Native Texan Macy Zander is a social butterfly who thrives on working with others. That’s what made her a perfect candidate for her job as associate organizing representative for the Protecting Florida’s Water campaign for the national nonprofit group Sierra Club, and it also made her a perfect candidate to join CoLab Orlando. Despite Central Florida’s warm climes, Macy has been known to get little chilly in her office. You may be surprised to find out what she does to combat the cold behind closed doors.

Macy Zander and an unidentified friend.

Tell us about yourself and your company. I am with the Sierra Club, and I am new to this position. I’ve been in Orlando working with the club now for three-and-a-half, four months. I graduated in 2011 from Texas Christian University, where I majored in environmental science and political science and minored in biology. I worked in the Green Corps and lived in a dozen cities across the country and ran five environmental campaigns. I worked with Sierra Club and fell in love with their organization. I think they’re doing really incredible things. Sierra Club is the nation’s oldest and largest environmental grassroots organization. It was founded in 1892 by John Muir in Northern California. We have 2.1 million members across the country and far more involved and on our email list. Our biggest priority is attacking climate change by helping the country move beyond coal. Our biggest issue in Florida is water. Our tourism here relies so much upon water, our fishing industry, you name it. Water is so essential for our way of life, and we’re seeing so much nutrient pollution from nitrogen and phosphorus from untreated wastewater … Florida has more springs than anywhere in the world, and the amount of nutrient pollution we’re seeing is wreaking havoc on those systems … We’re trying to implement decisions to protect our water for generations to come. (Like her campaign on Facebook)

What’s your favorite part of the job? My favorite part of the job is definitely working with people. I’m a field organizer. I’m trying to galvanize as much support from the public as we can. The really big stakeholders in the industry have a lot of money, but we have a lot of people. My job is to inspire people and motivate them to action and build up volunteer leaders and get people invested in the campaign.

Tell us something interesting about yourself that many people don’t know one. It gets really chilly in my office, and I love to wear a Snuggie. My favorite way to answer email is with a cup of free coffee from CoLab and wearing my bright pink Snuggie.

Door open or door closed? Door closed if I’m wearing my Snuggie.

When did you come to CoLab? I came to CoLab just this past February.

Where were you before CoLab? I was working at coffee shops across Orlando.

How did you hear about CoLab? I was working at a similar coworking space called Urban ReThink about a half-mile from CoLab. It’s a collaborative environment like CoLab, but there are no private offices. With the Sierra Club, it was very essential that I have a private office to store a lot of things volunteers use, like tables, petitions, posters. Urban ReThink actually recommended I look at CoLab since they had private office space available.

What made you want to use a coworking space? I am the only staff person for the Sierra Club within the Central Florida region. I have colleagues across the state, but I’m one of the remote organizers. Obviously, I’m a social person and the thought of being by myself in some removed office seems terrible. I wanted to have that coworking experience that one can’t find easily when you’re the only staff person within a 100-mile radius.

What are your thoughts about the CoLab community? I really like it. I’m still getting used to it because I travel a lot, but whenever I’m here people seem really friendly. It makes being a  remote staff person not feel so lonely. Brian Wilson, CoLab Orlando Director– has just been amazing. We get to talk and joke with one another every day I’m in the office. It’s been a really positive experience.

What are your favorite spots to go to downtown? Part of the reason Orlando CoLab is great is the location is unbelievable. We’re right downtown, right in the heart of all the action. My favorite thing is on occasion grabbing happy hour with some volunteers in this area. There are a few great coffee shops nearby, and I like to work out on my lunch break. My gym is about a third of a mile from here. There’s also a lake called Lake Eola that’s super-close, and I live downtown and I never have to worry about driving to work.

***Macy was also on Fox35News talking about CoLab! (Read here)