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Public power leadership changes and accomplishments

Mayor nominates Debra Smith to be Seattle City Light’s next GM and CEO

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and leaders from a search committee in August announced that Durkan has nominated public utility industry veteran Debra Smith to be the next general manager and CEO of Seattle City Light. Smith has 22 years of public utility experience in the Pacific Northwest. Since 2013, she has served as the general manager of Central Lincoln People’s Utility District, which provides electricity to residents of Oregon’s Central Coast. Prior to taking on the leadership role at Central Lincoln PUD, from 1996 to 2013 Smith served in a number of roles, including Assistant General Manager, at Eugene Water & Electric Board, a publicly-owned water and electricity utility. Jim Baggs currently serves as Seattle City Light’s interim general manager and CEO. Larry Weis resigned as CEO of Seattle City Light in late 2017.

Kristin Masteller named as new GM for Mason County PUD No. 1

The Board of Commissioners for Washington state’s Mason County Public Utility District No. 1 passed a resolution appointing Kristin Masteller as the new general manager. Masteller will be responsible for performing all Chief Administrative Officer duties for PUD 1. She replaces Steve Taylor, who had managed PUD 1 for eleven years. Taylor departed in August to become general manager at Okanogan PUD in Washington state. Masteller has worked for Mason PUD 1 since 2011 in several roles, most recently as the Director of Business Services overseeing the District’s administrative operations. Prior to starting with PUD 1, she worked in public hospital administration.

BPA appoints Michelle Manary as executive vice president and CFO

The Bonneville Power Administration has appointed Michelle Manary as executive vice president and chief financial officer starting Sept. 30. As CFO, she will oversee the capital and debt management program, accounting, cash management and budgeting for BPA’s $4.3 billion total budget. Manary is currently the vice president of Transmission Marketing and Sales, a position she has held since 2015. Manary started at BPA in 1998 as a financial analyst in Power Services where she led the development of a spending review, which is comparable to BPA’s current Integrated Program Review process. She became the manager of the Power finance group, ensuring spending targets were met for Power capital and expense. Manary went on to hold additional management positions in Transmission, Corporate Strategy and Power before landing in her current role.  Acting CFO Mary Hawken, who had announced her intent to retire, will return to her previous role as the deputy CFO and stay on through December to help with the transition. Tina Ko, the current acting deputy chief operating officer, will take over as acting vice president of Transmission Marketing and Sales until a formal announcement and selection take place.

Tom Roiniotis to retire from Longmont Power & Communications

Tom Roiniotis, the longtime general manager of Colorado’s Longmont Power & Communications who oversaw the creation of NextLight, will retire Sept. 28. Roiniotis has headed LPC since 1999. In that time, the city-owned utility has been repeatedly recognized as a Reliable Public Power Provider by the American Public Power Association, successfully weathered a devastating flood in 2013, and built out the award-winning NextLight fiber-optic internet service, LPC noted in a news release. Roiniotis also chairs the board of the Platte River Power Authority, the electric wholesale provider that is co-owned by Longmont, Loveland, Estes Park, and Fort Collins, and is a board member of the Longmont Economic Development Partnership. Prior to coming to Longmont, Roiniotis worked 18 years for Pacific Gas & Electric.

Florida Municipal Electric Association elects new officers

The Florida Municipal Electric Association elected new officers to preside over the organization’s board of directors. Assuming leadership roles at FMEA are President Joel Ivy, general manager for Lakeland Electric; President-elect Mike Poucher, utility director for Ocala Electric Utility; Vice President Allen Putnam, managing director of Beaches Energy Services in Jacksonville Beach; and Secretary-Treasurer James Braddock, director of support services and internal auditing for the City of Wauchula. The elections took place at the association’s annual meeting in July.

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