(October 20) Northwest Public Power Association’s 2021 Northwest Innovations in Communications (NIC) Conference Planning Committee selected Clark Public Utilities’ Lena Wittler as this year’s winner of the Lacy Peoples Award for her lifetime commitment to the public power industry, communication, and public involvement. The award was presented on October 13 during the NIC at The Benson Hotel in Portland, Oregon.
Wittler has worked in the utility industry for 22 years, having started at Clark Public Utilities where she acted as director of communications and employee resources for many years. As of 2019, she is now the general manager and CEO. During her time in the industry, she has a long history of contribution to public utility communications as well as service to NWPPA. For many years, Wittler was also on the NIC Planning Committee and served as conference chair. Through her deep commitment to the importance of stellar communications, she has helped Clark Public Utilities receive the Tom Hougan Overall Excellence in Communications award a record three times.
“Despite the challenges of an ongoing global pandemic, Lena has led the utility as the commensurate communicator,” said Clark Public Utilities’ Director of Communications Erica Erland. “She has kept employees and customers informed, assured, and engaged.”
First given to Lacy Peoples of Cowlitz PUD at the Consumer Services/Communications Conference in 1978, the award is now presented to recipients at the annual NIC Conference. Current or former employees of NWPPA member utilities are eligible to receive this award. The NIC Planning Committee selects recipients based on accomplishments through at least 10 years of marketing and communication experience; at least 20 years of service to the industry; and promotion of public power through efforts such as community service.
Recent Lacy Peoples Award winners include Debbie Bone-Harris of Franklin County PUD (2019), Joel Myer of Mason 3 PUD (2018), and Curtis Condon of Ruralite Services (2017).
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