Seattle City (spot)Light: David Wyland

David Wyland has been at City Light for more than four years. As part of the Asset Data Services group, David works within the Technology & Engineering Innovation business unit. “People don’t realize that data is an asset that needs to be managed to support sound decision-making practices at the utility,” David explained. “If the data is weak, decisions based on the data aren’t as strong as they should be. We provide relevant and timely asset information to the right people at the right time. It’s a coordinated effort with many work areas – across various business units – but it’s rewarding when the best decisions are made.”

David is originally from Spokane, but thanks to his father’s service in the Air Force, he’s lived in Japan, Nevada and Oklahoma. He attended school at Gonzaga University where he graduated with a degree in Finance and Economics. He lives in Seattle with his partner of 19 years and together they care for David’s 96-year-old-mother. “My dad passed away nine years ago, but my mom lives with us,” David shared. “She took care of me for 20 years; now it’s my turn!”

In this week’s (spot)Light, David talks about his career path, including his time at City Light.

David with his partner Marc

“The economy wasn’t very strong when I graduated from college. So, I decided to continue my education and pursue an MBA. I was one semester short of completing the program when I received a full-time job offer in Portland. The job was a bill collector for Sears – dialing for dollars. It was a strange choice to make, but it also gave me the opportunity to leave Spokane and experience life in a bigger city. It set me up well for my move to Seattle.”

“I ended up spending 27 years in banking. The stress of climbing the corporate ladder – with all the political infighting – was taking its toll on me. I didn’t like what I was becoming. I left to work for Keiro NW, a non-profit that provides services for elderly Japanese and Asian-Pacific Islanders. I was there for a year and it helped me become grounded again. Since my mother is Japanese it gave me a great chance to see and understand more of my heritage through interactions with the Japanese community. Of course, non-profit work doesn’t pay well, but it allowed for a smooth transition into City Light because as a public utility we are held accountable to the ratepayers in providing a service to the community.”

“I have a weak spot for helping to make our community stronger. Being part of a public utility allows me to officially do so, and it also exposes me to other community-minded coworkers. We recently did a team-building exercise at Mary’s Place, and it was an incredible experience for all of us. We also have our annual ‘I Swear…It’s for the Children’ campaign which benefits Treehouse for Kids. This year, we blew past our $1,000 goal and were able to raise $1,700! Being with coworkers who share a passion for the community is incredibly satisfying and one of the main reasons I enjoy working at City Light.”