UTC Announces 2021 Award Winners
Friday, September 10, 2021 | Comments

The Utilities Technology Council (UTC) marked the return to its in-person Annual Telecom & Technology Conference by recognizing utilities and their personnel who demonstrated initiative, perseverance and innovative thinking throughout the past year.

UTC’s awards recognize the importance of utility information and communications technology (ICT) systems and the employees who build, operate and maintain these systems to support the reliability, resilience, and safety of the nation’s electric systems. From storm response to day-to-day reliability, ICT networks also provide opportunities for communities to enhance economic prosperity, provide innovative new services, and support health, education and access to critical services.

“Congratulations to all of our winners this year,” said Immediate Past UTC Chairman of the Board Greg Angst of CenterPoint Energy. “I can think of no other industry that has risen to the challenges of the last year-plus like the utility sector and our technology partners. Time and again, our incredible workforce has answered the call and provided our essential utility services under unprecedented circumstances. These awards go to the heart of what makes UTC so special: the people, the utilities and the technology partners who make up our membership. Every day our members work hard to support reliable, resilient, and affordable energy and water services to people and businesses. It is an honor to recognize a select few for their service.”

The 2021 UTC award winners are:
• The APEX Award, which recognizes individual accomplishment and organizational commitment for outstanding projects undertaken by utility telecom workers, went to the Tennessee Valley Authority.
• The Dondanville Award was established in 1989 and is named in honor of UTC’s first president and CEO, Russell V. Dondanville. It recognizes an individual’s extraordinary service and dedication to UTC over the years through active participation in numerous association activities. The award went to Angst of CenterPoint Energy.
• The Meehan Award, which was established in 1998 is named in honor of UTC’s first executive director Charles M. Meehan, recognizes individuals for their extraordinary leadership in projects during the past year that greatly furthered the interests and objectives of UTC. This year, the award went to Mike Unser of Salt River Project and Sheryl Osiene-Riggs of UTC.
• The Connie Durcsak Unsung Hero Award recognizes an individual or utility that exemplifies the selfless, admirable, necessary, never-ending work that utility workers do every day in extenuating circumstances. They perform heroic tasks daily and there is often no press, fanfare or acknowledgment of the life-saving efforts performed by utility workers. The award went to Chris Luark, Ryan Parker, Michael Shannon, Cory Stanton, Mickey Thompson, Sadaria Wallace of the Nashville Electric Service.
• UTC’s Emerging Leaders Awards acknowledges rising stars within UTC’s member utilities, who are dedicated to the critical work of telecom, infrastructure, IT/operational technology (OT), security, technology innovation, policy and other key utility disciplines. The award went to Casey Hutchinson of Puget Sound Energy, Sue Hoffman of Southern Company and Kedaar Raman of New York Power Authority (NYPA).
• The Chairman Awards are given in appreciation for service to UTC during the past calendar year. The awards went to Dewey Day of Pacific Gas and Electric, Roger Bryant (retired) of Southern Company, Matt Schnell of Nebraska Public Power District, Ron Beck of Central Lincoln People’s Utility District, Mlungisi Mkhwanazi of the Africa Utilities Technology Council and Rob Thormeyer, UTC.
• Paul Zawada of American Electric Power Company, Kirt Mayson of NorthWestern Corporation, Mitchel Crocker of CenterPoint Energy, Michael Rosenthal of Southern LINC, Doug Barton of Southern Company, Matt Schnell of Nebraska Public Power District, Sheila Wells (retired), Ron Beck of Central Lincoln People’s Utility District, Jon Stitzel of Ameren, Gary Vondrasek of JEA and Darren Farnan of United Electric Cooperative all were recognized for leadership in UTC communities.

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