Community Engagement

Public power leadership changes and accomplishments

Bear Prairie appointed GM of Idaho Falls Power; Jackie Flowers to lead Tacoma Public Utilities

The Idaho Falls City Council voted unanimously to appoint Bear Prairie as the new general manager of Idaho Falls Power during the June 28 city council meeting. 

Prairie has worked for Idaho Falls Power since 2010 where he has served as the assistant general manager. In his role as assistant general manager, Prairie helped manage the daily operation of Idaho Falls Power’s four hydroelectric dams, 450 miles of distribution lines and service to over 28,000 customers including a fiber optic communication business.  He was also responsible for the utility’s long rage power supply planning, power operations, resource development and risk management. Prairie started his career in energy at the Idaho Power Company in Boise.

Prairie will take over control of Idaho Falls Power from the public power utility’s current General Manager, Jackie Flowers, who is departing to assume leadership of Washington state-based Tacoma Public Utilities. Her last day with Idaho Falls Power will be July 20, 2018.

The TPU Board in May 2018 voted unanimously to begin negotiations with Flowers, who will serve as the next director of TPU.

Flowers has served as the general manager of Idaho Falls Power since 2006, overseeing operations similar to those at TPU, including hydropower generation, power supply, power transmission and distribution, energy efficiency, engineering, operations technology, fiber optic networks, and traffic signalization. She has more than 25 years of utility experience.

Officers elected to Energy Northwest Executive Board

The Energy Northwest Executive Board elected officers at a public meeting in late June in in Portland, Ore.

Sid Morrison will continue in his role as chair of the board, Jack Janda will continue to serve as vice chair, Linda Gott will serve as board secretary and Terry Brewer will serve as assistant secretary. All will serve one-year terms.

Morrison has served on the executive board since 2001. Janda has served on the executive board since 2005 and on the Mason County Public Utility District 1 board of commissioners since 2001. Gott has served on the executive board since 2014 and on the Mason County Public Utility District 3 board of commissioners since 1999. Brewer was recently elected to the executive board with his term beginning in June 2018. He has served on the Grant County Public Utility District board of commissioners since 2006.

The executive board has 11 members; five elected from the board of directors, three appointed by the board of directors from outside Energy Northwest and the remaining three appointed by the governor of Washington. The executive board sets the policies that govern the operations of the organization.

MISO board elects Phyllis Currie as board chair

The Midcontinent Independent System Operator board of directors on June 21 unanimously elected Director Phyllis Currie chair of the board. Currie, a former public power utility executive who has served on the MISO board since 2016, replaces retiring chair Michael Curran, who will retire as director when his term expires at the end of 2018.

Currie served as general manager of Pasadena Water and Power from 2001 to 2015. During a 30-year career with the city of Los Angeles, Currie held the positions of chief financial officer for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, assistant city administrative officer overseeing development of the city’s annual operating and capital budgets and director of the Los Angeles rent control program.

Currie serves as MISO’s Audit & Finance Committee chair and is a member of the System Planning Committee and the Corporate Governance & Strategic Planning Committee.

She served on the Electricity Advisory Committee of the Department of Energy from 2015 to 2017 and is currently an executive consultant for Hometown Connections doing strategic planning for electric and water utilities in California.

Additionally, Currie is on the board of directors of Grid Alternatives and the Association of Women in Water, Energy and the Environment, and a member of Pasadena Rotary.