Board of Directors

Officers

Coleman SmoakColeman Smoak, Chair
General Manager, Piedmont Municipal Power Agency, South Carolina
Coleman has been involved in the public power industry for more than 40 years. Before serving as general manager of the Piedmont Municipal Power Agency, he was the general manager of the Laurens, SC Commission of Public Works, a municipally-owned, combined utility system and member of PMPA. He is a former member of PMPA's board of directors and served as chair from 1989 to 1993.

Decosta Jenkins, Chair-Elect
President & CEO, Nashville Electric Service, Tennessee
Decosta has been at the helm of Nashville Electric Service, one of the largest public utilities in the U.S., for more than a decade. Prior to his promotion, he was the senior vice president and chief financial officer and secretary/treasurer to the Electric Power Board of Nashville and Davidson County. Before joining NES, Decosta worked for 11 years with Deloitte LLP in the audit department specializing in both public and private entities. During his time at Deloitte, he assisted companies in accounting and auditing matters, mergers and acquisitions, and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission including two initial public offerings. Decosta is a graduate of University of Tennessee with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting, and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Jolene Thompson, Vice Chair
Executive Vice President, Services & External Affairs, American Municipal Power and Executive Director, Ohio Municipal Electric Association, Ohio

Jolene has worked with municipal electric systems for nearly 30 years. For AMP, she oversees government relations, environmental affairs, energy policy, compliance, public/media relations, energy efficiency and business development services, and human resources. She also serves as the principal legislative contact for AMP and OMEA, is a registered lobbyist in Ohio and Washington, D.C., and oversees contract lobbyists in Ohio, Washington, D.C., Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia. Since 2011, Jolene has been a member of the Transmission Access Policy Study Group Board of Directors and is a member of the TAPS Board Executive Committee and chairs the Legislative Committee. At the state level, Thompson is a member of the Ohio Lobbying Association and was recognized in a past survey of the Ohio lobbying community as one of the most effective female lobbyists when she served as the key Ohio Statehouse contact for AMP/OMEA. Before joining AMP, Thompson worked at Columbus Monthly magazine and Business First newspaper.

Layne Burningham, Treasurer
COO/General Manager, Utah Municipal Power Agency, Utah
Layne has been with the Agency 24 years, with 21 years in management positions.  The Agency’s Board of Directors appointed Mr. Burningham as COO/General Manager in April 2013.  Prior to his current position, Mr. Burningham served as the Agency’s Chief Financial Officer & Power Resource Manager for ten years and as Financial Manager for six years.  His experience includes power plant operations, contract negotiation and administration, power marketing, open access transmission tariff proceedings at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, power plant operations, issuance of bonds and other obligations of the Agency, and administration of all financial and accounting functions at the Agency.  He was elected to APPA’s Board of Directors in June 2017 representing Region 1 and is a member of the Colorado River Energy Distributors Association’s Board of Directors.

Walter HaaseWalter Haase, Immediate Past Chair
General Manager, Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, Arizona
Wally has more than 20 years of executive experience in the electric utility industry. He started his public power career at the St. Charles Municipal Electric Utility in Chicago. He also served at Rocky Mount Public Utilities in North Carolina and at the City of Jamestown Board of Public Utilities and the Village of Sherburne in New York. In 2008, Wally answered a call to become general manager of the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority powering 186,000 people in 13 counties in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. He has helped more than 3,000 families turn on the lights at home for the first time and is working to bring power to 60,000 people that still have no electricity. Wally is a licensed Professional Engineer and holds an MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management in Chicago.

Additional Executive Committee Members

Timothy Burke
President and CEO, Omaha Public Power District, Nebraska

Anthony Cannon
General Manager/CEO, Greenville Utilities Commission, North Carolina

Leslie James
Executive Director, Colorado River Energy Distributors Association, Arizona

Andrew McMahon
Superintendent, Town of Massena, New York

Ron Skagen
Commissioner, Douglas County PUD, Washington

 

Ex Officio

William Acee, Chair, Policy Makers Council
Mayor, Village of Sherburne, New York

Ewell Lawson, Chair, Advisory Committee
Vice President, Government Affairs, Communications & Member Relations, Missouri Public Utility Alliance

 

Directors

Region 1: Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming

Vacant

 

Region 2: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin

Kevin Gaden
President & CEO, Illinois Municipal Electric Agency, Illinois

David Koster
General Manager, Holland Board of Public Works, Michigan

Nilaksh Kothari
General Manager, Manitowoc Public Utilities, Wisconsin

Jolene Thompson
Executive Vice President, Services & External Affairs, American Municipal Power and Executive Director, Ohio Municipal Electric Association, Ohio

 

Region 3: Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota

Timothy Burke
President and CEO, Omaha Public Power District, Nebraska

Colin Hansen
Executive Director, Kansas Municipal Utilities, Kansas

Scott Miller
General Manager, City Utilities of Springfield, Missouri

Leon Schochenmaier
City Administrator, City of Pierre, South Dakota

Kevin Wailes
CEO, Lincoln Electric System, Nebraska

 

Region 4: Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas

Jacqueline Sargent
General Manager, Austin Energy, Texas

Daniel Sullivan
GM/CEO/Director of Investments, Grand River Dam Authority, Oklahoma

 

Region 5: Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia

Anthony Cannon
General Manager/CEO, Greenville Utilities Commission, North Carolina

Hugh Grunden
President & CEO, Easton Utilities, Maryland

Joel Ledbetter
General Manager, Easley Combined Utilities, South Carolina

Steve Rentfrow
General Manager, Crisp County Power Commission, Georgia

Kimberly Schlichting
Senior VP Operation & Power Supply, Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation, Inc., Delaware

 

Region 6: Arizona, California, Nevada

Leslie James
Executive Director, Colorado River Energy Distributors Association, Arizona

Arlen Orchard
CEO & General Manager, SMUD, California

 

Region 7: Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee

Fred Clark
President/CEO, Alabama Municipal Electric Authority, Alabama

Jim Ferrell
President/CEO, Jackson Energy Authority, Tennessee

Decosta Jenkins
President & CEO, Nashville Electric Service, Tennessee

 

Region 8: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont

John Bilda
General Manager, Norwich Public Utilities, Connecticut

Bill Bottiggi
General Manager, Braintree Electric Light Department, Massachusetts

Andrew McMahon
Superintendent, Town of Massena, New York

 

Region 9: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington

Ron Skagen
Commissioner, Douglas County PUD, Washington

Steve Wright
General Manager, Chelan PUD, Washington

 

Region 10: American Samoa, Guam, Canada, Marianas, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands

John Benavente
General Manager, Guam Power Authority, Guam