Press Room

NWPPA works hard to respond to media and member requests in a timely and factual manner. Please feel free to contact one of our media spokespeople with any questions about Association activities or view our press releases below.

Recent Press Releases


Contact: Brenda Dunn ( (360) 816-1453

2016-2017 NWPPA Board officers, trustees announced

VANCOUVER, WA. – On May 18, at its 76th Annual Conference and Membership Meeting in Tulalip, Wash., the Northwest Public Power Association (NWPPA) Board of Trustees introduced Alex Love of Nelson Hydro (Nelson, B.C.) as the 2016-2017 NWPPA Board of Trustees president. Love will serve a one-year term as board president.

At the meeting, the board also announced the following officers:

  • First Vice President Steven Taylor of Mason County PUD No. 1 (Shelton, Wash.)
  • Second Vice President Jackie Flowers of Idaho Falls Power (Idaho Falls, Idaho)
  • Secretary/Treasurer Scott Egbert of Wells Rural Electric Company (Wells, Nev.)
  • Immediate Past President Dick Morris of Trinity PUD (Weaverville, Calif.)

Along with the officer announcements, the membership re-elected seven trustees for second three-year terms: Arlen Orchard of SMUD (Sacramento, Calif.), Terry LaLiberte of Kootenai Electric Cooperative (Hayden, Idaho), Chuck Thurman of Monmouth Power & Light (Monmouth, Ore.), Jafar Taghavi of Peninsula Light Company (Gig Harbor, Wash.), Buddy Treadway of Benton REA (Prosser, Wash.), Larry Dunbar of City of Ellensburg (Wash.), and associate member repesentative Angie Sanchez Virnoche of FCS GROUP (Redmond, Wash.). In addition, Susan Thraen of Missoula Electric Cooperative (Missoula, Mont.) and Dominic Ivanoff of Kotzebue Electric Association (Kotzebue, Alaska) were both appointed to fill one-year unexpired terms.

In addition to these trustees, Bob Hammond of the City of Richland Energy Services (Wash.) was elected by the membership to serve a first three-year term on the Board of Trustees, and Terry Kelly of Salem Electric (Salem, Ore.) was re-elected for a first full three-year term.

See the attached full release.


Contact: Brenda Dunn ( (360) 816-1453

NWPPA honors 2016 Annual Award winners

VANCOUVER, WA. – On May 18, at its 76th Annual Conference and Membership Meeting in Tulalip, Wash., Northwest Public Power Association (NWPPA) presented the following awards to individuals within the public power community:

  • Inaugural Homer T. Bone Award: Congressman Norm Dicks (Wash.)
  • Paul J. Raver Community Service Award: Steve Eldrige of Umatilla Electric Cooperative (Hermiston, Ore.) and Tim Dillon of the City of Seldovia (Alaska)
  • NWPPA President’s Award: John Saven of Northwest Requirements Utilities (Portland, Ore.) and Arnie Winkler of Northwest Public Power Association (Vancouver, Wash.)
  • John M. George Public Service Award: Ron Hatfield of Public Utility District No. 2 of Pacific County (Wash.)
  • Distinguished Service Award: Mike Gianunzio of SMUD (Sacramento, Calif.) and John Prescott of PNGC Power (Portland, Ore.)
  • Life Membership Award: Mike Baker of Modern Electric & Water Company (Spokane Valley, Wash.), Steve Eldrige of Umatilla Electric Cooperative (Hermiston, Ore.), Lynn Heminger of Douglas County PUD (East Wenatchee, Wash.), and Robert Myhr of Orcas Power & Light Cooperative (Eastsound, Wash.)

For the full release, please see the attached. Photos available upon request.


Contact: Brenda Dunn ( (360) 816-1453

Elaine Dixon named as Arnie Winkler’s successor at NWPPA

VANCOUVER, WA. – As of today, Elaine Dixon has joined the Northwest Public Power Association (NWPPA) staff as the incoming director of education and workforce development. Dixon has been hired to fill the vacancy that will be created when Arnie Winkler, the current director of education and workforce development, retires on June 30.

