NWPPA Honors 2024 Annual Award Winners

(May 17) On Wednesday, six individuals and one utility were honored at Northwest Public Power Association’s awards banquet during NWPPA’s 84th Annual Conference and Membership Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah. NWPPA presented six of the following seven awards at the conference awards banquet; a delegation of NWPPA members presented the Homer T. Bone Award on April 17 in Washington, D.C., during the association’s legislative rally.

Life Member Awards
Presented to policymakers and managers who are retiring or will be retiring soon from NWPPA member utilities and have made notable contributions to the association and public power.

Clay R. Fitch, CEO of Wells Rural Electric Company in Nevada, has been a long-standing supporter of NWPPA and public power. He joined the co-op world 37 years ago and has been a CEO for 23 years. Fitch was instrumental in developing NRU Power Services. He also supported and participated in multiple industry groups to secure the region’s energy future. As a CEO, he prioritized workforce development and demonstrated a commitment to succession planning, training, and collaboration.

Dave Hagen started working at Clearwater Power Company in Idaho at age 24 as a field engineer. Forty years later, he is serving his 18th year as general manager and CEO of the utility. During his career, Hagen became a trusted leader who invested in employees and relationships; carefully stewarded resources; and helped Clearwater Power evolve while remaining committed to providing safe, reliable, and affordable power. Hagen served on the boards of NWPPA, PNGC, Power Resources Cooperative, General Pacific, and Idaho Consumer-Owned Utilities Association.

Roger Gray retired in April as president and CEO of PNGC Power in Oregon after four decades in the electric utility industry. Prior to joining PNGC in 2019, Gray served as CEO for Northwest Requirements Utilities and NRU Consulting Services, and as general manager and CEO at the Eugene Water & Electric Board. Regionally, Gray served on numerous boards and committees, including Public Power Council, Northwest RiverPartners, and the Oregon governor’s 10-year Energy Action Plan Task Force. He has been a vocal advocate for Northwest public power.

Paul J. Raver Community Service Award
The award is presented to an electric system or an individual for leadership in enhancing the role of the electric systems in achieving community betterment of an individual city, county, or other local area; a state; or the region as a whole.

For 119 years, Modern Electric Water Company has been a steadfast community partner in Washington’s Spokane Valley. Modern has provided affordable and reliable energy while empowering its community with exceptional support. During the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Modern took a proactive stance. By fully funding food programs, providing bill credits, supporting local organizations, and facilitating the establishment of a Boys and Girls Club, Modern demonstrated unwavering commitment in the face of adversity.

William “Bill” McCrorie Distinguished Service Award
Presented to an individual who has served the interests of public power and NWPPA in an outstanding manner.

Brad Janorschke has led Homer Electric Association as general manager since 2004. With over 30 years of electric utility expertise and numerous degrees, Janorschke’s strategic vision transformed HEA into a 100% independent utility. Under Janorschke’s leadership, HEA serves over 33,000 meters, manages Alaska’s largest hydro facility, and successfully implemented a 93-megawatt-hour battery energy storage system that enhances regional reliability. Beyond HEA, Janorschke has served on multiple industry boards, including those of NWPPA and National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation. His service as a volunteer EMT and firefighter underscores his commitment to the wellbeing of his community.

For his entire adult life, Dan Bedbury has been committed to improving the public power industry in the Northwest. Bedbury spent three decades at the Eugene Water & Electric Board in Oregon, leading energy trading. Starting in 2015, he helped Clark Public Utilities in Washington through a strategic transition to clean energy. Bedbury was instrumental in working with Bonneville Power Administration regarding power supply contracts, in a long-term hydropower agreement with Pend Oreille PUD, and in implementing natural gas purchasing strategies. He served on the board of numerous public power organizations, working groups, and committees, including NWPPA.

Homer T. Bone Award
The Homer T. Bone Award is presented to honor an elected official serving and representing constituents in the NWPPA service territory that have demonstrated sustained and remarkable work on behalf of public power.

Sen. Steve Daines has been an advocate of public power for many years. He has represented Montana since 2013, starting out in the House of Representatives and joining the Senate in 2015. Daines tirelessly defended the Federal Columbia River Power System and the lower Snake River dams, joining legislation to protect the dams, speaking about the benefits the region receives from them, and writing multiple letters reiterating his support. His efforts in Congress help ensure that communities in Montana and the Northwest continue to receive reliable, affordable, and carbon-free energy.

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