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Seattle City (spot)Light: Byron DiGrazia, Structural Painter Crew Chief

The Basics

How long have you been at City Light? Since August 2012

Division: Generation

Tell us about your role: In my role as a crew chief, I help maintain and protect Seattle City Light’s facilities by planning and completing structural painting projects. From power generators to bridges, if it’s stationary, we’re going to paint it. Beside the technical aspects, I try to keep things light and humorous with the crew.

Additionally, I am a member of the Newhalem Diablo Fire Brigade, primarily as an emergency medical technician (EMT). The City paid to put me through a state-approved EMT class, and I am forever grateful for the opportunity to be there for fellow colleagues and the general public. I have used this certification at the Skagit Hydroelectric Project and had the opportunity to work weekends for a year with a non-profit ambulance service in Concrete, Washington.

I am also the hazardous waste coordinator for the Skagit Project, which entails keeping records for multiple locations, conducting monthly inspections, and signing manifests for waste shipments. Our own Aurana Lewis makes this task as easy as it has ever been. She is a true unsung hero here.


Hometown: Born in Vancouver, Canada. Grew up in Novato, California. Now live in Sedro Woolley, Washington.

Alma mater: St. Vincent High School and the University of Bad Decisions.

Discipline/Trade of study: I have been a painter for 34 years. My career in painting started as a necessity. (I had to eat.) Over time, I worked up to a journeyman and actually enjoyed the work and became better at the trade. I have worked with some interesting and great people along the way and that holds true today.

Tell us about your family/pets: I have a beautiful wife, Cassandra, and an awesome stepdaughter, Riley. We also have two mongrel freeloading dogs, a golden retriever and one of those little hypoallergenic mops. Great dogs… well, one of them is.

Just for Fun

If you could live in any time period, past, present, or future, when would it be? Right now. I have never had it better than I have it right now.

What advice do you have for those who are new to City Light? If you are joining from the “outside” world, get ready for an experience filled with care, challenges, joy, and a mix of focused and scattered moments, much like any other job I’ve had. But the Skagit team’s camaraderie makes showing up each day well worth it. The retirement benefits and generous paid days off are icing on the cake.

What is your favorite local restaurant? Because my wife will be reading this, my favorite restaurant is home. I love her cooking! One local restaurant we used to frequent was the Marblemount Diner. Hand-cut fries, impeccable homemade pies, and delicious burgers. Unfortunately, the owners sold it last year and it is a different place. We have not been to the new place yet, so I can’t give an honest critique.

If you could have any job for only one day, what would it be and why? I would be an insult comedian. Don Rickles would be proud. There is nothing better than making people laugh.

What fashion trend would you bring back? Anyone who knows me knows that fashion is and never has been a factor for what I wear. I wear what my wife and daughter buy me. Nothing more, nothing less. Pretty boring, huh?