Today we’d like to introduce you to Kaylee Weatherly.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story. I grew up visiting national parks on annual summer road trips with my family. These park visits developed my passion for what I wanted to do in my life; help protect the environment and natural resources. I attended California State University, Long Beach and received my bachelor’s degree in journalism and environmental science and policy, and then I went on to the University of Southern California to receive my master’s degree in strategic public relations. I love writing and policy, which helped me get to my position as the public information officer for the Long Beach Water Department.
I’m very grateful for my many mentors in the water industry and in professional associations who continue to help me along my path. I’ve been fortunate to be elected to Board positions to help grow the industry and best practices of government communications.
I’m also passionate about animal welfare. I volunteer once a week with the City of Long Beach’s animal shelter. There are many wonderful animals that are in need of good homes. The shelter program I’m a part of a Pet Food Express in Long Beach helps place adoptable cats in forever homes. I also foster kittens through the nonprofit Little Lion Foundation who specializes in rescuing and advocating for orphaned kittens. To find your new furry best friend go to longbeach.gov/acs, and/or get involved with kitten fostering at littlelionfoundation.org.
Has it been a smooth road? It takes strength to use your voice with confidence, especially as a young woman working in government. It’s a struggle and a practice I’m still learning.
I want to make sure the next generation of girls recognizes their inner strength and voice and celebrates what makes them unique. I’m a coach and ambassador for the nonprofit chapter Girls on the Run Los Angeles County that inspires girls ages 8 – 13 to be confident, healthy and joyful through a program that incorporates fun, running-based activities. This program helps create an environment where every girl learns she has unlimited potential and freedom to boldly pursue her dreams. It’s been the most rewarding volunteer experience! Strong girls grow up to be strong women that create strong communities. To find out more about the programs and sign up to be a coach go to gotrla.org.
So, let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Long Beach Water story. Tell us more about the business. I’m very fortunate to work for Long Beach Water, an agency committed to protecting our health and environment by delivering high quality drinking water, safely collecting wastewater and contributing to our City’s sustainability through water use efficiency.
Climate change is affecting the reliability of our water supply. As the public information officer, I’m working to create a long-term behavior change in water use efficiency with positive storytelling and messaging. It’s so important we all continue to develop permanent, water-saving habits. For easy tips on how to save water go to liveh2olb.com.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade? I want to encourage young people to look for opportunities in government. It’s time we create a more inclusive government workforce and management with more representation from young people, women, people of color, those with different abilities and of religious minorities. Working together we have the opportunity to develop equitable policies and change that will better our diverse communities and our planet.
Photo of my foster kittens Thor and Cap (Photo credit: Little Lion Foundation)
Photo of me and girl running (Photo credit: Girls on the Run Los Angeles County, Spring 2017 5K)
Group photo (Photo credit: California Association of Public Information Officials)
Personal photo with Long Beach beach and city skyline in background (Photo credit: Brianna Rita Photography)