Reclamation announces new national, regional appointments

The U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation announces the appointment of several new managers, including that of Dave Sabo, which it named senior adviser for hydropower.

Dave Sabo Click here to enlarge image

As senior adviser-power liaison, Sabo is responsible for Reclamation’s Hydropower Program and for working on intergovernmental initiatives related to power. Reclamation is the second largest producer of hydropower in the U.S. and has operations and facilities in 17 western states.

Sabo previously was deputy regional director for the Upper Colorado Region in Salt Lake City. He joined Reclamation in 2002 as area manager in Klamath Falls, Ore. Before coming to Reclamation he managed the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) Colorado River Storage Project Management Center.

At WAPA, Sabo also managed the Environmental and Public Affairs Office and served as the agency’s representative working on various programs, including the Glen Canyon Environmental Impact Statement and Adaptive Management Work Group.

McCalman manages Power Resources Office

Kerry McCalman is the new manager of the Power Resources Office in Denver, Colo., where he is responsible for oversight and policy for Reclamation’s Power Program.

McCalman replaces Deborah Linke, who retired in 2007.

He previously served as power manager for Reclamation’s Upper Colorado Region. In that capacity, he provided oversight and management of dams and hydropower plants In the Colorado River Storage Project on the Upper Colorado River.

McCalman joined Reclamation in 1998 as operations and maintenance manager of the Snake River Area Office in Burley, Idaho. Other jobs at Reclamation included a post in the Eastern Colorado Area Office in Loveland, Colo. He also served as power manager for the Great Plains Region in Billings, Mont., overseeing the operation and maintenance of 21 hydropower plants.

Pimley tapped for Technical Services Center

Reclamation appointed Lowell Pimley to direct the organization’s Technical Service Center, in Denver.

In his new job, Pimley is responsible for the organization’s engineering, science, research, and support center.

Pimley previously served as chief of the Technical Service Center’s Civil Engineering Services Division. In that position, he oversaw staff involved in the planning, design, research, and construction management of civil works projects.

Bauer to manage compliance audit program

Reclamation named Martin Bauer to manage its Compliance Audit and Incident Evaluation Program.

Bauer has worked for Reclamation nearly 25 years, starting out as an engineer in the Mid-Pacific Region in Sacramento, Calif. He has worked in operations and maintenance since 1984.

Bauer worked on major power issues in the Mid-Pacific Region. He led negotiations on the 1997 Central Valley Project Customer Power Operation and Maintenance Funding Agreement and the customer funding of the rewinding of generators at 676-MW Shasta Dam.

Between 1997 and 2003, Bauer represented the Mid-Pacific Region in resolving power-related issues, including integrated operation of Central Valley Project power facilities and the California deregulated energy market. In 2003, Bauer moved to Colorado to manage operations and maintenance of the Colorado-Big Thompson and Fryingpan-Arkansas projects.

Eggers tribal liaison officer for Pacific Northwest

Ron Eggers is Reclamation’s tribal liaison officer for the Pacific Northwest. In that position, Eggers represents Reclamation in working directly with tribes and other partners in implementing new agreements and related interagency programs benefiting Columbia River Basin fish stocks.

In his new job, he serves as a point of contact between regional tribal interests and the commissioner’s Office of Native American and International Affairs. Eggers previously served as area manager for the Lower Columbia Area Office.

Lower Colorado Region managers named

Steve Hvinden, an economist with experience in Colorado River operations, and David Palumbo, a civil engineer with private and public sector experience, are filling key management positions in the Lower Colorado Region.

Hvinden, deputy area manager for the Boulder Canyon Operations Office since 2004, was selected for the Area Manager position. Palumbo, deputy director of the Engineering Services Office, was named Office Director.

As Boulder Canyon Operations Office Area Manager, Hvinden will oversee the Office’s daily Colorado River operations, water and power contracting program, and water accounting functions.

Palumbo joined the region as a project manager in 2005. In that job, Palumbo managed a portfolio of engineering, acquisition, and construction projects related to water conveyance, control and storage systems, and hydroelectric plant structures and unit rehabilitation.

Fortin to step down as CHA president

Canadian Hydropower Association President Pierre Fortin announced he is stepping down from the post at the end of June, following ten years of service to the association.

Pierre Fortin Click here to enlarge image

Fortin played a central role in developing the national association, which is dedicated to representing the interests of the hydropower industry. In 2008, Fortin was ranked by the Ottawa Hill Times as being among the top 100 federal lobbyists.

Fortin said his future plans include assisting government, the hydropower industry, and others in his areas of expertise. Fortin has held previous posts in the federal government and in the business sector.

Schneider retires from Consumers Energy, Baker succeeds

Judy Schneider retired from Consumers Energy after a 21-year career. She served as hydro operations and maintenance superintendent for the past ten years.

Schneider was responsible for plant operations and maintenance at Consumers’ 13 hydro plants. Her responsibilities included Federal Energy Regulatory Commission license compliance, dam safety requirements, and emergency action plans; personnel and public safety; employee and union relations; strategic planning, budgeting, and project management; and agency relations for operations and dam safety.

Prior to holding the superintendent position, Schneider served as Consumers’ plant instruction and procedure supervisor. She ensured that all hydro operations employees were taught required skills and technical information and trained in operations, safety, health, and environmental issues. She developed and instituted operating procedures and a training program for each hydro plant, and she managed the certification program required for all Consumers’ hydro plant operators.

Don Baker succeeds Schneider as hydro operations and maintenance superintendent. During a 26-year career with Consumers Energy, Baker has held a variety of positions, all at the J.R. Whiting coal-fired generating plant in Erie, Mich. He most recently served as environmental lead for the plant, where he managed environmental monitoring and compliance, water chemistry, and instrumentation and control work.

Kessel named president, CEO of New York Power Authority

Richard Kessel is the new president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the New York Power Authority (NYPA), the largest state-owned electric utility in the U.S.

Kessel was elected to the job by NYPA trustees. He started his new position in October 2008.

Richard Kessel Click here to enlarge image

Kessel previously served as CEO of the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), from 1997 to 2006, and was chairman of LIPA’s board of trustees from 1989 to 1995.

U.S., Mexico commissioners die in job-related mission

Both commissioners of the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) were among four people killed in an airplane crash in the Sierra Madre mountain range inside Mexico.

U.S. Commissioner Carlos Marin and Mexico Commissioner Arturo Herrera died in the Sept. 15, 2008, crash. Jake Brisbin, Jr., executive director of the Rio Grande Council of Governments, and pilot Matthew Juneau, also were killed.

The commissioners were traveling to assess Rio Grande flood conditions at Presidio, Texas, and Ojinaga, Chihuahau, and to coordinate response efforts with local officials and Mexico’s government.

IBWC said Marin and Herrera were long-time colleagues and friends who devoted their lives to a common goal of furthering cooperation on transboundary issues.

President Bush appointed Marin commissioner in December 2006, following 27 years of service to the commission. As U.S. commissioner, Marin oversaw employees and projects in 12 offices along the U.S.-Mexico border. He previously served as deputy commissioner and principal engineer in the commission’s operations department.

Herrera, a commission employee since 1982, served as Mexico’s Commissioner since 1989. He also held posts as secretary and principal engineer of the Mexico section.

Al Riera, principal engineer of the U.S. section’s operations department at agency headquarters in El Paso, Texas, was named acting commissioner of the U.S. section of the commission following the crash.

The IBWC is responsible for applying the boundary and water treaties between the U.S. and Mexico, and for settling differences that could arise. IBWC is an international body composed of a U.S. section and a Mexico section.

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