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Seattle City (spot)Light: Joe Chiappa, Organizational Change Manager

The Basics

How long have you been at City Light? Nine months!

Division: Office of General Manager

Tell us about your role. I am the new organizational change manager on the Enterprise Change & Business Process Team. I have the opportunity to work with groups across the utility on different projects and initiatives, focusing on the people-side of change. This is important because there is always something new or changing that affects our work. In the end, it is how well people embrace and adapt to the new way of doing things that helps determine how much benefit everyone gets from the change. As part of my work, I help people understand what is changing, help them plan how they can effectively communicate about it, as well as identify and work through any barriers they may face to making that change successful.


Hometown: Brooklyn, N.Y.

Alma Mater: Goucher College and Towson University

Discipline/Trade of study: My undergraduate degree is in psychology, and I have a master’s in instructional technology. Of the many types of jobs I’ve held, I have always gravitated toward training, business analysis, and project management. These have led me to my professional passion, which is organizational change management. 

Tell us about your family: I have been married to my wife, Cat, since 2005 and we have two children, Isla and Theo, along with our dog, Olaf.

Just for Fun

What would people never guess that you do in your role? Not sure about other people, but I never realized how much I would get to learn about the different parts of the utility and how they fit together. I feel like I am learning something new every day!

Favorite quote? “Failure is instructive. The person who really thinks learns quite as much from his failures as from his successes.” – John Dewey

What do you do to turn things around when you’re having a bad day? I like to go for a drive and blast my favorite songs.

If you could have dinner with one person, living or deceased, who would it be and why? I would pick Joe DiMaggio. He was a larger-than-life public figure who transcended baseball and became an iconic part of American history. There are so many different chapters to his life story, and it would be fascinating to learn about them from his perspective.

What is your favorite local restaurant? Bucatini in Edmonds. We love the chicken parmigiana sandwich. Being from the east coast, it is comfort food that I often crave, but have struggled to find places that do it well.