As Astrida Trupovnieks settles into her new role as Lodi’s business development manager, she is excited to immerse herself in the culture that the community has to offer. Trupovnieks, who is originally from the Midwest, never thought she would end up in California, but she is looking forward to the challenge of boosting business investment opportunities in the region.

Trupovnieks sat down with the News-Sentinel to discuss her hobbies, her goals for the City of Lodi and her expectations in her new role:

Q: What was your first impression of Lodi?

A: I like how close-knit the community is. My first time in Lodi I attend the Outstanding Citizens award dinner that was hosted by the Lodi Chamber of Commerce. It was so nice to hear people’s speeches and know how connected everyone is to the community. I was also impressed by the relationships of the people in Lodi. It seems like the people in town are really there for each other.

Q: What is your main focus as a business development manager?

A: People. I am a very motivated person, I live for my work, and I believe I am very good at making connections and getting things done. I know that Lodi is an agriculture community, with a focus on its wine industry and I want to develop positive business relationships and opportunities that will benefit the people in the community. As a business manager, I also want to work with the Chamber of Commerce and keep our small business market thrive.

Q: How has your past job experience helped prepare you for this position?

A: I have served in almost every capacity of city government, from administrative tasks, to public works operations. I have a lot of experience that has allowed me to garner a skill set throughout different departments, which gives me more perspective to the operation as a whole.

Q: What is your goal for Lodi?

A: To increase the quality of life for people in the community through business relations and economic development, with an emphasis on keeping the community livable and lovable.

Q: Is there a particular category of business you expect to pursue as you start out?

A: I am focused on bringing renewable energy firms and businesses to Lodi. It is a very important project, and it is crucial to secure our resources through solar panel projects and clean energy. California has been making the shift towards clean energy and we have to make sure that we are moving in the same direction to help source our economy.

We currently work with the Northern California Power Agency (NCPA), and use their advice to help direct the changes that the city will be making to align with cost energy rates and legislative policies.

Q: You said you never saw yourself living in California. How do you like it here?

A: I have been here for the past 31⁄2 years, and I really like the weather here. I like that you get seasons, and the winter here is not as bad as the Midwest, and it is not humid like Florida.

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