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Press Release

Twenty Individuals, Eight Utilities Win National Public Power Awards

Seattle, Washington, June 20, 2023 — Twenty individuals and eight utilities were recognized for service to the American Public Power Association and the public power industry during APPA’s National Conference in Seattle, Washington. 

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.

  • Jolene M. Thompson, President & CEO, American Municipal Power, Inc., Columbus, Ohio
  • Thomas J. Heller, President & Chief Executive Officer, Missouri River Energy Services, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

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. 

  • John M. Benavente, P.E., General Manager, Guam Power Authority, Barrigada, Guam
  • Mike Hummel, Retired CEO & General Manager, Salt River Project, Phoenix, Arizona
  • Bill Bottiggi, General Manager, Braintree Electric Light Department, Braintree, Massachusetts

Alan H. Richardson Statesmanship Award
This award recognizes public power leaders who work to achieve consensus on national issues important to public power utilities.

  • Ewell Lawson 

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.

  • Dale Detmer, Plant Operations Manager, City of Breese Utilities, Breese, Illinois
  • Kyle Francis, Assistant Village Administrator, Village of Versailles, Ohio
  • Barry Hodges, City Clerk/Administrator, City of Minneapolis, Kansas
  • Barry Baker, Electric and Water Superintendent, Town of Etna Green Electric Utility, Etna Green, Indiana
  • Jamie Jones, Assistant City Manager/Director of Utilities and Public Works, City of Newberry, Florida Utilities and Public Works Department, Newberry, Florida
  • Dennis J Klusmeyer, City Superintendent, City of Shelbina, Missouri

Harold Kramer-John Preston Personal Service Award 
This award recognizes individuals for their service to the American Public Power Association.

  • Cynthia Clemmons, Manager of Legislative & Regulatory Regulations, Lakeland Electric, Lakeland, Florida
  • Keith Cutshall, Chief Operations Officer, CDE Lightband, Clarksville, Tennessee
  • Srinivasa Venigalla, Deputy General Manager, Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, Fort Defiance, Arizona

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.

  • Janie Martinez Gonzalez, Board Chairman, CPS Energy, San Antonio, Texas
  • Will Purser, Retired Chairman EN Executive Board, Energy Northwest, Richland, Washington

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 APPA conference or training program to advance their education and development in public power.

  • Katie Arnold, Director of Business Services, Mason County Public Utility District No. 1, Shelton, Washington

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.

  • Dale Lythjohan, Retired General Manager, Cedarburg Light & Water Utility, Cedarburg, Wisconsin
  • Mike Muirhead, Director of Public Works and Utilities, City of Garden City, Garden City, Kansas

E.F. Scattergood System Achievement Award
This award honors American Public Power Association member systems with outstanding accomplishments.

  • CPS Energy, San Antonio, Texas
  • Shrewsbury Electric & Cable Operations, Shrewsbury, Massachusetts
  • Village of Yellow Springs, Ohio

Sue Kelly Community Service Award
This award recognizes utilities for their "good neighbor" activities that demonstrate commitment to the local community.

  • Austin Utilities, Austin, Minnesota
  • Blanding City, Utah
  • CDE Lightband, Clarksville, Tennessee
  • Kerrville Public Utility Board, Kerrville, Texas
  • Long Island Power Authority, Uniondale, New York

Energy Innovator Award
APPA’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.

  • New York Power Authority, White Plains, New York 
  • Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, Fort Defiance, Arizona
  • Stowe Electric Department, Stowe, Vermont