15 Minutes of F.A.M.E :: Benjamin Phillips-Leseñana

Get to know the amazing people who make up Metro EDGE with this 15 Minutes of FAME (Faces At Metro EDGE)! Enjoy! 

Benjamin Phillips-Leseñana
Interim Executive Director
Sacramento Sustainability Forum

1. Tell us about your current position. SSF is a monthly venue for connecting businesses, non-profits, government and interested citizens in the Sacramento region in order to promote sustainability, share insights and resources, and support movement towards a more sustainable future. We meet on the 3rd Thursday of every month. SSF co-founders Jacob Griscom & Rick Noss, and I converted it from a volunteer supported program into a non-profit 501(c)(3).

2. What is your educational background? I’m a local kid who graduated from Hiram Johnson – West Campus, School of Business, Management, and Technology. Yikes, our 20-year reunion is this year! I attended Sacramento City College before starting my professional career with Pacific Bell. While with the telephone company, I worked towards completing a degree at University of Phoenix-Del Mar Campus in Business Management/Business Administration. It’s still on my bucket list to complete.

3. What is the best part of your job? Being able to meet and introduce folks with interest in the field of sustainability ranks high on why I’m a part of SSF. Our new green economy has so many facets to explore; each day has a new discovery. Learning from and collaborating with those who are equally passionate about what they do, as much as I am about what I do, is a highlight of being with SSF.

4. What do you love about living here?  Sacramento and the surrounding five counties are chalk full in diversity, agriculture, opportunity, recreation, and phenomenal year-round weather. It’s hard to imagine not having access to any of it for too long. On top of that, some hate to hear we’re just 2-hours from everything. Being a part of the Central Valley is a great thing since we are 2-hours from everything “else”, Napa, the Bay, Yosemite, Reno, Lake Oroville.

5. What is one thing that might surprise people about you? From grade school to college, I was a cellist in the orchestra. Also, play a bit of piano. Go figure, I had a Filipina mother. Thank you to Ms. Takuma-Swenson and the many other music teachers who kept music & the arts relevant in our educational system. It inspired countless of less-than-attentive-students like myself to do better in our other classes. I really did better in math & science.

6. When you aren't in the office where can we find you? I did the whole golf-thing during the nineties to conduct business on the course and quickly learned I lacked any aptitude; more of a weekend “hacker” interested in driving the cart & staying on the good side of the Marshall. Discovered my love for rafting the American during the summer, snowboarding the Sierra slopes during the winter, and biking around town during the more fair months. All of which is another reason why it’s awesome living in Sacramento.