Marty Walters was born and raised in Hawaii, but she’s lived in Plumas County, California since 2004. That hasn’t exactly meant settling down. As an environmental scientist, musician, and parent, Marty has traveled around the world, working with a wide variety of people and making lifelong friends. But she’s always been pulled back to rural California where friends, neighbors, and family keep her connected to the Sierra-Cascade mountain region. After working in the high-risk industry of hazardous waste management, Marty took on the role of environmental risk officer for a bank and now works at the intersection of environment and finance. Her philosophy has always been that people are at the center of environmental protection, and her work balances health and safety for people, protection of the environment, and sound financial management. As a parent of three young adults and member of a very large extended family, Marty cherishes the diversity and strength of the young people who are redefining work, civil rights, and personal freedoms in today’s complicated world. But she also respects the wisdom and experience of her parents’ generation, who created and built the middle class in America.
One of Marty’s favorite quotes is from writer and environmentalist Wendell Berry, who wrote, “If you don't know where you're from, you'll have a hard time saying where you're going.” Marty is running for Congress in California’s First Congressional District because she loves her community and is intent on seeing our unique point of view represented in Washington with integrity and intelligence.
Background and Education
Marty was born in Honolulu, Hawai’i, daughter of Charlotte Walters, a music teacher, and Jess Walters, a State of Hawai’i auditor. She attended public schools there with her seven siblings and graduated from President William F. McKinley High School in 1983. Marty attended Oberlin College, studying environmental studies, biology, and music, graduating in 1987. She earned a Master of Environmental Management degree from the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies in 2004, focusing on energy systems, biostatistics, and industrial environmental management. While at Yale, Marty served as a teaching assistant to Dr. Arnulf Grübler, energy systems professor and member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Marty came to Plumas County in Northern California in the midst of a family crisis and rebuilt her life here, raising and providing for her three kids while balancing a career and working remotely for large international companies.
While Quincy has been home base since 2004, Marty’s work has taken her around the world. She and her family were lucky enough to spend several years in Tokyo, Japan, where they soaked up Japanese language, culture, and music. Her three children are now grown and in college or starting their professional lives.
Marty is a professional level violinist who also enjoys playing all kinds of stringed instruments. As a founder of the non-profit organization Economic Artistry, she serves as a coordinator and coach for music ensembles in Plumas County, where she seeks to provide classical music education to people of all ages and provide opportunities for local and distance music teachers to work with music students. Her Sunday Strings recitals have developed a devoted audience at seasonal events in Quincy. She also works one-on-one with students at all levels to improve their technique and learn to play in ensembles.
Marty serves as the Chief Environmental and Engineering Risk Officer for CIT Bank. Marty’s work protects the bank by ensuring that companies receiving loans are not major polluters or creating life, safety, or health risks for the employees and communities where they operate. She oversees all the engineering and environmental studies that help support loan underwriting in industries like healthcare, energy production, manufacturing, aerospace, real estate, and transportation.
Marty started her environmental career at Ross Incineration Services in Grafton, Ohio and was the first compliance staff and first woman to work in the production area of the incinerator. During this time, federal and state laws regulating the management of hazardous and toxic wastes were being developed and implemented across the United States, and the industry was going through a fundamental change as it became one of the most regulated activities in the U.S. economy. She later moved back to Hawai’i to work at a hazardous waste management firm that managed waste from all over the Pacific Ocean region, and then transitioned to become a consultant working on government contracts.
After earning her Master’s at Yale University, Walters joined the General Electric Company, working first in its corporate office and then spending eight years creating risk management programs for GE Capital in Mexico and Asia, focusing on identifying and managing environmental issues associated with investments in industrial companies and high risk activities such as mining, infrastructure, pharmaceutical manufacturing, and healthcare. She spent her last year at GE developing a risk program for a joint venture between GE Capital and the China State Grid Company, which was established to provide lease financing to energy projects in China.
After returning to the U.S. in 2012, Marty served as Vice President for the Pacific Rim region at Vertex Engineering, a multi-disciplinary engineering and environmental firm headquartered in Weymouth, Massachusetts, before taking her current Risk Officer position.