Adrienne’s Farewell Message

Adrienne’s Farewell Message

Posted & filed under Events.

Adrienne Etherton

Friends, volunteers, partners and supporters of SSMC,

I am writing to let you know that after 6 years at the helm and nearly 7 altogether with Sustainable San Mateo County, I am moving on. My last day will be October 18, and I will start my new role as the Sustainability Management Analyst for the City of Brisbane in early November. It’s bittersweet to be leaving SSMC, but I am excited about the new challenges ahead and am pleased to remain involved with local sustainability issues.

I’m proud to have led Sustainable San Mateo County through a period of change and growth. Over my tenure we have:

  • Grown the organization’s annual budget nearly 40% over the last 4 years, after maintaining core programs through an historic economic downturn.
  • Transformed the Indicators Report from a printed annual report to a dynamic year-round online resource with a successful series of Launch & Lunch events to drive community conversations around our key challenges.
  • Recognized 40+ businesses, individuals, organizations and buildings through the Sustainability and Green Building Awards program, celebrated in a vibrant new venue.
  • Developed stronger partnerships with like-minded organizations and worked together on shared initiatives to build support for our mission, such as the Healthy Communities Forum series and the Community Advocates Leadership Academy.
  • Established a policy and process to become a vocal advocate for forward-thinking policies and programs, engaging on issues from transportation to food systems.
  • Kicked off a new strategic initiative, Pathways to Sustainable Communities, to drive the next phase of our countywide sustainability education and advocacy.

It’s been an incredible experience, in no small part thanks to the great relationships I have built with many of you. I have learned so much from my colleagues and our partners around the community, and I am ever grateful to have had this opportunity to contribute to my community and grow professionally and personally. Thank you for your time, energy, and support. I will miss working with you, but look forward to seeing you in the future.

There is still plenty of work to be done to make our region sustainable, and SSMC will need your support and partnership during this time of transition. I am working with our Board of Directors to help ensure it is a smooth one; some of you will likely hear from me again on specifics. I plan to remain involved in SSMC’s future as a volunteer, so I’m sure we’ll be seeing each other at future meetings, events and celebrations.

SSMC’s Executive Director job opening is available at – please share it widely! In the meantime, Jane Richards ( will be SSMC’s primary point of contact.

I look forward to staying in touch, and continuing to work with many of you in my new role.

Thanks again and all the best,


P.S. My last public event as the Executive Director will be our 25th Anniversary Celebration on October 7th from 2-5 pm in Huddart Park. While the event was always meant to celebrate our quarter-century mark with our closest supporters, I can’t think of a better way to say goodbye than with desserts and drinks outdoors. I hope you’ll join me for one last hurrah!


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From the 2017 Indicators Report

Between 2010 and 2015, the average rental cost rose by 49% and the median house sale price rose by 52% in San Mateo County.

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‟Sustainable development is...development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of further generations to meet their own needs.”—World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987