You could say that Microsoft Data Center Project Manager Gigi Lowry is connoisseur of the proverbial fruit borne by the Quincy Valley. In a figurative and literal sense, Gigi confesses that her palate is refined when it comes to offerings in both tech and viticulture; two of which are among the valley’s primary yields. But Gigi’s acquired taste for tech took time, according to her interview with Grant County’s Industrial Alliance. Proud to call Quincy home, Gigi hails from Aberdeen, Washington, and it was during her time in western Washington when Gigi became ingratiated with what would soon become a successful career.
“I was pursuing an associate degree and one of my classes was introduction to computers. I immediately loved it and was fascinated by the technology. As I continued my education, working as a computer engineering administrator, I took another computer hardware class which was taught by the computer associate where I was employed. After graduating from his class, whenever I had a computer issue, and called him to assist, he would say, ‘you know how to do this!’ Because of him, when the company shut down, I decided to pursue my bachelor’s degree in management of computer systems. I have since received my master of science degree in computer information systems and have had a wonderful career!”
However, Gigi says it took time to find that solid toehold in tech before landing a job with Microsoft.
“After graduating from St. Martin’s University in Olympia, I taught computers to kindergarten through eighth grade for a year. I loved teaching the young ones, but as unfortunate as it is, with my computer skills, I was able to get a much better paying job in the corporate world. I became a computer technician for a bank and worked my way up to manager. Unfortunately, 2008 happened and the writing was on the wall that the bank I was working for was going to be taken over by the FDIC. I began looking for a new position knowing I would be entering the job market again. I had always wanted to work for Microsoft and there was a role here in Quincy that I applied for. Low and behold, I got the role as a vendor IT operations manager supporting Microsoft. In 2015, I applied for a full-time Microsoft role and have been with Microsoft ever since, and hopefully will retire from Microsoft in 2025 if the stars align!”
Diving into what Gigi’s title entails, she says she and fellow project managers are responsible for ensuring that critical infrastructure, capacity, space, and power needs are met and made available. Another specialty of Gigi’s is guaranteeing that physical resources are utilized efficiently. Gigi asserted that she takes a tremendous amount of pride in her performance, especially as a longtime employee of Microsoft.
“Although my role is behind the scenes, delivering high availability to our customers is of utmost importance. As a project manager, I ensure reliable compute capacity and speed, access to systems running on our platform runs the world of business and personal computing.”
“Microsoft has always been the pinnacle for me as a technology enthusiast. I am so blessed to work with such amazing individuals, being on the cutting edge of technology and always learning new and amazing concepts. It is quite rewarding, lots of time perplexing and always very interesting. Aside from the obvious, Microsoft is so involved in giving back as we all make a good living and it is engrained and a priority to individually donate to causes that interest us; Microsoft generously matches our donations, making our company one of the top contributors for charities.”
And contributed she has. Gigi has served as President of a local Rotary club as a representative of Microsoft; she’s been a member of that Rotary club for a total of six years and counting. But that’s not all, according to Gigi…
“Personally, I was President of the Quincy Valley Chamber of Commerce, and an active board member for 4 years, and have worked on numerous committees throughout my time here in Quincy. I also was Chairperson of the Big Bend Community College Technology Board for almost five years, working with great folks as the new technology wing started being conceptualized. I also participated as a member of the board for the Economic Development Council. I, along with Microsoft’s Lisa Karstetter, who is amazing and has been a huge community advocate volunteer supporter cheerleader, make a pretty good team to get money, time and talent where needed.”
Gigi says she’s an advocate of young girls and women interested in finding careers in technology. She says Microsoft, along with other tech giants have volunteered classroom time, and have supported events like DigiGirlz, robotics expos, etc.
Gigi says Microsoft has a far-reaching impact, both locally and globally.
“The impact is just going to continue to grow. Artificial Intelligence is something that uses the computing power that comes with the data centers. Because of the ability to process data and correlate the data, great strides in solving complex problems have been exponentially deciphered, creating cures for diseases, for example. It is quite amazing.”
Circling back to her personal life and perception of the area she lives and works in; Gigi believes she’s found her place in what she refers to as “God’s country.”
“This is home, I remember the first time I came around the corner going down the Trinidad Hill and seeing that beautiful river. I could not contain my words as I blurted out ‘I am going to live there some day!’ Who would have thought that less than a year later in 2009, here I was, loving life. I absolutely love our area, I love the people, I love the culture, oh and I really love the wine! Having 4 seasons is awesome. I grew up in Aberdeen, Washington and we had two seasons, raining, and not raining so much. I am blessed every day to live in God’s country!”