We are excited to have Janet Llerandi Gonzalez (they/them) join the Environmental Center as our new Business Manager! In this role, they will be responsible for the important operations that keep our organization running smoothly, from office administration to bookkeeping to managing the facility rentals!
Previous to joining TEC, Janet worked in various roles with local nonprofit organizations such as Finance & Administrative Coordinator for Better Together, The Early Learning Hub of Central Oregon, and Director of Mecca Bend. Janet’s commitment to empowering their community continues through their work as owner & founder of Libre Strategies, LLC – an equity and outreach consulting business focused on inclusionary practices and policies for migrant, Latin@ and Spanish speaking folks and business owners (read Janet’s full bio here).
To learn more about Janet and introduce them to you, we asked a few get-to-know-you questions:
We are excited to bring you on to the team! What are some things you are excited about as you learn more about the Environmental Center and the role?
I’m excited to expand my knowledge and perspective on sustainability, climate action and where and how it intersects with racial and social justice movements that are often excluded from these practices. I am also excited to play a role in an organization that is advocating directly at this time.
You clearly care a lot about the community; as you mention in your bio, you are involved in a lot outside of work! How do you practice self care while balancing giving back to the community?
I think what I’ve learned in the past few years about self-care is that setting hard boundaries isn’t NOT putting the needs of the community first. I also don’t necessarily see it as “giving back” since I am fighting for justice and causes that directly affect me and my children. But boundaries are critical for self care and I’m learning to not feel guilty for taking care of mine and my children’s immediate needs first. It’s always a challenge but I find it easier to know that if I don’t, I can’t continue to do the work that I’m doing with my community.
What are some other things that you do that “fill your cup” so to speak?
A big part of why I do what I do is because I have the privilege of sharing space and time with my people and their inner circles. That does end up including and leading to networking, of course, so some people may see that as work but it’s so much more than that, it’s empowering and feels like being surrounded by extended family which I don’t have out here.
At home, I spend a lot of time by myself writing, studying, meditating and practicing vows of silence for reflection. Having quality time with my kids away from things that may lead to work / networking is equally important to us. Together we love cooking culturally traditional meals, trying new recipes, and playing board games. My kids love anything related to music and discovering new instruments to play so we’re often at music stores or at home learning new stuff or getting better at what we know.
If you could transform into a different animal for 24 hours, what would it be and why?
This one’s easy! A hummingbird, which in Spanish is colibrí or huitzilopochtli in my native Nahuatl language. The story and symbolism behind the Huitzilpochtli as the figure of rebirth during the Winter Solstice and the significance of the figure for Indigenous mexica (me-she-ka) people has a deeper meaning for me as an Indigenous person. This article by Jorge García is a great resource for learning about the story of Huitzilpochtli and the connection to intent during the winter solstice.
Since it’s just after new years – what are you most looking forward to in 2023?
I’m looking forward to renewing some passions that have been set aside due to work and also taking on less and sitting back a little bit from the public spotlight. Watching my kids do their things in school, sports, and music. I’m also planning on buying my son his first vehicle this year so that’s a big one!
Come visit them at our office and say hello sometime! To reach Janet directly, their email is or you can call them at 541-508-5262 ext. 100. Janet will also be the primary contact for our email address.