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Billings resident honored for contributions to energy frontier

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: ​Sept. 21, 2015Billings resident honored for contributions to energy frontier
CONTACT: Lisa Meiman, 720-962-7411, 

LAKEWOOD, Colo. — A Billings, Montana, resident received a prestigious energy industry award today for his leadership, dedication and tireless drive to guide the electricity business to a new energy frontier.

Western Area Power Administration’s Senior Vice President and Upper Great Plains Regional Manager Bob Harris received the RMEL Industry Leadership Award at the organization’s 112th Fall Executive Leadership and Management Convention in Kansas City, Missouri. 

“It is certainly a surprise to be selected,” he said. “It has been my honor to serve our customers and in the critically important energy industry to ensure Americans have reliable power every moment of the day. I could not have achieved such success without the exceptional team in WAPA’s Upper Great Plains region and the entire organization. I would like to thank them for making this award possible.” 

The RMEL Industry Leadership Award is presented to individuals who have demonstrated singular dedication, service and leadership to the electric utility industry. 

Originally from Colorado, Harris arrived in Billings in 1972 to begin his career in government, first with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation then transferring to WAPA when that organization was formed from Reclamation in 1977. Harris started at WAPA as the System Development division director and worked his way through the organization as an engineer, assistant area manager and power marketing manager. As regional manager since 2002, Harris leads more than 350 employees who are responsible for annually marketing nine million megawatts-hours of federal hydropower and operating and maintaining an almost 8,000-mile transmission system in six upper Midwest states. 

An engaged leader, Harris serves on several industry committees responsible for defining the future of the energy business, including Midwest Reliability Operator Board of Directors, Southwest Power Pool Member Committee and the Corporate Governance Committee, and the Northwest Power Pool Market Committee and Executive Committee. Harris was also recently appointed by the Montana governor to participate on the Energy and Utilities key industry network of the Main Street Montana Project, an initiative to improve business and employment competitiveness in Montana.

“The leadership and foresight demonstrated by Bob Harris are guiding our industry to an exciting future,” said Administrator and CEO Mark Gabriel. “His extensive industry knowledge and sound advice provide WAPA valuable insights to the direction and tone of our dynamic industry and the path we should take to continue our successful mission.”

For more information on the award, visit RMEL’s Award Program.


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