The Loma Prietan - November/December 2011

Member Close-up

Jill Boone: With Vision, Passion, and Leadership

by Cheryl Hylton

Jill Boone recently agreed to chair the Chapter's Water Committee, focused on issues of urban water management, water efficiency, recycling, grey water, water supply and desalination. Photo: Cheryl Hylton
Jill Boone recently agreed to chair the Chapter's Water Committee, focused on issues of urban water management, water efficiency, recycling, grey water, water supply and desalination. Photo: Cheryl Hylton

Most of us Sierra Clubbers have visited and admired the wonders of Yosemite Valley. And we often have included a visit to the impressive rough-hewn granite and wood Tudor-style LeConte Memorial Lodge, built by the Sierra Club in 1903-04 as the Valley’s first public information center. When Club activist Jill Boone visited the Lodge 28 years ago, she was inspired by the good works of the Sierra Club and decided then and there to join. Although growing up in rural Connecticut stirred her initial interest in the natural environment, it was her visit to LeConte that prompted her Club membership and activism.

And active she has been, both professionally and as a volunteer! Beginning in the late ‘80s and ‘90s, she led the Loma Prieta Chapter Recycling Committee in compiling Santa Clara County’s first “where to buy recycled” and “where to recycle” lists to help guide the community toward ecologically friendly consumer practices. She also served on the Club’s National Solid Waste Committee.

Professionally, Jill worked for seven years as a manager in San Mateo County’s RecycleWorks Program, where she launched a variety of efforts ranging from recycling outreach to climate change and energy initiatives. She worked with then-County Supervisor Jerry Hill, to initiate a countywide energy strategy, and she also supported Supervisor Rose Jacobs Gibson in creating a green building policy and strategy for the county. In 2005 Jerry, Rose, and the other County Supervisors awarded Jill a commendation that read, “Jill Boone…with vision, passion and leadership, has been a major force in promoting sustainability and the ‘greening’ of San Mateo County.”

Following her RecycleWorks responsibilities, Jill spent seven months as a consultant for the City of San Mateo, working with municipal employees as well as citizen and business groups to collaboratively develop the city’s green and sustainability policy documents. Currently employed as Santa Clara County Climate Change and Sustainability Manager in the Facilities and Fleet Department, Jill works on a variety of issues, including resource conservation and efficiency in the jails. She especially enjoys developing approaches to create positive behavior change that grows into environmental stewardship. This August she received a Unity in Diversity Award from Santa Clara County for initiating a program to bring women into non-traditional jobs within the Fleet Division.

In addition to the amazing work Jill is doing at her “day job,” and as the chair of the San Jose Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, she recently agreed to chair the Chapter’s Water Committee, an offer she just couldn’t refuse. The committee is currently considering how it can have the greatest impact regarding this most precious of global resources. Knowing her impactful record to date, Jill Boone’s latest volunteer work for our Chapter could well be a watershed!

Cheryl Hylton is a Sierra Club life member and a pro bono fundraising consultant for the Chapter.