Employee Spotlight Julia

BELLEVUE, Wash. (8/20/2018) This week’s spotlight shines on Julia, a shift supervisor in System Operations. Julia loves working at PSE and has always wanted to be in operations from her first day here. She enjoys being part of a team that works together to be successful.

Read more about Julia’s memorable moment working here and advice she still uses to this day.

What do you do at PSE and how long have you been here?
I am a Shift Supervisor in System Operations. I’ve been part of this group for almost 14 years now.

Why did you want to work here? Or Why do you enjoy working here?
I wanted to work in Operations since the first day I started at PSE. To me, Operations is THE place to be – being part of the team that "keeps the lights on." A lot of our seasoned Operators and Dispatchers know our system like the back of their hand. They are truly passionate about what they do. It’s pretty amazing to be part of pretty complex daily work going throughout our service territory. All that knowledge being applied day in and day out is really humbling. Working in Operations to me means continuing to learn and doing your best to apply your knowledge to serve our customers.

What one thing do you need to know really well to do your job?
In System Operations, we use multiple systems that provide complex information about the status of our electrical system at any given time. Continuous training, learning those systems, helps me better analyze outage information. That in turn allows me to support our internal and external customers. At the same time, you always feel like you are a part of the team that works on shift with you. Only working together as a team, helping each other as needed allows us to be successful.

What are you most proud of working at PSE?
Proud of being part of a company which has a long history of serving customers by utilizing years and years of knowledge and experience, as well as the latest technology and innovation.

What’s one of your most memorable moments while working here?
The Ice Storm of 2006. I still remember the pictures taken in the field, the amount of devastation it caused to our distribution and transmission system. But I’ll also never forget the absolutely outstanding effort and selfless dedication that our people in Operations showed to restore power to customers in the shortest possible time.

What’s most challenging about your job?
You never know what your shift is going to be like. Even when the weather is nice, with our service territory so spread-out, there’s always something going on that needs my attention. But it’s a good thing: it’s never boring in Operations!

What safety tip applies to your daily work?
When it gets busy, take a deep breath before you jump into action. It’s easy to make assumptions when you are in a hurry – try to quickly assess what you have, the best you can, ask questions if needed - then take a quick action.

Of PSE’s values, which resonates most with you and why?
We do what’s right. It is so simply stated but means exactly that: put yourself in the position of your customers, think what would you would expect to be done, then do your best to make it happen.

What’s your favorite place to eat?
It’s a bit counter-intuitive but anywhere new! I LOVE exploring new cuisines and trying new places. Sometimes it means great food, sometimes not so much – but it’s worth the experience! We are so fortunate to live in the area where you have such an amazing combination of cultures and traditions.

What's your favorite vacation spot? Why?
Hawaii. See – my big extended family is literally scattered all over the world: PNW, Russia, Australia, Hawaii. So I get to travel a lot to stay in touch, which is awesome! But Hawaii always holds a very special place in my heart. It’s where you can stop to feel the sun and wind on your face and be grateful for very simple joys in life. It’s where you can enjoy your loved ones’ company and realize that you don’t really need all that much… It might sound trivial but I really appreciate the simplicity of life there.

If you could do any job in the world for one day, what would it be and why?
A race car driver. Love the adrenalin rush and challenge.

What's the best advice you've ever received?
One of our seasoned Operators told me during my first big storm in Operations: Julia, it’s ok; think about it: you can only do one thing at a time, then go to the next. Just keep going. I still apply that advice today.

What do you like to do outside of work? Any interesting hobbies or community service activities?
I love Zumba. It’s such a great workout for your mind and body, and you get a huge boost of positivity! Plus, you make ton of friends. It’s a very ‘accepting’ kind of exercise.

If you could have any super power, what would it be?
To slow down the pace of our lives… We’re going millions of miles an hour and can’t seem to find a way to slow down!

What’s the best or favorite part about your job?
Definitely people I work with, hands down. And their vast experience and knowledge, as well as readiness to lend a hand when it gets busy.

If you could be on any reality TV show, which would you choose and why?
Sorry but no thank you.

Who would play you in the movie about your life?
Emma Thompson. Her willingness to explore and her positivity is something I think we have in common. At the same time, she’s always up for getting goofy and have fun.

Do you have a pet? If yes, what type?
Not at this time. Always been a dog person though. We babysit our daughter’s family dog, April, sometimes. April is a Mastiff-boxer mix. She is a true family dog – so loving and protective. She gets a lot of loving abuse from my very active grandkids, but she lets them get away with it. We all absolutely adore her.

--Andrew Padula