Our Town: TRPA’s public relations chief a chocoholic music lover | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Our Town: TRPA’s public relations chief a chocoholic music lover

Sara Thompson
Jonah M. Kessel / Tahoe Daily TribuneCommunications and Legislative Affairs Chief Julie Regan of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency walks down Merced Avenue, a block away from the beach where she got married.
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Julie Regan married the same man three times, she tells people. Regan and husband Kevin Regan, an artist, eloped in 1993, moving from Delaware to Lake Tahoe to tie the knot.

The couple was married at Regan Beach (apropos, no?) on Valentine’s Day. She said she wore hiking boots to hike over a snowbank and slipped into her heels before the ceremony.

In June of that year, they had a large wedding at her parents’ farm in Delaware, then an Irish Catholic wedding in November to satisfy her husband’s parents.

Regan, who is the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s communications and legislative affairs chief, now manages communication, public education, media outreach, customer service and legislative affairs for the environmental organization. She’s worked at the agency for four years but has worked in the communications industry for 20 years.

In her spare time, Regan cross-country skis, bikes and kickboxes. She also recently earned her green belt in tae kwon do.

Her husband, along with her best friend of 12 years, Kathy Strain, tried to guess Regan’s answers to a series of questions. Let’s see how well they did:

Julie: “Anything chocolate would be my favorite food. I do enjoy excellent gourmet meals, but anything chocolate would have to be favorite.”

Kevin: “Julie’s favorite food. Um, let’s see … We lived in Key West and had a lot of fresh fish – so sushi. We’d go out in our boat and dive down and get lobsters and fresh oysters.”

Kathy: “You know, she makes a killer homemade mac and cheese. But I think that’s one of Kevin’s favorites. I’d have to say sushi, because that’s what we usually have when we meet for lunch.”

Julie: “Normally, I’d say who’s going to be president or climate change. My take as a writer would be the lack of reading. NPR reported a new study that said the number of Americans who actually read is declining at an alarming rate. If people aren’t reading books anymore, it could have catastrophic consequences. I can’t imagine what the level of writing abilities would be in 20 years.”

Kevin: “I’d probably go with the education system. Julie was magna cum laude and valedictorian in her schools, and I think she sees people underprepared for tasks at hand. People are resting too much on their couches and not in books.”

Kathy: “The environment, since that’s what she does.”

Julie: “The innovative spirit of America and the unending enthusiasm for freedom. It’s easy to get bogged down with problems, but our county is resilient. It’s important to celebrate our accomplishments.”

Kevin: “Let’s see, probably the optimism of America. It’s undaunted by general challenges that can be overcome.”

Kathy: “Freedom. Freedom to live and do what we want.”

Julie: “I’m reading a few, which is hard in my job because I have to read all the time. One is the ‘Artist’s Market,’ which is about selling art and working with consultants. I read ‘Vanity Fair’ because it has great writers and solid investigative articles. I’m also reading ‘Killing Mr. Watson,’ which is a historical piece of fiction. It’s hard to find the time to read fiction, but I do it to help myself as a writer.”

Kevin: “With me being an artist, Julie is a student taken up with the challenge of learning about art since the beginning of time. She’s reading ‘History of Art’ by Sister Wendy, a Catholic nun. She travels to museums and writes about the value of art – not the cost – but in society.”

Kathy: “I know she just got a couple of books on Italy. I don’t know if they’re travel or art books.”

Julie: “I love music; I love all kinds of music. My favorite song is Sting’s ‘When we Dance.’ I love Sting. When my husband and I go on road trips, we do pop quizzes with the radio by playing short bits of songs. Music trivia is always fun.”

Kevin: “The Doors’ ‘Peace Frog.’ Have you heard it? It’s a rocker. She puts it in her iPod and goes running.”

Kathy: “I just went on a trip last weekend with her, and we were trying to figure out what to listen to. She said anything but country. She and Kevin are both people of music. They’re always playing this game, quizzing each other on songs. I couldn’t guess. She likes all kinds.”

Julie: “From a fun standpoint, a singer. I love to sing and to do something purely on passion and not have to worry about money, I’d choose singing. For a viable career, I’d be a TV news anchor. After college, I had an internship with a television station and thought about pursuing it.”

Kevin: “I’d say a college professor. Julie once again loves the education system and would love to be beneficial for the system. She taught a journalism class for a while at LTCC.”

Kathy: “You know, I think she’d make a great weather girl. She could have this gimmick dressing up for the weather she predicted.”

Julie: “This is a tough one. I remember reading Kathay (Lovell)’s and Tom (Millham)’s answers. I’d have to say my mom and mother-in-law. My mom’s strength is she’s a wonderful cook, and she brings everyone together. She’s the glue. My mother-in-law is a very accomplished business executive, and her generosity is unbelievable. Those are the people I admire in my own life. I admire Bill Clinton, too. He is an extremely controversial figure and is at the expense of many jokes, but he did a lot of good for the country. He overcame adversity and stayed relevant in the global realm. I shook his hand twice; once in 1997 and again in August for the 10-year anniversary for the presidential summit. Out of the six to eight speeches at the summit, his was the most inspiring.”

Kevin: “Once again, going back to journalism: Bill Moyers. He does great in-depth projects, sort of muckraking.”

Kathy: “Again, someone in the public eye doing something for the environment, so Bill Clinton or Al Gore.”

Julie: “I’d say Ben Franklin. He was an incredible leader and a genius. His contributions to this country were great, especially to journalism and printing, along with all the libraries. We need to grow our leaders as smart as Ben Franklin.”

Kevin: “That’d be an easy one: Ben Franklin. We’re Ben Franklin fans. We’re from the East Coast, and we were only 30 to 40 miles away from Philadelphia. His impact is amazing.”

Kathy: “I’m trying to think of some strong female. Maybe Eleanor Roosevelt or Lady Bird Johnson.”

Julie: “For looks, I’d say Brad Pitt. But for the overall well-rounded package, it’d be George Clooney. He’s handsome, funny and a great actor and director. I need to laugh, and my husband is a funny man. George Clooney has the whole package.”

Kevin: “This is actually not that tough. She come from royalty. She was the Delaware farm queen, and so I’d say Prince William of England. A queen for a prince – she’d go for that.”

Kathy: “I could do Bill Clinton again, except for the Monica affair. Someone good-looking and in the public eye, so I’d pick the obvious of either Brad Pitt or Matt Damon.”

Julie: “Definitely the press secretary. It wouldn’t be my top pick, though. It’s one of the toughest jobs out there. But think of all the people you would meet at that level, and it’d be quite an honor to serve the president.”

Kevin: “Hmmm… I’d say press secretary. Walking on the moon is a great thing, but she’s more involved than that.”

Kathy: “President’s press secretary. She likes a good challenge.”

Julie: “My iPod, because I have 7,000 songs. I could pass my days a little easier with 7,000 songs than anything else.”

Kevin: “She only gets one? There’s palm trees, right? So, there’s coconuts. … Then it would be a hand blender for her piña coladas.”

Kathy: “An obvious one would be sunscreen because of her skin coloring. But she’s an optimist, so I bet she’d already be planning her rescue, so she’d have a good pair of high heels to look good.”


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