Cascadians utilize a lot of acronyms in their work, and DEIA is a company favorite. Fostering a culture of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) is a central focus of Cascade’s efforts to bring excellence to the energy efficiency world and our own internal community. At the helm of those efforts is Victoria Sonoda-Casper, Cascade’s first DEIA Specialist and champion for all voices and perspectives in our increasingly, wonderfully diverse workplace.
Via joined Cascade in the fall of 2019, adeptly stepping into office management of Cascade’s bustling Portland HQ. When at-home work became a necessity in 2020, her role shifted and afforded her time to join and soon lead the voluntary DEI team in its formation. When Via sees a need, she dives right in, and DEI was a place where she knew her talents and advocacy could make a difference.
“I’m excited by the potential for Cascade to be an equally great place to work for all its employees – current and prospective. I was really happy when I was chosen for the DEI Specialist position.”
Creating a dynamic team within Cascade solely dedicated to nurturing DEIA has elevated every aspect of the company, from our enriched hiring practices to our increasingly diverse industry partnerships. Via has been instrumental in these efforts, authoring and issuing both the Diverse Business Enterprise (DBE) Spend Report and Cascade’s Supplier Diversity Policy.
Via’s dedication to this vision is evidenced in the thoughtful, open approach she brings to all she does at Cascade. In fact, when asked which of our Core Values most resonated with her, she couldn’t choose!
“I’d probably have to combine Learn Constantly and Do The Right Thing into ‘Learn Constantly to Do The Right Thing’, because I think they go hand in hand. The more you learn, the more capable you are of knowing how to do the right thing.”
This wise philosophy influences Cascade’s ability to both flourish and grow. In 2022, under Via’s guidance, the DEI team evolved into the DEIA team, adding Accessibility to their realms of focus when strong voices at Cascade elevated visibility around this important aspect of supporting and celebrating a diverse workplace.
In the short time since this expansion of the DEIA mission, Via has overseen Accessibility efforts that have benefited several aspects of Cascade, including the way we deliver presentations and provide both employees and clients with the tools they need for success.
Cascade joins Via in her belief that as we become a diverse workplace, an equally great environment is created for all our employees, clients, and the industries we seek to benefit.
Thank you, Via, for all you do to make Cascade great!