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Seattle City (spot)Light: Bekah Shafer-Ross, Enterprise Business Process Manager

The Basics

How long have you been at City Light? I started February 2022 and have been at City Light for one year and four months

Division: Office of the General Manager

Tell us about your role. What does your job entail? I’m the business process manager, and my role is to design and stand up the business process program at City Light. I do this in several ways. I take on high-impact projects to create or improve a process. I also create tools and standards for process management and provide training to help people develop the skills to own their business unit’s processes.


Hometown: I’m originally from Colleyville, Texas, but I’ve called Washington home for 27 years. 

Alma Mater: University of Washington (UW) and Western Washington University (WWU) 

Discipline/Trade of study: Master of Public Administration from UW and bachelor’s in archaeology from WWU 

Tell us about your family: I am married to an amazing man and a dog-mom to a wonderful puppy named Luna. My father lives locally, while my sister and her family, including three wonderful kids, are part of the military and recently moved to Texas.

Just for Fun

What has helped you get to where you are and what advice do you have for others who want to set off in a similar career direction? My career has taken a very odd journey. I started as an archaeologist, then slowly found my way to public service. The core experiences that led to where I am today are first, my foundation in science. It taught me how to perform a quality evaluation and use logical decision-making, and I can easily utilize an experimental mindset for finding solutions. Second, my experience with knowledge management. A core element to the start of any process improvement project is the capture of the current state and all the details that go into defining it. I use the tools I gained in the development and launching of a knowledge management program every day with process management. My best advice, regardless of the career journey you want to make, is to take a chance and try. Apply for that job. Ask someone if you can join a project. Tell your boss you want to take on a challenge. If they say no, at least you tried. And you can look for other paths to get you where you want to go.   

Which City Light value do you align the most with and why? I deeply value equity. I believe everyone has the right to live a full and productive life, regardless of their gender, race, ability, income, or circumstance. We all deserve the opportunity to strive for our dreams, and I appreciate that City Light believes in equitable service and has so many programs to help individuals and families keep the lights on.  

Are you an early bird or a night owl? Neither! I’m strict about getting to bed at a reasonable hour, but loath rising before the sun.  

What was the last song you listened to? Queen’s Somebody to Love. Queen is my all-time favorite band, and I’m always in the mood to sing along to them.  

What’s something that has made you smile recently? I helped rescue a litter of rabbits at my local dog park. Dogs had found the nest and, in their excitement, killed three of the five babies. The remaining babies, who were so young their eyes hadn’t opened yet, had been removed in the belief that the mother wouldn’t return. But in reality, mothers will absolutely return to the nest after it’s been disturbed, even if the babies have been handled by humans. Mother rabbits feed the babies twice a day and otherwise stay away, to keep from attracting predators. I was able to get the babies back in their nest and built a dog-proof structure around it that still allowed mom to get to her babies. I was able to confirm mom came back for them and cared for them, and today I learned that the babies have grown enough to leave the nest!