Napa Valley Marketplace Magazine “Finding Napa or Napa Finding Me” March 2008.
Finding Napa or Napa Finding Me – Julie Lucido
By JoAnn Busenbark
A college thermodynamics class may not strike you as the place to have a romantic interlude and perhaps meet your future spouse. For Julie Lucido, it was the perfect place. She and her classmate Frank, both engineering majors at Chico State University, now are married with two children. Don’t ever say thermodynamics can’t be romantic.
Julie was raised in Ukiah and Frank was raised in Vallejo, and both preferred smaller communities. Julie’s education at Mendocino Community College was partially exploration and the remainder was following her love of math. She thought she would become a math teacher. Her sister is a an elementary-school teacher, her chosen career path from an early age. At Chico State, someone suggested she try some engineering classes and she was caught up in a new world she really liked. Julie chose to major in civil engineering.
After graduation Frank got a job in Reno, so they moved and both worked in their respective fields for a short time. Julie and Frank were both homesick for the Bay Area and decided they wanted to work and live in or around Napa. An old friend from college called and said there was a civil engineering position open in Napa and Julie should apply. The rest is history: Julie was hired by the Napa County Flood Control District in 2002. Starting out as an associate engineer, Julie learned all the basics of the Napa flood-control project and had the opportunity to work with experienced engineers.
Promoted three times, Julie is currently the principal engineer for the flood project team. She loves the expanded knowledge she has gained by working on this project, such as hydraulics, construction and property issues. At this point in her career, she says this is her “perfect job.”
Like many other engineers, Julie was initially hesitant to do the “people piece:” presentations and meetings. Now she says her favorite part of the job is making PowerPoint presentations to community groups to help them to understand what is developing with the project and how far it have come. The rewards are seeing the outcomes of all the development of the project to date. The overall goal is very motivating for Julie.
A very self-assured woman who knows what she is doing and loves it, she is also enjoying the growth and development of her 4-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son. Julie says the Napa Valley is a great place to raise a family. Her husband is an engineer for Napa County and his mother is providing child care for her grandchildren. Does it get any better?
Julie and her family are thrilled with their decision to come to the Napa Valley area and raise a family here. They are small-town folks who have searched and found where they want to be. Julie and Frank: We are glad you came and want you to stay.