By Philip Reed
On May 22, Rodney Bailey became senior vice president and manager of the Colorado River Storage Project Management Center. He had been acting in the position since January.
“Rodney's extensive knowledge of WAPA-wide and CRSP operations, long-standing partnerships with customers and experience leading WAPA's market efforts will be instrumental to support CRSP customers on the front lines of drought in the West," said Administrator and CEO Tracey LeBeau in her announcement. “His leadership is appreciated particularly now as he champions an outstanding team that is passionate about maintaining the value of hydropower in the Colorado River Basin and seeking innovative solutions through collaboration."
CRSP MC markets power from 15 hydroelectric powerplants, including Glen Canyon Dam, and delivers it across more than 2,300 miles of transmission lines and 35 high-voltage transformers. Bailey will lead all power marketing and operations activities for CRSP MC in Montrose, Colorado. CRSP MC serves around 150 retail energy customers and other utilities in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.
Bailey earned a bachelor's degree in technology management from Utah Valley University. He joined CRSP MC in 1999 as a public utilities specialist. He became the CRSP MC rates manager in 2009 and was named CRSP MC vice president of Power Marketing in 2011. More recently, he served as WAPA's power marketing advisor since 2016.
Closed Circuit sat down with Bailey recently to learn more about him.
What brought you to WAPA initially?
I grew up in a small town located in the northeast corner of Utah. After graduating college, I accepted an intern position as a civilian employee with the Department of the Army, duty stationed at the Red River Army Depot in Texarkana, Texas.
I attended the School of Engineering and Logistics for nearly one year. I was then transferred to the Rock Island Arsenal in Rock Island, Illinois. A year later I was transferred to the Soldier Systems Command in Natick, Massachusetts. As a civilian employee, to understand how to better support the troops, I attended and graduated from officer basic training.
I thoroughly enjoyed my experiences with the Department of the Army but, after four years, I came to the realization that I loved the West and wanted to be closer to the mountains and my family in Utah. I applied for and was selected for a position in the CRSP Rates department in Salt Lake City. I have been fortunate in my career to have many opportunities and still remain in the state that I call home.
What has been your most rewarding experience at WAPA so far?
I have enjoyed every opportunity I have received, and am looking forward to the new opportunity and challenge of leading CRSP MC. This has always been my preferred career progression, though I never thought it would become a reality. I am thankful today for the chance to once again be part of the CRSP team.
I have also taken many opportunities to participate in leadership development programs and accepted detail opportunities to learn more about other areas of the organization and improve my skills and understanding. I learned early that no one cares more about my career than I do, a motto that has served me well as I have sought opportunities and stretched beyond my comfort zone.
Most of all, I appreciate the opportunity to work with a host of amazing people. They say that if you want to be successful, surround yourself with successful people. I consider this to be one of the most rewarding parts of my career at WAPA.
How have your previous roles at WAPA prepared you for your new role?
I spent my first 17 years in the CRSP organization with many roles in Power Marketing. For the past six years, I have had the opportunity to work with many people all across WAPA as the power marketing advisor.
I believe that participating with all regions on a variety of issues and being part of the Senior Leadership Team have given me a valuable perspective and understanding of the organization. That has prepared me for my new role as the CRSP manager.
What is something most people do not know about you?
I enjoy cooking in my cast-iron Dutch ovens. I have eight of them in various sizes. I'm not a medal-wearing champion, but I enjoy the process and usually the results.
I have also recently tried my hand at bread making and make a pretty mean loaf of bread, if I do say so myself!
What are you reading right now? Do you have a favorite author?
I have always been very active and enjoy working with my hands. As such, I have never been an avid reader. I enjoy short articles, mostly religious or related to outdoor activities.
What are your communication and leadership styles?
My communications style is “no surprises!" I don't need to be involved in every minute detail, but I do like to know what is going on and understand issues.
I think communication is key to success. If we are not informed, we fill in the blanks mentally and, even if those thoughts are incorrect, they become reality in our mind.
My leadership style is simple: Everyone will rise to the level of our expectation. I believe communicating that level and allowing autonomy to complete the work brings satisfaction and success. I believe teamwork is usually the best approach and also creates success. In that regard, if one is successful, we are all successful.
I have been given opportunities to grow and I want to allow those same opportunities to others.
Would you tell us about your coworkers at home?
My wife and I have been married for 32 years. We are semi-empty nesters. We have three adult children, two girls and a boy, who are on their own, but our youngest son recently moved home after being away at a junior college. He will continue his education at a university that is closer to home this fall.
My wife is “retired" after 18 years in the community development department of the city in which we live. I say “retired" because she works harder now taking care of me than she did at work. We also have one of the best blessings in life: a granddaughter who keeps us hopping!
During WAPA's period of maximum telework, what do you think was the most valuable lesson you've learned as a leader?
Being prepared and being flexible is key to being successful. The foresight of our Information Technology leadership that had prepared WAPA's systems and equipment to quickly pivot to a remote work environment was key to our success.
I am an introvert by nature, but I did learn that we all need face-to-face interaction to build and maintain relationships. I am grateful we are able to return to some sense of our past in meeting together.
Note: Reed was a public affairs specialist.