Employee Spotlight Sandra

BELLEVUE, Wash. (11/5/2018) This week’s Employee Spotlight shines on Sandy, a program manager for Energy Efficiency Services. She’s been with PSE for almost two decades.

Sandy enjoys working at PSE because she knows she’s making a difference for our customers. She hears a lot of the positive results from customers who see their bills reduced and their living conditions, improved.

Read more about how Sandy is helping our customers and what she likes to do in her free time.

What do you do at PSE and how long have you been here?
I have been at PSE for 17 years, and for the last ten, I have managed the PSE Weatherization Assistance Program.

Why did you want to work here?
In the mid-90s, after leaving the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a regulatory analyst and outreach specialist, I wanted to spend some time boots on the ground as an environmental educator. After being in the role for a few years, I heard PSE had a conservation education opportunity that didn’t require a vow of poverty. I didn’t hesitate. The rest is history.

What one thing do you need to know really well to do your job?
How to listen.

What are you most proud of working at PSE?
I’m most proud of the positive impact the Weatherization Assistance program has on our community. The program, a comprehensive weatherization program with no cost to the PSE customer, can literally transform a home with energy efficiency upgrades, repairs, and health and safety improvements. I work directly with social service agencies and housing authorities throughout the service territory and regularly hear the positive results our customers experience from significantly reduced bills and improved living conditions. The program truly changes lives and I have been grateful to be a part of it.

What safety tip applies to your daily work?
Pay attention to your sitting posture. Save your neck and back. Take breaks to stretch.

What’s your favorite place to eat?
There’s a coffee shop in my neighborhood called Bird on a Wire Espresso run by a past Rat City Roller girl. It is the Cheers of coffee shops where everyone really does know your name. I meet neighbors there every weekend. It’s an extended family. And the food is exceptionally good.

What's your favorite vacation spot? Why?
No place. I like being on the road in my 1974 VW camper bus. Her name is Myrtle. It’s hard to go anywhere without seeing someone light up or stop to tell us their story. Between that and the fact she doesn’t go fast and can break down at any moment, she constantly teaches me to slow down, enjoy the scenery and wait to see who shows up. To sum it up, a VW owner once said, “You meet the nicest people when you break down.”

If you could do any job in the world for one day, what would it be and why?
When I grow up, I want to be a hippie. I’d like to think I’m almost there.

What's the best advice you've ever received?
Be vulnerable. Let the arrows fall. Let people in.

If you could be any animal, what would you be?
A skunk. I don’t know why. It just popped in my head. Maybe it’s because a skunk’s mere presence carries a great deal of influence.

What do you like to do outside of work? Any interesting hobbies or community service activities?
When I bought the VW bus, I didn’t realize I’d have to become an amateur mechanic. I’ve also been known to try my hand at physical comedy, oil painting, gardening and professional coaching. My partner Bill is a physical comedian by trade, so I suppose our hobby is laughing a lot because that’s what we seem to do. And my mom, Philomena, is hilarious—I kid you not, she is a walking, talking cartoon-- so it’s hard to keep a straight face in my household. Finally, and I know this may sound odd, I have studied “joy” for years now and how to create it inside of oneself and in the external environment. It’s been a beautiful journey.

If you could have any super power, what would it be?
To eat anything and not gain a pound. On a more serious note, I wish I could wave a magic wand and wipe way injustice, hatred, division, and environmental degradation.

What’s the best or favorite part about your job?
My channel team members, the social service agencies I work with, and knowing the work makes a difference in our community.

Do you have a pet? If yes, what type?
I have two dogs. One is an angel. Her name is Lucy, a Chihuahua mix, a soul mate. She is 16 years old and can pierce your soul with her little eyes. People immediately put a hand to their heart when they meet her. The other is the devil incarnate, Charlie. He is a rescued Chihuahua. He is cranky yet charming and I love him dearly. I think we must be settling a score from a past lifetime. They say dogs mirror the personality of their owners. I don’t know where that leaves me.

Sandra hugging someone  Sandra and dogs Sandra and dogs