Florida Municipal Electric Association Bestows Awards on Members; Introduces New Award
The Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA), recognized members of the public power community with three awards: Member of the Year, Associate Member of the Year and the new Friend of Florida Public Power award. The awards, which are typically presented during the FMEA annual conference, were presented virtually this year.
“Florida public power is a community – a network of Florida public power utilities proudly serving more than three million Floridians and associate members that provide the industry with support, services and products we need to keep the power flowing. While the pandemic is keeping us apart this year, we could not pass on giving due recognition to the individuals and organizations that make public power so strong,” said Amy Zubaly, FMEA Executive Director.
The 2020 FMEA Member of the Year (video 2:13) award was presented to James Barnes, Chief Customer Officer for the City of Tallahassee. The Member of the Year awards is given to an individual within a FMEA member utility who exemplifies extraordinary commitment and dedication to FMEA and Florida public power.
Barnes is a leader on FMEA’s Customer Connections Committee, an alternate on FMEA’s Board of Directors, and is a regular speaker at FMEA and American Public Power Association conferences and events and conference. His leadership has driven 14 years of organizational excellence in customer service for the City of Tallahassee.
The 2020 Associate Member of the Year (video - 2:15) was awarded to Milwaukee Tool, a leading manufacturer of power tools used by electric utility front-line workers. The FMEA Associate Member of the Year award recognizes an associate member who exemplifies extraordinary commitment and dedication to FMEA and Florida public power.
Milwaukee Tool emerged as a constant presence at FMEA events, including the Florida Lineman Competition and Energy Connections Conference and Trade Show. They donated their signature red power tools to raise funds for the Lineman Assistance Fund for injured lineworkers. Since joining FMEA as an Associate Member a few years ago, this company has consistently supported Florida public power and FMEA as an event sponsor for our annual conference, the lineman competition, and Energy Connections.
Introduced this year was the Friend of Florida Public Power award. The FMEA Friend of Florida Public Power award is a high honor that may be bestowed on an individual or organization whose leadership, acts, and support have significantly benefited Florida public power and Florida’s public power communities, utilities, and/or employees. The Friend of Florida Public Power makes significant contributions to the advancement of public power on a statewide level.
The inaugural recipient of the FMEA Friend of Florida Public Power award is Susan Kelly, Immediate Past President and CEO for the American Public Power Association for her tireless advocacy in defense of public power in Florida.