Meet Your Neighbor | SierraSun.com

Meet Your Neighbor

Joanna HartmanSierra Sun

Ryan Salm/Sierra SunLynn Felsch

How long have you lived in Truckee-Tahoe?I have spent 17 years here in Kingswood, and the rest of the time on the West Shore.Where are you from originally?The Bay Area.What brought you here?Skiing.Where do you like to ski?Alpine. My husband was the director of guest services there for 30 years.What do you do for work?I own a property management real estate company called Sierra Vacation and we specialize in real estate sales and vacation rentals in the Northstar area and Kingswood up to Carnelian Bay area. I have a lakefront office and we keep our boat right outside.Have you always been in real estate?I was a flight attendant prior to this, then Ive owned this company for 22 years.Do you have a family?I have one daughter, Lindsay, shes just going off to college. For the first semester shes at UNR, then second semester shell be going to Santiago, Chile. Were going to have an empty nest. Which is actually why I started getting involved with the Red Cross because I knew Id have a big gaping hole once she left (laughs).How are you involved with the Red Cross?I started training with Katrina, as did about 6,000 other people. I realized we didnt have a local Red Cross presence and I started working with the Sacramento chapter. But if anything happened up here and Highway 80 closed, we would be out of luck because they couldnt get here. Come to find out, February 26 I got a call asking me to open a shelter because Highway 80 was closed. I was the only Red Cross person up here that was trained in disaster.Then you helped establish a Disaster Action Team (DAT)?I started recruiting and we recruited 30 local people from Truckee-Tahoe and had them trained in disaster. And then within two weeks of the time we had everyone trained we got a call to respond to the Angora Fire. About 18 of us went over there and we stayed for a week. I was actually the shelter manager for the evacuation center. It was really an experience. Im so proud of the local people who stepped up to the plate and made it happen. Without the local presence here, we really are closed off. So now we have 30 trained Red Cross DAT members in North Tahoe-Truckee.How much time do you spend on Red Cross stuff?I spend a lot of time. I think I spend more with Red Cross than I do for work! Tell us a fun Red Cross fact.Red Cross is the second most recognizable logo in the world.Whats the first?Coca Cola.What do you like to do for fun?Theres not a lot of time left, which Im kind of wondering about now .. Typically I love to water-ski, snow ski, cross country ski. I do decorating. I love planting in my garden. Hanging with friends you know, anything outdoors. We boat all the time. As a matter of fact, were boating in about 20 minutes. My husbands an avid water-skier.Do you have any heroes?Bob Thornton in the American Red Cross is my hero. He was instrumental in helping me establish the teams up here.If you could take anything away from the Angora Fire, what would it be?The overwhelming local response unbelievable. The whole community came together. Restaurants were donating food, people were donating money and clothing. You just cannot believe the outpouring from the South Shore and North Shore people.The Sierra Suns Joanna Hartman interviewed Felsch for this weeks Meet Your Neighbor. Please send suggestions for Meet Your Neighbor to jhartman@sierrasun.com.