I'm Allison, a Bay Area software product manager and climate advocate, passionate about building better futures in clean energy, active transportation, and my East Bay community.
WHAT I'M UP TO | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021
I work as a Software Product Manager at SunPower — a dream opportunity to get to work full-time on climate change mitigation through scaling solar adoption! In my spare time, I'm also deepening my involvement in clean energy advocacy through 350 Bay Area Action & 350BA Action. Meanwhile, our Arts and Culture Commission has approved some exciting new programs including appointing a new Poet Laureate, initiating a Utility Box painting pilot and funding a socially-distanced theater experiment. I've also been taking advantage of the continued lockdown to try to explore new walks around my neighborhood, practice making music, exercise more, catch up on reading and take some French classes!
I stay involved in various projects applying my passions for public policy advocacy and community engagement:
Climate Action & Policy: This is my top priority. To do this, I'm working with 350 Bay Area's Mobilizing Team, promoting building electrification with the local Policy Squad of the Climate Reality Project, and am practicing policy research with the 350 Bay Area Action Legislative Team - Clean Energy Action group.
Arts & Culture Commission: The now over two years I've served on this commission have been a fascinating introduction to city governance and programming, and now as Chair I'm more involved in directing the agenda and our priorities. Stay tuned for more public art programs in El Cerrito!
Futures Thinking: I'm finally more deeply engaging with this interest area by attending workshops with Kedge.
Women in Cleantech & Sustainability: I'm having a really inspiring experience participating as a mentee in the Spring 2021 Mentorship cohort.
Clean Energy Leadership Institute: I'm so excited to get to give back to this amazing org by serving on the San Francisco 2021 Selection Committee! Applications to the cohort are open through March 7th.
Local Pedestrian and Biking Advocacy: TBD what exactly this will look like; still exploring opportunities for involvement in my city.
A BIT MORE ABOUT ME
Originally from the Berkeley area, I was involved in local sustainability efforts before moving to Montréal to study at McGill University (BA Anthropology, Environment minor).
After graduating, I managed the Students' Society's building and hundreds of student clubs and services as McGill's VP Clubs & Services before moving back home to the Bay Area, where I soon realized I needed to learn about tech to make a home here.
I attended all the tech events I could find, including my first hackathon, where I pitched a concept and led a world-class team to win the event.
This crash course in entrepreneurship led me to the world of UX research and design, and I've now owned end-to-end full-stack product design processes at fast-growing early-stage startups as well as Fortune 500 innovation labs.
Seeking more involvement in product strategy, visioning and roadmapping than I'd found in pure UI Design roles, I attended California College of the Arts' innovative MBA program, which emphasizes design strategy and technology, and grew into more formal product manager roles. I've also completed Product Management and Agile Project Management coursework from UC Berkeley Extension and Stanford Executive Education. I'm most excited about making an impact as a strategic, "full-stack" user-centered product manager.
My product management portfolio can be found here:
I also enjoy biking, kiteboarding, sailing, traveling, reading, screenprinting and making ceramic art... but haven't gotten to do all of these during shelter-in-place.
AWARDS & HONORS
Nominee, STEP Ahead Awards | Manufacturing Institute, 2020
Conference Presenter | Traction Conference, 2020
Winning Team | American Heart Association Hackathon San Francisco, 2018
Lead Designer - Top Prize: Most Polished App | Stanford Treehacks Hackathon, 2017
Co-Director, Graduate Students' Alliance | California College of the Arts, 2017
Graduate Merit Scholar & CCA Scholarship Awards | California College of the Arts, 2016-2018
First Place Team | HackSF, 2014
Team Lead - First Place and Popular Vote Winner | Startup Weekend San Francisco, 2013
Conference Presenter | QPIRG McGill-Concordia Study in Action Undergraduate Research Conference, 2012
Intern Scholarship Award | CUE Research Group, 2011
EDUCATION, TRAINING & FELLOWSHIPS
Energy Innovation and Emerging Technologies Certificate | Stanford, 2020
Graduate Certificate in Transportation and Land Use Planning | In Progress: San Jose State University, 2020-2021
Fellow | Clean Energy Leadership Institute (San Francisco), 2020
Climate Reality Leader | The Climate Reality Leadership Project, 2020
StartingBloc Fellow | StartingBloc Los Angeles, 2020
M.B.A., Design Strategy | California College of the Arts, 2018
Agile Project Management: Facilitating a Product Development Team with Scrum | Stanford Executive Education, 2018
B.A. Honours, Anthropology, Environment minor | McGill University (Montréal), 2012, as well as coursework at Universiteit Leiden (Netherlands) and UNAM/Autonomous University of Social Movements (Chiapas)
I recently left my role working on innovation in mobility & future-of-transportation tech at Goodyear's San Francisco Innovation Lab (where I was Product Manager / Sr. Designer of the AndGo by Goodyear platform) in order to make time to figure out what I want to focus on next... and seeking to do everything I can to impact the climate catastrophe and crucial upcoming election.
