Seattle City (spot)Light: Scott Richter

Office Aide Scott Richter has worked at City Light for 20 years. As part of the Safety, Health and Wellness team, Scott helps to manage the day-to-day duties of the division.  “I’m responsible for a lot of the filing, office supply maintenance and mail deliveries,” Scott explained. “I also help with CLEA and our archives.”

Originally from Mississippi, Scott moved to Washington with his family. He’s lived here for 30 years and currently resides in Federal Way. In this week’s (spot)Light, Scott talks about his journey at City Light and shares a few of his hobbies (hint: you can find him at the movies).

Scott on a recent trip to Disneyland

“I like going to the movies. I make recommendations to others and tell people what films they should and shouldn’t see. Right now, I’m excited to see Mamma Mia 2. I liked the first movie so much and am looking forward to the new one. The music is fun; I like musicals. I also like to watch TV and play my Nintendo Switch.”

“Canada is on my bucket list. My parents and sister have visited. I also want to check out the ‘Wings Over Washington’ ride at the pier. Within the past year, I took a trip to California and visited Disneyland. I hadn’t been there since I was seven. It was nice to see all the changes and visit two parks instead of one. While I was there, I got to ride ‘Soarin’ Around the World.’ It was interesting. I want to compare that attraction to ‘Wings Over Washington’ because it focuses on local scenery.”

“I’m a sports fan. I like it all. I’ve been watching the Seattle Storm. The Sounders are trying to win some games to get into the playoffs. The Mariners are struggling but I still watch them. I support all our local teams. Once a year, I’ll go to a game at Husky Stadium.”

“I was the City’s first supported employee. During my time here, I’ve been recognized with a Light, Power and Pride award for customer service. I wish other supported employees would receive the same recognition. I think some people forget what we do and how valuable we are. We bring many years of service; there are now more than 100 supported employees throughout the City. The program has grown a lot and I’ve come a long way since I was first hired. It’s been a long road, but I now have a strong support system. The people I work with check on me, on my job tasks. They know what I’m capable of doing. There was even a time when the team asked for my opinion about hiring another supported employee. I shared my advice and they took it. It’s a good feeling.”

Seattle City (spot)Light: Eugene Haller

Sr. Compliance Analyst Eugene Haller has been at City Light for two and a half years. As part of the Regulatory Affairs division, Eugene helps ensure that the utility is following government regulations. “There are quite a few regulations that are put out by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) and Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC),” Eugene explained. “All of these regulations promote electrical grid reliability. Kind of like OSHA which promotes safety. It’s the same deal on the electrical side.”

Before joining City Light, Eugene served in the Navy for nine years. During his tenure, he attended the Navy’s Nuclear Electronic Technician School. “It was a fantastic hands-on experience,” Eugene said. While in the Navy, he also attended The New School in New York state and graduated with a degree in human resources management. “My career is nowhere near the subject I studied in school,” Eugene shared with a laugh.

Eugene and his wife Kirsten are high school sweethearts who have been married for 17 years. They live in Black Diamond with their two daughters, Claire and Chloe. “Spending time with my girls is my favorite thing to do – even if it’s just picking raspberries in the backyard,” Eugene said.

In this week’s (spot)Light, Eugene talks about his time in the Navy and shares a few of his hobbies.

Eugene with his family at Rattlesnake Ridge

“Work’s been dynamic recently. The industry has been fast-paced in keeping up with technology and other advancements. We’ve been busy with different projects. We recently turned over an entire suite of standards that impact the system control center. That was substantial. Our team also helped to ensure that the Denny substation was brought in correctly on the compliance side.”

“I served as an Electronics Technician in the Navy – it’s kind of how I got started in this field. I went to South Carolina where I did some of my schooling and eventually transferred to the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier in Everett. From there, I went to New York where I taught for three and a half years. I absolutely loved teaching as an instructor in New York. The Navy was a great experience for me. I was able to travel the world, meet new people and learn so much from my time as an instructor and as a student. My favorite place I visited was Australia. It was a three-week port call which made for a lot of fun. The extended time gave us more opportunity to explore.”

