On Becoming and Restarting R|CAT

Improvising Entrepreneur


  • 1994: Founded as an environmental and energy consulting practice

When I founded R|CAT in 1994, it was after three years of serving with San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). It was the year that the “blue book” came out, which was the beginning of what became the California Electric Utility Industry Restructuring (AB  1890). I had a vision of what I could bring to the energy and environmental sector. I did not have a specific plan to establish a consulting practice; I did have a plan to serve the energy industry, given my air quality and communications experience and interests. R|CAT emerged.

  • 2007: Transitioned into a coaching practice for environmental professional development

When I transitioned R|CAT to a coaching practice in 2007, it was out of necessity upon choosing to re-enter as an employee of a large organization; I had to eliminate conflict-of-interest. I accepted a position with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 9 in San Francisco. (NOTE: I said I would never rejoin a large organization; I proved myself wrong. Also, the federal government qualifies as large.) How to eliminate conflict-of-interest? Redirect my practice toward coaching.

Many clients and colleagues asked “Why?” For me, there was great value to being part of EPA, especially during a time of transition. In late 2007 when I re-joined EPA, the presidential elections were in full swing; either Barack Obama or John McCain would become the next President of the United States, aka POTUS. During this time, there was increased attention to climate change, the potential for greenhouse gas regulations, and the eventual increased stringency of ambient air quality standards. Opportunities I saw for becoming part of EPA –

  • reconnecting with the regulatory perspective after more than 20 years,
  • having an an insider’s experience as part of the EPA community,
  • being among and participating with those on the forefront of new and modified regulations and of policies and programs (e.g., air standards, greenhouse gases, Tribal permitting, environmental justice),
  • maneuvering intra-agency and inter-agency communications, and
  • engaging with the public and affected communities

– of which I experience throughout my nearly seven years with EPA.

Personal trivia: The afternoon when I accepted the position, honestly not knowing the storyline, I watched The Simpsons Movie. I did not know the storyline; what a great surprise!

  • 2014: Interconnecting environmental and energy consulting and coaching practices

In April 2014, I left EPA. Meanwhile, I have been engaged with the same vision since 1994. Added to that, I had a vision of what I could bring to the behavior design field. I know environmental and energy consulting, and I know coaching; I am interconnecting my knowledge, skills, and talents. Launching into 2015, to interconnect my coaching with my established R|CAT services, in addition to my traditional consulting services, I am providing behavior design-based practices for environmental professionals.

What’s next? I’m improvising as I go along.

Learn more about my professional history at LinkedIn. Learn more about R|CAT services.


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