Electric Light & Power names CEOs of the Year

ceos of the year mug elp

(Robert Grimm, left and Alaska Power & Telephone employees Bill Squires and Tom Ervin, near AP&T’s Kasidaya Falls Hydro facility.)

Electric Light & Power magazine (EL&P), which has covered the utility industry comprehensively since 1922, searched all of North America seeking candidates for large and small utility CEOs of the Year.

The two honorees certainly span the expansive continent, from the Arctic north to the U.S. Central Plains region. Terry Bassham, who guides Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) and its holding company, Great Plains Energy, was named EL&P's Large Utility CEO of the Year, while Alaska Power & Telephone's (AP&T) Robert Grimm won the honor for leaders of small utilities.

"Although Mr. Bassham and Mr. Grimm serve in dissimilar geographical areas, each with different and unique challenges and opportunities, they have many things in common, including their ability to grow their companies, increase revenues, motivate their employees, improve their utilities' environmental stewardship and better serve their customers and communities," said Teresa Hansen, editor in chief of Electric Light & Power magazine.

"Mr. Bassham, who began his career with KCP&L in 2005 as the company's chief financial officer, became KCP&L's CEO in 2013. He was instrumental in Great Plains Energy's acquisition of Aquila (Missouri electric utility), which now is part of KCP&L. Before and since becoming CEO, he played a key role in uniting employees and creating one cohesive utility. Mr. Grimm has been with AP&T for more than 45 years and became the utility's CEO in 1989. He has focused much of his energy on expanding the company, raising its total assets from $6 million when he took over as CEO to more than $122 million today."

Bassham won in the category for North American utilities with 400,000 customers or more. KCP&L serves more than 800,000 customers in 47 northwest Missouri and eastern Kansas counties with a service area covering 18,000 square miles.

Grimm won among CEOs of utilities with fewer than 400,000 customers. AP&T, which started as a small regional provider in 1957, has grown to serve most of the largest state in the U.S., from the edge of the Arctic Circle to the southern shores.

Both utilities are known for their efforts to shift from fossil fuel-fired generation to renewable sources. KCP&L is closing coal-fired generation units and installing electric vehicle charging stations system-wide, while the Alaskan utility is continuing its historic transition from mainly diesel generators to hydropower and even some solar and wind.

Hansen will present the CEO of the Year awards Feb. 8, 2016, in Orlando during the Electric Light & Power Executive Conference and DistribuTECH Awards Dinner at the Hyatt Regency. The Executive Conference kicks off the week's DistribuTECH Conference and Exhibition, the nation's largest annual event for the smart grid and electric transmission and distribution sectors, running Feb. 9-11 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. A feature article about Grimm and Bassham will appear in the January-February issue of Electric Light & Power and on www.elp.com.

About PennWell

PennWell, the Tulsa-based parent company of Electric Light & Power magazine (www.elp.com), has been known for providing comprehensive coverage of several strategic markets since 1910. Today PennWell Corp. is a highly diversified, business-to-business media and information company with 320 profit centers, including 130 print and online magazines and newsletters, 60 conferences and exhibitions on six continents, and an extensive offering of books, maps, websites, research products, digital media and database services.

For more information about the Electric Light & Power Utility CEOs of the Year, Executive Conference (www.elpconference.com) or to schedule an interview with Editor in Chief Teresa Hansen, please call Senior Editor Rod Walton at 918-831-9177 or email Rod at rwalton@pennwell.com

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