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CEO retires abruptly at Pahrump-based Valley Electric

Updated May 10, 2018 - 8:06 pm

The year of 2017 was marked as “historic” by the Valley Electric Association Inc.’s now former Chief Executive Officer Thomas Husted. With more than a decade at the cooperative’s helm, Husted announced he was vacating his post, effective immediately, via a letter to the board of directors at VEA.

Valley Electric put a news release out on Friday that the board of directors had received a letter from Husted announcing his retirement from the cooperative, effective immediately, to pursue other interests, stated John Maurer, president of the board of directors of the cooperative, in the release.

“The board is grateful for Mr. Husted’s contributions to the cooperative and wishes him the best,” said Maurer in the release. “Tom’s retirement announcement specifically mentions his confidence in the future of the co-op and the co-op’s executive leadership. I could not agree with that sentiment more.”

Maurer also announced that Angela Evans has been appointed as interim CEO of the cooperative by the board. Evans joined the cooperative in 2017 as executive vice president of operations and has served as acting COO of Valley Electric in the past.

Husted gave no warning of his departure during the cooperative’s annual meeting on April 28. Valley Electric has not yet offered any direction on future plans for the cooperative or any immediate changes that could occur due to Husted’s departure.

The Pahrump Valley Times received information on Friday that Husted announced his retirement. After contacting the cooperative, a written statement was released confirming the move.

Husted has been the CEO of Valley Electric for more than a decade. Bloomberg marked his leadership role starting in 2006.

Husted also has more than three decades of experience in the utility industry in the Western U.S. and over two decades as a CEO, Bloomberg noted.

Husted was named the Small Utility CEO of the year by Electric Light & Power, a nationwide energy trade publication, during his time at Valley.

Annual meeting

The cooperative’s annual meeting was chock-full of member-owners who listened to Husted’s positive report on the co-op’s financials and future growth. Still, Husted made no mention of his departure.

Husted spoke about the just over $60 million in net margins or profits during 2017 – which reached far past 2016’s $644,496 net margins notated in the cooperative’s 2017 annual report. That profit level was mostly due to the sale of VEA’s 230-kilovolt transmission assets to Gridliance Holdco in September 2017, the report noted.

Also under Husted’s time as CEO in 2017, growth in the cooperative’s fiber-optic network also grew. VEA noted there were 7,180 broadband subscribers by the end of 2017, an increase of nearly 4,500 from the start of 2017.

The Pahrump Valley Times attempted to contact Husted through phone numbers it obtained through an online search but have been unsuccessful as of the time of this writing.

This is a developing story, check back for updates.

Contact reporter Jeffrey Meehan at jmeehan@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

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