Get to know Jessica!

Jessica Merizan [(S)he/They] has lived in Carnation since 2018 but made the decision to move here in 2016 when she got “strategically lost” on a weekend drive while taking advantage of accidentally renting a bright red Dodge Challenger and needing an excuse to use it. Upon driving into town and seeing the charm of Tolt Ave, Jessica called her husband and said “I found our forever home”.

Born in Virginia Beach to a Navy family stationed there, Jessica moved to Southern California at a young age. After her father died in a plane crash, her widowed mother raised Jessica and her sisters alone, managing to ensure the family thrived despite growing up in poverty. To help her mother, Jessica took on immense responsibilities which included balancing school and work starting at age 15. After high school, she attended the University of California, Berkeley on a mix of financial aid and two part-time jobs for a local theater and geology laboratory. After graduating with her Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology/Historical Archaeology with Highest Honors, Jessica obtained her Master’s degree in Material and Visual Culture from University College London, thanks to a full scholarship.

With a strong volunteer ethic, Jessica contributed over 2,000 hours of community service before she even turned 18, particularly for organizations in the performing arts as well as environmental science. Her work continues to this day, and as an advocate for sustainability and inclusivity, Jessica is the Chair of the Parks and Planning Board for the City of Carnation. She was previously the President of the Tolt Meadows HOA and currently serves as the Marketing Chair & Parade Co-Chair/Announcer for the 4th of July Committee. This past June, she conceptualized and orchestrated the first official 2SLGBTQIA+ event in Carnation, the “Pride Picnic.” Jessica approaches problems strategically and creatively, making people feel seen and heard to collectively make community impact.

Guided by her personal philosophy to persist in the pursuit of understanding, acceptance, and delight, Jessica’s passion for her work is further rooted in her anthropological training. This manifests as a love for solving mysteries and building elegant systems, all wrapped up in a fascination with human behavior.

Currently, Jessica is a Principal Program Manager in one of the Chief Technology Offices at Microsoft. Since joining seven years ago, Jessica has held leadership roles in product engineering and sales organizations. She served as the Executive Producer for HoloLens Experiences Community, Senior Storyteller/Strategist for Dynamics 365 Mixed Reality Envisioning, and Director for Customer Activations & Rapid Prototyping in Enterprise Commercial CTO. A recognized thought leader in community management and immersive experience design, prior to Microsoft, Jessica managed teams at Legendary Entertainment and Electronic Arts. She also previously founded her own new media business, which led to being featured in a theatrical film documentary, two seasons of a docuseries television show on SyFy, and multi-year partnerships with Google and Twitch.

Outside of work, Jessica enjoys spending time with her almost three-year-old daughter Aurora and is looking forward to the birth of her second child in December. Her husband Graham is a public defender for King County and they contribute to many organizations that fight for the pursuit of justice for all people. They enjoy getting outdoors and spending time enjoying the beauty of the PNW. These days, they spend a lot of time in the Fred Hockert/Yellow Park. On rainy days, they enjoy board games with friends. Jessica moved her mother from California to Carnation to live with them in a multigenerational household where everyone can thrive in an increasingly unaffordable world.

Pictured is Jessica and Aurora on their farm in Kansas, which has been in the family now for five generations producing wheat and milo.

Get to know Jessica!

Jessica Merizan [(S)he/They] has lived in Carnation since 2018 but made the decision to move here in 2016 when she got “strategically lost” on a weekend drive while taking advantage of accidentally renting a bright red Dodge Challenger and needing an excuse to use it. Upon driving into town and seeing the charm of Tolt Ave, Jessica called her husband and said “I found our forever home”.

