Karissa Gallo: Renewable Enthusiasm
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
SAN FRANCISCO — Karissa Gallo started working in the renewable energy field while living in New York, but it wasn’t until she moved to sunny California that solar power became her primary focus. “I’ve always been passionate about making a difference for the environment,” she says. “I started out working for a company that sold wind and hydro power. When I decided to move from New York to California, I hoped to continue my career in the Green energy industry. Since I was coming to a state with lots of sunshine, solar seemed like the obvious way to go, so I got involved. It’s been great so far!”
Today, as a senior energy consultant at SolarUnion, Karissa says her favorite part of her job is the opportunity to make a positive impact. “By selling solar, we offer homeowners and businesses a lot of financial advantages, but on a deeper level, what we do actually affects the planet. That’s what gets me excited—to know what I’m doing is making a difference, both in people’s lives and for the greater global good.”
As a resident of Vallejo (where she lives with her partner, Mingo), Karissa says she appreciates her central proximity to all the Bay Area has to offer. “I love living near San Francisco, with all its culture, beautiful scenery and fun things to do. I also like the fact that we’re close to Lake Tahoe, which gives us easy access to the snow and outdoor activities.”
Outside of work, Karissa fills her free time with a wide range of creative and active pursuits. “Mingo and I are both musicians, and we have a band called Room of Voices that performs around the Bay Area,” she says. “We love to be creative and inspire others with our music. I also enjoy hiking, swimming, mountain biking, snowboarding—basically anything to do with nature, which is tied to my passion for protecting the environment.”
In regard to her professional career, Karissa espouses the value of taking a client-centered approach. “When working with clients, my main priority is to treat them the way I’d want to be treated,” she affirms. “Rather than taking a sales-like approach, I prefer to take on more of a consultant role, wherein I take the time to get to know my clients, ask questions and determine their needs. At the end of the day, this approach enables me to formulate the best option for each client’s particular needs.”
When asked the first thing she’d do if she were to retire tomorrow, Karissa says she would devote more time to charitable service. “Helping others has always been a passion of mine, so if I was no longer doing that through my work, I’d do it on a volunteer basis. I’m the kind of person who needs to feel like I’m having a positive impact, so that will continue to be a key aspect of whatever I’m doing.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: I’ve always wanted to check out New Zealand and Australia. Like the Bay Area, I hear they both have really diverse landscapes, with beaches, snow and mountains.
Q: Are you a dog person or a cat person?
A: Definitely a dog person. I like cats, too, but usually just the ones that act like dogs.
Q: What’s your favorite restaurant?
A: Arti Indian Organic Natural Café in Lagunitas-Forest Knolls.
Q: Do you collect anything?
A: I collect music and giraffe paraphernalia. I have a small obsession with giraffes.
Q: If you could immediately master any musical instrument, what would you choose?
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A: The drums.