Seattle City (spot)Light: Judy Blinder

Judy Blinder has been a dedicated Seattle City Light employee since 1993. “My whole time here, I have worked in the Finance Division,” Judy explained. “When I  started, we were three organizational units:  Budget, Rates, and Financial Requirements and Economic Analysis (FREA). Eventually, Rates and FREA were merged together to form the Financial Planning Unit and now, instead of just focusing on the financial forecast, I also work on the cost allocation and rate design components of the biennial rate-setting process. I do a lot of other economic and financial analysis as well.”

Originally from the Washington D.C area, Judy came to the Northwest to attend Reed College in Portland Oregon. “I have an MBA in finance from Seattle University and I am a Chartered Financial Analyst, but before that, I went to Reed, where I majored in French Literature,” Judy shared. “I really wanted to experience being somewhere far away from D.C., and I loved being outdoors, so this was the perfect place for me!”

In this week’s (spot)Light, Judy talks about her connection to electric utilities, her background and her embodiment of the “culture vulture”.

Judy and her husband at their contra-band class.

“I come from a family with a background in electric utilities. My dad worked for the American Public Power Association for 30 years. During my undergraduate years, he helped me get a summer job at a law firm that represents plaintiffs in lawsuits against energy, telecommunications, and transportation companies. This familiarized me with electric utilities and helped me understand how they function. He was a trainer, specializing in engineering and operations but also covering the cost of service analysis and rate design, funny enough. Toward the end of his life, we were able to have in-depth discussions about mutually familiar areas of our work, which was nice.  We never did come to an agreement on nuclear power, though.  Dad: for it.  Me: against it.”

“I started learning French when I was in second grade and have really built upon my understanding and knowledge of the language. I still maintain my French fluency and use it a little bit just for fun! I am part of a French-language book group. I also occasionally use my language skills to do volunteer work. I believe that everyone in Seattle should feel welcome here, so I do a little translation for the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, usually for African immigrants from francophone countries.  I am also in the Seattle Language Bank, which results in my occasionally receiving requests to translate information or help French-speaking callers.”

“I also consider myself to be a ‘culture vulture’ and a ‘book-worm’. I love going to plays and movies, reading and of course, in the Pacific Northwest, going outdoors and exploring.  I am a subscriber to the Seattle Symphony and love folk music. I am a guitar player and participate in a band that plays for family-friendly contra dances. Benaroya Hall is one of my favorite places to attend music performances.  I would also like to give a shout-out to the Couth Buzzard Book Store and Café; they turn their back room into a concert venue on weekends and provide great underground performers with an affordable venue. I am  really looking forward to Wintergrass, an annual winter folk festival in Bellevue.”