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Husted named small utility CEO of year

Valley Electric Association, Inc. announced this week Chief Executive Officer Tom Husted has been named the 2013 Small Utility CEO of the Year by Electric Light &Power, a nationwide energy trade publication. The award recognizes VEA’s rapid expansion and significant community contributions under Husted’s leadership.

“I believe this award reflects the substantial growth and success VEA has experienced in recent years, which would not have been possible without our hard-working and dedicated board of directors, staff and community partners,” Husted said. “It has been a fulfilling experience to serve as the CEO of VEA, and I would like to thank the community members who play such a critical role in our cooperative’s success.”

Electric Light &Power’s editors selected Husted from a wide variety of CEOs nominated by utilities, vendors and even utility customers across the nation. The publication spent a month evaluating nominees based on several factors, including profitability under the executive’s watch, utility reliability, employee support, customer satisfaction and community involvement. Husted was recognized in the small utility category, which included CEOs from companies with fewer than 400,000 customers.

Husted was chosen as a result of the unprecedented expansion VEA has experienced since he joined the cooperative as its CEO in 2006, said Teresa Hansen, managing editor of Electric Light &Power.

“Several good candidates with impressive track records were nominated for this award. The magazine’s editorial staff selected Mr. Husted because VEA has grown significantly in revenue, value, assets and workforce under his leadership, while keeping members’ electricity rates low,” Hansen said. “In addition, Mr. Husted has led several community-focused programs and charitable efforts, proving that he understands the importance of being not only a good company leader, but a leader in the community and state.”

Electric Light &Power presented Husted with the CEO of the Year Award at an awards dinner Jan. 27 at the publication’s executive conference in San Antonio, Texas. The January/February issue of the publication will include a feature about Husted’s history and success.

Husted has more than 30 years of experience in the utility industry, including more than 20 years as a CEO. Since Husted joined VEA as its top executive, the cooperative has significantly increased its workforce.

In fact, VEA expanded its number of employees by 38 percent between 2010 and October 2013. The cooperative also nearly doubled its assets from $159 million in 2008 to more than $314 million in 2013.

In 2012 alone, the cooperative won more than $100 million in new service contracts. These contracts, alongside other key efforts by VEA, have contributed to generating additional revenue and averting rate increases for the cooperative’s members.

Under Husted’s leadership, VEA recently completed the Northwest Transmission Loop Project, the largest capital expansion in the cooperative’s history.

In 2013, VEA became the first out-of-state utility to join the California Independent System Operator Corporation (CAISO) balancing authority, which maximizes the utilization of VEA’s assets and opens the door to a host of new renewable energy projects in southwestern Nevada.

“Tom is simply not satisfied with maintaining the status quo, and he has been instrumental in establishing VEA as an innovative energy leader that promotes valuable economic development opportunities for the region,” said John Maurer, president of VEA’s board of directors. “We have no doubt that VEA will experience continued growth and success under Tom’s leadership.”

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