Kaukauna Utilities (KU) is a community owned and operated electric and water utility with an estimated 16,000 electric customers. KU provides electric service over a 50 square-mile area in the City of Kaukauna, Villages of Combined Locks, Little Chute and Wrightstown, and portions of six surrounding townships: Buchanan, Freedom, Holland, Kaukauna, Oneida, and Vandenbroek. KU also provides water service to 7,000 customers within the city limits of Kaukauna.
KU was founded in 1912 by the citizens of Kaukauna. While a lot has changed since then, the focus of KU has not. KU strives to provide low-cost, reliable service with a friendly, personal touch. KU is non-profit, customer driven, community minded, and environmentally responsible. KU offers some of the lowest electric rates in Wisconsin at an average of 8.4 cents/Kwh. KU’s rates are regulated by the Wisconsin Public Service Commission.
KU is member-owner of the joint action agency WPPI Energy which consists of 51 members in Wisconsin, Iowa and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. WPPI provides KU with a portion of its wholesale power supply requirements, forward-thinking services, and advocacy for effective energy policy.
KU owns and operates 27 MW of hydroelectric production at seven facilities on the Fox River, ranging in age from 1912 to 2014. In 2020, five of these hydroelectric facilities generated approximately 191,000 MWh, providing 36% of KU’s total wholesale energy requirements. The output of the two other hydroelectric facilities is sold to WPPI Energy under purchase power agreements. In 2020, KU had a system peak demand of 90 MW and total energy requirements of 525,000 MWh. KU is a member of the Municipal Electric Utilities of Wisconsin (MEUW), the state association that provides service, advocacy and safety training for Wisconsin’s 81 community-owned electric utilities. KU is also a member of the American Public Power Association (APPA).
KU is a member of the National Hydro Association (NHA) and Midwest Hydro Users Group (MHUG) which facilitates advocacy for KU’s significant hydroelectric assets and the American Water Works Association (AWWA) and Wisconsin Rural Water Association (WRWA) which facilitates advocacy for the water utility.
KU has $150 million in assets, $10 million in cash reserves, and long-term debt totaling $65 million. Electric debt is rated ‘A Stable’ and water debt is rated ‘A+ Stable’ by Standard & Poor’s. More information can be found at: https://www.kaukaunautilities.com/
KU seeks a successor to the utility’s General Manager (GM) who is retiring after serving for 19 years in this role. The GM is expected to provide a compelling vision and strong leadership skills. He or she will direct all activities within the KU organization and build upon KU’s strong record of safety, system reliability, cost effective operations, and continuous improvement. In addition, the GM is expected to effectively manage recruitment, retention, training, and development of staff to assure KU’s continued success.
KU’s GM reports to a seven-member Utility Commission and oversees an annual operating budget of approximately $50 million and an annual capital budget of approximately $5 million. The GM sets the professional tone for the entire organization and is expected to consistently elevate performance metrics, financial results, and service delivery for the benefit of customers and the community. He or she must be an effective and proactive communicator who will work collaboratively and transparently with KU’s Utility Commission, City leadership, customers, industry peers, the Public Service Commission, employees, and other key stakeholders. The GM must ensure the Utility Commission is fully appraised of emerging financial and operational challenges and issues, as well as regulatory, legislative, and technological changes and trends. The GM will lead a 57-person workforce.
Facilitate Utility Commission oversight and governance decision-making by providing information and perspectives relative to utility operations and industry data; develop policy recommendations; facilitate Commission meetings and agendas.
Establish and maintain a highly effective organizational culture that is safety driven, employee empowered, and focused on high levels of achievement in all areas including safety, reliability, customer service, sound fiscal policies, technology development and employee development and performance.
Maintain and enhance utility human resources by providing the tools and resources necessary for team members to perform their job responsibilities in an effective, efficient and accountable work environment.
Strongly advocate for effective energy policy and work effectively with local, state and national policy makers and regulatory officials.
Enhance and protect the public image and position of the utility through a highly effective communications and community relations program to increase awareness, understanding and support of utilities goals and plans; interact with customers and respond to concerns and complaints; communicate with the public and news media through appropriate means.
Take an active role in utility associations and local business and economic development organizations; serve on various boards, commissions and committees as appropriate or as directed by the Utility Commission on a local, regional, statewide and national basis. Leadership roles are highly encouraged.
THE SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATE
Ideal candidates will offer at least ten years of progressively responsible experience in an electric and water utility setting, which includes serving successfully in a senior management role. This must include experience in the technical aspects of electric utility management, along with the ability to establish, execute, and achieve KU’s annual budget and financial strategies.
KU will require a leader with outstanding oral and written communication skills (e.g., listens to others’ opinions, is approachable, and able to communicate effectively to a variety of constituencies and audiences). The GM must maintain a high level of integrity, trust and credibility with all stakeholders and be able to balance becoming an integral part of the community, while also maintaining meaningful employee engagement by empowering, mentoring, and developing employees.
The right cultural fit between the GM and KU is critical. The GM is expected to work as part of a team in an innovative, open and participatory environment. In addition, he or she must possess a strong customer service mentality, unquestionable ethics and integrity, and share KU’s commitment and passion for renewable technologies, beneficial electrification, and other emerging technologies.
A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college in engineering, finance, or business, is considered ideal. As is additional education in management, administration, or a similar applicable field, along with related professional certifications.
KU is also targeting individuals with the following competencies and personal characteristics:
Considerable experience evaluating financial and technical projections and information with sound analytical ability to evaluate alternatives.
Substantial working knowledge of operational, financial, engineering, administrative and planning functions within an electric and water utility environment.
Ability to articulate a tangible vision, corporate values and strategy.
Strong prioritization and management skills.
Demonstrated success in developing, managing, and leading employees.
COMPENSATION, BENEFITS AND RELOCATION
The total compensation and relocation package is competitive and will be dependent upon qualifications and experience. In addition to salary, KU offers an excellent benefits package that includes participation in the Wisconsin Retirement System, a retirement matching 401a program, and affordable health plan options.
Interested candidates should submit a PDF cover letter and resume to email@example.com no later than May 17, 2021. Patrick Prouse Mycoff Fry Partners LLC PO Box 1310 Conifer, CO 80443 (800) 525-9082
Kaukauna Utilities is an Equal Opportunity Employer
About Kaukauna Utilities
assisted by Mycoff Fry Partners LLC, a retained, Executive Recruiter for the Utility Industries