You can always tell when someone enjoys what they do. For starters they seem to smile all the time. They look energized even when they’re tired. Such is the look of Moorea Stout, Sierra Institute’s new director of development.
Stout says part of it is the incredible energy of the young staff of the organization who are mostly in their 20s, recent college graduates, with ideas and hopefulness not found in every workplace. They want to do good things in the world.
It gives her a gratification that she hadn’t quite felt working for herself in her home office in Crescent Mills.
Sierra Institute hadn’t had a director of development position before — and perhaps the new position signals an effort to create financial sustainability for the nonprofit organization which realizes heavily on grants for its programming.
Like any nonprofit, Sierra Institute’s grants are often project specific; when one project is over or a grant is over, it can mean the end of a program or worse — the end of an employee’s tenure. With significant outreach, fundraising and marketing for what the nonprofit does and its role in creating sustainable communities in our region, Stout believes Sierra Institute’s future will be much more consistent and will have opportunity to grow.
Stout began as the director last August but in these winter months has had the opportunity to reflect on her decision and to reflect on the programming at Sierra Institute.
One particular aspect of Sierra Institute’s work that she finds most appealing is its ongoing collaboration with entities in the region to come together for the good of both the community and the environment. She cites the Lake Almanor Watershed Group. She also is excited about the wood products campus that will eventually be in Crescent Mills on the site of the former mill as the cleanup process goes forward.
While the organization is involved in a number of big, long-term projects, she recognizes that outreach has to happen on the ground with interaction between the organization and the community.
To that end, Sierra Institute has been hosting a series of events toward community outreach and interaction — the most successful of which has been the Wild Fire Film screened at the former Taylorsville Elementary School.
The advent of the tragedy of the Camp Fire has sparked increased interest in communities wanting to learn more about wild fire and preventative maintenance.
Sierra Institute has also hosted workshops toward skill building and job training and environmental knowledge for the first time. Though these, she concedes were less popular in the winter months.
Stout looks forward to doing more outreach in the months to come for Sierra Institute.
Stout came to Plumas County a few years ago with her husband, Ted, after moving north from south Orange County. At the time, she ran her own kitchen and bath interior design company.