Last week at Second Nature, it was with mixed emotions that we said goodbye to two of our most valued colleagues. We are sad at their departure and at the same time we are thrilled for them as they move onto exciting new opportunities. We wanted to take a moment to highlight their critical contributions to Second Nature over the years, and publicly wish them well!

Ashka Naik joined Second Nature in January 2009 as a Program Manager for the Advancing Green Building Initiative, was promoted to Director of Strategic Initiatives in August of 2010, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Development in September of 2011, and Director of ACUPCC Initiatives in January of 2013. But her official roles only tell a piece of the story! Ashka has brought all of her diverse background (including design and extensive work in social justice and sustainability) to expertly lead and continue to develop a strong staff team supporting the Presidents’ Climate Commitment. She has overseen an increase in signatories and a strengthening of the network and program during her tenure here. The PCC network and all of our partners and affiliates have benefited from Ashka’s commitment and expertise, and grace under pressure!

Sarah Brylinsky joined us from her role as Sustainability Education Coordinator at Dickinson College and has played critical roles in leading Second Nature’s Education Programs, our workshops and conferences, and most recently, she has kickstarted our climate adaptation and resilience activities as the Director of Climate Resilience and Education Programs. Sarah brought with her a wealth of knowledge and expertise and has been essential to Second Nature’s continuing success. She has continued to build strong partnerships and collaborators for Second Nature, and as with Ashka, we will be hard-pressed to find such a rich and wonderful (and fun!) asset in future staff.

As both Sarah and Ashka move on to even brighter futures, we are very happy that they have spent part of their careers with us, and that they have found value in their time here. As Sarah indicated in her farewell note:

“The ACUPCC continues to be a source of inspiration for doing what “can’t be done,” and doing it well, and Second Nature’s emerging financing, education, and resilience work are trends which cannot help but follow that shining example of successful higher education transformation”

The current and emerging ‘shining examples’ are in large part because of Sarah and Ashka’s hard work and we have benefitted tremendously from their outstanding contributions. We look forward to hearing of their continuing adventures as part of our extended Second Nature family. Thanks and farewell, Sarah and Ashka.

– the Second Nature Team