Posts Tagged ‘professional women’

posted by | on , , | 3 comments

By: Nancy Stoner

When I was first launching my career, I never would have imagined that I would pursue environmental law, environmental philanthropy, and environmental non-profit management. Had I known, I may have taken the time to study more environmental science along the way. However, there is an important lesson I have learned along my journey to becoming the President of the Potomac Riverkeeper Network, which is as long as you enjoy learning new things and continue to seek knowledge throughout your life, you can do pretty much anything you put your mind to. Yes, there may have been some merit to what our parents were saying when they shared this cliche line as we were growing up. A willingness to learn will set you leagues ahead in any career, and as you learn, you will discover more about yourself and your interests. You may end up in a pleasantly unexpected place. 

The most important question you should ask yourself about your career is “Is this where my heart takes me?” No matter what career choice you make, you will inevitably work a lot of hours, so make sure you find a career you are willing to devote a lot of time to. I have loved every job I’ve ever had — of course not every minute of every job — but every job has been interesting, rewarding, and fun. I followed my passions and curiosity and have stayed open to new experiences where I felt I could make a meaningful difference, and it has led me to some incredible opportunities. Of course you will also need to make a living with your career — as your parents also told you — so this detail can’t be overlooked. Make sure you are pursuing a career that is sustainable, but don’t forget that time is the most valuable thing you have in your life. Make sure you are spending it wisely. 

You may imagine your future career and have a clear vision of where you want to end up, or you may have no more than a faint idea of where you want to go. Both of these are fine so long as you are open to growth and new experiences, and you are willing to make adjustments along the way. When thinking about where you would like your career to take you, ask yourself where and how you would like to make a difference, because you CAN make a difference. And, if you put your mind to it, you will.


Nancy Stoner is president of Potomac Riverkeeper Network.  One of the nation’s most experienced water policy experts, Nancy has a rich and distinguished background in protecting our nation’s water. Nancy also served as Co-Director, Water Program, Natural Resources Defense Council, where she co-directed a national program to promote sound water resource management nationally and in specific watersheds, such as the Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay, and Anacostia River.

She lives in Silver Spring, MD with her husband, Marc Machlin. She has two grown children, Laura and Jared. She enjoys whitewater rafting, tubing, canoeing, birding, and gardening.

posted by | on , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Why We’re Excited about DC EcoWomen’s 2018-2019 Calendar

By the DC EcoWomen Executive Board

In early August, in a community room of an apartment building in Northeast D.C., the DC EcoWomen executive team sat down to discuss the upcoming board year and work on a document that would help guide our efforts – the 2018-2019 Calendar. As we wrote down all the dates, we couldn’t help but get excited. We have upcoming events and content appealing to all types of woman in our DC EcoWomen community. We’re planning speaker events, skill-building workshops, meetings for a special-interest club, outdoor adventures and more. Keep reading for more information.

If you’ve attended an event of ours, it was probably one from our signature EcoHour speaker series. This year, we’re continuing the tradition. On the third Tuesday of each month (except December and August), we’ll hear from a successful woman in the environmental field discuss her work. The free event kicks off with some networking and runs from 6-8 p.m. at Teaism Penn Quarter. The next one will be Tuesday, October 16, and will feature Analisa Freitas, Campaign Coordinator for the Peoples Climate Movement. She’ll talk about how she helps orchestrate large-scale marches for climate justice and organize Latino communities around grassroots advocacy.

In terms of professional development, we’re holding a series of mentoring dinners. They provide a unique opportunity to talk with women in the environmental field in an intimate setting. It’s a time when 6-8 women can get advice and guidance on advancing their careers while sitting down to share a meal with one experienced mentor. The mentors are selected based on their professional accomplishments and alignment with our organization and mission. The next one will be in October.

We’re also planning a few professional development workshops that will focus on helping women develop the skills to succeed in the workplace. Previous workshops included topics like salary negotiation, resume writing and public speaking. Our next workshop will be in December.

As women who are passionate about the environment and getting to know our community, our upcoming programming involves several fun outings, volunteer opportunities and networking events. In October, we have a women-only craft brewery tour & tasting at Right Proper Brewing’s Brookland Production House. In way of eco-outings, we are looking into hikes, rock climbing, cave walking, paddle boarding, and a river clean-up and tour. For the book lovers, our book club will continue to meet to discuss a book or series of small articles, blogs and podcasts with an environmental angle. We’ll have happy hours, and a book and clothing swap, too.