“I still love to travel. My wife and I go camping in Nehalem Bay in Oregon. We’ve made it our annual camping trip these past five years. It’s just beautiful. The kids love playing in the creeks. My wife and I are rock hounds, so we’re always looking for interesting finds.  We like looking for agate rocks in the waters down there. Another favorite hobby of mine is shed horn hunting. It requires a lot of hiking and gets you out in the wilderness. Over the years, I’ve collected some beautiful antlers. I plan to start making items out of them. So far, I’ve made a coat rack and a towel hanger. I want to build a lamp or chandelier and maybe some furniture like a bench or stool.”

Seattle City (spot)Light: Will Andersen

Will Andersen has worked at City Light’s Skagit Hydroelectric Project since August 2016. He joined the utility as a Generation Supervisor of Skagit Operations and is now the Sr. Operations Manager. “I’m responsible for the Operations and Maintenance of the Skagit Project,” Will explained. “My duties cover Hydro Operations & Maintenance, work planning, budgeting and capital improvements projects as well as ensuring reliability, availability and compliance. I lead my management team to shape Skagit’s future.”

Originally from New York state, Will was born in Long Island and grew up in the mountains just south of Montreal, Canada. Will’s managed a portfolio of hydroelectric projects for 18 years, including 12 hydroelectric projects across New York, California and Washington. “I came to Washington in 2014 on assignment with ENEL Green Power and lived in North Bend,” Will shared. “I love the PNW vibe; it seemed like the best place to raise my daughter.”

In this week’s (spot)Light, Will talks about life in the Northwest and what he enjoys about the Skagit.

Will snaps a selfie in front of Ross Dam

“I split my time between Newhalem and the Fairhaven/Bellingham area. Bellingham offers so much, but still feels like a small town. It’s on the ocean and is full of good food and activities. The San Juan Islands is my favorite place to visit; sailing the islands is breathtaking.”

“I don’t think I’ve ever been to a more beautiful state than Washington. I love the nature. The trees, mountains, rivers, Lake Whatcom and the Puget Sound. Places like Artist Point on Mt. Baker stand out in my mind, especially when you can see views of Mt. Shuksan. Washington’s micro climates are unique and something you don’t find on the east coast. In a short drive you can experience ocean margins, rainforests, mountains and deserts.”

“I love to travel, hike and sail. I’m also a boat builder and build wooden boats in my spare time. And, of course, I love spending time with my daughter. She’s six-years old and just graduated kindergarten.”

“Midway in my career I decided that I wanted to manage a project like Skagit. I liked the idea that Seattle was largely powered by renewable hydroelectric energy. I liked the whole Pacific Northwest package. Seattle is a great small city and I wanted to be a part of it and the Skagit Project. When you’re in Seattle, you’re on the ocean and 30 miles from the mountains. What more could you want? The Skagit Project is a great place to be. What I love most is working with my team, crews and colleagues. It an honor to work with such fine people.”

Seattle City (spot)Light: Cathy Leone-Woods

Director of Regulatory Affairs Cathy Leone-Woods has been at City Light for eight years. “I’ve been in the utility industry for nearly 30 years,” Cathy said. “I’ve worked in power supply, transmission, and regulatory affairs. When reliability standards went into effect my team at the time established a program on how to be compliant. That’s how I began working with the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) which is a huge component of my work at City Light.”

A self-proclaimed local girl, Cathy grew up in Seattle and has stayed in the region. “I’ve always been within a 40-mile radius from my birthplace,” she said with a chuckle. “My mom’s family is Washington state pioneers. We were here before the state existed!” She attended Seattle University and graduated with degrees in electrical engineering and law. Cathy and her husband Chuck live in Tacoma and have two children, Audrey and Emmett.

In this week’s (spot)Light, Cathy talks about her career and the joy she takes in public service.

Director of Regulatory Affairs Cathy Leone-Woods

“I started as an intern at Tacoma Power. I was looking for a summer job and wanted to get some experience. I was in law school and wanted to become a patent attorney. I originally signed on as substation gardener, but when they saw my resume they offered me work in power management. I completed two internships there and was offered a job which I accepted. I only intended to work there a couple years but got bit by the electric utility bug.”

