Community Engagement

SMUD's Orchard to retire, Gibson next GM of CU, Reimers selected as TID GM

SMUD’s Orchard to retire in August 2020

SMUD Chief Executive Officer Arlen Orchard is retiring after almost 30 years at SMUD. He announced his intention to retire in August 2020 on Tuesday. 

The SMUD Board of Directors appointed Orchard CEO in April 2014 after a national search. Orchard joined SMUD in 1990 as a staff attorney and served as General Counsel from 2003 until his appointment as CEO. 

During Orchard’s tenure, SMUD’s electric rates were among the lowest in California while ensuring high service reliability for its customers, SMUD said, adding that on Orchard’s watch, environmental leadership around climate change has been a high priority.

SMUD’s $7 billion integrated resources plan lays out an aggressive path to dramatically reduce both SMUD’s and the region’s carbon footprint over the next 20 years, including nearly $2 billion of local investments in transportation and building electrification, and almost $3 billion of local investments in renewable energy and battery storage.  

Gibson to become next GM of City Utilities of Springfield

Gary Gibson will become the next General Manger for City Utilities of Springfield, Mo. He presently the Associate General Manger for Customer Operations and Communications at CU.

Gibson is expected to begin his new duties mid-December following the previously announced retirement of current General Manager Scott Miller.

Gibson has been employed with City Utilities for 28 years and has served in numerous leadership and management roles in multiple areas of the utility.

Reimers selected as TID General Manager

Michelle Reimers has been selected by the Turlock Irrigation District (TID) Board of Directors to succeed Casey Hashimoto as General Manager on January 2, 2020.

Reimers, who is serving as TID’s Assistant General Manager of External Affairs and has been with the District for 14 years, was selected after an extensive nationwide search that began in August.

Elevated to Assistant General Manager in September 2016, Reimers has been responsible for customer service and consumer programs, directed state and federal legislative and regulatory efforts, and led all communications and brand management for TID.

One of her most pressing projects has been assisting on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission relicensing of the Don Pedro Project. She has also been instrumental developing a strategy for a voluntary agreement with the State of California, TID said.

Kincheloe to retire as president and GM of MPUA

Duncan Kincheloe, President and General Manager of the Missouri Public Utility Alliance (MPUA), announced plans to retire from that position effective August 1 of next year.

Kincheloe has served since 1999 as the first CEO of MPUA and its organizations’ joint operations. His role includes chief executive responsibilities for the Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission, the Municipal Gas Commission of Missouri, the Missouri Association of Municipal Utilities, and Board Chair of the MPUA Resource Services Corporation.

Kincheloe will continue to manage various assignments on a part-time basis for up to a year after his retirement, including federal electricity policy matters and management of the MPUA Resource Services Corporation.

Before coming to lead MPUA in 1999, Kincheloe was employed as Director of Government Relations by the Electric Power Research Institute in Palo Alto, California. He had previously served as Director of Policy in the Missouri Governor’s Office, as Commissioner of the Missouri Public Service Commission, and as Missouri’s Associate Attorney General.

He is currently an officer on the Boards of the Prairie State Energy Campus, Hometown Connections Incorporated, and the Transmission Access Policy Study Group (TAPS).

AMP announces promotions, new senior VP of Power Supply Operations and Energy Marketing

American Municipal Power Inc. (AMP) announced that Andrew Blair has been promoted to vice president of financial planning and analysis.

In his new role, Blair will oversee the operations of the debt management and power settlement groups and will also be responsible for coordinating the development of annual budgets for all AMP projects and business activities.

Blair joined AMP in 1987 as a power dispatcher and has worked in operations and engineering, including at the Richard H. Gorsuch Generating Station. Blair’s 30-year career with AMP spans various positions and disciplines. He was promoted to assistance vice president of financial planning and analysis in 2013.

AMP also promoted Tom Sillasen to assistant vice president of energy accounting and reporting. Sillasen joined AMP in 2008 as member finance and accounting analyst after previously working for the City of Columbus Department of Taxation. Sillasen moved to the Energy Settlement Operations department in 2010.

AMP also announced that Paul Beckhusen has joined AMP as senior vice president of power supply operations and energy marketing.

Beckhusen brings years of public power experience to AMP, having previously served as general manager to the Michigan South Central Power Agency and as director for the Coldwater Board of Public Utilities. In addition, he served as a member of the AMP Board of Trustees from 2006 to 2019, and as a member of the American Public Power Association Board of Directors from 2011 to 2014.

Meanwhile, Jeff Brediger, director of utilities for the City of Orrville, was elected chair of the 21-member AMP Board of Trustees during the 2019 AMP/OMEA Annual Conference in Columbus. During the board’s annual reorganizational meeting other officers elected included Vice Chair: Robert Patrick, Wadsworth public service director; Secretary: Kevin Maynard, Bryan director of utilities; Treasurer: Patrick McCullar, Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation president/CEO.

Brediger has served as a member of the AMP Board of Trustees since 2009, chairing key committees and serving as an officer. He succeeds chair Steve Dupee, who will remain as a member of the Board representing Wellington. The Board chair’s role is subject to a five-year term limit.

KUA board elects officers; Van Meter sworn in for new term

The Kissimmee Utility Authority board of directors welcomed a returning board member and held its annual election of officers in early October.

Jeanne Van Meter, a retired realtor and former Kissimmee city commissioner, took the oath of office to begin a new five-year term on the board. She was appointed to the board in 2011 to complete the unfinished term of director Jim Kasper, who had resigned for health reasons. Van Meter’s new term will expire on Sept. 30, 2024.

In the election of officers, Kathleen Thacker was elected board chairman. She is a retired 30-year employee of Orange County Public Schools, and currently serving her final year on the board.

In addition, the board elected: Vice Chairman: Ethel Urbina; Secretary: Manny Ortega; Assistant Secretary: Rae Hemphill; and Director: Van Meter.

MMWEC hires new energy efficiency program manager

Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company (MMWEC), the joint action agency for municipal utilities in Massachusetts, has added a new energy efficiency program manager to its Emerging Technologies team. Joseph Coles, who has 30 years of experience with energy efficiency programs, joined the MMWEC staff October 16.

Over the past 12 years, Coles worked with CLEAResult Consulting and Applied Proactive Technologies implementing energy efficiency programs on behalf of large utility companies in several states, including Florida public power utility JEA.