Seattle City (spot)Light: Colleen Lenahansen, Senior Public Relations Specialist

The Basics
Years of Service: One year (as of 6/24/21, all remote so far).
Division: Communications
Role: As part of the External Communications team, I work on connecting our customers and stakeholders with City Light programs, services, and messages. My day-to-day work involves strategizing on how best to convey content to the public, creating content for a variety of platforms, and supporting the needs of my team and other teams across the utility. I create and collaborate on content for our public website, Powerlines blog, social media platforms, and email communications. I also help plan and facilitate community outreach for the utility.

Background
Hometown:
Born and raised in El Dorado Hills, Calif. (a suburb of Sacramento)
Alma Mater: Harvard College and University of Washington
Discipline/Trade of Study: Bachelor of Arts in romance languages and literatures. Master of arts in museology (museum studies).
Tell us about your family: I got married to my husband, Justin, in September 2020 during the height of COVID-19. His last name was Hansen and mine was Lenahan, so after getting married we combined our last names into the new name “Lenahansen.” My parents, Sue and Jerry, still live in El Dorado Hills in the house where I grew up. I have one older brother, Nolan, who lives in Los Angeles.

“I enjoy being on a team of communications professionals who push me to learn and grow. I am surrounded by hardworking, sharp, passionate colleagues who are driven to produce the best possible results for the people we serve: our customers.”

Just for Fun
Where do you live and what’s something you love about the area?
We live in Renton with Justin’s younger brother, Cody, and our two cats, Mimi and Boopers. I love living in Renton. It’s close to everything and it has its own unique charm as a city. We live close to the historic downtown area, so I love to walk around and support the local businesses. I am on the board of the Renton History Museum, which helps me feel even more connected to my community. 

What are some of your favorite activities/hobbies? I love playing volleyball! During non-COVID times, I play in women’s indoor 6-v-6 leagues in Kent and Renton. I also enjoy spending time with the wonderful collection of friends I’ve made during my decade of living in the Seattle area. At home, I enjoy crossword puzzles, reading, playing games, and arts and crafts. I also love learning new things, so I am currently taking classes toward graphic design and web design certificates at Bellevue College on evenings and weekends.

What is your favorite travel memory/experience? In September 2017, Justin and I went on a two-and-a-half-week trip to the United Kingdom and Ireland. He has English and Scottish heritage, and I have Irish heritage, so it was a special trip for both of us. We got to visit the small town in Scotland where his grandfather grew up before coming to the U.S. as a teenager. We fell so in love with the U.K. (especially London) that it was hard to leave!

What brought/attracted you to City Light? Prior to coming to City Light last June, I worked in the nonprofit sector, where resources are often constrained, and workloads can be daunting. My previous role was as the sole marketing and communications professional for an organization of 100+ employees, so I was looking to join a larger communications team where I could collaborate with and learn from a group of colleagues and continue building and sharpening my skills. City Light appealed to me because, like with nonprofits, the mission is about serving the community and helping improve the lives of others.

What do you enjoy most about working at City Light? I enjoy being on a team of communications professionals who push me to learn and grow. I am surrounded by hardworking, sharp, passionate colleagues who are driven to produce the best possible results for the people we serve: our customers. I’m honored to work alongside them, and I look forward to returning to the office so I can continue building stronger bonds with my teammates and all my coworkers across the utility.