Santa Rosa Vice Mayor Victoria Fleming wins North Bay Forty Under 40 award

Victoria Fleming

Age: 39

Vice mayor, city of Santa Rosa


Read other profiles of this year's winners.

Responsibilities with your company: As a member of the City Council, in conjunction with my colleagues, I set policy direction and vote on implementation based on recommendations from our staff.

In 25 words or less, how do you exemplify the spirit of being a top Forty under 40 professional?

I bring a unique perspective to City Governance as the only woman and the only person raising a child on the City Council. I strive to balance many city priorities and have transparency and clarity in setting policies that will serve all of our families.

Years with company: 3

Length of time in current position: 1

Number of companywide employees: 1,100

Number who report to you: 2

Greatest professional accomplishment: City-wide minimum wage; all-electric reach code; moving forward South East Greenway; avoiding damage to the city; and having orderly evacuations during the Kincade event.

Greatest professional challenge: Working in the minority on the City Council and speaking up on issues that matter to a majority in Santa Rosa and the County of Sonoma but are not directly relevant to the experience of majority of the sitting council members.

Specifically, that I am active in working with my council colleagues to increase our communications and how we understand each other's perspectives to bring about leadership that is reflective of our community.

Best advice received: Two things: 1) It's all capacity building. Win, lose or draw, the experience builds your ability to be effective. Take the outcomes in stride and use the skills, strengths and lessons learned to take on the next thing. 2) Once you have committed, put all of your energy into in. Everything that is not positive takes away from your ability to achieve success. You have to figure out a way to compartmentalize negative energy and unwanted advice.

Single most important event in your professional life in the last 12 months: Working to support an all hands on deck approach to climate change. This is the biggest threat to our economy and our welfare and I am proud to be on a team that takes this very seriously.

What steps is your company taking to sustain your organization and morale in the current economy?

I am working through the downtown subcommittee to increase the economic engine that is our downtown.

I have been convening meetings with the Metro Chamber of Commerce and the city's manager of Economic Development to bring forward, implement and execute policies that will support our downtown and bring our residents to our public commons. I can't wait to see all the housing downtown and the services that follow.

We actively encourage and support incubators and small businesses in our downtown where they can benefit from the energy and creativity of downtown. I predict that in the next 5-10 years it will go from being a local gem to a regional draw. Don't miss out!

Next professional goal: Keep moving forward policies that support our residents and business community.

Education: Bachelor of Art's degree from San Francisco State University, women's studies; 2004 MSW (Community Mental Health) the University of California Berkeley School of Social Welfare, 2006

Hometown: San Leandro

Community/nonprofit activities: Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women 2016-2018; Sonoma County League of Women Voters Santa Rosa Community Advisory Board 2016-2018; and Sonoma County Democratic Central Committee, 2017-2019

Mentor/admired businessperson: Chris Coursey

What is your most disliked industry buzzword?

It won't pencil out.

Typical day at the office: No such thing! Meetings, site visits, phone calls, constituents. Every day is different.

Best place to work outside of your office: I get a lot done at coffee shops. I've been at Brew lately but I rotate around all the time. Nothing beats a happy hour meeting with an Old Fashioned from Perch and Plow on Courthouse Square.

Hobbies: I spend a lot time riding bikes and playing Legos with my daughter. Lego injuries are serious, watch where you step!

What you wanted to be when you grew up: I was always accused of being bossy back when we gave girls a hard time for showing leadership skills. I don't think anyone who knows me is surprised that I went in this direction.

I always wanted to help people. I got into social work because I really can't stand it when you see people standing around watching someone suffer and thinking that someone else is gonna do something.

I wasn't a popular kid. I would try to break up school fights and I watched a lot of “Star Trek the Next Generation.” Live long and prosper!

#1 thing you want to accomplish by the time you turn 40: Bring forward more policies that support our young people, working families, and local businesses.

First job: Camp counselor

Social media you most use: Facebook to communicate with residents.

Favorite book: “What Works: Gender Equality By Design”. Iris Bohnet from the Harvard Business School. “Who Rules Santa Rosa and Why It Matters” by Jim Wilkinson

Favorite movie: “Pumping Iron”

Favorite App: Calm- I use it every day to relax after work and get into bed. I can't imagine not having it.

Favorite after-work drink: Old Fashioned

Last vacation: Mexico City

What does your mom or dad brag most about you?

Probably that I made them grandparents.

Victoria Fleming

Age: 39

Vice mayor, city of Santa Rosa


Read other profiles of this year's winners.

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