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Sayer takes reins at Sierra Business Council

Amanda Butler, Sierra Sun

Jim Sayer has plenty of experience working with land use and community development organizations.

After working for one of California’s premier land planning organizations, the Greenbelt Alliance, Sayer went on to help start his own statewide coalition of businesses, environmentalists, labor, housing and developers throughout California, called the California Futures Network.

His experience made him an ideal candidate for the top job at the Sierra Business Council (SBC), a position that was previously held by founder and president of the non-profit organization, Lucy Blake.

Blake stepped down in March to prepare for the birth of her first child, due in May.

Sayer was born in San Francisco and raised near the San Bernadino Mountains in Lake Arrowhead.

The time he spent growing up in the Sierra prompted his decision to accept the job at the SBC and move to Truckee.

“I thought it would be fun to bring up a family in Truckee,” said Sayer. Sayer and his wife of almost 12 years, Wendy Calvert, moved to Truckee two weeks ago along with their three children.

Sayer’s other incentive was SBC’s reputation.

“This is certainly the most exciting alliance in the U.S., businesses can join together to advance their economic prospects and still protect the place they love,” said Sayer.

The Sierra Business Council’s goal is to do just that. Members of the SBC pay a small fee to become a part of the organization that in return researches ways to keep Sierra communities prospering economically.

Members have to “sign on” to the SBC’s mission.

“Rural communities tend to rely on extraction industries, or tourism,” said Sayer.

“Our goal is to diversify and develop other opportunities so that we can preserve the environment because that is the reason most of us are here.”

Sayer hopes to keep SBC prospering. “The organization has been rapidly growing in the past few years,” said Sayer.

“I want to sustain that growth and broaden our focus so that we can work effectively throughout all the Sierra.”

Sayer also looks forward to the construction of a new office for SBC on High Street, behind their current location.

“We are starting our capital campaign soon, and hopefully we can begin construction next year,” said Sayer.

SBC has members in 14 California counties and three Nevada counties. For more information about SBC visit their Web site at http://www.sbcouncil.com.


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