February 2021 Back Page – From Your New President and CEOPosted: April 15, 2021
First, a little about me. I grew up in a construction family in Connecticut. My dad and uncle built a company that my brother still runs, doing site work and installing buried utilities. I decided to become an engineer so I wouldn’t always be the guy working a shovel to make a living. Four years out of school I fell in love with Alaska and moved to Anchorage. I got a job with AVEC traveling all over Alaska, building power lines and generator buildings and experiencing the hospitality and ingenuity of people getting things done with what they had on hand. I loved the challenge, and I signed on full-time in 1993.
Since then, I married my high school sweetheart; we built our own home, and we raised two kids who have turned into fine young adults, thanks to my wife and the honest education of enjoying the outdoors of Alaska.
My tenure at AVEC has afforded me the benefit of working with hundreds of people and organizations striving to improve and sustain communities across Alaska: Plant Operators who keep the lights on for their friends and neighbors; health agencies and tribes building major infrastructure to improve housing, sanitation and healthcare; city and state governments, state and federal agencies, local and national universities, non-profits and entrepreneurs, all engaged in making energy accessible and affordable in some of the harshest climates on the planet; and the AVEC members and their Board, committed to the success of their electric cooperative.
Not the least of all these associates are the long list of dedicated AVEC employees that have put their shoulder to the wheel as we have rolled through 53 years of building, maintaining and re-inventing all the systems that produce electricity and deliver it to the members. Two such employees have stepped back from their daily toil to enjoy well-earned retirements: Meera Kohler, former President and CEO and Amy Murphy, former Public Relations Officer and Executive Assistant. Meera has been a powerful and respected advocate for rural Alaska and rural energy. Her bold and consistent leadership over 20 years has wrought tremendous benefit to the Cooperative and she leaves it in a strong position to continue fulfilling its mission of providing safe, reliable electricity. Amy has been at her side for most of those years, supporting the Board of Directors and winning multiple awards for her publications sharing the stories of AVEC. They are both well-loved and will be sorely missed.
There are a sea of tasks before all of us and the solutions to resolve them will be varied. My goal as
I start another chapter in my AVEC career is to be cognizant of all the people that have gotten us to
where we are today; to be worthy of the confidence placed in me to lead us on, to work hard, and to
treat people with respect as we build AVEC’s future.
Until next time,
President and CEO