Original Member Series- Jessica Cook
Jessica Cook has been working with GEM Environmental since the organization's inception as a volunteer board member and as the Chairman of the Board since 2018. Jessica takes pride in building partnerships between our organization and local businesses who share GEM’s passion and drive in creating new opportunities for STEM students. As the organization's Business Manager, she brings great benefit to GEM with her experience in bookkeeping, accounts receivable, accounts payable, contract writing, policy enforcement, and her knowledge of current state and federal policy changes.
She was born and raised in Arizona and currently resides in Prescott with her husband Brandon, her two dogs Winslow and Denver, and two cats Damien and Pablo. As an outdoor enthusiast, it is her dream to help build our GEM Corps programs to ensure our community continues to have safe access to our parks, trails, and lakes through the conservation work of our GEM Corps crew.
What do you enjoy most about being involved in GEM?
What I enjoy most about being involved with GEM is being able to give back. Developing programs to help our community and fundraising to fund scholarships and internships for the underrepresented students.
What were your feelings when GEM first started and being part of the organization?
The feeling amongst all of us I think was just excitement. Eric had a vision for GEM Environmental, I was interested and eager to see how GEM was going to evolve from an idea into real life. Eric took a huge risk in the beginning trying to launch GEM but we all believed in his idea, his dream. Here it is! Bigger and better than I could have ever imagined.
What kind of progress has GEM made and what kind of progress do you see GEM making in the future?
GEM has grown leaps and bounds. Just 4 years ago our entire operation was managed at Eric's dining room table. We would spend hours there creating bylaws, figuring out where GEM was going next. Fast forward to today where GEM has a beautiful office building, a great staff and many amazing interns. I see GEM expanding it's internship, scholarship, and field experience in order to help reach even more underrepresented students.
In what ways does GEM feel like a family and what do you like most about GEM?
GEM feels like family because GEM is family. Eric has been a dear friend for a long time and he has brought together a real special group of people in order to make his dream a reality. Friends and family have come together through the years to support GEM and Eric which makes me proud to be a part of such an amazing organization that not only prioritizes community but family.