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Seattle City (spot)Light: Jackie Smith

Business Unit Administrator Jackie Smith talks about her travels, dancing and plans for retirement.

 Business Unit Administrator Jackie Smith began her City Light journey 39 years ago as a meter reader. Through her tenure, she’s worked in 11 different positions including her present role in the utility’s Engineering and Technology Innovation business unit where she focuses on budget processes, strategic planning, project improvement and more. “One of the things I really like about City Light is the opportunity to coach people,” Jackie shared. “I like to pass on what I’ve learned. I worked my way up from being a meter reader, so I like helping employees with personal development plans, resumes and interview skills so they can move up in the utility.” 

Born and raised in Washington, Jackie has been married to her husband, Terry, for 46 years. They live in Burien and have one daughter and one granddaughter. “Burien is a hidden gem that celebrates the diversity of our neighbors with numerous multicultural community events throughout the year,” Jackie said.

In this week’s (spot)Light, read all about Jackie and Terry’s impressive travels (spoiler: party cruises), dancing and her plans for retirement.

Jackie at the South China Sea.

“My husband likes to fish. We love to cruise on our boat, but we recently sold it — we’re boat less right now! Our boating club plans weekend rendezvous to all the coastal towns where we hang out together and play games. As soon as you’re on the water you’re on vacation. You’re not stuck in any traffic.”

“A love for getting out on the water led to becoming elite level cruisers. Our destinations include: Alaska, the Mediterranean and Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, and Monaco as well as Caribbean cruises to Panama, Costa Rica, Colombia, Aruba, Puerto Rico, Belize, Honduras, Mexico, and Grand Cayman. We also do one-night trips to Vancouver that are full cruises with meals and shows. They’re very affordable and popular for bachelorette parties and family reunions, so they’re referred to as the party cruise!”

“In 2009 we got the traveling bug and went to China. That was our first international trip. Last year we visited Vietnam and Ecuador and just returned from a trip to Scandinavia and Russia. We have a future trip planned to Morocco and a trip to Germany, Amsterdam, Bruges and Paris after I retire. We’ve met some fun people on our travels. In fact, we stayed in touched with people from our Vietnam trip and ended up going to Ecuador with two of them! We’re also going with them to Morocco and are planning trips to Thailand and Peru.”

“My husband and I also enjoy the outdoors and like to dance. We go to Zumba five days a week. We also attend Daybreaker Seattle and just finished private salsa lessons. Our favorite outdoor activities include long walks in our neighborhood and day hikes. We can usually work hiking into our vacations and have also done local treks like Crystal Mountain. What I love about Seattle is that we don’t have to go very far to enjoy nature.”

Looking toward her future and retirement, Jackie says, “I’ll really miss the people and the work. I’m used to being busy and I love helping people so I’m looking for volunteer opportunities in the community.”