05 Aug A Closer Look
A Closer Look at Tania Fragomeno
An interview with Tania Fragomeno, Katz & Associates Environmental Practice Deputy
Courtney Holowach with Katz & Associates interviewed Tania to learn more about her work informing, educating, and engaging communities around the world.
Tania Fragomeno grew up in Pasadena, California, and has her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of California, San Diego. She is the deputy lead of our environmental practice area and has been trained and certified by the International Association for Public Participation, or IAP2. She specializes in environmental and risk communication, particularly for projects involving environmental cleanup, health risks, and regulatory compliance. Throughout her 10 years at Katz & Associates, Tania has been able to travel to far flung corners of the world, such as the Mariana Islands, Alaska, Italy, and remote tribal reservations.
I started my career at Katz & Associates as an intern more than 10 years ago and have since worked in all aspects of our practice areas, including community outreach for environmental cleanup projects and health risk studies, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) work with our federal clients, construction relations for transportation projects, and our water projects. I’ve been fortunate to be able to learn and be mentored by some of the best communications professionals in the industry, such as my early water work with Patsy Tennyson, risk communication work with Lewis Michaelson, and NEPA work with Allison Turner. Outside of Katz & Associates I serve on the board of Health Care Communicators of San Diego County and am an on-call public information officer for the San Diego/Imperial Counties chapter of the American Red Cross. I’ve also worked on site with our clients, most notably a two-year assignment with the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center in Portsmouth, Virginia.
What do you like about working at Katz & Associates?
I like the fact that we work on serious issues that truly have an impact on people’s quality of life. Katz & Associates presents us with many opportunities and supports our personal interests that make us better professionals. The variety of work makes each day a little different. These important projects are not only defining Katz & Associates, but the clients we work with and the communities we meet, define us as well.
What type of clients do you serve?
Many of the clients I serve are federal government agencies, such as the U.S. Navy, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), and Bureau of Reclamation. I work with the U.S. Navy, OSMRE, and Bureau of Reclamation on public involvement for projects under NEPA and also with the U.S. Navy on environmental cleanup projects. I also serve local clients, such as the San Diego Association of Governments, on community outreach for construction projects.
What is an important take away you’ve learned through your work?
I have really come to appreciate the power of the public in influencing a project. Most of the publics we come across are skeptical that their input is of any value, but they can – and do – make a change.
Do you have advice for someone starting out in the communications field?
Starting your career at a communications agency is a good way to get a lot of experience quickly. You will have exposure to various projects, issue areas, and experts. Look for a communications firm that values professional growth and mentoring.
What activities do you enjoy outside of work?
I spend a lot of time with my family – I have a lot of cousins (30 plus!) – who are all local, so you can imagine the number of birthday parties I enjoy attending. I also enjoy spending time with my two dogs (miniature poodle and silky terrier) and trying to stay active when I’m not catching up on the latest TV series or checking out new, trendy restaurants.