Employee Spotlight: Sarah Parsons
January 10, 2024

PSC has more than 280 global employees, all helping power a more sustainable world. Our employee spotlight segment offers a look at what our hardworking people are all about when they’re not serving our clients and each other at work. This spotlight is on Sarah Parsons, PSC’s business and strategy manager who works out of our global headquarters office in Kirkland, Washington in the US.

How would you describe your role at PSC?

Sarah Parsons

Sarah: As the Business and Strategy Manager at PSC, my role is to serve as an advisor to and extension of the CEO. My primary focus is to drive the development of the business by leading collaborative projects, ensuring effective governance, and reinforcing the company’s culture and values. I work closely with PSC’s leadership to develop and implement strategic initiatives, establish a rhythm of business, lead annual strategic planning activities, and ensure the administrative needs of the CEO, Senior Leadership Team, Board, and Shareholders are met.

What is the most interesting or most gratifying part of your job?

Sarah: The most gratifying aspect of my job is the continuous learning and growth since joining PSC. As a newcomer to the industry, I’ve embraced the opportunity to delve into a field I initially knew little about.

I love being part of a values-driven company that is actively contributing to a positive impact on the energy transition during this pivotal moment in time. Additionally, working with friendly, smart, and hardworking people each day across different time zones creates an ideal workplace culture.

What is something your co-workers would be surprised to learn about you?

Sarah: I’m related to Benjamin Franklin.

I once went on a safari in South Luangwa National Park (Zambia) by myself while doing graduate research at a refugee camp in Malawi. My favorite moment was seeing giraffes goofing off by a river.

My cat is named after my favorite Game of Thrones character: Arya Stark

Where did you grow up and where do you live now?

Sarah: I was born in Kirkland, WA (not far from our HQ office!), and grew up living in Bellevue and attending school in the Issaquah school district. I went to undergrad at the University of Washington, spending one year studying abroad in Paris, France and backpacking to 17 different countries. After working for a few years, I attended Seattle University while working full time, where I earned a Master of Public Administration (MPA).

Currently, I reside in South Seattle with my family. Despite my love for travel, exploration, and meeting people from diverse backgrounds, I find myself irresistibly drawn to the Pacific Northwest. There’s something about the beauty of this region (evergreen forests, mountains and picturesque coastlines), my family, and tight supportive community that keeps me rooted here.

Sarah, her husband Matt and their two kiddos. (Photo by Erin Schedler Photography)

What do you work toward in your free time?

Sarah: During my free time, I enjoy family adventures with my husband and two boys (ages 3 and 5). We love spending time with friends and family, camping in our 12-person tent, and exploring parks, museums, and all the Pacific Northwest has to offer. In the past year, we visited Sunriver, Oregon; Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Tucson, Arizona; Washington, DC; and Hilton Head, South Carolina. As a travel-loving family, we look forward to exploring new cities and distant destinations as the kids grow.

We have a great rotation of babysitters to get in date nights and love finding novel experiences and restaurants. In the last year, I have seen Brandi Carlile, Joni Mitchell, Lizzo, Maggie Rogers and Macklemore in concert. I devour podcasts and audiobooks while getting chores done, commuting and going on walks.

What are your hobbies? What led you to them?

Sarah’s Buche de Noel

Sarah: My hobbies have evolved over time, especially since becoming a parent, which naturally limits my free time. Before kids, I enjoyed crafting, pottery, baking and hiking.  During the recent holiday season, I managed to carve out some time to blend my love for baking and crafting by creating a Gluten-Free Buche de Noel (check out the photo of my masterpiece!).

The main hobby that has persisted is my love for photography. I own a Sony mirrorless camera that doesn’t get out much, but when it does, I love doing family portrait sessions for friends and family. I have taken many classes over the years, and even developed film in a dark room in high school and the University of Washington. Someday, I aspire to start a small photography business, but for now, it’s a long-term goal amid my other passions.

What’s the most valuable advice you’ve ever received?

Sarah: The most valuable advice I’ve received is to prioritize “progress, not perfection,” emphasizing the journey of improvement and learning from experiences. This approach underscores the significance of reflecting on experiences for deep learning, recognizing self-awareness and vulnerability as essential prerequisites for personal growth.

I also love the reminder (especially at the start of a new year!) that small steps you take consistently can lead to meaningful and lasting change over time.

Do you/have you done any volunteer or community service work? If yes, why/how is it important to you?

Sarah: Right after I graduated from University of Washington (Go Dawgs!) with my Bachelor’s degree (Psychology major), I embarked on a year of service as an AmeriCorps member with the American Red Cross. During this period, I was deployed to Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike to help with the recovery efforts. I spent several weeks working in Mass Care Feeding, which meant spending hours in the back of an emergency response vehicle every day, delivering hot meals to communities that were severely affected by the hurricane. Throughout the rest of that year, I was trained as a CPR and First Aid instructor and conducted countless presentations on disaster preparedness for various community groups and organizations.

I went on to work for the Red Cross for six more years, which included several more national deployments: serving as a shelter manager during flooding on Crow Indian Reservation in Montana, managing client caseworkers after Hurricane Sandy in New York City, supervising client case workers after the Oso mudslide in WA state, and contributing as a national headquarters fellow in Washington DC.

What drew me to this work was the opportunity to roll up my sleeves and provide tangible assistance. Despite the heart-wrenching impact of major events on people’s lives, I witnessed firsthand the remarkable resilience of communities uniting to support one another.

What makes you proud to work at PSC?

Sarah: What makes me proud to work at PSC is a combination of our shared vision and values, the opportunity to collaborate with hardworking, intelligent, and authentic individuals from diverse backgrounds worldwide, and the workplace culture that perfectly aligns with the essential elements that drive my motivation. The culture at PSC is a crucial factor for me, as it provides the ideal environment for unlocking my potential and fostering a sense of readiness to learn and grow. In this environment, I feel supported in my journey of growth and learning, and I have the agency to make a meaningful difference. This unique culture, which values alignment with my personal values, has become a motivating force for me. It’s the first time I’ve experienced a work culture that prioritizes these aspects, making me feel safe, allowing me to be vulnerable, and empowering me to unlock my potential for learning and growth at a pace that suits me.