Chelan County Public Utility District former general manager receives American Public Power Association’s exceptional leadership award

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - Steve Wright, former general manager of Chelan County Public Utility District in Wenatchee, Washington, and former administrator of the Bonneville Power Administration in Portland, Oregon, received the Alex Radin Distinguished Service Award during the American Public Power Association’s National Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. The award is the highest award granted by APPA. It recognizes exceptional leadership and dedication to public power.

   Steve Wright’s career spans over four decades of public service in the energy industry. The first 32 years of his career were spent at the Bonneville Power Administration, including 12 years as administrator, making him the second longest-tenured administrator in BPA history. Steve was the general manager of Chelan County PUD from 2013 until his retirement this year, during which time he led the development of two community-based strategic plans to help customer-owners engage in the future of the PUD and their communities. Under Steve’s leadership, Chelan PUD lowered its debt ratio while substantially increasing investments in its hydropower, transmission, distribution, water, and wastewater assets — providing long-term value for its customer-owners.

   At the national level, Steve recognized the need for policy changes that support hydropower into the future and partnered with the National Hydropower Association to develop a roadmap. He encouraged public power to create an organization to actively support hydropower that became Northwest RiverPartners. Steve served on APPA’s Board of Directors and the CEO Climate Change and Generation Policy Task Force, which leads APPA’s efforts to develop consensus positions for public power on climate change policy.

   About the American Public Power Association: The American Public Power Association is the voice of not-for-profit, community-owned utilities that power 2,000 towns and cities nationwide. We represent public power before the federal government to protect the interests of the more than 49 million people that public power utilities serve, and the 96,000 people they employ. Our association advocates and advises on electricity policy, technology, trends, training, and operations. Our members strengthen their communities by providing superior service, engaging citizens, and instilling pride in community-owned power.


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