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Meet the team: Thresa Pattee

Thresa Pattee has served Practice Greenhealth as a member engagement manager since 2018 and as the food program coordinator for Healthy Food in Health Care and Practice Greenhealth for two years prior. Discover her favorite volunteer activity in her hometown of Bozeman, Mont., her not-so-secret talents, and how a stint in France led Thresa to her career in sustainability.

What is a cause (outside of work) that you feel most passionate about?

Teaching young children about food production and cooking. Each month, Montana has a featured Harvest of the Month product, which is promoted for use in school lunches.

The after-school program I volunteer for works with this same Harvest of the Month product and teaches children about how it is grown, why it grows well in Montana, the important nutrition facts about the product, and provide hands-on opportunities to incorporate the ingredient into a delicious healthy recipe. Engaging children in food production and preparation from an early age helps set the stage for a lifetime of food choices that support their health and the health of their community.

What is your secret (or not-so-secret) talent?

Karaoke! And it’s definitely not a secret. I have been singing in choirs for most of my life. One of the things I love about karaoke is anyone can participate and it really provides a way to share the gift of music with friends and strangers, regardless of talent.

My other not-so-hidden talent would be playing pool. I have captained several league teams and love to play whenever I come across a table or find time to meet up with friends.

What are three items of significance in your workspace?

  1. Photos of family and friends. My loved ones are so supportive of me and having them close energizes and inspires me to keep pushing forward to create a healthy environment for today and tomorrow.

  2. My standing desk. During busy and often long work days, it is so important to have an ergonomic workspace. I want to make sure my back health remains good since I spend most of my day at a desk reading, problem-solving, and typing. My convertible desk allows me to stand or sit. Couple that with a focus on good posture while working, and I hope to have good back health for a lifetime.

  3. Plants. Bringing the outdoors inside keeps my spirits up, especially on the really cold and short days we have during the Montana winter. Plants are so rewarding to nurture, and they always bring a smile to my face and a sense of calm to my surroundings.

When did you know you wanted to work for an environmental and/or health care nonprofit? What brought about this decision?

The path that lead me to Health Care Without Harm and Practice Greenhealth was not premeditated but instead resulted from the combination of life experiences. While attending university for my bachelors in business and French, I held many jobs in the food service industry including concessions, server, prep cook, short order cook, bartender, and restaurant shift manager. This experience spurred my love of food and the businesses that support this fascinating field.

I had the amazing opportunity to complete my degrees in French at Lyon 3, a business-focused university in France. During my year in Lyon, I was exposed to a host family and broader culture that had sustainability embedded in the fabric of everyday life. Activities and choices such as using dryers only in a clothing emergency, purchasing most fresh meats, cheeses, and produce at small, neighborhood open air markets, putting on more clothes instead of turning up the heat, driving small fuel-efficient cars, walking almost everywhere, and conserving water in the household by wetting a sponge for dishes instead of letting the water run taught me that the conservation of resources could be a way of life.

Upon returning to the States, I found my work experience coupled with education background led me to a career in broadline food distribution, and my time in France had inspired me to think about environmental conservation and human health through a resource conservation lens. These experiences have brought me to work as a member engagement manager and healthier food expert at Practice Greenhealth.

What’s your favorite activity?

I love fishing. Being on the water, fresh or salt, is one of the most cathartic experiences. Water is our life source and I love being connected to the streams and rivers.

What are three things you never leave the house without (besides wallet/purse, keys, cell phone)?

  • Reusable hot beverage container
  • Reusable large water bottle
  • Reusable straw

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