Seattle City (spot)Light: Sara Lien

Sara Lien will celebrate five years at City Light in April. Originally from Taiwan, she moved around to different cities before settling in Vancouver, British Columbia. She attended Simon Fraser University and received a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a major in Accounting. After college, she articled with KPMG, a public accounting firm, to obtain her Chartered Accountant license (or CPA equivalent) and did mostly financial audits and corporate tax planning. “I decided that my experience at KPMG provided me with good background. I wanted to learn more on the operational side of businesses, so I left the public accounting practice and switched industries, focusing on internal and process auditing,” she explained.

Sara moved to Seattle when she began her career at City Light as an Internal Auditor in Finance, but recently switched roles to be a Strategic Advisor for the Continuous Improvement team in Customer Care. “I’m working with different business groups to initiate the new Business Process Improvement Strategic Plan,” she shared. Longer term, she hopes to help City Light cultivate a continuous improvement culture, which engages people at all levels of the organization.

In this week’s (spot)Light, find out about her love for Seattle, travel, and work.

Sara, her husband and their chocolate lab, Maddy

“My husband (Darren) and I live in Queen Anne with our chocolate Labrador, Maddy. We love exploring Seattle and the surrounding area because we’re both relatively new to the city. We enjoy all the different local parks. My favorite is Discovery Park. It reminds me of Stanley Park in Vancouver. Discovery Park has many different trails that lead to majestic view of Mt. Rainer, the Olympic mountains, and the Puget Sound. It is my go-to spot for reflections and a quick getaway from life’s business.”

“As a couple, we love traveling. We usually plan one major trip each year. We travelled to Taiwan last November, so I could share with Darren the country I grew up in, my culture, and favorite Taiwanese dishes. Since I left Taiwan at young age, I wasn’t very familiar with its history. Darren and I visited some key landmarks and museums, and we were able to learn the country’s history, political climate and appreciate even more of our experiences there. This year, we are looking forward to taking the infamous coastal drive from San Jose to Big Sur in California. “

“One of the great things about working for City Light is what the utility stands for: being green and serving its customers. Those are the great things you want to be part of. I like the fact that the utility industry is very broad. It covers everything from operations, customer services, wholesale and retail energy, to conservation. The learning never ends. Finally, I am grateful for the various City Light programs that help me to develop professionally, such as the Emerging Leader and Tuition Reimbursement. Because of these programs, I am applying what I learned to my daily work and pursuing a Master’s in Organizational Leadership at Gonzaga University!“