Born in Virginia Beach to a Navy family stationed there, Jessica moved to Southern California at a young age. After her father died in a plane crash, her widowed mother raised Jessica and her sisters alone, managing to ensure the family thrived despite growing up in poverty. To help her mother, Jessica took on immense responsibilities which included balancing school and work starting at age 15. After high school, she attended the University of California, Berkeley on a mix of financial aid and two part-time jobs for a local theater and geology laboratory. After graduating with her Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology/Historical Archaeology with Highest Honors, Jessica obtained her Master’s degree in Material and Visual Culture from University College London, thanks to a full scholarship.

With a strong volunteer ethic, Jessica contributed over 2,000 hours of community service before she even turned 18, particularly for organizations in the performing arts as well as environmental science. Her work continues to this day, and as an advocate for sustainability and inclusivity, Jessica is the Chair of the Parks and Planning Board for the City of Carnation. She was previously the President of the Tolt Meadows HOA and currently serves as the Marketing Chair & Parade Co-Chair/Announcer for the 4th of July Committee. This past June, she conceptualized and orchestrated the first official 2SLGBTQIA+ event in Carnation, the “Pride Picnic.” Jessica approaches problems strategically and creatively, making people feel seen and heard to collectively make community impact.

Guided by her personal philosophy to persist in the pursuit of understanding, acceptance, and delight, Jessica’s passion for her work is further rooted in her anthropological training. This manifests as a love for solving mysteries and building elegant systems, all wrapped up in a fascination with human behavior.

Currently, Jessica is a Principal Program Manager in one of the Chief Technology Offices at Microsoft. Since joining seven years ago, Jessica has held leadership roles in product engineering and sales organizations. She served as the Executive Producer for HoloLens Experiences Community, Senior Storyteller/Strategist for Dynamics 365 Mixed Reality Envisioning, and Director for Customer Activations & Rapid Prototyping in Enterprise Commercial CTO. A recognized thought leader in community management and immersive experience design, prior to Microsoft, Jessica managed teams at Legendary Entertainment and Electronic Arts. She also previously founded her own new media business, which led to being featured in a theatrical film documentary, two seasons of a docuseries television show on SyFy, and multi-year partnerships with Google and Twitch.

Outside of work, Jessica enjoys spending time with her almost three-year-old daughter Aurora and is looking forward to the birth of her second child in December. Her husband Graham is a public defender for King County and they contribute to many organizations that fight for the pursuit of justice for all people. They enjoy getting outdoors and spending time enjoying the beauty of the PNW. These days, they spend a lot of time in the Fred Hockert/Yellow Park. On rainy days, they enjoy board games with friends. Jessica moved her mother from California to Carnation to live with them in a multigenerational household where everyone can thrive in an increasingly unaffordable world.

Pictured is Jessica and Aurora on their farm in Kansas, which has been in the family now for five generations producing wheat and milo.

LAND ACKNOWLEDGMENT

We are we are surrounded by forests, pastoral fields, rivers, and mountains on the Indigenous Land of Coast Salish peoples who have reserved treaty rights, specifically the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe (sdukʷalbixʷ) who have lived and continue to live here since time immemorial. Acknowledging this is the first step, but it must not stop at proclamations. The Snoqualmie Tribe Ancestral Land Movement’s tenants must be imbued in all decisions the City Council makes as a partner to help the Tribe in respecting, restoring, and protecting these lands through mindfulness instead of conquest.

I’m so grateful to some of my favorite town heroes and online community advocates who are willing to support my campaign!

“We must increase park usage regardless of the weather or season. Living in the Pacific Northwest means that in order to take full advantage of the beauty around us, we should not limit our recreation activities to only go outside when the sun is shining. The more opportunities that our families, children, and seniors have to spend time in nature the better.”

On King County prioritizing grant funding for year round parks improvements, March 2023

“Our reaction is what speaks volumes about us. Thank you to the businesses, city officials, and community members who have made it clear that our town has no place for hate and will not tolerate it. We take care of each other in Carnation.”

On LGBT+ Pride flag theft and Carnation Business District hate crime vandalism in June 2023, City of Carnation Press Release

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