To do this, I'm working with various local environmental advocacy groups, finishing up my fellowship with the Clean Energy Leadership Institute, and studying foresight, transportation planning and cities while exploring new roles.
In addition, I serve as Chair of my city's Arts & Culture Commission and also enjoy biking, kiteboarding, sailing, traveling, reading, screenprinting and making ceramic art.
I'm now interested in PM or Sr. Designer roles as I'm motivated by building products people use and love and I've found opportunities to make meaningful impact in both roles.
Since leaving my role as Product Manager of future-of-mobility tech at Goodyear's San Francisco Innovation Lab (working on the AndGo by Goodyear platform), I've been exploring how I can best impact the climate catastrophe and crucial upcoming election — and my theory of change has now shifted.
Through work with various local environmental advocacy groups and my fellowship with the Clean Energy Leadership Institute, and now as I'm studying foresight, transportation planning and cities while exploring new roles, I'm seeing more than ever how we need policy intervention to be able to combat the climate crisis as fast as is required.
I'm still excited about the right PM or Sr. Designer role as I'm motivated by building products people use and love and I've found opportunities to make meaningful impact in both roles, but I'm taking the time too to dive into policy opportunities in this space.
After years in tech, my experience in the Clean Energy Leadership Insitute (as well as a few key urbanist events) opened my eyes to the need for policy to enact needed changes — and helped me realize that my lifelong passion for this area could form a more impactful career. I'm now focused on building a research portfolio and taking graduate courses in urban planning while preparing for potential further graduate study in public policy/transportation.
The urgency of the climate crisis calls for immediate action. I left my role as a Product Manager working on a shared electric vehicle fleet management software platform ( AndGo by Goodyear) recently to dive more deeply into opportunities to impact this issue, with a particular focus on scaling clean energy and equitable, sustainable transportation. After dedicating a few months now on organizing around the election, I'm excited to start the hunt for my next role.
PS - Local artists, apply to get involved with various public art opportunities in El Cerrito here!
Democratic Organizing in Contra Costa County: I'm a volunteer on the field strategy team of our county's Coordinated Campaign to support progressive candidates up and down the ballet. It's been an amazing learning experience for me — a crash course in phone bank captaining and everything that happens behind the scenes to endorse and support candidates. I currently support four weekly phone banks.
General learning and exploration: Taking time to focus on learning and exploring what I want to do next has been really valuable as I'm preparing for a career pivot. In addition to the bigger projects above, I've also been catching up on coursera courses and other trainings in my professional development backlog.
Future-of-Mobility & Clean Energy Events/Conferences: I'm so happy to have more time to plug into all the amazing conversations happening on these key interests! My fellowship with the Clean Energy Leadership Insitute just ended (and was an incredible experience) and I'm excited to continue to be involved as an alum there too.
I've just started a new role as a Software Product Manager at SunPower — a dream opportunity to get to work full-time on climate change mitigation through scaling solar adoption! After an incredibly educational experience working on the campaign cycle, I'm excited about diving back into the tech world to build and scale impactful products.
Transportation Planning Graduate Studies: I've been designing my own education around my passion for transportation/urban planning for a while now, and was so excited to find a graduate certificate program at San José State University where I could formalize a foundational learning experience in this space. With online classes one night a week, it's an awesome way to really dive in while keeping up all my other projects.
Writing & Researching: Aiming to share some of my policy analysis work on my blog shortly! I'm also preparing a short talk for the Long Now member Ignite talks in October.