Missy Brunetta - Problem Solver

Missy BrunettaFor many Sonoma State students, faculty, and staff parking is something that crosses their minds when driving to campus to attend class or go to work. For Missy Brunetta, parking is work.

Manager of Parking and Support Operations for SSU Police and Parking Services, Brunetta knows the ins and outs of campus parking, and describes herself as someone who is driven and motivated, but who also enjoys her downtime.

“I find the relationships I develop, both personally and professionally, to be the best part of my life,” she said.

Brunetta, a proud SSU alum, graduated in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in political science, after which she returned to Sonoma State to start a master’s program. In 2006, she received her MA in public administration. She had already begun working for SSU in 2003.

She started out as a chief’s assistant doing administrative work for the police department, then little by little her responsibilities increased as the department grew. She has been in her current position for about five years.

Her primary responsibilities include managing the parking department, overseeing administration, student employees, making sure that parking permits are available and guests are taken care of.

Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband Allen and her three-year-old son, Jackson, and their three dogs. She is a big sports fan, dividing her time between baseball, football and racing. During the summer, she enjoys camping and being outdoors.

Brunetta also spends time volunteering with the California YMCA Youth & Government, a “hands-on” model government program that serves over 2,500 high school students statewide. She has been involved with this program for 15 years.

A new challenge she is facing came with the opening of the Green Music Center (GMC) last semester. “We staff virtually every event at the GMC, primarily with student employees, our student employee staff has tripled just to take care of the event side of the house,” she said.

The GMC will continue to test the abilities of Brunetta and her parking staff, when the center remains open during the summer break. “Summer will be our first season of having the center open for a couple of months,” she said. “We’ve done three of the large concerts, we did opening weekend, but doing it this summer will be a whole new challenge.”

Brunetta also mentioned the planned Master Card pavilion - an outdoor concert space that is to be built behind the GMC. The completion of which will add an additional 8,000-10,000 people on campus, which is the predicted seating amount of the finished product.

To help alleviate dependence on and shortage of parking, Brunetta works on developing ways for students, staff, and faculty to get to campus more efficiently.

One way she has been able to do this is by helping implement WeGo on campus. WeGo is a real-time rideshare pilot program that started this semester. It works as an app on mobile phones where SSU community members sign up to be able to connect with people to carpool with. The program aims to increase the number of shared commute trips to SSU while reducing the parking load and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the process.

Brunetta acts as a resource and campus contact for the WeGo team. She hopes that the format will take off and give people at least another option for getting to and from SSU.

“The great part about this job is that every day someone has a different complaint or concern and my job is to try to find a way to fix it,” Brunetta said. She admits that she cannot always fix the problems she encounters, but “at the end of the day my job is to try to find ways to come up with a creative solution… I am a problem solver a lot of the time, and I find that very challenging and rewarding.”