Colin Hansen, who is currently Executive Director of Kansas Municipal Utilities (KMU), will be joining Kansas Power Pool (KPP) effective Feb. 1, 2022 as KPP’s new CEO and General Manager.
Hansen will succeed current KPP CEO and General Manager Mark Chesney, who announced his retirement for the end of January 2022.
KPP was founded in 2004 to pool generation resources and services in order to maintain low-cost power supply to community-owned electric utilities.
Hansen will serve as KPP’s third general manager.
“The opportunity to have Colin Hansen assume KPP’s leadership reins, was too good to be true,” said Gus Collins, KPP’s Board Chairman. “Colin watched the formation of KPP and has supported the growth of the organization. His knowledge of the KPP membership and the utility space in Kansas and nationally is unmatched. We know good things are in store for the KPP membership with Colin Hansen’s leadership.”
At the same time, Collins noted that Chesney “has built upon the foundation laid by Colin Whitley and has grown KPP’s service offerings and financial capabilities tremendously. Under Mark’s leadership, KPP has embarked upon transformational projects with the addition of Dogwood, the Solomon Battery Storage Project, EV deployment and new transmission build and upgrades.”
“Colin’s dedication to public power at both the national level and in Kansas, along with his impressive record of accomplishments while serving as Executive Director of KMU, make him the perfect choice to serve as the next CEO and General Manager of KPP and to build upon Mark Chesney’s incredible work,” said Joy Ditto, President and CEO of the American Public Power Association (APPA).
“Having worked closely with Colin through his roles as a member of the APPA Advisory Committee, the APPA board and now as board chair, I have seen firsthand how deeply Colin cares about the public power community. I know that he will bring that same sense of mission to KPP and succeed as a leader, just as he has done at KMU for so many years,” Ditto said. “Since Colin has moved to another APPA member in good standing, he can also stay on as board chair in his new role at KPP. This is great news for all of us given his excellent leadership in that capacity.”
Hansen’s Legacy At KMU
Hansen has served in the role of KMU’s Executive Director for nearly 22 years.
Under Hansen’s leadership, KMU grew more than 10-fold in size and scale and built the KMU Training Center, a world-class utility training facility dedicated to workforce development for municipal utilities.
Hansen transitioned the association from being 90% dues-funded to diversify its income streams to allow for greater programmatic offerings to its member cities.
He oversaw the purposeful growth of the expanding technical and safety training opportunities for electric and natural gas utilities while dedicating new resources to enhance water and wastewater training and programming for member cities. During his tenure, Hansen coalesced the public power utility community to support more robust legislative and regulatory initiatives.
“Colin is going to be sorely missed at KMU,” said Barry Hodges, President, KMU Board of Directors. “Fortunately, he is not straying from Kansas and the municipal utility community. Under Colin’s leadership, KMU is well-positioned to continue providing top-shelf services to KMU member cities via a great staff. We thank Colin for everything he has done for the municipal utility community over the last two decades and wish him well in his new endeavor.”
“KMU has meant the world to me -- the member cities and staff are family,” said Hansen. “The progress we have made together in support of community-owned utilities will be some of the proudest achievements of my career. The concept of a joint action agency, unique to municipal utilities, has always interested me and I look forward to serving the municipal utility community in this new endeavor in power supply and transmission,” he said.
He has many other notable achievements during his tenure at KMU including being appointed by a Kansas Governor to Chair the Kansas Energy Council and also serving as Chair for Public Power Inc., Midwest Municipal Utilities, and the APPA Legislative and Resolutions Committee.
He was appointed to committees and task forces on electric, natural gas, water and telecommunications issues by four separate Kansas governors.
During the search process for the new KMU Executive Director, the organization will continue to be spearheaded by the KMU Executive Committee and KMU’s senior staff including Brad Mears, Assistant Executive Director, Brian Meek, Director of Training and Safety, and Katie Miller, Director of Technical Services. Kimberly Gencur Svaty will continue legislative and regulatory work with the municipal utility community.