Seattle City (spot)Light: Kelly Purnell

Kelly Purnell has been with City Light for three months working in the Asset Management and Large Project division. “I’m a senior project manager in the Special Capital Programs group where I’m currently managing the Accelerated Pole Replacement Program and working with a great team to continue to keep that program running.”

Originally from Southeast Idaho, Kelly went on to study at the University of Utah earning her B.S. in Geography with a minor in International Relations, and a M.S. in Geography with a focus on Geographic Information Systems and environmental planning from the University of Idaho. “In 2008 I interned in Bellevue at Puget Sound Energy during grad school, and about six months after the financial crisis happened my former colleague there called me and told me they had a contract position available if I wanted it. I moved here two weeks later and never regretted it for a moment.”

In this week’s (spot)Light, Kelly shares her assortment of hobbies, what she loves about the area, and her new role at City Light.

InWeb NetWork Kelly Purnell spotlight

“I have so many hobbies- I’m a serial hobbyist. Right now, I’m attempting to learn how to play the ukulele, though my general lack of musical talent will likely land that instrument next to my dusty banjo; one can dream though… I’m also a big reader and I love concerts so hopefully we’ll all get to attend one again. My real passions are in the mountains. I’m a backcountry skier, ski patroller at Summit Central, sometimes mountain biker and road cyclist, and avid long-distance hiker and backpacker. Every now and then I still do a little mountaineering Basically, a tent is my happy place. If I can combine any of my interests with my love of travel, all the better. I feel lucky to have had some of those opportunities in the past and I’m eager to explore more of them once we are able to again.”

“I currently live in North Kirkland. After nine years in Seattle and commuting across Lake Washington, I caved and went to the eastside. Of course, less than two years later I took this job at City Light and now I have that same commute in reverse! I love the much quicker access to open spaces than I had in Seattle, and it’s at least half an hour less to get to the mountains where I spend a lot of my spare time. I also live very close to the Woodinville wineries and my dog appreciates the enhanced access to the outdoors and Marymoor.”

“I worked at Puget Sound Energy for ten years in multiple capacities, starting as a land planner and ending as a project manager for complex electric infrastructure projects. It was a great company to work for and I enjoyed my years there, but I was looking for new and interesting opportunities and to gain perspective on the organizational differences within the industry. Seattle City Light had an opening in their Special Capital Programs group and here I am, looking forward to working on all the innovative and interestingly complex infrastructure projects. Three months in, it’s the people that stand out the most. I’ve barely met anyone in person due to COVID, but regardless, everyone I’ve met via a screen or a phone call is welcoming and eager to help me find my feet in the organization. I really appreciate that. None of this craziness is easy for any of us, and a little help goes a long way right now.”