Dixon comes to NWPPA with over 20 years of organizational learning and development experience, and 10 years of experience in the power industry. Most recently she spent eight years with Marsh and McLennen companies (Mercer, Oliver Wyman) as the global head of client delivery and then chief operations officer for the Leadership Development business. Prior to that, she worked for PacifiCorp/Scottish Power as the director of talent management. While there, her team provided organizational development, change management, succession planning, leadership development, learning, and staffing services for Pacific Power, Rocky Mountain Power, Utah Power, and PPM Energy. She has also worked for PacifiCare Health Systems and Nike Inc.

“Elaine was the unanimous selection of the interview panel,” said NWPPA Executive Director Anita Decker. “She has the background and experience to make sure we don’t miss a beat at delivering value to our members with our training and educational programs.”

See the attached for the full release and photo


Contact: Brenda Dunn ( (360) 816-1453

Benton PUD’s Steve Frost receives 2016 Career Commitment to Safety Award

VANCOUVER, WA. – Northwest Public Power Association (NWPPA) and its Engineering & Operations (E&O) Conference Planning Committee awarded Benton PUD Utility Safety Coordinator Steve Frost with the association’s Career Commitment to Safety Award at last week’s 2016 Engineering & Operations Conference on April 12, 2016, in Spokane, Wash. E&O Safety Committee Chair Lance Hughes presented the award to Frost before the opening general session.

Frost’s commitment to safety began during his time (1982-2000) as a lineman and instructor at Montana Power Company where he focused on safety. From there, he worked for Electrical Safety Consultants International (ESCI) as a safety coordinator. At ESCI, he was responsible for performing safety services for several utilities in Central Washington, including Benton PUD. He was later hired directly by Benton PUD to focus on utility safety for these organizations.

See the attached for the full release and photo.


Contact: Brenda Dunn ( (360) 816-1453

Clatskanie’s Marcum and Welter receive 2016 Safety Heroism Award

VANCOUVER, WA. – Last week, Clatskanie PUD Line Working Foreman Lonnie Marcum and Journeyman Lineman Darin Welter received the Northwest Public Power Association (NWPPA) Safety Heroism Award at the association’s 2016 Engineering & Operations Conference on April 14, 2016, in Spokane, Wash. Marcum was on hand to accept the award at Thursday’s general session on behalf of himself and his co-worker.

During a flooding event on December 9, 2015, Marcum and Welter were flagged down by a local resident on Hwy 30 in Clatskanie, Ore. They were informed that someone was out in the flood waters and had been yelling for help. The linemen quickly drove up Lost Creek Road as far as possible until the water stopped them. They couldn’t see anyone or a car in the water, but they could hear Richard Forrest yelling for help and they began to talk to him.

The linemen waded out in the water and could then see Forrest clinging to a tree. They continued out into the deep water where they were up to their necks and treading water to stay afloat themselves as they tried to get closer. Using rescue techniques from their safety trainings, they made several attempts to get a rope to Forrest so that they could get him out of the water. After a few throws of the rope, they connected and were able to safely pull him to the shallow water. The linemen helped him out of the water and to the care of emergency responders from the Clatskanie Fire Department who had just arrived on the scene. Although they were able to save Mr. Forrest from the flood water, Marcum and Welter were saddened that they couldn’t reach Mrs. Forrest as she was trapped in the car under 10 to 12 feet of water at the time.

See the attached for the full release and photo.

Press Release Archive

NWPPA Media Contacts

Debbie Kuraspediani, Communication Director
(360) 816-1449

Brenda Dunn – Associate Editor
(360) 816-1453

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We sadly bid adieu to our latest intern today. Ritaciah heads back to high school next week to start her senior year and hopes to attend Portland State for college after graduation. She was a joy to have in the office, always helpful and always with a big smile. We wish her a bright and happy future! ...

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