Florida Public Power Leaders Receive National Awards

Posted By: S. Denise Hill Industry ,

~Awards recognize contributions to electric utility industry and public power~

Tallahassee, Fla. – The Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA) and Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) today announced three Florida public power leaders were honored with American Public Power Association (APPA) national awards. Recognized were Joel Ivy, General Manager of Lakeland Electric and FMEA President, Jody Young, City Manager of Bushnell and Jim Welsh, Retired President and General Manager of Kissimmee Utility Authority. The awards were presented this morning at the APPA National Conference & Public Power Expo in Austin, Texas.

Ivy is this year’s recipient of the James D. Donovan Individual Achievement Award for his significant contributions to the electric utility industry and public power utilities. While his extensive career in the electric utility industry started nearly 30 years ago as a lineman, Ivy has advanced to managing multi-hundred million-dollar operations with start-ups, investor-owned and publicly owned utilities. His experience has propelled Lakeland Electric forward as a leader in new technologies and initiatives, such as solar energy, battery storage and smart-grid technology.

An ardent advocate for the public power industry, Ivy participates in the APPA Legislative Rally and FMEA Legislative Rally and is currently serving as the president of FMEA.

Young was presented with the Larry Hobart Seven Hats Award, which recognizes utility managers who serve in the nation’s smaller communities and whose variety of management responsibilities extends well beyond those of a manager in a larger system with a larger staff.

In her years with the City of Bushnell, Young has been instrumental in keeping the city’s public power utility financially solvent, making upgrades to the system, finding efficiencies and streamlining the utility’s billing and payroll systems.

Welsh received the Harold Kramer-John Preston Personal Service Award, which recognizes individuals for their exceptional service to APPA. An active member of the organization for 36 years, Welsh served on the APPA Board of Directors from 1992 to 2003. He has previously been recognized by APPA with a James D. Donovan Individual Achievement Award.

During his tenure at Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA), Welsh oversaw the expansion of the utility from 85 employees and 18,000 customers in 1982 to 300 employees and 76,000 customers today, becoming the sixth-largest municipal electric utility in Florida. Under his direction, KUA has been honored for reliable electric operations, storm restoration efforts and community service, and received numerous awards for excellence in financial reporting, workplace safety and communications. He retired from KUA in March.

Each of the Florida public power award recipients were honored for their leadership and contributions to public policy and advocacy.
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Florida Municipal Electric Association
The Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA) represents the unified interests of 33 public power communities across the state, which provide electricity to more than 3 million of Florida’s residential and business consumers.

Florida Municipal Power Agency
Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) is a wholesale power agency owned by 31 municipal electric utilities. FMPA’s mission is to provide low-cost, reliable and clean power plus value-added services for FMPA’s owner customers that benefit their communities and customers. The 31 members of FMPA serve more than two million Floridians and employ more than 3,300 people.