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Seattle City (spot)Light: Francis Sammy, Electrical Power Systems Engineer

The Basics

How long have you been at City Light? 11 years  

Division: I work in South Systems Distribution Engineering, which is a part of Engineering and Technology Operations.    

Tell us about your role. What does your job entail?Recently, I was promoted to supervisor of our workgroup, and I have been doing my best to rise to the challenges. South Systems is responsible for the integrity of our electrical infrastructure. Every object you can see in the Right of Way serves a purpose and must be sized and designed to last for 50 years. Our group designs, orders materials, and generates the work orders for incoming requests for new services, load increases and modifications for large customers that are south of Denny Way and outside of the downtown area. In addition, we also handle maintenance and scheduled upgrades to the distribution system. I worry about our climate future and the energy challenges ahead, but our team and coworkers instill confidence that we will figure it out when we need to and keep this city running. 


Hometown: I’m a staunch urbanite born and raised in the Heart of Brooklyn, N.Y.  

Alma Mater: I spent my next transformative years at Howard University, among the nation’s historically Black colleges and universities, in Washington D.C. where I earned my degree in electrical engineering with an emphasis in power systems.  

Tell us about your family: I am a first-generation American. In their teens, both of my parents emigrated from the Caribbean to Brooklyn, where they met shortly thereafter. I’ve been in Seattle for 15 years, where I met my patient, caring, lovely wife of eight years. Together we raise our smart, kind, goofy daughter, whom I hope to instill the values my parents have instilled in me. 

Just for Fun

Which City Light value do you align most with and why? Customers First. My college’s motto is “Truth and Service.” I believe a successful life is one that enhances and empowers the community around you. 

What’s the best piece of advice you have received? “Perception is reality” was for my 20s. Now in my 30s, it’s probably “Do your best, forget the rest.” 

What would we most likely find you doing on the weekend? Riding my bike throughout Seattle to Seahawks/Sounders games, concert venues, and to the many lovely parks we have in this city. 

If you could only take three items with you to a deserted island, what would they be? 

I see two ways to look at this. If I’m stranded and death is on the table, I would bring a fancy flint, a sturdy sharp knife, and one of those REI super sleeping bags. If I’m there on purpose (like in the Maldives or Indonesia or something), I would bring my family, a deck of cards, and a music playing device. 

What is something most people don’t know about you? I LOVE GAMES. I have a chess board in my cubicle and playing a good, physical, competitive game of basketball will make my week.