Every year, DC EcoWomen also hosts a spring photo contest. The contest showcases artistic images taken by our members that highlight women in the environment, conservation in action, natural beauty, travel, iconic urban landscapes, etc. Details surrounding the 2019 contest and its themes will be available in the spring. To learn more about the 2018 grand prize winner, Sarah Waybright, check-out this blog on her photo and work at Potomac Vegetable Farms.

To keep current on the various activities that we have planned, please sign-up for the newsletter and track us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We also have the DC EcoWomen blog, which will keep you informed of various topics and issues relevant to our community. Our very own board members will write many posts and we’ll have some guest posts too.

We look forward to seeing you at an event soon!

posted by | on , , , | 3 comments

by Brianna Knoppow


Me: Mindy! It’s so great to see you!

Mindy: Brianna! You too.

Me: Wait, you’re a superstar. I’m just…me. How do you know my name?

Mindy: You still have a name-tag on. You must have just come from a Meetup.

Me: Oh. Yeah. True. I was at the Young Professional’s Meetup, in DuPont…Mindy – I’m so excited you’re in D.C.!

Mindy: Excited to be here, Brianna

Me: But…the tickets to see you speak about your new book – they sold out.

Mindy: I know! Isn’t that great!?

Me: Well, they sold out before I could get one. Like, they went on sale at noon on Thursday and I tried to get a ticket at noon on Thursday and POOF – they were gone.

Mindy: Sorry! Kind of.

Me: Your first book meant a lot to me. I was living in a ho-dunk town in Ohio, starting to get depressed. When I read, “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?” I laughed out loud and remembered there are still good – and funny – things in the world outside of Ohio, of course.

Mindy: I understand. I’m a New York girl myself.

Me: Since your book meant so much to me – maybe –

Mindy: Sold out!

Me: I had to try. Hey, remember that time you played Kelly in The Office, and it was Diwali Day?

Mindy: How could I forget?

Me: Loved that episode! I actually attended a Diwali celebration soon after seeing that episode. But it was nothing like on the show. Instead of tons of food and dance, we started sitting on the ground and praying. It was kind of awkward.

Mindy: Yeah – you’re not Hindu, are you?

Me: What made you guess?

Mindy: Either your Jewish star necklace or your very pale skin. You wear lots of sunscreen, right?

Me: Only SPF 50! At least I got to learn a little about Hindu culture.

Mindy: Do you get all of your religious information from sitcoms?

Me: No! I also read “Religion for Dummies.” Well, at least the first chapter. Then it got kind of boring.

Mindy: Haven’t read it myself.

bookshelfMe: You know what? I’m happy for you. I mean, it’s really terrific that your show is sold out. Who would have known that now-a-days a hilarious Indian woman can sell out 800 tickets instantaneously!

Mindy: I’ve come so far, both for myself, and for Indian women everywhere.

Me: Yes. However, I did notice that you’re charging for both your show and your book. Most writers visiting D.C. allow attendees to purchase the book separately if they want.

Mindy: And yet I was able to sell out instantaneously.

Me: How much were your tickets – $42.50?  If the entire ticket sales went straight to you, that would be $34,000! In only ONE evening!

Mindy: I know! And I’m not even a doctor or pharmacist!

Me: I was thinking the same thing! But I didn’t want to say it out loud or you might think I was stereotyping.

Mindy: It’s OK. I stereotype myself sometimes too.

Me: Anyway, women make 77 cents per dollar that men make, so way to rake in the money!
Mindy: Actually, that’s just white women making 77 cents.

Me: Pardon?

Mindy: Well, black women earn 64 cents and Latina women 56 cents, per white dude dollar.

Me: Oh…wow. White dude dollars are worth a lot.

Mindy: But you knew that right? I mean, you’re college educated.

Me: Umm…well what about Indian women?

Mindy: No idea. We’re not included in studies.

Me: Studies?

Mindy: Wage studies, cancer research – you name it.

Me: Cancer research? No idea what you’re referring to here, woman.

Mindy: This is D.C. I bet you have a Master of Science.

Me: Not medical science, Mindy!

Mindy: The rates of minority participation in medical research are very low.

