Several key leaders who have made significant contributions to public power were recently honored at the Utah Associated Municipal Systems (UAMPS) 2016 Member Meeting in Salt Lake City.

Jackie Flowers, chair of the UAMPS board, and Doug Hunter, CEO and general manager of UAMPS, presented the awards.

Honorees include:

  • Sen. Ralph Okerlund, Champion of Public Power. Okerlund served as a council member and mayor of Monroe City when many important and significant decisions related to UAMPS and public power were made. Okerlund also served as a Sevier County commissioner and currently serves as majority leader in the Utah Senate. The award acknowledges Okerlund’s many years of dedicated service to public power and public service.
  • Jackie Flowers, Distinguished Service Award. Flowers is general manager of Idaho Falls Power and serves as UAMPS board chair.  She has served on the UAMPS Board of Directors since 2010 and served as the Horse Butte Wind Project chair in 2014 and 2015. Flowers also serves as the local liaison for UAMPS in Idaho on the Carbon Free Power Project (CFPP).  Her hard work has helped UAMPS make significant progress on CFPP.  
  • A special award was presented to the family of Michael F. Peterson, who passed away Oct. 31, 2016. Peterson was the director of the Utah Rural Electric Association, serving the interests of electric co-ops and rural customers in Utah. He was a board member of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, and he worked with the Utah Legislature and congressional delegation. He also led youth leadership programs. The award was presented to Peterson’s wife, Sheri, and his son, Jeff.
  • Ken Tedford, mayor of Fallon, Nevada, Elected Official of the Year. Tedford has served as city council member and mayor since 1987. He has been a steadfast leader and supporter of public power and was instrumental in Fallon joining UAMPS. He has been dedicated to the City of Fallon, its citizens and businesses.
  • Paul Summers, Appointed Official of the Year. Summers has supported public power in his service on the Bountiful City Power Board for the last seven years, and as a member of the Weber Basin Board of Trustees. Both Bountiful and Weber Basin are UAMPS members. Summers spent 13 years with the Utah Department of Water Resources and also worked for 20 years as an engineering consultant.
  • Rick Madsen, Employee of the Year. Madsen is power superintendent for St. George City Energy Services and has worked for St. George for 30 years. He organized the 1st Annual Intermountain Power Superintendents Association Lineman’s Rodeo that attracted lineman competitors from around the West to the competition in St. George. Madsen has been a great leader for public power.
  • System Improvement Awards were presented to Payson City, Bountiful City, and Los Alamos County.
    • Payson made substantial improvements to its electrical system by moving several power lines from overhead to underground, upgrading underground feeders, changing transformers, and replacing old streetlamps with LED lighting.
    • Bountiful completely rebuilt a 1970s-era substation, significantly upgrading safety, reliability, capacity and emergency services. Bountiful also remodeled its office building to meet current building codes and include a new computer room for servers and electrical equipment.
    • Los Alamos County greatly improved its electrical system reliability, reducing outage times with a team approach. The system average interruption duration index dropped from 300 minutes in 2008-2009 to only 19 minutes in September 2016.

Presentations and speeches at the Member Meeting focused on UAMPS 2016 accomplishments; the challenges facing public power, including new technologies enabling distributed energy generation; regulatory issues; and continued investigation of a small modular nuclear reactor energy project. 

UAMPS officers include Jackie Flowers, general manager of Idaho Falls Power, as board chair; Jason Norlen, representing Heber Light & Power, as vice chair; Les Williams, representing Beaver City, as secretary; and Dwight Day, representing Oak City, as treasurer.

UAMPS is a joint action agency providing wholesale electricity and electric energy services to 47 public power utility members in seven western states. Established in 1980, UAMPS helps its members with planning, financing, development, acquisition, construction, operation and maintenance of various projects for the generation, supply, transmission and management of electric energy.