The President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) reports to multiple governing boards of the Missouri Public Utility Alliance (MPUA) and supervises 36 full time employees. All employees are formally employed by the Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission (MJMEUC) and the Joint Operating Committee (JOC) is recognized as the primary governing board. Rebranding of the unified service organization under the MPUA name is ongoing. Direct reports include a CFO & Vice President of Administrative Services; a Vice President of Member Relations & Government Affairs (also COO of MAMU); a Vice President of Engineering, Operations & Power Supply (also COO of MJMEUC); and a Vice President of Market Operations & Analysis.
MISSOURI PUBLIC UTILITY ALLIANCE (MPUA) MPUA represents community-owned (municipal) and locally-regulated electric, natural gas, water, wastewater, and broadband utilities that work together for the benefit of the customers. For many years, the vision of a strong, versatile and multi-faceted collaboration grew in the minds of municipal utility leaders from across Missouri. In October of 1998, the three current member organizations of MPUA voted to combine efforts and resources to better serve their municipal utility memberships by establishing the alliance umbrella known as MPUA.
MPUA is a trade name representing the nature of the partnership among three legally distinct member organizations. Each organization maintains its own legal status and Boards of Directors. A Joint Operating Committee, comprised of three Executive Committee members from each of the three organizations, provides guidance and cohesiveness to joint issues. An integrated set of budgets make the broadened array of MPUA services available to all members. Additionally, two members of each Executive Committee and the MPUA CEO (as Chair) comprise a Board of the more recently established MPUA Resource Services Corporation (RSC), which houses additional services and resources.
MPUA is further defined by its three primary service organizations: Missouri Association of Municipal Utilities (MAMU) Founded in 1926, the MAMU is a state-wide trade organization open for membership to any municipality owning and operating its own utility, including water, electric, natural gas, broadband or wastewater. MAMU’s primary mission is to monitor legislation introduced in the state legislature or the U.S. Congress and Senate, keep its membership informed as to how the various pieces of legislation affect them, to monitor regulations introduced by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, and to effectively represent the interests of membership before legislatures and environmental agencies as directed by the Board. In addition, as a trade organization, MAMU provides communication, education, training, mutual aid, and other self-help activities on a cooperative basis. Map of MAMU Members
Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission (MJMEUC) Organized in 1979, the MJMEUC is a joint action agency specifically authorized by state law to obtain sufficient and economical electrical power and energy for the benefit of member municipalities and their residents. MJMEUC provides full power purchase requirements to members and arranges purchases for members in need of supplemental power. In 1989, MJMEUC expanded to allow rural electric cooperatives as well as out-of-state municipalities to participate in MJMEUC’s power supply programs and projects through an advisory membership status.MJMEUC also has several long-term commitments for power purchase contracts and operating costs of jointly owned power generating facilities for the use of power pools and partial supply needs for 15 individual municipalities. Within MJMEUC there are two full requirement power pools, the Missouri Public Energy Pool #1 (MoPEP) and the Mid-Missouri Municipal Public Power Pool (MMMPEP). Map of MJMEUC Members
Municipal Gas Commission of Missouri (MGCM) Organized in 1988, MGCM is a joint action agency specifically authorized by state law to provide financing, acquisition, and the operation of natural gas projection, transmission, and distribution facilities and resources for the benefit of member municipalities and their residents. This organization handles all aspects of buying and transporting natural gas to the municipal members of the Commission, as well as expertise and management of long term gas supplies along with daily or monthly gas nomination services. Map of MGCM Members
MPUA presents a portfolio of power supply resources as well as planning, procurement, and energy management services to meet the growing needs of its members. Services include an expanding portfolio of generating facility contracts and an expanding renewable resource, load forecasting, power project administration, power contract management, transmission negotiation, resource planning and management, gas nominations (daily and monthly), and a 24X7 scheduling and tagging service, among others. MPUA is also expanding its technical services to members with a service offering currently covering substation controls, SCADA and IED service to both electric and water system, data communications for wireless and fiber, AMR, overall PLC service, and meter testing.
MPUA’s membership currently enjoys a high level of unity and increasingly is a key portal for collaborative problem solving on the myriad challenges faced by municipal utilities in Missouri. Members generally feel that the organization is meeting or exceeding its service expectations and all stakeholders recognize the high and increasing level of service demand the organization successfully addressed in recent years.
The next CEO will assume leadership of a healthy and expanding organization that offers full recognition by all stakeholders of the necessity to evolve with industry and member demand. The next CEO will be charged to further define the organization’s future by leading a collaborative strategic planning effort. Experience leading a complex electric or multi-service utility or related industry service organization is required as is a track record of providing leadership in a formalized strategic planning process and utilizing the outcome to guide the organization. Proven leadership capability and experience in a complex utility environment along with exemplary communication and relationship-building skills are absolute requirements.
As one of MPUA’s most valued services is its regulatory and legislative advocacy service to all members, candidates with experience providing leadership on regulatory and legislative matters may have an advantage. Such experience in Missouri or midwestern states is desired and candidates that offer an established and applicable network and track record of leadership on regional, national, and federal industry matters are also desired.
The origin of MPUA is based upon its power supply services to members and the aggregation of such services for cost and efficiency to members. While the ideal candidate would bring substantive power supply experience, governance is quite confident in the current power supply team and expects its next CEO to bring substantive strategic and regulatory and/or legislative experience related to power supply rather than a hands-on analytic or engineering perspective. Candidates should at a minimum offer substantive experience in an advisory or direct management capacity in the negotiation, development, and/or maintenance of critical contracts. Direct experience with such contracts in the realm of power supply could be advantageous to candidates.
Candidates that offer experience providing leadership with a board of directors in the public utility realm are desired. Candidates from other segments of the industry are encouraged to apply provided they bring a respect and appreciation for the municipal utility business model. Candidates must bring substantive experience with an electric utility and those with additional experience in natural gas, water and wastewater, and broadband services are desired.
As MPUA will face continued workforce challenges in alignment with those experienced by most utilities in recent years, as well as growth and demand for service solutions, candidates with experience fostering an organization through workforce challenges utilizing tools such as workforce development processes and succession planning are desired. The next CEO is expected to be a supportive leader that guides through strategy development and communication, encourages staff development, and expects accountability yet allows key leadership to manage their own departments while contributing at the board level and engaging actively with peers to provide the best service possible.
MPUA is currently undertaking development of a new headquarters facility that will increase its capability to properly communicate-with and serve its members and provide enhanced training facilities.
Ideal candidates will offer the following traits:
Continuous improvement and goal orientation guided by strategic planning focus;
Strong business acumen with a complement of industry and business financial savvy;
Ability to continually energize the membership and MPUA workforce and continue to establish a creative, diverse, and open-minded philosophy in the organization’s approach to services;
Strong political savvy and capability to navigate state and federal regulatory and legislative environments and represent members interests across party lines;
Ability to maintain and expand beneficial coalitions;
A respect and appreciation for large to small communities and an ability and willingness to maintain such relationships and foster credibility for MPUA with local governance;
Mediation and negotiation experience;
People skill that is adaptable across all types of stakeholders;
Integrity and ethics;
Emotional maturity and stability;
Leadership presence and experience providing engaging presentations to a variety of audiences;
A proactive approach and assertive attitude to solving challenges balanced with a patience to both manage and allow the democratic process to take place;
Empathy, a sense of humor, and humility.
A bachelor’s degree in an applicable field is required. An MBA or advanced degree is desired.
About MISSOURI PUBLIC UTILITY ALLIANCE
assisted by Mycoff Fry Partners LLC, a retained, Executive Recruiter for the Utility Industries