Global Green Room Staff Interview: Vanessa Briseno

staff_vanessaMeet Vanessa Briseno, Global Green USA's Foundations Relations Manager. What would surprise us about your work?

It’s not as easy as copy and paste! Crafting funding proposals to foundations and other potential funders requires a story. And it's learning how to frame that story and share it in a compelling way that will eventually lead to the success of that proposal. Of course, our program staff are all recognized experts in their field, so they make my job that much easier!

Who is your hero?

This is a hard one. I have fairytale heroes (from Gaia to Captain Planet) and real-life heroes (from Rachel Carson to Alice Waters). But my real hero is my father. He lived his youth on a farm raising cattle, chickens, horses, and goats, and growing different types of vegetables, then passed down to his family a genuine love for animals, gardening, cooking, and Mother Earth. And while growing up in a metropolis sometimes makes it difficult to acknowledge natural environments, my father taught us how to cultivate our own healthy environments within our own tiny slice Earth. Today, I enjoy growing tomatoes, habaneros, squash, strawberries, oranges, avocados, jalapenos, and so much more. What's best is that my son becomes so excited when our garden is in bloom, and we cook our favorite meals together!

What has been your greatest success at work?

Helping to streamline the grants development department.

What about a failure or challenge?

One of the greatest challenges of this job is persevere after receiving a rejection from a funder. Our team works hard to prepare thorough and thoughtful grant applications that really reflect Global Green's strategic work and influence throughout the United States, so when a rejection letter is received, it's essential to pick up the pieces and try again.

Favorite green book?

"The Lorax!" I used to love reading the book to my son, and now that he has learned to read, I enjoy having it read to me. The book does a great job at teaching both children and adults how human consumption has a direct effect on the health of our environment.

Favorite green movie?

"The Lorax!" It was great to see a book that my family loves be brought to life on the big screen!

Favorite way to spend a free day?

Running/walking/biking/hiking along California's beautiful coastline!

If you had the power to make one global and green change, what would it be?

I would build a time machine to take us all back to the time when humans weren't reliant on the big corporations that exist today (from restaurants and transportation to industry and oil). The economy would be stable, people would live healthier lives, and we would all have a deeper appreciation for the environment and the life it gifts us.