Employee Spotlight Mary

BELLEVUE, Wash. (7/30/2019) The spotlight shines on Mary, the Emergency Planning Program Manager.

Photo of Mary

Our spotlight shines on Mary, the Emergency Planning Program Manager. Mary has been at PSE for seven years and her busiest time of year is the fall and winter - also known as storm season. Mary’s job is crucial when it comes to being prepared for an electric or gas emergency.

Many customers and coworkers rely on Mary and what she does each year, and her efforts towards preparedness and emergency response are especially critical as we head into storm season.

Read more about Mary’s role at PSE and what she enjoys doing while she’s not working.

What do you do at PSE, and how long have you been here?
I work in Business Continuity and Emergency Management as the Emergency Planning Manager. In my job, I develop emergency plans that address our response to electric and gas emergencies. To do this I have to work with a variety of internal departments and external partners. I also ensure we have enough people assigned to all of the various emergency roles, coordinate training requirements and conduct exercises. I’ve been at PSE since 2012. Prior to that I worked in emergency management at the local city level.

Why did you want to work here?
I was looking to expand my experience in Emergency Management and had met Mary Robinson at a county meeting. She and I hit it off and she mentioned PSE was hiring in her department.

What’s the best or favorite part about your job?
I love the diversity of my job. Coming from the public side of emergency management, my current role requires that I still work with these agencies, which is great as I have some wonderful colleagues from my prior work. I also get to work with peers in other energy companies through participating in the WEI (Western Energy Institute) mutual assistance group. I also work with outstanding co-workers here at PSE! We’re very open to new ideas and our people are passionate about the communities we serve, especially during emergencies, which makes my job very rewarding.

What one thing do you need to know really well to do your job?
The principles of emergency management and how they can blend into PSE’s response operations.

What’s most challenging about your job?
Developing processes that can withstand any type of emergency regardless of the cause or scope. To do this, I always challenge assumptions by applying them to worst-case scenarios. Another challenge is ensuring people know our emergency processes and their role in performing emergency tasks. Often times, an emergency role is different than an individual’s day-to-day role, so they don’t perform the function on a regular basis. To do this, we try to keep to our plans. Each summer starting around June, we focus on training related to emergency roles to ensure we are prepared for our busiest time of the year response-wise, which is typically mid-September through March.

What are you most proud of PSE for?
Our commitment to serving our customers as well as the commitment to reducing our carbon footprint and investing in green energy options.

What safety tip applies to your daily work?
Always be prepared as you never know when an emergency can happen! This includes knowing what your role is during an emergency and having a good home plan as well.

How does your role or work support our TOGETHER/carbon reduction campaign?
In Business Continuity and Emergency Management, we are often involved in external meetings and are asked questions on reliability. We also get questions about how we anticipate climate change to impact our service. Questions like these give us an opportunity to mention how the diversity of our energy sources helps with resiliency and reliability while also reducing our carbon footprint.

Of PSE’s values, which resonates most with you and why?
We do what’s right. This is very important from an emergency perspective! It enables us to work hard, but safe and to adjust priorities to meet the needs of the greater good of the community.

What’s your favorite place to eat?
Salty’s at Redondo. You can’t beat the view and they have a grilled salmon salad to die for at a great price for happy hour!

What’s your favorite vacation spot? Why?
Oh man, this is a hard one! In general, any place where I can experience nature’s beauty is the best.

If you could do any job in the world for one day, what would it be?
Animal whisperer.

What’s the best advice you've ever received?
You get what you give.

If you could be any animal, what would you be?
Dog, I mean who doesn’t love a good pat on the head?!

What do you like to do outside of work? Any interesting hobbies or community service activities?
I enjoy hiking, kayaking, concerts and riding my Sportster.

If you could have any super power, what would it be?
Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound – it’s handy and impressive.

If you could be on any reality TV show, which would you choose and why?
Carpool Karaoke with Toby Keith – I just think it would be a great time!

Who would play you in the movie about your life?
Maybe Amy Poehler?

Do you have a pet?
Yes, a four-year-old Sheppard/Rottweiler mix, or so we think. She is a rescue pup, so it’s probably not 50/50. She has a ton of energy and is a bit OCD with her ball.

If you’re comfortable sharing, tell us about your family.
I have three children, all college age. My youngest goes to WSU; I used to be a Husky….. needless to say “Go Cougs!” I am so blessed – they are all great adults!

Mary at the beach  Mary hiking in the mountains    Mary with her family