Article from the Park Record, September 12, 2017
Growing up in both Anchorage, Alaska, and Park City, Erin Bragg says she has always had an affinity for the outdoors.
Bragg moved to Park City with her family in 1999 and graduated from the Winter Sports School in 2001. She went on to receive a bachelor's degree in psychology from Bates College in 2006 and a master's in environmental humanities from the University of Utah in 2011, according to a press release.
As Bragg advanced in her career and education, while maintaining her love of the outdoors, she began to fully understand how everything is connected.
"That's how I entered the energy realm," Bragg said.
Bragg spent four years as the conservation director of Summit Land Conservancy before she became the sustainability specialist at Summit County. She worked closely with Lisa Yoder, who is the county's sustainability manager, collaborating with Summit Community Power Works on the home-energy score pilot program.
This week, Summit Community Power Works named Bragg as the nonprofit's new executive director. Her first day was Monday, September 11.
"I'm really excited," Bragg said. "I'm excited to work with the board and see what our next steps will be to get it back in the public eye."
Summit Community Power Works was created to spearhead Park City Municipal and Summit County's entry in Georgetown University's $5 million energy-saving competition. Summit Community Power Works is still waiting to learn which communities made it in the top 10.
'The organization has been quiet for a while and we are currently waiting to have that next big announcement, which is what we will be working on as I step into this new role," Bragg said.
Matt Abbott, who is the board chair of Summit Community Power Works, said board members have begun exploring how the organization's programs can be applied to the community as an ongoing effort instead of only in pursuit of the energy prize.
"We are looking to have more stuff tailored to the community and we are excited to shift our strategy," Abbott said. "We have been focusing on expanding our board to provide a much better base for Erin to work off of."
Abbott highlighted Bragg's experience in the community and "great network and strong work ethic." He added, "She has been wanting to run an organization and we were very much in need for someone to run the organization." Former project leader for the energy prize Mary Christa Smith left the organization earlier this year.
"She (Erin) has a great education and specific background in what we have been working on," Abbott said. "We are really excited to have someone step into the role for the organization."
Bragg said while working with other nonprofits, such as Summit Land Conservancy, she has been able to connect with residents throughout the county, particularly eastern Summit County landowners and understand the dynamic between the east and west ends of the county.
"It starts with building those relationships and knowing how to work with the east and west, not just demographically, but also their different socio-economic states," Bragg said. "Like me, I'm just a normal resident who wants to do all of these actions, but I also understand there is a financial constraint to it."
In her day-to-day life, Bragg said she rides the Kamas Commuter as often as possible and supports buying local food. Bragg and her husband, who live in Oakley, participated in the home-energy score program and did a bulk solar purchase as part of Mountain Town Community Solar program.
"I definitely understand the priority of finances in the household and sometimes it's about changing that mindset," Bragg said. "We (Summit Community Power Works) feel like residents and businesses can really benefit from the knowledge of working with us and Rocky Mountain Power to reduce our energy. As a nonprofit we are poised to help the efforts that Park City, Summit County and other municipalities are putting forward."