Twenty Under 40 Q-and-A: Porterhouse Marketing’s Sarah Porter
RENO,Nev. — In November, the Reno-Tahoe Young Professionals Network announced the winners of its annual Twenty Under 40 Awards.
We at the NNBW feel it’s important for people of all ages, background and professions to have a voice about the current state of business in Northern Nevada.
With the region’s economic future in mind, NNBW Reporter Kaleb M. Roedel is conducting a Q-and-A with each of the 2019 winners; interviews will be published throughout the year. Go to renotahoeypn.com to learn more about Reno-Tahoe YPN. Read this week’s Q-and-A below:
Q: What do you see as the top one or two biggest economic development opportunities for Northern Nevada in 2020 and beyond?
Sarah Porter: I’m seeing more and more technology companies come into the area. Because my profession is in digital marketing and communications, I have more visibility into that. So, I see a lot of companies coming here for the ability to have quick access to recruit talent, quality of life — because a lot of them come from the Bay Area and they come here for a much better quality of life — and attract employees and retain employees. And I think that’s really exciting to have so much investment in technology and so much investment in keeping the growth of talent in our area. Mixed with the lifestyle that we provide, I think it’s really an amazing combination.
Q: Why is it important for younger professionals to have a seat at the table when it comes to the business community in Northern Nevada?
Sarah Porter: I think it’s really important for young professionals to have a seat at the table. We are obviously the next generation that is going to propel the city forward even more. I think we bring a nice and unique perspective, especially in this ‘Twenty Under 40’ category because we have enough experience doing the work and we’re able to also bring a fresh perspective. We’re not so engrained and entrenched in what we’ve been doing for so long that we’re sort of stuck in ‘this is the way we always do it.’ We’re open to alternative ways and new ways of trying things. But, still making sure that we maintain the integrity of whatever we set out to do and that it’s effective.
I find in this (Twenty Under 40) group, too, there’s a lot of really hard-working people that really want to make a difference and impact, not just do a job. They want to see it grow our community in good ways and make sure that we’re being socially and economically responsible. So I think that’s really important, too.
Q: What industry or industries have the biggest opportunity for growth in Northern Nevada?
Sarah Porter: Obviously, we have a ton of land and we are amazingly situated for transportation, so I think we’re in a really good position for warehousing and manufacturing. Because we have the space, we have the favorable tax climate, we have two major interstates, we have an international airport, and we have rail.
Q: Where do you see the greater Reno-Sparks region in five years?
Sarah Porter: I’m excited about the growth that we’re seeing. Because you look at some cities — if they’re not growing, they’re dying. I’m a native Nevadan, I’ve seen this city grow tremendously over my lifetime and everybody kind of freaks out about all the houses and all the traffic. But, it’s growing in the right ways. I think the people who are coming to this area are coming to this area because we have something really special to offer. They’re not coming to change it or destroy it. I see a lot of people come here from other areas who are so excited about Reno that they want to preserve what we have, that special nuance, that sense of community.
And the growth we’re seeing is incredible, like our bars and our restaurant scene, the culinary scene that’s emerging is fantastic, the arts and culture, the amount of wonderful nonprofits and charities that are doing amazing work here. Even the construction industry … my dad was a construction worker my whole life, so I very much understand the ebbs and flows. All of the construction, to me, says there are jobs, people are working, and our economy is doing really well.
So, I’m excited about the growth, I think it’s only going to make our city better, as long as we as a community hold on to what makes us special. We still have that small-town feel but with the amazing amenities of the big city. As long as we keep and retain that Biggest Little City essence, I think Reno can only continue to get better.
Q: If you could change one thing for the better about your community, what would it be?
Sarah Porter: I’m very involved in nonprofits in our area and I have been for a really long time. And the impact that these organizations bring to our community is just tremendous. And it’s disheartening for me that not everyone is involved in some way in some kind of nonprofit. Just find something your passionate about that you would be so sad if it wasn’t here anymore — whether that’s arts, whether that’s resources for children, whether that’s animals — and figure out how you can get involved.
I think that a lot of times people have missed opportunities to give back. And so I think if everyone took a little bit more philanthropic or empathetic view of why these organizations exist and how we can continue to sustain that, we would only be stronger as a community.
In rural Nevada — where it takes even longer to get the results of tests because samples have to be taken by courier to Reno once a day — hospitals and doctors are also taking an abundance of caution with respiratory patients and having them isolate at home.