Seattle City (spot)Light: Bob Ornstein

Bob Ornstein has been with City Light for a year and a half. He serves as a Senior Program Manager in the Customer Care and Energy Solutions business unit.  His passion for environmental issues began to take shape while earning a liberal arts degree from Bowdoin College in Maine. He later earned an MBA from UC Berkeley.

“As a program manager in the CCES Division, I’ve helped roll out a few new City Light offerings.  Last year, I launched City Light’s pilot program for residential EV charging and worked across the utility to bring the program to market, with help from an installing contractor and an EV charging company,” Bob explained. “I made sure customers were happy once they enrolled. It was a lot of fun to get the program to market. I also helped release City Light’s Large Solar program this year. Lately, I’ve been spending time helping design a new residential customer service team.”

In this week’s (spot)Light, Bob discusses his hobbies and what he enjoys about working at City Light.

Originally from Portland, Ore., Bob and his family moved to the Seattle area in 2017 for his wife to pursue a job opportunity. His family moved to Bainbridge Island in 2019 to enjoy a little more space and the quiet that the island provides.

 “We live right next to The Grand Forest, which has nice hiking and horse trails. Bainbridge has excellent public schools for our two young girls. When I was commuting, it was nice to come home to such a beautiful setting,” Bob recalled. “With no commuting, I get to enjoy being here all day every day. When commuting starts again, maybe I’ll get to ride in on an electric ferry! Growing up in Portland, I had a chip on my shoulder about Washington and never envisioned I would live here. It has been great so far.”

Bob is a fierce competitor on the tennis court. His tennis connections even helped him land a job at one point.

“I’m a win-at-all-costs tennis player. I’ve played most of my life and have been on men’s league teams forever. I enjoy wearing out and surprising my opponents, and of course, winning, Bob explained. “Most of my career has revolved around environmental/green issues. There was a bit of a hiccup in that career when through a tennis connection, I ended up getting a job in Germany working for the former head of the FBI for a few years.”

While Bob enjoys his work as City Light, it’s the relationships he has made with his colleagues that have made this job truly special.

“City Light offered me the opportunity to work on EV charging programs, which sounded exciting. This utility has super friendly people who I like on a personal level. When we were all together working at the 901 5th Ave office, I worked in a quad of cubicles, which I liked to say was the best cubicle quad at City Light. I enjoyed coming to work to laugh and work together with my cubicle friends.”