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Seattle City (spot)Light: Tori Sommerman, People & Culture Strategic Initiatives Advisor

The Basics

How long have you been at City Light? Since January 2022 

Division: Office of the Chief People & Culture Officer  

Tell us about your role. What does your job entail? I recently transitioned to the People & Culture Strategic Initiatives Advisor role. It’s my job to create organizational alignment within People and Culture and in coordination with other organizational units. This means that I work to audit and streamline our work, bring together teams and keep us on track to meet and strategic plan goals and values of the People and Culture team. Before this role, I was the senior employee communications and engagement specialist in Employee Experience. 


Hometown: Dallas, Texas 

Alma Mater: Boston University 

Discipline/Trade of study: Political journalism 

Tell us about your family: I have five sisters and was raised by a single dad. Growing up, I was the baby of the family and am extremely close to my sisters. (Two of them live here in Seattle.) I am now married to an amazing husband, Brian, and we have a house in Olympic Hills.  

Just for Fun

What would we most likely find you doing on the weekend? My husband and I bought a house in Olympic Hills, which is a major fixer upper. We work on house projects almost every weekend. Most recently, we finished framing, insulating, drywalling and flooring our basement all ourselves. Now, we are working on updating the bathroom down there.  

What is your favorite travel memory/experience? Peru is my favorite place I’ve been. I went with my now husband. We ate incredible food in Lima and hiked to the Sun Gate at Machu Picchu. I got really sick from the altitude in Cusco and ended up having to stay in bed for one of the days we were there. But we drank lots of Inca tea and watched Los Increíbles Dos ( “Incredibles 2” in Spanish) in the hotel.  

If you could use two words to describe yourself, what would they be? Family-oriented and opinionated. 

What’s one thing that has surprised you about working at City Light? Everyone here has been so nice. I love everyone I work with.  

What is your motto or personal mantra? I often quote Mark Twain’s saying, “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” I say this to my husband all the time (who is not a morning person) and he always just says, “Why is it your job to eat a frog?”