Powering Strong Communities

Twenty-two individuals, eleven utilities earn national public power awards

Twenty-two individuals and eleven utilities on June 22 were recognized for service to the American Public Power Association and the public power industry during APPA’s National Conference in Orlando, Florida. 

The individuals and utilities recognized at the ceremony were: 

Alex Radin Distinguished Service Award

This award is the highest award granted by the American Public Power Association. The award recognizes exceptional leadership and dedication to public power.

  • Hugh E. Grunden, P.E., President and CEO, Easton Utilities, Easton, Maryland
  • Coleman F. Smoak, Jr., Former General Manager, Piedmont Municipal Power Agency, Greer, South Carolina
APPA Board of Directors Chair and President and CEO, American Municipal Power, Jolene Thompson (L) and APPA Chair-Elect and Executive Director, Kansas Municipal Utilities, McPherson, Kansas, Colin Hansen (R), with Hugh Grunden

James D. Donovan Individual Achievement Award

This award recognizes people who have made substantial contributions to the electric utility industry, with a special commitment to public power. 

  • Michelle Bertolino, Electric Utility Director, Roseville Electric Utility, Roseville, California 
  • Mark Chesney, CEO/General Manager, Kansas Power Pool, Wichita, Kansas 
  • Marshall Empey, Chief Operations Officer, Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems, Salt Lake City, Utah 
  • Jack Kegel, Chief Executive Officer, Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association, Plymouth, Minnesota 

Larry Hobart Seven Hats Award

This award recognizes managers of small utilities serving fewer than 2,500 meters. These managers have a very small staff and must assume multiple roles.

  • Robert A. LaFave, Village Manager, Village of L’Anse Electric Utility, L’Anse, Michigan 
  • Jamie Lindstrom, Superintendent, Town of Argos, Indiana 
  • Joe Price, Village Administrator, Grafton Village Power & Light, Grafton, Ohio
  • Tim Stallard, Village Administrator, Village of Lucas Electric Utilities, Lucas, Ohio
  • Faith Willoughby, Town Manager, Town of Chalmers, Indiana 

Harold Kramer-John Preston Personal Service Award 

This award recognizes individuals for their service to the American Public Power Association.

  • Aaron K. Haderle, Manager of Transmission and Distribution Operations, Kissimmee Utility Authority, Kissimmee, Florida
  • Gregory A. Labbe, Electric Operations Manager, Lafayette Utilities System, Lafayette, Louisiana
  • Carter Manucy, IT/OT & Cybersecurity Director, Florida Municipal Power Agency, Orlando, Florida

Spence Vanderlinden Public Official Award

This award recognizes elected or appointed local officials who have contributed to the goals of the American Public Power Association.

  • Jason Bienski, Ex-Officio to the BTU Board of Directors, Bryan Texas Utilities, Bryan, Texas 
  • David Hagele, Chair, Northern California Power Agency; Councilmember & Former Mayor, City of Healdsburg, Healdsburg’s Electric Department, Healdsburg, California 
  • John R. Koelmel, Chair, New York Power Authority, White Plains, New York
  • Steve Leifson, Spanish Fork City Mayor | Utah Municipal Power Agency Board, Spanish Fork Power, Spanish Fork, Utah

Robert E. Roundtree Rising Star Award

This award is a scholarship presented to future leaders in public power. The recipient receives a stipend to travel to an Association conference or training program to advance their education and development in public power.

  • Vidhi Chawla, Assistant General Manager of Energy Resources Planning, Alameda Municipal Power, Alameda, California 

Mark Crisson Leadership and Managerial Excellence Award 

This award recognizes managers at a utility, joint action agency, or state or regional association who steer their organizations to new levels of excellence, lead by example, and inspire staff to do better.

  • Jeffery W. Feldt, General Manager, Kaukauna Utilities, Kaukauna, Wisconsin
  • William A. Johnson, General Manager, Kansas City Board of Public Utilities, Kansas City, Kansas
  • Paul E. McElroy, CEO and Managing Director (Retired), JEA Jacksonville, Florida

E.F. Scattergood System Achievement Award

This award honors American Public Power Association member systems with outstanding accomplishments.

  • Bristol Tennessee Essential Services, Bristol, Tennessee
  • Kaukauna Utilities, Kaukauna, Wisconsin 
  • Paducah Power System, Paducah, Kentucky 
  • City of Tallahassee Utilities, Tallahassee, Florida 

Sue Kelly Community Service Award

This award recognizes utilities for their "good neighbor" activities that demonstrate commitment to the local community.

  • EPB of Chattanooga, Tennessee 
  • Fayetteville PWC, Fayetteville, North Carolina
  • Kaukauna Utilities, Kaukauna, Wisconsin
  • Mason County Public Utility District No. 1, Shelton, Washington
  • City of Philippi, West Virginia 

Energy Innovator Award

The Association’s research program, Demonstration of Energy & Efficiency Developments (DEED), nurtures innovation in public power. Each year, the program recognizes innovative utility projects with this award.

  • OUC, Orlando, Florida 
  • Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency, Rochester, Minnesota
APPA Board of Directors Chair and President and CEO, American Municipal Power, Jolene Thompson (L) and APPA Chair-Elect and Executive Director, Kansas Municipal Utilities, McPherson, Kansas, Colin Hansen (R), with Sam Choi, OUC’s Manager of Emerging Technology & Renewables, and Clint Bullock, OUC GM & CEO