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Seattle City (spot)Light: Armando Berdiel, Technical Development Supervisor

The Basics  

  • Years of service: Three. I started on Oct. 15, 2018, the same day as our GM! 
  • Division: Electrification & Strategic Technology 
  • Tells us about your role: I work in the Lighting Design Lab. Our core services are to deliver impactful education and training; showcase emerging technologies through technical evaluations and demonstrations; develop tools and resources to be leveraged by utility and lighting industry allies, and serve as information aggregators (keep our ears close to the ground for the latest and greatest in the lighting industry, then curating and incorporating it into our training or presentations). 
    We joined the Electrification and Strategic Technologies Division in 2019, which was a great fit as we focus on the future of green energy. 


  • Hometown: I was born and raised in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico; I believe Puerto Rico to be one of the most beautiful places in the world, with great cuisine, incomparable beaches, and some of the most awesome, fun, and resilient people.  
  • Alma Mater: Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa. It was my first time living outside of Puerto Rico, yet interestingly enough, there was a strong Puerto Rican community nearby which reminded me of home. Before college, I was a rather shy person, but immersing myself in different leadership roles allowed me to step outside my comfort zone and develop a solid emotional intelligence foundation.   
  • Area of study: Computer Science and Business 
  • Tell us about your family: I want to give a shoutout to my parents! My mom is from Mexico City, and my dad is from Puerto Rico, but he was born in Venezuela. They are psychologists and love playing tennis and traveling around Puerto Rico with friends.  

Just for Fun  

  • What do you like most about your role? The variety of the work and people. It’s never boring. Every class, demonstration, research project, tool development, and conference has been different and taught me something new. I’ve met so many people within the utility and the City. I’ve also networked with many organizations and people in the lighting industry, starting with the nine lighting control manufacturers we work with, the Illuminating Engineering Society, and local manufacturer representatives across the Pacific Northwest. With the nature of our work, I’ve also gotten to know program managers from utilities in the Northwest; energy efficiency organizations, such as the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance; and community-based organizations working in the energy industry.  
  • What is something most people don’t know about you? I love games – board games, sports, video games, silly games, etc. My favorite activity is playing pingpong; a City Light colleague introduced me to different groups that play in Seattle. I also play tennis with a few City Lighters and basketball in the Puget Sound Basketball League when I get a chance. If anyone wants to play post-pandemic, let me know! 
  • What is your favorite local restaurant? I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve gone to Tamari Bar in Capitol Hill. It’s a Japanese Izakaya bar that I found by mistake after instructing my first Lighting Design Lab class. I wanted to celebrate and ordered a nine-item bento box; I haven’t stopped going!  
  • What was your first big purchase with your own money? My initial thought was before college when I worked a summer job as a waiter to get my first laptop. However, the purchase I was most proud of was after graduation. I accepted my first job and purchased a Dodge Nitro (easy to drive in the snow, as I’ve never done it) to go to work.  
  • Favorite quote? My favorite book is “100 Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. A quote I enjoyed from the book is, “He had the rare virtue of existing completely in the opportune moment.” (translated from Spanish). I’m usually a glass-half-full kind of person and believe any moment could be an opportunity to enjoy, learn, or adventure. I’ve been privileged and lucky to have the personal and professional experiences I’ve had, and I’ll continue promoting happiness to those around me.