Getting to know Persefoni: Meet Anissa Vasquez
1. And you may ask yourself, "Well... how did I get here?" (Tell us your journey?)
Originally from Brooklyn, New York, life has taken me to live in Arizona, Pennsylvania, Syracuse, New York, Washington, DC, and Connecticut, all in a quarter of a century. From the hustle and bustle of NYC, to the Friday night football games of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and the protests and movements of DC, I’ve loved every place I’ve lived. It’s because I love people, crowds, and feeling a sense of community.
That’s probably why I changed career direction so abruptly in college. I went to Syracuse University to become a journalist. Having been the Editor-in-Chief of my previous newspaper, I wanted to be a “voice for the voiceless” at Syracuse’s top ranked communications school. It wasn’t until I took a class titled Environment & Society that I learned about the severity of the climate crisis. This was devastating for me. Of course, I’d heard of global warming and knew it was important to recycle, but I didn’t know that we had a mere couple decades to limit the world’s warming to below 2 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels, before our global community was in real danger.
From there, my path was changed. I eventually graduated in the first class of the new Environment, Sustainability, and Policy program at my school, and began my career in the sustainability and climate field. After canvassing door to door for renewable energy legislation in New York, I joined Smorgasburg as a zero waste program manager and ate my way through their amazing weekly food festival and promoted their composting programs for customers and vendors. From there I joined a global law firm, coordinating and eventually being a lead for their sustainability and ESG teams.
All the while, I’ve been driven by the knowledge that climate change is not only an environmental issue but also a social issue. Humans will suffer in the wake of decades of GHGs being pumped into the atmosphere. Unfortunately the most vulnerable and marginalized will suffer a disproportionate amount. Luckily, I believe in people and the power of determined climate professionals and activists to make the change we need before it’s too late. That is why I joined Persefoni.
2. And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile. (What do you do at Persefoni?)
It seems that the big, wide world of climate and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) policy is developing everyday. As a Climate Management & Accounting Platform, it is important that we are adapting to any regulatory and market factors impacting our clients as it relates to climate and ESG. My title is Manager, Global ESG Policy. I keep track of these developments, make them seem less complex, communicate their significance to the company and thus to our clients, and help guide our product and company to continue to make the best software for measuring, managing and reporting climate information.
Oftentimes you’ll find me writing, sharing climate and ESG developments in newsletters, comment letters to international organizations, explainers and more. Outside of writing, I’m spreading the word about Persefoni, and how we have the opportunity to use this software to make meaningful progress with organizations to transition to the low carbon economy.
3. And you may ask yourself, "Where does that highway go to?" (What are your hopes for your time at Persefoni?)
The work Persefoni is doing to democratize carbon accounting and enable every organization to be climate conscious and positive with software is incredibly important. My hope is that during my time here, on a macro scale, the market continues to see that carbon accounting is not a big, scary process and that with innovative technology, the process can seem way less complex. With the information and insights gained from Persefoni, I hope that organizations are able to make great strides towards decarbonization.
4. And you may say to yourself, "My God! What have I done?" (Why is Persefoni a great home for you?)
It is important to me to work at a place where my values are aligned with that of the company. When I was joining Persefoni, I was inspired by the fact that they lived their core values of Sustainability, Collaboration, Impact and Equality. Also, around here, people have a bias for action. This is a quality that I don’t take lightly, as we need to make significant moves to address climate change and we don’t have all the time in the world to do it.
Persefoni has true experts and leaders in the field of sustainability and climate. Our best-in-class Sustainability Advisory Board, Executive leadership teams, Sustainability team, Product teams, People Operation teams, Customer teams and much more continue to blow me away. It is so refreshing to continuously be inspired by the brilliant minds you work with, and have the opportunity to keep learning something new every day.
5. And you may find yourself in another part of the world... (Tell us about your life/hobbies away from work?)
Away from work, I love to go camping with my family. This time away from cell phone service, around the campfire, and playing games with them is my favorite. Other times I love to go kayaking, hiking, and biking. Previously I had been kayaking in the Potomac, but now I go out on the Long Island Sound.
More often than not you can find me reading with my cat Finnegan and my best friend Alex, teaching myself songs on the keyboard, watercolor painting, and keeping up to date on all the best (or worst) TV. My hope over the next 5-10 years is to travel the world, since I’ve only left the US for Canada so far.
Meet other Persefonites!
“Once in a Lifetime" is a series of articles designed to help our customers and partners learn more about Persefoni's truly passionate team. We're not just building award-winning software ... together, we're helping to decarbonize our planet.