever oak woodland project to sell carbon offsets, providing stewardship funding to manage the forest, and serve as a model for California under California’s cap and trade program. This project has been Jessica’s “baby” for over five years and is something of which she’s very proud.
“It’s been done with mixed conifer forests and some grasslands, but never with oak woodlands,” she said, “It’s great to be recognized for outside-the-box thinking.”
In March, Jessica gave a presentation in Los Angeles on the carbon project for the California Council of Land Trusts. She also presented the project at the USDA Climate Hub conference in Chicago, as a result of PLT being awarded a Conservation Innovation grant by NRCS, a division of USDA, a few years ago. Our carbon project was one of only 12 projects to be selected to present at this conference.
She says she is very proud of what PLT has been able to accomplish during her tenure. She recalls fondly last May when PLT came out on top of the BIG Day of Giving by raising the most money of all the participating nonprofits.
“I want to inspire and empower others to do excellent conservation work,” said Jessica. “I’m excited that in my new job I’ll still be able to work with PLT, who has become family over these past 11 years, to protect around 6,000 acres through the Stewardship Council process.”
Jessica lives in Georgetown with her husband Josh and their son Wyatt. She is currently working on her MBA in Sustainable Business and will graduate this coming fall.
Best of luck Jessica on your new career path. We know you will do amazing, and we’re going to miss you!!