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From the August 19, 2013 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published August 19, 2013

John Di Stasio, general manager and chief executive officer of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District in California, will retire in 2014 after more than 30 years at the utility. Di Stasio joined SMUD in 1981 and was appointed general manager and CEO in June 2008. Previously, he served as assistant general manager of energy delivery and customer service for eight years, where he was responsible for the utility’s retail operations, customer service, communications, energy efficiency and pricing. His previous responsibilities were as director of distribution services and manager of supply chain services. He began his career in the industrial gas business for Liquid Air North America in the Pacific Northwest. Di Stasio is a member of APPA’s Climate Change Task Force and has served on APPA’s board of directors since 2011. He also served on APPA’s Executive Committee during 2012-2013. He is a 2013 recipient of APPA's James D. Donovan Individual Achievement Award, which was awarded to him during the association's 2013 National Conference in Nashville, Tenn., earlier this summer.

Jim Baggs, compliance officer for Seattle City Light in Washington, has been elected to chair the membership committee of the Reliability Coordination Co. in Vancouver, Wash. Baggs was one of 15 elected to the RCCo advisory committee. The company is a planned spinoff entity of the Western Electricity Coordinating Council, which is headquartered in Salt Lake City. The company will assume the WECC’s reliability coordinator and interchange authority functions in the Western Interconnection on Jan. 1, 2014.

Russell Olson, manager of community and economic development for the Heartland Consumers Power District in Madison, S.D., has been promoted to general manager and CEO, effective Oct. 1. He will succeed Mike McDowell, who is retiring after serving as general manager for the past nine years. Olson joined Heartland in 2005. Before this, he was executive director of the Lake Area Improvement Corp., which serves as Madison’s office of economic development. Previously, he worked for the South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development. Prior to this, he was a land use planner for the South Eastern Council of Governments. Olson has also served in the South Dakota Legislature as representative, senator, and most recently, Senate Majority Leader.

David Horton, former public affairs manager for Riviera Utilities in Foley, Ala., has been named director of Opelika Power Services in Alabama. He worked at Riviera for 13 years and began his career at Tennessee Valley Authority in Knoxville as an electrical apprentice in 1972. Miles McDaniel, former manager of marketing and business development for Bowling Green Municipal Utilities in Kentucky, assumes the role of public affairs manager for Riviera Utilities. McDaniel joined Riviera on July 29 and has more than 15 years experience in the utility industry. He previously worked for Baldwin Electric Membership Co-op in Summerdale, Ala., as manager of energy services. 

John Di Stasio

Jim Baggs

Russell Olson


David Horton

Miles McDaniel




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Senior Vice President, Publishing 
Jeanne Wickline LaBella

Editorial Director
Robert Varela

Editor, Public Power Daily
Jeannine Anderson

Communications Assistant
Fallon W. Forbush

Manager, Integrated Media 
David L. Blaylock

Integrated Media Editor 
Laura D’Alessandro