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September 2020
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CityLink Seattle

SPU Who: Get to know the people behind your utility

This Week’s “Who”: Jerry Waldron

Meet Jerry Waldron, the first participant in SPU’s new series, SPU Who. Jerry has been with SPU since 2012 and is currently wearing many hats as the Interim Construction Management Director, Drainage & Wastewater Project Management Manager, as well as the Skills & Knowledge Transfer Advisor for SPU (try fitting all that on a business card).

This Tacoma native grew up with dreams of exploring the wide world around him only to find that where he grew up was in fact where he wanted to be most of all. Along with salsa dancing, Jerry and his family are avid Seattle Seahawks fans. In fact, his first ever paycheck was spent on Seahawk season tickets in the Kingdome. “They were easy to procure since they were 2-14 the season before. Still do miss our Supersonics though.” said Jerry. One place you won’t find him is in the kitchen. As he puts it, when it’s his turn to cook dinner, Uber Eats is on call, “It’s a way for the Waldrons to mitigate risk and avoid getting sick.”

Jerry and his family are avid Seattle Seahawks fans

Jerry takes pride in supporting others’ growth and development. When asked to share some of the highlights of his work, he’s quick to recommend SPU’s Skills and Knowledge Transfer (SKT) program, which he currently advises. The purpose of SKT is to build SPU’s in-house capacity to develop and deliver programs and projects with SPU’s departments, provide skills-based learning, support SPU’s staff with resources, knowledge, coaching, and tools, as well as help grow in-house expertise.

But Jerry’s commitment to supporting his colleagues doesn’t stop with SKT. He’s all about teamwork. “I am honored to be an employee at SPU,” he says. “I am amazed at the project synergy required to initiate, plan, execute, monitor, control, and close out capital project portfolios across the department.  As stakeholders, we all have different agendas, performance metrics, and requirements that a project team is expected to satisfy.  When you hear how your respective work group’s performance metric may be impacted by a struggling project team, ask yourself not what can be done to save your metric but what you can do to help that project team succeed.”

Another highlight of Jerry’s job is working on infrastructure and capital projects to protect the area he calls home. Jerry enjoys preserving and protecting  Seattle’s beautiful environment, waterways, and landscapes. In his former role as a developer and design engineer for the land development industry, he had conflicting feelings about his work’s impact on the environment–destroying nature for the benefit of the client’s profit. “It was eating away at my core values,” shares Jerry. “My goal is to have our great-great-great grandkids refer to the current staff of SPU as the real superheroes that implemented servant leadership, policies, plans, sustainability, inclusiveness, and equity for future generations to enjoy.” 

Our thanks to Jerry for taking the time to email with us for this project.