40 under 40: Nick Exline, Midkiff & Associates, Inc.
Tahoe Chamber | June 27, 2018 | 40 Under 40
When asked if there is a saying he lives by, Nick Exline shared Robert F. Kennedy’s famed quote: “Some men see things as they are and say, why; I dream things that never were and say, why not.”
The quote exemplifies Nick’s forward-thinking and can-do attitude for sustainability and environmental protection in Lake Tahoe. Nick works as a senior land-use planning consultant for Midkiff & Associates, Inc. He also serves as the chair of the City of South Lake Tahoe’s 100% Renewable Committee, is the founder of the Tahoe Climate Change Action Network, and is an alumnus of Tahoe Chamber’s Leadership Lake Tahoe program.
Congratulations to Nick Exline, the latest honoree of our 40 under 40 series!
Can you tell us a little about your responsibilities and accomplishments in your current position?
As a Senior, AICP Land-Use Planning Consultant for Midkiff & Associates, Inc. I have been fortunate enough to work on many projects around the basin. These projects range from residential, commercial, industrial, public service and environmental projects. I develop plans and processes to bring projects through the complex Tahoe regulatory system. These projects have created jobs and revitalized our community.
I am currently a lead planner working with a development team to finally fill the vacant hole in our downtown. Environmental improvement is important to me and projects that I have worked on have resulted in significant carbon reductions, restoration of stream channels and disturbed pieces of land, and the improvement of water quality systems that help to improve Tahoe’s famed clarity.
What has been your favorite professional moment in the last year?
Winning the TRPA Best in Basin Award for Water Quality, Restoration and Erosion Control. Why this was so significant is because it demonstrated that you can utilize private capital on private land to develop planning and permitting process that improves the environment, while bringing a significant return on investment. We need to continue to tear down the walls that separate the development and environmental communities because acting together, we can begin to address the environmental and economic challenges Tahoe faces.
Do you have a professional/life mantra that you try to live by?
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy: “Some men see things as they are and say, why; I dream things that never were and say, why not.” We need to be the change that we want to see in the world.
That is why I am running for the South Tahoe Public Utility District Board in 2018. We can use renewable energy and sustainability to lower our energy bills, our carbon footprint and use those savings to make sure everyone in our community is safe in the event of a fire and repair our crumbling infrastructure.
What was your first job?
My first job was working at a lumberyard in Sparks, Nevada.
Why choose Tahoe to make your home and career?
Tahoe is the greatest place on earth. I was just very fortunate to be able to get a great job and be able to live the Tahoe outdoor lifestyle. Tahoe is my home.
Are you active in any volunteer roles or community groups?
My passion for sustainability and the issue of climate change has been a driving focus of my life. I don’t get paid for any of this work, but just wanted to do whatever I could to help. This work resulted in hosting a Chamber Connect for a Cause event in 2016 entitled, “Save Our Snow.” In that presentation, my co-presenter Bonnie Turnbull and I developed the “My Tahoe Pledge Campaign” which provided a path forward for what everyone could do to lower their carbon footprint.
Following this event, I founded the Tahoe Climate Change Action Network. In 2016 I ran unsuccessfully for the South Tahoe Public Utility District Board with a renewable energy platform. Following the election, I worked with a group of talented individuals to have the City of South Lake Tahoe commit to become the 26th city in the United States to get 100% electricity from renewable sources by 2032. This commitment led to the development of the City of South Lake Tahoe 100% Renewable Committee and I am currently the Chairman of that Committee.
Following that commitment, I have worked with the Lake Tahoe Unified School District (LTUSD) as they made their own 100% renewable commitment in addition to other sustainability goals. I currently sit on the LTUSD Renewable Energy/Sustainability committee. These efforts led me to be asked to give a TEDx presentation about our local climate change movement last year. We are currently working on a free solar assessment opportunity for businesses and local agencies. If anyone is interested in this free assessment please contact me.
What is your favorite thing to do outside of work?
Anything outside. I have two kids, Callum (8) and Mia (5), and I have been taking them outside with me in all weathers since they were born. We now get to enjoy all the outdoor activities together from skiing and riding in the winter to biking, kayaking and climbing in the summer.
Where are your favorite South Shore stomping grounds?
Regan Beach. Honestly, if I am not working, devoting my time to fighting climate change or spending time with my family, outside you will find me at Regan Beach. I live in the Al Tahoe neighborhood and being able to walk my dog to Regan Beach every night is one of the great experiences of living in Tahoe.