We are pleased to announce that Jessica Daugherty, PLT’s Assistant Director, was selected as one of the 2014 “40 under 40” business professionals by the Sacramento Business Journal (SBJ). Daugherty will be presented with the award at a ceremony hosted by SBJ at the Mix Downtown on November 19th.
Each year the SBJ honors 40 people under age 40 from the Sacramento Region who excel in their profession and make a difference in their community. The awardees are selected by a panel of independent judges from the nominations received. In 2013, Daugherty was a runner up for the award and was selected among the top 100 nominations
“I am incredibly honored and excited to be included in this years’ Sacramento Business Journals Top 40 under 40 winners,” says Daugherty. “I am also thrilled that the leadership I have provided to Placer Land Trust and the importance of our conservation mission is reaching a level of significance to the region, and that people are starting to take notice of our work.”
Daugherty is recognized as one of the top young conservation professionals in our State. She has had an incredible impact on the growth and success of PLT, which has become one of the premier conservation organizations in the State. Her role is comparable to a CFO or COO in larger for-profit corporations, and as a critical component of her job she oversees PLT staff and finances. She has been instrumental in obtaining and overseeing the management and investment of PLT’s financial assets, which have increased from $180K in 2005 to $7.3 million today.
As part of the shared leadership structure of PLT (together with the Executive Director and Board President), Daugherty has had a huge impact on fundraising and land conservation, raising more than $20 million in funding for the protection of over 7,000 acres in Placer County since 2005.
“We are very proud of Jessica for all of her accomplishments and being selected to receive this award”, says PLT’s Executive Director Jeff Darlington. “Jessica is the go-to leader for forward thinking and well deserving of this great honor.”
Daugherty has been appointed to, and serves on, several important positions throughout the region, including the Biological Working Group & Finance Committee of the Placer County Conservation Plan, the Board of Directors of the Pacific Forest and Watershed Lands Stewardship Council, and the Working Landscapes Action Team with California Forward and the California Stewardship Network. She is also PLT’s representative to the Sacramento Metro Chamber.
To her credit, Daugherty was instrumental in PLT becoming the first of three land trusts in California to receive National Land Trust Accreditation status in 2008. She has since provided volunteer assistance to other land trusts, resulting in a flood of accredited California land trusts over the past five years. In 2014, Daugherty successfully led PLT to become the first land trust in California to renew its accredited status.
Daugherty is also spearheading the first ever oak woodland project to be enrolled in the carbon offset market through the California Air Resources Board. Working with ecologists, foresters, ranchers, market analysts, land conservation colleagues, and government officials (at the local, state and federal levels), Daugherty is preparing the Harvego Bear River Preserve Oak Woodland project for verification and registration in 2015. If PLT can successfully market carbon sales from this foothill oak woodland property, the hope is that this can serve as a model for similar landscapes, offering a potential new source of conservation income for ranchers and other landowners throughout the foothill region.
Daugherty graduated from Humboldt State University in 2001 with a BA in Geography with an emphasis on Land Use Planning & Natural Resource Management. She started her career working in the national forests of El Dorado and Humboldt Counties, and in 2005 made the switch to the nonprofit sector, joining Placer Land Trust (PLT) as its second employee. Daugherty grew up and still lives in the small town of Georgetown with her husband and son. In her spare time, she also serves as the President of the American Quarter Midget Association (AQMA) based in Rancho Cordova at Prairie City OHV State Park.