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2021 News Features

News Feature

With the onset of COVID-19, strong leadership skills have never been more in demand; organizations around the world require agile responses to evolving short- and long-term needs.


In 2005, Sierra Nevada launched its SNR Customer Portal to communicate and share information with its energy and transmission customers.


In late June, Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer Jennifer Rodgers announced that Desert Southwest and the Colorado River Storage Project Management Center partnered with the Office of the CAO to support a temporary Tribal liaison detail. 


In 2018, the Electric Power Training Center initiated an upgrade to its Miniature Power System.


​Robert Louis McPhail, the first person to serve as administrator of Western Area Power Administration, passed away Sept. 28 at the age of 85. 


In March 2019, Archaeologist Dave Kluth visited a WAPA communication site in Erhard, Minnesota, to perform a survey. This facility was no longer needed by the organization, but the process of dismantling it led to an unexpected discovery that has only been recently resolved.​​


​The Continuous Process Improvement Program launched its newest offering, Lean Six Sigma White Belt Training, in January.


​“To provide great HR service, we need great partners,” said HR Director Cheryl Reese.


​DEI: diversity, equity and inclusion. 


​As WAPA’s Human Performance Improvement/Just Culture Program gains traction, Human Performance Program Manager Krystall Valencia is interested in better educating employees on how the program benefits them. 


The third cohort of WAPA’s two-year Craft Leadership Development Program is underway. ​​

On Aug. 1, WAPA welcomed Bart Barnhart as senior vice president and Rocky Mountain regional manager. 

Invasive fishes and woody plants. Declining Colorado pikeminnow numbers. Struggling razorback sucker larvae. 


​In 2020, Jennifer Rodgers was selected as WAPA’s senior vice president and chief administrative officer. 


Every year, WAPA’s administrator honors standout employees with Exceptional Service Awards. 


In late May, the Energy Bar Association announced the new president of its Board of Directors – as well as its new members, officers and directors – at its Virtual Annual Meeting and Conference. 


​On June 29, employees gathered virtually for WAPA's All-Employee Meeting, streamed across the organization's 15-state footprint to employees at home, in the field and at their worksites. 


​With the onset of summer, many states in WAPA’s footprint are facing the very real threat of drought so severe that it may complicate hydropower delivery. ​


In July 2020, five WAPA employees were selected to participate in the Department of Energy’s Leadership Development Program, sponsored by the University of Maryland. 


​In May, Civil Engineer Rebecca Afsar received the Emerging Leader Award from RMEL – formerly the Rocky Mountain Electrical League – in Denver, Colorado.


In March, WAPA’s Small Unmanned Aircraft System, or sUAS, pilot program reached its conclusion. 


Crop dusters do more than apply insecticide and torment Cary Grant. 


A significant part of Asset Management’s mission is protecting WAPA’s most important physical equipment. 


​Nobody booked a last-minute flight. No boxes of coffee or communal donuts rewarded the early risers. Yet WAPA's Inclusion and Diversity Committee still held one of its most productive meetings of the year.


​The survey will provide a snapshot of the current culture. It will also identify gaps and shape future initiatives by pinpointing opportunities to promote the health of WAPA's security culture.


​In 2018, Kevin Howard was selected as WAPA’s chief operating officer. 


Since August 1991, the Environment team from the Colorado River Storage Project Management Center has provided input on flow experiments being conducted by the Department of the Interior at Glen Canyon Dam. 


In March 2019, the Procurement team in Desert Southwest received a purchase request from craft employees for a self-loader 8x6 semi-tractor. 


The wildfire season in 2020 was particularly devastating, with West Coast states finding the destructive events difficult to control. 


​For years, WAPA has hosted a number of regional Science Bowl events throughout its footprint. This year was no different in that regard, but was indeed different in many others.

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