“Regulatory Affairs is just as it sounds. We deal with regulators in three overarching areas. We oversee regulatory processes and interactions – things like filing, applications and approvals. We also ensure regulatory compliance which is what we’re most known for. In this regard, we work with regulators and our business unit stakeholders. There’s a lot of relationship building. Lastly, we advise on regulatory aspects and climate that would affect proposed activity.”

“I genuinely enjoy what I do. Public service is very important to me. I live my life according to my values and honoring my essence, my attributes. I’m somewhat idealistic; I want to make the world a better place. I also know what I like to do, so it’s a matter of combining the two. I love analytical work. I love to learn. I love new things. When you look at what I do – policy work, new regulations, change, analytical legal strengths, determining what’s the right thing to do – those are attributes that align with who I am. It’s meaningful because I contribute to the greater good by providing a good product here.”

“My husband and I are about to enter another phase of our lives – empty nesters! Its bittersweet. Yet we are excited to resume some favorite activities. I love to ski and go almost every weekend during the season. I love a good breakfast, especially with friends and great conservation.  I love the arts. I love to read. I love the outdoors. The physical beauty of where we live is incredible. It’s like appreciating art in its own way. I also love ice cream. I have a reputation for that. As a matter of fact, I just found a new spot in Missoula, Montana. Check out Big Dipper ice cream if you ever find yourself there!”

Seattle City (spot)Light: Julie High

Julie High began her career with the City of Seattle in 1989. Throughout her tenure, she’s held roles at Seattle Public Utilities, Finance and Administrative Services and Transportation. This August will mark Julie’s one-year anniversary as a Senior Management Systems Analyst at City Light’s Skagit Hydroelectric Project.

After her father got out of the Navy, Julie’s parents relocated their family from Atlanta to Seattle (her mother’s hometown). Julie has since lived in Auburn, Port Angeles, Bellevue and now calls Newhalem home. “I live in one of the City Light houses,” Julie said. “I love having a beautiful home right on the Skagit River with so many hiking trails abound. My kids and I are getting kayaks, so we can go out on the lakes.”

Julie graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Washington (UW). “My parents encouraged me to apply for an Engineering Aide job right after I graduated high school,” Julie shared. “I applied, got the job and went to college in the evenings. That’s how I began my City career.” She also has a Master of Public Administration from Seattle University.

In this week’s (spot)Light, Julie talks about her career with the City and shares her joy of living amongst nature.

Julie basking in the beauty of the North Cascades

“Years ago, I was driving the North Cascades Scenic Loop and saw City Light signs outside Newhalem. I was surprised that you could work for the City and live in such a remote site! I said then that I hoped to transfer to the Skagit Project before I retire. I was always looking for that opportunity and jumped at this job last year. In my role, I do workload planning and WAMS work orders for the crews. I love working with them; there are many different trades so it’s fun to see the variety of work. I also do budgets and management reporting.”

“I love to ride my bike. I used to commute from Bellevue to downtown Seattle. I’m a little nervous to ride it here with the tourist traffic on the curvy roads, but I’ve been getting back out there. I love to hike and explore the woods. We’re planning to go hunting this year. I like riding motorcycles and plan to buy another one soon. Last year I went on a ride around Mexico’s Baja peninsula. It was so much fun; I’d love to do more trips like it.”

“My daughter Alli just finished her freshman year at UW. My sons Blake and Reid are entering twelfth and seventh grade, respectively. Reid likes to ride his bike around the neighborhood and get treats from the Skagit General Store. We all love dining at the Gorge Inn. Newhalem is a beautiful place, it’s great for stargazing since there’s no light pollution from the city.”

“The City of Seattle is a fabulous place to work. Career opportunities are varied; you can never get bored. I’ve been so thrilled to join City Light because of the wonderful people at the Skagit Project. It was a big move away from family and friends, but everyone has been very welcoming and are fun to be around. The work is very interesting; there’s so much to learn.”