Today is my fifth anniversary as WAPA’s Administrator and CEO, and I want to take this opportunity to recognize all we have accomplished together during my tenure. Since my arrival here, I have been talking about what an exciting time it is to be in the utility industry. We have embraced myriad changes and worked together to rise to every challenge our industry is facing.
The development of markets in the West, ever-expanding smart technologies, the interconnectedness of our world and devices, the emergence of artificial intelligence—these things are changing how we operate, and they are changing how you operate. They are changing what you need from us. Our mission, however, remains the same.
The value of hydropower and the value of WAPA have never been greater. I continue to be humbled by the privilege we have of serving you and your 40 million consumers with clean, renewable, reliable, cost-based hydropower. I am in awe of the countless stories of the communities we serve together.
Shortly after arriving at WAPA, I had a list on my desk of 150 items that needed attention. These were the things that kept me up at night. We have worked together, methodically, to chip away at them one by one.
And here we are, five years later:
- Being proactive rather than reactive
- Increasing operational and financial transparency
- Incorporating lifecycle management using asset management tools
- Improving our 10-year planning efforts
- Leveraging public-private partnerships to increase reliability and revitalize infrastructure in the West
Our work together exemplifies WAPA’s core value to “Seek. Share. Partner.” I am so proud of what we have done together. Partnership is at the core of everything we do and everything we have collectively accomplished. And the greatest and strongest partnership we have is with you.
What will the next five years bring? We have seen glimpses. We know the changes and challenges will continue. I am confident we are better positioned than ever before to navigate whatever the future holds. By the way, that list I used to keep on my desk is much shorter now. In fact, I can count the issues on one hand, and like we have before, we will continue to tackle these remaining items to ensure a bright future.
Thank you for making these five years the best of my career.
Mark A. Gabriel | Administrator and Chief Executive Officer
Western Area Power Administration