COLUMBUS, OH: The 2020 American Municipal Power, Inc. (AMP) Annual Conference was different from other annual meetings in the organization’s nearly 50-year history. Held virtually Sept. 22-23, the AMP Annual Conference continued to successfully provide public power officials with the educational sessions and industry-related insights that AMP members are accustomed to.
Following AMP President/CEO Jolene Thompson’s opening remarks on joint action and AMP’s upcoming 50-year anniversary, participants welcomed FERC Commissioner Richard Glick, PJM Interconnection President and CEO Manu Asthana, and Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) CEO John Bear for a panel discussion on FERC and Regional Transmission Organization issues.
Conference participants also heard from Kroger Corporation Vice President of R&D and Technology Transformation Wesley Rhodes, and Itron, Inc. Vice President of Product Marketing and Networked Solutions Ty Roberts. Rhodes and Roberts spoke about the many technological disruptions facing the public power industry, with a focus on how an organization can start to think, adopt and become innovative in the face of change.
U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (WV) provided attendees with an update on activities and issues in Congress. As a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works, Sen. Capito brings unique insight to the legislative discussions impacting public power.
The conference included sessions covering a number of topics and trends in the power industry – including updates on the energy and gas markets, strategies for working with bond rating agencies, economic development efforts and the annual federal legislative update. AMP thanks all of the speakers that participated in this year’s conference.
In addition to the many sessions and events, AMP held its general membership meetings during the two-day annual conference.
AMP At-Large Board Seats and Board Elections
During the AMP General Membership Meeting, elections were held for four expiring at-large AMP Board of Trustees seats. The AMP member communities of Cuyahoga Falls, Dover, Napoleon and Wellington, were re-elected to three-year terms.
Following the General Membership Meeting, the AMP Board of Trustees met to elect officers for the coming year. The following individuals were re-elected to leadership positions:
Chair – Jeff Brediger, City of Orrville
Vice Chair – Robert Patrick, City of Wadsworth
Secretary – Dave Carroll, City of Paducah
Treasurer – Patrick McCullar, DEMEC
AMP Wall of Fame Inductee Announced
Former AMP President/CEO Marc S. Gerken was announced as the 2021 honoree for the AMP Wall of Fame. Gerken began his career as a civil engineer working extensively in the public sector. He served as the city engineer in the AMP member community of Napoleon, and in 1995, was named the community’s city manager. In that capacity, Gerken served on the AMP Board of Trustees. He joined AMP in 1998 as vice president of business and operations and was named president/CEO in 2000, where he served until he retired in early 2020. Under his direction and vision, AMP experienced tremendous growth, expanding from 83 members in three states to 135 members in nine states.
Gerken launched the AMP Wall of Fame in 2010 in order to honor individuals who have who have left an indelible mark and made significant contributions to AMP and to public power in AMP member communities.
A formal induction ceremony will be held at a later date.
AMP Seven Hats Award
Timothy Stallard, village administrator and water/waste water supervisor for the Village of Lucas, received the prestigious AMP Seven Hats Award during the closing remarks and awards presentation on Sept. 23. Initiated in 1984 to recognize utility managers who serve smaller communities, the AMP Seven Hats Award is presented annually to an official in a community of less than 2,500 electric meters. Award winners show skill in seven areas: planning and design, administration, public relations, field supervision, accounting, personnel or employee direction, and community leadership.
Awards were also given to individuals and communities in the categories of electric system sustainability, innovation, public power promotion, safety and system improvement.