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We Are DES: Meet Sarah Thomasson

This is a part of our featured story series “We Are DES.” These stories will introduce you to an individual at DES and the work they do to help fulfill the DES mission — you’ll also learn some fun details about how they spend time outside of work.

Sarah hikes around Royal Lake at Royal Basin in Olympic National Park
Sarah hikes around Royal Lake at Royal Basin in Olympic National Park

Name: Sarah Thomasson

Division: Facility Professional Services (FPS)

Job title: Utility Engineer 2

What year did you start at DES? 2019

What year did you begin working for Washington state? 2019

In two sentences or less, describe what you do at DES.
I started working with DES as a licensed electrician with Buildings & Grounds (B&G) and helped mitigate electrical issues and complete projects throughout the Capitol Campus. On Feb. 1, I accepted a new position with FPS in the Energy Program. I will now be providing project management services to help customers reduce operational costs and make Washington a better place to live, learn and work.

How do you believe your role supports the DES mission of strengthening the business of government?
I am an advocate for resource conservation and care deeply about the impact we all have. It is our responsibility to use our resources wisely and do our part to make the world a better place. Our performance contracting method gives customers the opportunity to get exactly what they need within their budget to help them have better control of utility and operating costs, improve conditions and reduce environmental impacts. I hope to influence and inspire others to do what we can with the time we have. I believe time is the most valuable thing we possess, and I feel very honored to be part of the Energy Program team. And I am proud Washington state developed this program.

In what ways do you experience DES values in your everyday work? (respect; integrity; excellence; diversity, equity & inclusion)
I experience DES values every day by practicing them myself and by being influenced by my amazing colleagues. I am proud to stand up for our values and sometimes that can be uncomfortable, but I have learned that when things seem too hard or are uncomfortable, that is when we are learning and growing. I joined the mentorship program and that helped empower me to stay strong, stand true and be brave enough to have those hard conversations. Diversity is what makes us unique, practicing equity helps bring voice to our differences and express our needs, and inclusion is how to show care by working together on solutions.

What did you do before working at DES?
I started my electrical journey when I attended the electrician course from Bates Technical College and received a degree in electrical technology. I was then introduced to The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and became a Limited Energy apprentice. I also became a technician and got my limited energy system license (EL06). Then joined the inside wireman apprenticeship IBEW doing commercial, industrial new construction and remodel projects. I have loved being a craftsman. I have worked on so many wonderful projects and still get to go out and enjoy my visible work at facilities. You can call me “Journeymam”!

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I have enjoyed being a youth leader volunteer. I worked with my son through Cub Scouts. He is now an Eagle Scout and I have two daughters in Girl Scouts. We have a super troop that continues to grow. It’s led me to pursue certifications for archery, small watercraft and wilderness first aid training so I can take them backpacking. I am also a facilitator for the low ropes course at the Panhandle Lake 4-H Camp in Shelton. Get a hold of me if your team would like to organize an outdoor team-building experience! I love hiking, playing in the snow, water skiing and trying new things, especially food!

What is a fun fact about you?
My Girl Scout nickname is Cupcake.



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