Seattle City (spot)Light: Brian Taubeneck, Senior Management Systems Analyst

The Basics
Years of Service: Two
Division: General Manager’s Office
Role: I work as a continuous improvement business analyst on the Strategic Planning and Performance team. I coordinate City Light’s participation in various benchmarking studies, and I analyze work processes and look for areas for change and improvement. My current project involves evaluating the planned outage process from end to end.

Background
Hometown:
Salem, Mass.
Alma Mater: George Washington University and University of Washington
Discipline/Trade of Study: I studied political science for undergraduate and received a master’s in public administration from UW’s Evans School of Public Policy and Governance.
Tell us about your family: I’ve been dating my current boyfriend for five months. My immediate family lives on the East Coast in Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston. My chosen family are my grad school friends, my queer community, and all the people I’ve worked with in Seattle from the food service industry to city government.

“All of my solutions come from the line and office staff themselves, I just help with the implementation and try to assist with making changes. Seeing City Light staff continually rise to meet that challenge of change is what fuels my work.”

Just for Fun
Where do you live and what’s something you love about the area?
I live on Capitol Hill. I’m a beer nerd and live two blocks from Chuck’s Hop Shop. Being able to continually try new brews during the pandemic while relaxing on my balcony really helped me get through it all. I also enjoy supporting the local coffee shops. I live closest to Alexandra’s, which is a great macaron shop that opened early last summer.

What are some of your favorite activities/hobbies? As mentioned above, I’m really into beer, but only from a tasting and sharing point of view; I’m not a homebrewer. Right after grad school I worked for two of Seattle’s older beer bars, Burgundian and Brouwers, and learned a lot. I also love music. I inherited my parents’ vinyl collection when they moved, and I continue to collect it. I also maintain a bi-weekly new music playlist on Spotify that spans all genres. Other hobbies include tennis (singles) and soccer (I’m one of the rare people that enjoy playing goalkeeper), reading sci-fi/fantasy and biographies, and playing board and card games (I have my own cribbage board that my grandfather made for me). Lastly, I’m really into local drag shows and drag queens. Drag shows and concerts are the two main activities I’m excited for when things open up again more. Seattle has one of the more eclectic music and drag scenes, I love it.

If you could have one superpower, what would you choose? Flight for sure. Being able to visit family whenever I want or escape to some place warm in the middle of the Seattle Grey would be clutch. Also, I love when I’m dreaming and I get to fly, so it makes me think it would be even more fun if it was for real!

What brought/attracted you to City Light? The people. My first job was a temporary gig with Brittany Broyles’ team in Customer Care and Energy Solutions (CCES). They were about to launch a new platform to manage their projects. I liked their passion and energy to manage data better while empowering the rest of the team with greater capabilities to get their work done. CCES also has a great team culture and teamwork mindset that I appreciated. When I finally landed a permanent position, it was tough to go, but I was really sold on my new position by Joyce Micelli who hired me. Then meeting and working with Nate Navarro and Gayle Shimizu, we just have such a strong team vibe. I’ve only been as successful as my team is and they are also what makes it fun.

What do you enjoy most about working at City Light? I think what I’ve always enjoyed is everyone’s resilience and their ability to adapt. The pandemic certainly showcased that aspect, but even before that I saw my co-workers adjust to change frequently in CCES. From new work processes to new technology, both in the field and at their desk, they worked through the change. That’s not to say there weren’t bumps in the road, but that is part of the journey.