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Seattle City (spot)Light: Lori Patrick, Internal Communications Manager

The Basics

How long have you been at City Light? I’ve been at City Light for two years. I’ve worked at the City of Seattle in communications roles for 17 years. 

Division: Communications 

Tell us about your role. What does your job entail?  Workplaces have changed a lot in the last few years, and internal communications matters more than ever. Our goal is to inform and engage employees so they can perform their jobs well. We do this through sharing a mix of news, knowledge, and ideas, as well as encouraging employee feedback and fun. We work closely with our partners in People & Culture.  

The internal communications team is focused on effective communication across the utility, whether that’s in the field, the office, or at our power generation sites. We’re working on strengthening our communications framework to reach deskless workers and connect with a hybrid workforce.  


Hometown: I was born in Portland, Ore. We moved across the river to Vancouver, Wash., when I was 11. I’ve lived in Seattle for 23 years, so it feels like my adopted hometown.  

Alma Mater: Western Washington University 

Discipline/Trade of study: Journalism 

Tell us about your family: I met my husband Geoff while working at the college newspaper. We’ve been married for 22 years and have 12-year-old fraternal twin daughters, Brynn and Sylvie. Our family wouldn’t be complete without Pauli, our sweet and cuddly two-year-old Labradoodle. 

I have an identical twin sister. We’re very close, so I assumed being a twin would give me an edge as a parent to twins. Nope. While my daughters are generally emotionally in sync, their connection is different than the bond between my sister and me. I look forward to seeing their relationship evolve as they grow. I’m not sure they’ve grasped the gift of being a twin yet. Maybe after we make it through the tumultuous teen years.   

Just for Fun

What’s one thing that has surprised you about working at City Light? The rapidly transforming energy industry and how technology is changing it. We’re at a historic turning point and without a global energy transition, we won’t be able to cope with climate change.  

My dad spent more than 30 years working for a natural gas distributor based in Portland. He was in sales and worked as a district manager. He loved his job and took a lot of pride in his work. I didn’t expect to work at a utility, but my career at the City brought me to City Light, where I’ve learned a lot about the energy industry and its ongoing transformation. Today, many cities, including Seattle, are changing their energy codes and banning natural gas in new construction in favor of building electrification to curb climate pollution. I never thought I would get deep into energy discussions with my dad at family gatherings. We both learn a lot and usually end our conversations with more questions than answers.  

When you were younger, what was your dream job? Photojournalist. I did the journalist part, but wish I would have pursued the photography side more. But that was the day of film and  newsroom darkrooms smelling of chemicals.  

What is your idea of a perfect day? It’s perfectly simple. Nothing to do. Nowhere to go. Nobody home and nobody coming to call. A long walk followed by a good book, mellow music, and a fine glass wine. 

What’s something that has made you smile recently? My daughters’ daily creations. Sylvie is a great cook. Brynn is a talented artist. It makes for a messy kitchen and dining room overflowing with art supplies. That part doesn’t always make me smile.  

What is your favorite travel memory/experience? Dublin, Ireland, at Christmas. My husband and I traveled there nearly 15 years ago. It was magical. Like being in a storybook. The friendly Irish people we encountered were confused as to why we would travel to Ireland in the off season. “Get a load of these Yanks here on holiday with no friends or relations!” a couple friendly gentlemen exclaimed in a crowded pub and then promptly bought us a round of pints.