Me: How peculiar. I always see tons of black women in those pink ribbon posters advertising runs for ‘the cure.’

Mindy: Yeah, they’re fundraising for research even though only a small proportion of clinical trial participants come from minority backgrounds.

Me: Well that’s very kind of them to fund-raise for research regarding treatments and medications that are mostly only tested on white people…like myself.

Mindy: Yes, very kind indeed.

Me: Mindy, you’re so smart. I was hoping after I saw your show that we would become BFFs. It’s been a fantasy of mine. My other fantasies all involve Matt Damon.

Mindy: Love Matt!

Me: I mean, I just know we’d be great friends! Don’t tell my actual BFF though – even though we watch The Mindy Project together, so she’d probably understand.

Mindy: Yeah, my friend list is kind of full right now.

Me: Just like your show in Chinatown, at Sixth & I!

Mindy: Exactly!

Me: Do you have a friend wait-list?

Mindy: A wait-list?

Me: Yes, like how my local community garden has a wait list for spots. I’m number 231.

Mindy: Good luck with that. I bet you could build a nice penthouse where that garden is.

Me: Mindy!

Mindy: Or at least I could…Anyway, on my way to the gig. Later, girl!

Brianna Knoppow works in the environmental field in D.C. and enjoys biking, watching musical theater, and foraging for wild mushrooms. She has an M.S. in Environmental Science & Policy.

posted by | on , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on April EcoHour Recap: Sustainable Farms!

By Vesper Hubbard

Devora kimelman-Block, Jess, Tonya Tolchin, Meredith Sheperd_2

In April, DC EcoWomen hosted a panel discussion for EcoHour on local farming. We heard about kosher meat production from Devora Kimelman-Block (KOL Foods), about private DC gardens from Meredith Sheperd (Love and Carrots), and small-scale produce farming from Tanya Tolchin (Jug Bay Market Garden). These women have all made admirable commitments to sustainable practices that promote the health and well-being of their friends, families, and communities.

Devora started off the talk with her story. Over a year ago she found herself trucking cattle to a kosher slaughterhouse in Baltimore in order to get the food she needed prepared according to her family’s diet. As she was taking these time intensive and costly trips she thought about how the task fit into her own spiritual journey and how the process could be made better. Prior to 2007, when she decided to found her own slaughterhouse, people had to choose between kosher and sustainability. What started as a hobby quickly turned busy and she found investors to help her turn the venture into a full time job. She also commented that people before WWII considered meat to be a treat rather than a daily diet staple. Her company encourages meat minimalism.

Tonya grows veggies, flowers and herbs on an organic farm in Prince Georges County in Maryland. As a child she grew up in a town with one of the best agricultural programs in the country but did not find a lot of personal interest in it. Farming was not considered “cool.” Once in college however she became interested in the subject of food shortages and took a course linking farm ownership with poverty issues. She quickly found her way onto a local farm and food bank and started volunteering her time. After college she came to DC to work with Sierra Club. Once married, she found that she and her husband had an enjoyment for farming and decided to start a farm, an idea that seemed absurd at the time. However after some serious business planning their farm was underway. Tonya remarked that the times of have changed and people are beginning to see the value in local farms and personal agriculture again.

Meredith runs Love and Carrots a local company that starts gardens for people in urban areas. It all started when she moved into a house in the DC area with a great yard but the soil was no good. Her closest community garden had a 2 year waiting list to join. After observing the yard space of her neighbors, she decided to start a business creating gardens in these underused green spaces. She deals with people who have been separated from gardening but want to learn. She commented that people have been culturally removed from the action and concept of personal and local agriculture. Now local farming has become a new and large trend.

There were lots of questions from the audience and some of the tips/answers the ladies offered were to really vet farmers. Ask lots of questions to get to know them especially if you are looking for certain qualities in your food, whether it is organic, sustainability or other standards. Tonya offered that her company/farm offers internships to professionals and students who want a chance to “try on” farming. Devora spoke to being a woman in the Kosher food business and said her gender has not been a sticking point. She is the main point person for her organization so most people know her gender immediately. She also offered that people should start cutting down their diet to eating meat twice a week rather than every day. Such is a more sustainable practice.

Farm resources: – A crowd-sourced nationwide food guide. We enable you to trace your food back to the farm it came from, whether staying in or dining out, so you can find food you feel good about eating.