AWE Boardmember Julie Parsley Named One of Austin’s Best CEOs

ABJ Staff – Austin Business Journal – Oct. 3, 2019

Imagine in your mind’s eye a Central Texas nonprofit — do you think of an electrical utility providing power to thousands of customers spread across the Hill Country?

Perhaps not. But Pedernales Electric Cooperative Inc. is a nonprofit, and a successful one at that. It serves more than 320,000 accounts and provides electricity to more than 1 million residents. Since Julie Caruthers Parsley took over as CEO in late 2017, PEC has added more than 14,000 meters.

PEC is the largest distribution electric cooperative in the United States, and one of the country’s fastest-growing electric cooperatives. For some context of Pedernales’ size, consider that it had more than 700 employees in 2017. As of 2018, PEC had more than $1.7 billion in plant assets and posted a net margin of more than $60 million. Total revenue topped $638 million.

Parsley hasn’t simply been content with the status quo at PEC. She made over the nonprofit’s executive team, eliminating silos to foster more collaboration. To create more transparency she hired an executive vice president role to oversee public affairs, communications, community engagement and legislative affairs.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT THE AUSTIN BUSINESS JOURNAL »

New CEO takes over at Hill Country power provider Pedernales, one of nation’s largest co-ops

Pedernales Electric Cooperative Inc., the Johnson City-based electricity provider that supplies swaths of the Hill Country and Austin suburbs with power, has a new CEO — the first woman to hold the post in the organization’s nearly 80-year history.

The nonprofit co-op’s board of directors voted Oct. 26 to name JulieParsley as chief executive. She was previously a partner at Parsley Coffin Renner LLP, an Austin law firm specializing in utility regulations, with a focus on energy issues in Texas and the Southwestern United States.

She is also a former commissioner of Texas’ Public Utility Commission and a former solicitor general of Texas. She is board certified in civil appellate law and was an adjunct professor at the University of Texas School of Law.

Parsley replaces John Hewa, who resigned in May after a dispute with the board that included allegations of racism.

“We’re confident we have found the leader who provides great value to the cooperative’s membership and will honor PEC’s rich tradition and history,” Emily Pataki, president of the Pedernales board, said in a statement.

Separately, Pataki has just been selected by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick as his choice for the public member appointed to the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission, which reviews agencies scheduled to be abolished by the Texas Sunset Act. Pataki is also a board member of Atec Inc., and the Association of Women in Energy.

READ MORE AT THE AUSTIN BUSINESS JOURNAL »

In Remembrance of Karen R. Johnson

One of our esteemed AWE Board Members, Karen R. Johnson, passed away on June 5, 2016.  She was a devoted wife, loving mother, caring mentor, and dear friend to many.

Karen was a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and St. Mary’s Law School, and she served in many roles throughout her forty-year career opening doors to young women serving as a “first” in leadership positions, including President of the Travis County Bar Association (first elected woman) and Executive Director of the State Bar of Texas (first woman chosen).  She was also a member of the Texas State Bar Board of Directors (serving on the Executive Committee), special assistant in the Texas Governor’s Office, Assistant Comptroller for Bob Bullock (holding many leadership positions in that office), President of Entergy Texas, Executive Director and CEO of United Way of Texas, and CEO of Power Across Texas.  She served as a board member for many professional organizations including the Electric Power Research Institute, Power Across Texas, Texas State History Museum Foundation, Care International, Global Impact, and of course, our own, Association of Women in Energy.

To say she was a trail blazer and an empowered leader is an understatement. Her laugh, her smile, her quick wit, and her eager willingness to serve others, in both her professional and personal life, will be greatly missed.  Though words cannot express our sense of loss in the passing of our friend, we all have many great memories of her, and we know that Heaven has opened its doors to another great Texan.

El Paso Electric Appoints Mary Kipp as CEO

Mary Kipp, El Paso Electric Co.
Mary Kipp, El Paso Electric Co.

EL PASO, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The El Paso Electric Company (EPE) (NYSE:EE) Board of Directors announces that Mary Kipp, President of EPE, has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), today, December 15, 2015.

Thomas V. Shockley, who has served as CEO for EPE since 2012, has fulfilled his contract and will continue to play a vital role as a Board member. Shockley has been instrumental in positioning EPE as an industry leader and establishing succession planning that promotes local leadership and diversity, as he looks forward to the future of EPE.

“As a native of this region, Mary understands the diverse community we serve and the future needs of this region,” says Shockley. “She values the importance of working with and developing our talented employees who continue to provide our customers with safe and reliable energy. During her time here, Mary has proven her leadership and commitment to our unique region, and understands the need to foster strong economic development and growth. As she takes on this new role, I am confident that she will continue to enhance the Company’s performance in order to best serve our customers.”

Mary Kipp was born in El Paso and raised in southern New Mexico. Kipp has been with EPE since December 2007, and has overseen several departments at the Company.

