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AMP Honors Organization’s Significant Contributors with Wall of Fame Inductions

Published on: 04/22/2013

COLUMBUS: American Municipal Power, Inc. (AMP) added five individuals to the AMP Wall of Fame last week. The Wall of Fame was established in 2011 to honor those individuals who through their dedication have made significant contributions to AMP, the Ohio Municipal Electric Association (OMEA) and public power.

The 2013 honorees are: Ken Hegemann (St. Marys, OH), Lyle Wright (Bowling Green, OH deceased), Mayor Art Magee (Hubbard, OH deceased), Mayor R. Bruce Kidston (Pioneer, OH deceased), and Joe Mattaliano (Philippi, WV deceased).

“As you look back at the more than 40 year history of AMP and the over 50 years of history for the OMEA, there are hundreds of people who have made a mark on the organizations,” AMP President/CEO Marc Gerken said. “But there are those individuals who stand out due to the significance of their efforts and the contributions they have made to our growth and success. It is those individuals that we honor with inclusion on the Wall of Fame.”

Ken Hegemann – To a very large degree, the names AMP and Hegemann are synonymous. Ken worked for the city of St. Marys, Ohio for 17 years, serving as safety service director. During that time he served on both the OMEA and AMP Boards, serving as President of the OMEA Board from 1972 to 1973 and Chair of the AMP Board from 1982 to 1984. He was named President of then AMP-Ohio in 1987, a position he held until his retirement in 2000. His tenacity and commitment to public power built the organization and continue to influence it today. Under his leadership AMP pioneered the joint venture concept, created the on-behalf-of financing program, served its first non-Ohio member, and brought online the Belleville Hydroelectric Plant, the Richard H. Gorsuch Generating Station and the organization’s distributed generation resources.

Lyle B. Wright worked for Bowling Green Municipal Utilities, eventually becoming the city’s director of utilities. He served on both the AMP and OMEA Boards, serving as President of the OMEA Board from 1981 to 1982. He became secretary of the AMP Board in 1983 and served in that position until his death in 1986. He played an important role in the reorganization that took place in the mid-1980s formally separating and defining the duties of AMP and OMEA – AMP focusing on power supply and trade association functions and OMEA as the legislative liaison for AMP and Ohio municipal electric systems. In 1987, the AMP Board voted to pay him tribute by establishing the Lyle B. Wright Scholarship, which continues to assist high school seniors in AMP communities further their education.

Art Magee served as mayor of the City of Hubbard, Ohio from 1974-1983 and then again from 2003-2009. He was the early voice of elected officials in AMP’s efforts to advocate for improved transmission access, a critical effort to the success of member power supply planning. During his second term as Mayor, he served on the OMEA Board of Directors bringing his strong commitment to public power and political instincts and contributing greatly to the success of the organization’s efforts.

Bruce Kidston served as a member of Pioneer Village Council from 1966 until 1975 when he was appointed Mayor, a position he held for nearly 20 years. Bruce was a strong advocate of public power, active with both AMP and OMEA. It was through his efforts that Ohio Municipal Electric Generation Agency Joint Venture 4 was formed, creating a transmission line that serves as a second delivery point for Williams County (Ohio) municipal electric systems and providing service to the village of Holiday City. Bruce served as President of the OMEA Board from 1990 to 1996, and his leadership helped move the organization to being on the offensive, after years of being on the defensive.

Joe Mattaliano worked for the City of Philippi, West Virginia for 37 years as City Clerk and the City Manager and previously served as a member of the West Virginia State Legislature. A tireless promoter of the city and of public power, Joe saw the need for joint action in a state that only had two municipal electric systems. Due largely to his efforts, AMP expanded outside of Ohio for the first time in 1996 when Philippi became the 78th member of the organization. The now seven state footprint of AMP is a tribute to Joe’s efforts.

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    AMP’s Board of Trustees and executive management recognized the 2013 AMP Wall of Fame inductees following the Board meeting April 17. Spouses and family members of inductees were on hand to share in the celebration. Pictured (from left) are: Village of Pioneer Mayor Ed Kidston, son of the late Bruce Kidston; Ken Hegemann, 2013 honoree; Marilyn Wright, wife of the late Lyle Wright; AMP President/CEO Marc Gerken; and Joe Magee, son of the late Art Magee.