Marlene Olsen is a humble gem in Reno. When I met her for an interview on a beautiful day outside of Walden’s, I lucked out and also had the chance to meet Levy, her very sweet, soft white pup that reminds me of one of the “Please Pet Me” dogs at the airport. Marlene didn’t know his breed because as it turns out, Levy is the product of one of Marlene’s regular peruses of animal patrol; she saved Levy from Death Row in Merced, CA.
I regularly peruse animal patrol and saved Levy from Death Row in Merced, CA.
In addition to dogs, Marlene saves water in the Truckee Meadows! If you complied with the request and saw advertising and information in your TMWA customer bills telling you to reduce water by 10%, then Marlene affected you too. She, along with her creative team, is responsible for an account that manages the TMWA water reduction campaign. Last year when she initiated the campaign to reduce reduce water use by 10%, our community took it to the next level and reduced use by 20% instead.
Marlene said that the credit goes back to our awesome community who views water as a precious resource; people appreciate the fact that we live in a desert. Overall, Marlene attributes the water reduction snowball affect to the encouraging campaign that included monthly TV news updates indicating how much water we saved. The news was great to work with and people were excited to see progress. It also helped to have messaging on billboards, radio ads, and digital ads reaching all of Truckee Meadows.
The water reduction campaign was effective but the credit goes back to our awesome community who views water as a precious resource.
Marlene has a heart for the public process and water, specifically, but it wasn’t always that way. She graduated from the Journalism program at the University of Nevada, Reno and started a photography business right out of college before she was the public relations manager at the local Chamber of Commerce. She later launched her own PR firm which she explained took projects that were a slice of Reno. In the recent five years, her business, goodStanding, pivoted to specialize in public outreach and education for environmental business projects.
My work was a slice of Reno, then I chose to specialize in public outreach and education for environmental business projects.
I asked Marlene what advice she’d give to her younger self. She said it’s what her parents always told her: you can achieve anything you set your mind to. It’s important at 20-years-old to realize that you need work under your belt before you can appreciate putting it all together. The bottom line is to work hard, keep everything upright so that you can look a person in the eye and always do the best you can whether it’s for friends, family or clients.