“I am extremely honored to step into this role and continue on the path that Tom has set to lead El Paso Electric into a successful future,” said Mary Kipp, President of El Paso Electric. “We are dedicated to the success and well-being of our service area, in which we all work and serve. We continue to plan ahead for the exciting growth and innovation that we are experiencing, and as EPE invests in cost-effective new technologies we are ensuring that we meet our region’s future needs.”

Background:

Prior to joining the Company, Kipp was a senior attorney in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Enforcement in Washington, DC.

Kipp received a Bachelor of Arts cum laude from Williams College, a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Texas School of Law, and is an alumnus of Exeter College, University of Oxford. She is a member of the Texas Bar (1994) and Colorado Bar (2002). Kipp is active in numerous community organizations, including the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, El Paso branch (Board of Directors), Borderplex Binational Economic Alliance (Leadership Group), Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce (Board of Directors), Executive Women in Energy, the Women Corporate Directors Greater New Mexico Chapter, and the Sun Bowl Association (Board of Directors).

El Paso Electric is a regional electric utility providing generation, transmission and distribution service to approximately 400,000 retail and wholesale customers in a 10,000 square mile area of the Rio Grande valley in west Texas and southern New Mexico. El Paso Electric has a net dependable generating capability of 2,010 MW.

Power Matters Conference debuts in Omaha Oct. 14

Professional women in energy meet to discuss the value of diverse fuel resources

ConferenceSquare

Today’s energy industry is abuzz with debate over how to address climate change, increase the use of wind and solar, help customers generate their own electricity, and continue to provide enough power to keep industries and traffic lights operating twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

While energy issues are important to men and women alike, women are playing a strategic role in the conversations. Some of these women will be featured at an upcoming conference on Oct. 14 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Omaha.

Sponsored by the Association of Women in Energy, a national organization for professional women, the Power Matters Conference will debut with informational sessions about choices and challenges facing various fuel resources in the Midwest. Experts in the areas of renewables, nuclear, coal, the energy markets, environmental regulation and organizational leadership will headline the event. Speakers include executives from Exelon, Tenaska, The Energy Authority, Department of Energy, American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity and the American Public Power Association. An agenda and registration information can be found at www.awenergy.org.

“What is the future of coal and nuclear in producing electricity? What role does distributed generation play? How do regional markets work as our energy resources change? These are topics of interest to private and public energy businesses throughout the Midwest,” said AWE President Becky Motal. “Regardless the fuel source, those who generate, regulate, and market it have shared interest in how it affects our economy and our respective industries. The Power Matters Conference gives women and men the opportunity to gain knowledge on a broad spectrum of energy issues from recognized leaders shaping the energy debate.”

Rounding out the conference is motivational speaker Holly Hoffman, finalist in Season 21 of Survivor. Utility sponsors of the event include the Nebraska Public Power District, The Energy Authority and Tenaska Marketing Ventures. Other businesses can sponsor the event at www.awenergy.org .

“Power matters in this country,” said Motal. “AWE wants conference attendees to walk away inspired and to participate in the dialogue.”

MEDIA CONTACTS:


Jeanne Schieffer
Corporate Communications & PR Manager
Nebraska Public Power District
402.910.2313


Becky Motal
President
Association of Women in Energy
512.913.7067
becky@awenergy.net


Ex-LCRA manager thrives at nonprofit

becky-motal-photo*750xx1793-2390-60-0When Becky Motal announced her retirement as general manager of the Lower Colorado River Authority effective at the end of last year, most anybody who knew her likely had the same thought: This will never last. Sure enough, in February she was named president and chairman of the Association of Women in Energy, a relatively new nonprofit that aims to connect and unite women in the industry. And she’s got a consulting business. Some retirement.

“I’ve truly found a great interest in this from others in the industry” said Motal, who worked in a variety of capacities at the LCRA for more than 25 years. “It’s fun to be involved in the industry from a different perspective. So I’m staying really, really busy.”

Motal, 64, says her organization has about 500 active members, but “the potential is huge if we get the word out about the value we can create for our membership.”

All employees of companies that sponsor the association are automatically members. Roughly a dozen companies are sponsors; the group also has individual members that work for other entities. A key component of the nonprofit is to foster and encourage networking and information-sharing. Think of it, in part, as a sort of Facebook for female energy professionals. The organization was founded in 2010.

Anybody in the top job at the River Authority is bound to be criticized, and Motal got her share, including when the agency floated the idea of lowering Lake Austin’s level 2 to 4 feet to catch rainwater during this cursed drought. Homeowners said such a move would destroy their property values. So what does she miss?

“I really miss the policy discussions because there’s so much going on in the state relating to water and energy,” she said. “It’s real hard to make it rain. (Current General Manager) Phil Wilson has a tough job.”

CONTACT PATRICK BEACH AT 512-445-3603.

PBEACH@STATESMAN.COM