Planner Profile: Olivia Story

Current Position: Project Planner, Long Range

Total years in planning: 5 years

Hobbies: Beekeeping and old furniture restoration

Hometown: Orting, WA

Favorite Places: I love the beach and am always looking for a reason to go.

Why did you choose a career in planning?  During an undergraduate class in Social Science, we watched a video on how urban spaces can alter people’s interactions and how spaces can make people feel.  I had never really thought about that and was instantly hooked.

Why did you decide to be a planner in Washington? I love WA, it’s my home state.

What projects/initiatives are you currently working on? I’m currently updating the wineries, breweries, and distilleries section, specifically in agricultural areas, to address the growing tourism industry. Later this year I will be looking at short term rentals.

What was your first planning related job? Assistant Planner with Thurston County, WA.

What advice would you give a new planner? Never stop learning.  One of the first things I did as a planner was to sign up to receive as many planning related newsletters as I could.  I wanted to be up to date with the current issues and thoughts.

What do you wish you had known when you started your career? I wish I had known how different current vs. long-range planning can be.

If you were not a planner what profession would you likely be in?  I started out in a nursing program, so I would most likely have continued that.

Do you have any favorite online sources related to planning that you’d like to share, and/or planners (historical or present) that have inspired your work?   I almost always find MRSC and the APA sites to have great information on subjects I’m working on.

Return to the January/February issue of the Washington Planner