Powering Strong Communities

David Osburn Installed as Chair of APPA’s Board of Directors

David Osburn, general manager of the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority in Edmond, Oklahoma, on June 21 was installed as the new chair of the American Public Power Association’s Board of Directors at APPA’s National Conference in Seattle, Washington.

Osburn was introduced at the conference’s closing general session by the Board’s outgoing chair, Tony Cannon, general manager and CEO of Greenville Utilities Commission in Greenville, North Carolina.

In his speech, Osburn spoke of his relationship with public power, referencing his first position in Crawfordsville, Indiana, as the place where he fell in love with public power. Speaking about his time there, Osburn said, “I learned what it’s like to be part of a community.”

Describing his vision for the coming year as chair, Osburn emphasized the need for public power to “celebrate the past but focus on the future.” He cited examples of service through innovation at the City of Comanche (900 meters), which installed a DC fast EV charger to demonstrate its commitment to innovation, and Ponca City (16,000 meters), which introduced free citywide WiFi, as well as the Northern California Power Agency, a joint action agency with 14 members, which leveraged an APPA Demonstration of Energy Efficiency and Developments program grant to research green hydrogen production, generation, and storage.

In reference to their respective initiatives and projects, Osburn said, “These are…public power systems, big and small, being progressive.”

Osburn also urged members to make use of their APPA memberships. He noted the value of DEED program grants in facilitating innovation among DEED members, which then benefits all of public power.

Osburn has been with OMPA since 2007, and he has served on APPA’s Board of Directors for eight years, from 2004 through 2007 and continuously since 2018. He was appointed Vice Chair of the Board of Directors in 2021. Osburn has also served on APPA’s Executive Committee, Awards Committee, Business Planning Committee, Strategic Planning Committee, CEO Climate Change and Generation Policy Committee.

APPA Names 2023-2024 Officers

Nicholas Lawler, general manager of Littleton Electric Light and Water Departments in Littleton, Massachusetts, is chair-elect for 2023-2024.

John Haarlow, CEO and general manager of Snohomish County PUD in Everett, Washington, is vice chair. Tony Cannon, general manager and CEO of Greenville Utilities Commission in Greenville, North Carolina, is immediate past chair. Layne Burningham, president and CEO of Utah Municipal Power Agency in Spanish Fork, Utah, is treasurer.   

Osburn chose five members of the board to serve with the officers on the APPA Executive Committee. They are: Daniel Beans, electric utility director of Roseville Electric Utility in Roseville, California; Chuck Bryant, general manager of Carthage Water and Electric Plant in Carthage, Missouri; Jonathan Hand, executive director of Electric Cities of Alabama in Montgomery, Alabama; Thomas Kent, president and CEO of Nebraska Public Power District in Columbus, Nebraska; and Michael Peters, president and CEO of WPPI Energy in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin.  

Newly elected to the APPA board this year are: Rosemary Henry, executive director of the Wyoming Municipal Power Agency in Lusk, Wyoming; Stephen Morrison, director of utilities for the Borough of Ephrata, Pennsylvania; and Amy Zubaly, executive director of the Florida Municipal Electric Association in Tallahassee, Florida.

Seven board members were re-elected to new three-year terms: Chuck Bryant, electric superintendent of Carthage Water and Electric Plant in Carthage, Missouri; Bret Carroll, chief executive officer of Conway Corporation in Conway, Arkansas; Edward Gerak, executive director of the Irrigation and Electrical Districts Association in Phoenix, Arizona; David Leathers, general manager of the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities in Jamestown, New York; Gary Miller, general manager of Bryan Texas Utilities in Bryan, Texas; Debra Smith, CEO and general manager of Seattle City Light in Washington; and Lynne Tejeda, general manager and CEO of Keys Energy in Key West, Florida.

APPA board members are chosen to represent 10 regions across the country.