TULSA, Okla., Jan. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- PennWell Corp. — Electric Light & Power magazine, the voice of the electric utility industry since 1922, has named two Utility CEOs of the Year: Wisconsin Energy Corp. Chairman, President and CEO Gale E. Klappa and Dawson Public Power District General Manager Robert A. Heinz.
"The people of Wisconsin and Nebraska are lucky to have Mr. Klappa and Mr. Heinz leading their electric utilities," said Teresa Hansen, editor in chief of Electric Light & Power magazine. "Mr. Klappa helped Wisconsin Energy build more than 2,400 megawatts of efficient generation. The utility has 50 percent more generating capacity than it did 10 years ago, and—this is incredible—while building that new generation, it cut emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and mercury by 70 percent. Mr. Heinz, on the other hand, runs one of the largest rural electric utilities in Nebraska, the only fully public power state. He's constantly out in the community teaching how rural electrification, water supply and economic development are linked so the people there can make informed decisions about their electricity and water use. Both are big-picture leaders whose successes reach beyond their day jobs."
Klappa won in the large utility division, open to North American electric utilities with 400,000 customers or more. Milwaukee-based Wisconsin Energy Corp. has 1.1 million electric customers.
"I'm honored to receive this personal recognition from EL&P, but this award is truly a team accomplishment. Our strong, consistent focus on reliability and customer satisfaction is delivering true value for our customers and our stockholders," Klappa said.
Heinz won in the small utility division, open to North American electric utilities with fewer than 400,000 customers. Dawson Public Power District, in Lexington, Neb., has some 23,000 customers.
Hansen will present the Utility CEO of the Year awards Jan. 22 in San Antonio during the third annual Electric Light & Power Executive Conference, the executive preview of North America's No. 1 smart grid show, DistribuTECH Conference & Exhibition. A feature article on Klappa and Heinz will appear in the January-February issue of Electric Light & Power magazine and on the magazine's website.