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Seattle City (spot)Light: Erin Thompson

Born in Olympia, Erin Thompson is a native Washingtonian who holds a B.A. in history from Western Washington University. “I’m a local girl all the way,” she said. In her role as Senior HR Business Partner, she leads the records and benefits group where she focuses on process improvements and oversees personnel files, from entries and exits to promotions and open enrollment.

She currently resides in Tacoma, but is slowly inching her way north with her eye on the Fremont and Wallingford area. “The hippie vibe is so me,” she joked. In this week’s spotlight, we chat with Erin about her interests, life in the PNW and her roots in public service.

Erin basking in the sun during a trip to Sorrento, Italy

“Seattle is just a great city with a great vibe. There are a ton of cool neighborhoods and a major food scene. I’m a foodie so of course I love it. I’m a big brunch person—Portage Bay is one of my favorites. For lunch, it’s going to be Wild Ginger or Lola, which has this amazing donut dessert. Dim sum is another favorite of mine. I actually belong to two dim sum dining groups!”

“I’ve lived in Washington my whole life and can’t imagine being anywhere else. I like the weather here. Of course, I like the sun for a month or so, but once it’s here, I want the rain back. Every now and then, I do schedule a beach trip. I’ve done a road trip down to California. I’ve been to Florida, to Hawaii and even though it’s not necessarily sunny, the Oregon beaches are very pretty. I love to travel. ”

“I’m a big reader. I also write science fiction, fiction and fantasy. Generally, I write space operas—think Star Wars. Elliot Bay Bookstore is awesome. I’ll come up on a Saturday, go to brunch at Portage Bay, take a walk around Greenlake and head over to the bookstore where I’ll wander around, pick out a book and read and write in their café.  That’s a super nice day for me. I also enjoy going to different author events. I recently attended one at the UW bookstore with John Scalzi.”

“The hook for me at City Light is the fact that it’s a green utility. I did water quality testing when I was a kid and had a crash course in environmentalism so it’s been an interest my whole life. When I was researching jobs, I came across the utility and learned that we have our own dams and do hydroelectricity which is awesome.”

“There’s a history of public service in my family. We’ve worked for the state, the IRS, have served in the Marines, Navy and Airforce—service has been sort of our thing. Which is why I was attracted to working for City Light. What I like about working in public service is the mission. It’s not about the bottom line—everyone here is united by our mission. I want my work to mean something and contribute to a cause that I believe in.”

Thank you, Erin, for your contributions to the utility these past eight months, for sharing your love of the PNW and for your commitment to public service!