We had the good fortune of connecting with Sebnem Tugce Pala and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sebnem Tugce, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
REEF Technology is the first unicorn startup in Miami and we transform underutilized urban spaces into neighborhood hubs that connect people to locally curated goods, services, and experiences. With an ecosystem of 4,500 locations and a team of 15,000 people, REEF is the largest operator of mobility, logistics hubs, and neighborhood kitchens in the United States, Canada, and has a growing presence in Europe. REEF Hubs as a buffer ensure business continuity for REEF services and help eco-friendly cities accelerate adoption of next generation charging technology and we strongly believe that smart and distributed battery storage network ensuring energy is more accessible and reliable, paving the path to future connected cities. We mostly focus on sustainability and new technologies. We are doing our best to promote sustainable, equitable and accessible transportation and we are helping the community through our technology which contributes to the eco-friendly and smart cities.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Currently, I am working as an energy markets researcher at REEF Technology. I am mostly focusing on supporting market objectives in alignment with REEF energy goals, in areas such as solar, energy storage, electric vehicles (EVs), EV charging infrastructure, and others. I am responsible for identifying and tracking the funding opportunities in the field of electric vehicles (EVs) and battery energy storage systems (BESS) and I am closely working with the utilities. It was not definitely easy to get to where I am today business-wise as my field is niche. Mostly, it requires to have a background in law. I did not study public policy or law here in the US. As for the US policy, there is nothing like ‘one size fits all’. Each state and city is very unique. As a person coming from Turkey, it was even more challenging for me but I was so eager to follow my passion for public policy and government relations. I am a very determined and driven person when it comes to my career goals. I did not give up despite the huge challenges I have encountered along the way. I learned that determination is the key. “Where there is a will, there is a way”. I aim to be one of the thought leaders in this field and I would like to be an inspiration for everyone who is thinking of giving up. We should never give up and we can achieve anything that we set our mind to.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would definitely take her to Ocean Drive, Brickell Area and Wynwood Art District. Visiting the lovely beaches of Miami would be another great option. We both love swimming and snorkelling. If possible, we would definitely get on a boat and visit Bahamas as well. The proximity of Miami to the fun and exotic places is amazing for me.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I strongly believe that my family deserves a very big credit and recognition in my story. Therefore, I would like to dedicate my shoutout to my family (my beloved mother, father – who passed away last year, my brother and my cute niece).
Photo credit: Izel Akin