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NIKOLE REAKSECKER

Co-Founder and Senior Partner

Nikole Reaksecker, an internationally-recognized expert in stakeholder engagement, has over two decades of professional experience working in natural resource policy, business administration, corporate social responsibility, regulatory compliance and environmental education. 

 

Throughout her career, Reaksecker has been known for creating a culture of collaboration, bringing together people with a variety of viewpoints to protect the environment. She has worked extensively with government, industry, not-for-profit organizations and advocacy groups to find common ground among uncommon allies.

Over the course of her twenty-four year career, Reaksecker's duties have ranged from explaining air pollution regulations to industry representatives to exploring how organizations can increase their effectiveness and training government officials on risk communication. Her responsibilities have included everything from curriculum development and design to developing policies and procedures for new programs, conducting energy audits, advising companies seeking ISO 14001 certification, and writing technical briefing papers.

Reaksecker is a Co-Founder and Senior Partner at Vichara Partners, a global advisory group. She provides expert advice to companies and individuals looking to become more effective in their communications, efficient in their organizational structures, profitable and ultimately, more sustainable. Her advice is strategic in nature and designed to address fundamental, organizational challenges.

Her areas of expertise include:

  • Corporate Social Responsibility

  • Environmental Management

  • Program Evaluations

  • Regulatory Compliance

  • Energy Audits

  • Sustainable Development

  • Business Development

  • Fundraising

  • Strategic Planning

  • Organizational Design

  • Capacity Building

  • Government Relations

  • Stakeholder Engagement

  • Risk Communication

  • Media & Public Relations

  • Conflict Resolution

  • Behavioral Models for Change

  • Curriculum Design

Before founding Vichara Partners, Reaksecker was Chief Engagement Officer at Eco-Engage, a boutique advisory practice that she created in 2012 to provide consulting services to non-profit organizations, professional societies and small companies. Her work focused on outreach and media relations as well as support to companies examining the social and environmental impacts of their business operations. She led strategic planning initiatives, facilitated on-site workshops, and worked closely with clients to increase their organizational effectiveness. Reaksecker is skilled at building consensus, cultivating strategic partnerships, facilitating dialogue and improving communication across organizations.

Prior to starting her own company, Reaksecker led the PEAK Student Energy Actions Program (PEAK) for The Energy Coalition. PEAK is a comprehensive statewide educational program based in California designed to empower elementary school students with the knowledge to manage energy use in their homes, schools and communities. In 2006, Reaksecker spearheaded the opening of the Northern California office for the PEAK program. She expanded the program tenfold to nearly one hundred schools in less than one year, trained hundreds of teachers on the hands-on science curriculum, and served as the primary point of contact for school administrators and teachers. 

 

When she left the Energy Coalition in 2012, she oversaw the entire statewide program, managed a budget of over $5 million, and directed all aspects of program implementation. Reaksecker also led the redesign of the PEAK curriculum. In 2010, Reaksecker and her colleagues at The Energy Coalition received the Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA) from the Governor of the State of California.

Early in her career, Reaksecker worked at the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) Region IX Office in San Francisco, California. During her tenure at U.S. EPA Region IX, she worked in the Air Division's rulemaking and compliance assistance departments. She participated in policy and regulatory development at local, state and national levels, established partnerships with environmental, community and business groups, and worked to improve federal policies. 

 

While at the U.S. EPA, Reaksecker developed a talent for translating technical material and environmental regulations into understandable terms, developing relationships with stakeholders, and educating others. She has trained hundreds of federal, state and local health officials on public participation, risk communication and media relations, presented to thousands of industry representatives at compliance assistance workshops, and provided technical and legal support to more than 40 state and local air pollution control agencies. Her work in compliance assistance provided her with valuable knowledge about auditing, inspection and enforcement procedures and policies.

In 1999, Reaksecker received one of the highest forms of employee recognition, a bronze medal, from the U.S. EPA for her analysis of the effect of emissions trading on a low-income, minority community in the South Coast air basin. Her work resulted in the establishment of a health clinic in Wilmington, California, to diagnose and treat respiratory diseases.

Reaksecker has worked on organizational effectiveness, corporate social responsibility and marketing projects for several companies and organizations, including:  CH2M Hill, Chiquita Brands International, and the American Red Cross. She has also provided regulatory, scientific, and technical consulting services to petroleum refiners, gasoline producers, and a small tool and die shop. As a Regulatory Consultant for the Clean Fuels Clearinghouse, Reaksecker provided environmental expertise to member companies representing over 70% of U.S. gasoline production.

From 2012 to 2018, Reaksecker served on the Board of Directors of the Women's Environmental Network, a professional society providing networking and leadership development opportunities for female environmental professionals.

Reaksecker holds an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of California at Davis and two masters degrees from the University of Michigan in Natural Resource Policy Management and in Business Administration. Her masters thesis was on mercury pollution in the Great Lakes.

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