Clayton Carlson joined the Whidbey Institute team shortly after his wife Lynne (currently our Housekeeping Manager) came on board. Clayton grew up in Idaho and Oak Harbor, in turns, and now lives on a farm in Langley. In the four years since he joined our team, he’s learned as much from us as we have from him!
As our Facilities Manager, Clayton has handled a variety of responsibilities large and small, cerebral and physical, grand and mundane. A vital part of our team, Clayton has brightened our days with his warm smile, can-do attitude, and occasional anecdotes about his blue and gold macaw. Meanwhile, he’s experienced great personal growth at the Institute, gaining new perspectives on sustainability and green solutions. “Looking back,” he said, “I can’t believe how much I’ve grown. . . . and I just love the land, and the space, and the people it attracts.”
Clayton will be leaving the Whidbey Institute at the end of January to manage a crew at a well-established nearby business. His construction and facilities maintenance skills will go with him, but a part of him will stay here. “I’ve never felt like an employee here,” he said. “I’ve felt like a student. This is a place to learn.” Clayton said he’ll be here all the time even after the transition, for the Institute now feels like home.
When Clayton’s not at work, he’s parenting his two boys, Cameron (9) and Braden (7), or tinkering under the hood of one of several old Volkswagens. He also plays the guitar, mixes dubstep music, and raises farm animals at the home he shares with Lynn and their sons. His advice to the reader? “Keep your eyes open for all the Volkswagen cruises!” If you do see one, look closely. You might just spot Clayton grinning from the driver’s seat of his old VW bug conversion rat rod.